Last night I was talking with my friends about this blog and said that I felt that I had run out of material to write about. We discussed how that may be a good thing. After all, this blog started out as an extension of a qualitative project I did back in 2010 and maybe it's time to end my tirade and move towards something more positive...but then I woke up this morning...after a night where I dreamed I was on tour with New Direction at Deseret Book*. Now in my conscious life I can honestly say I know nothing about One Direction, but I confess, walking through that field of orange butterflies was magical.
So I woke up, slightly disturbed and filled with residual butterfly magic, got ready for church and left the house. Now, this week was not typical church, it's Stake Conference weekend. Which means instead of 3 hours of church we only have 2 AND it was a broadcast from Salt Lake, so I felt even less guilt about packing my sketch book instead of scriptures. I was feeling pretty good about my decision to go to church instead of hiding out in the library hopped up on study drugs writing a paper. Choose the right I did...or at least I thought I did.
About 30 seconds after I sat down a sweet dad and his two extremely loud talkative kids sat down directly behind me. Now normally the sound of children does not make my skin crawl or fill me with the urge to smother the life out of something but for whatever reason the incessant shrill chatter of those kids filled me with a gratitude that only a childless woman can experience.
The first few talks were great. One "you need to get your shit together" talk (I know, I know, I totally do), followed by a smarmy sister talk (I never listen to those), and then a heart felt football analogy talk. My "edified meter" was rising towards 60% when Elder Oaks rose to the pulpit.
Oh Elder Oaks. You gotta love him. He's perfect for the non nonsense type who like to be spiritually fed by straight up, no frill wisdom. I was tracking pretty well as he moved through the "every member a missionary" part of his talk but then he veered off track and started down the road that started with "The situation of a Church member who is single can be illustrated by a
I won't lie, I stat up and tuned in a little harder. I mean, he was addressing my demographic and maybe, just maybe this was the spiritual nugget I was there to gather. He then continued and said this:
"Imagine that your favorite hobby is stargazing and
you’ve just joined a stargazing club. You come to your first club
activity eager to participate. It’s a cold night, but you’re not
concerned: most of the club members are wearing club jackets, and you’ve
been told you should be able to get one as well. But there is no jacket
for you. You ask about it, and you are told to keep looking and that if
you do your best, you will find a jacket when the time is right."
The congregation chuckled. I mentally envisioned pressing the barrel of a gun to my right temple...
"Meanwhile, you are getting pretty cold and a little worried. And you
notice that most of the other club members are talking about how nice
and warm their jackets are. In fact, throughout the evening the topic
surfaces continually in various forms: how to wash and dry your jacket,
how to add extra pockets, how to mend it, and so forth. Some of the club
members notice you don’t have a jacket. “You really need a jacket for
these activities,” they tell you. “Why don’t you have one yet?”
'Click'...I mentally pulled the trigger...the congregation erupted in laughter.
And then he changed topics.
I looked around the foyer. Confused.
Did he just liken being single in the LDS church to having a Members Only jacket?
Was that it? Was that his entire message to the single members?
Did I just commit mental suicide in church? Again?
Did that just happen? DID THAT JUST F'ING HAPPEN?
Yes. Yes it did.
Was it a miracle that my irrational irritation over those kids made me leave the chapel an hour prior to that damn jacket analogy was thrust upon us? Yes. Yes it was. Because had I actually been sitting next to one of those who thought it was a witty metaphor I may have come unhinged in a most unsightly and publicly embarassing way.
Do I hate Sundays? Yes. Yes I do.
Am I back? Back to this blog?
Oh yes my friends. I am back. And I'm sure I'll be back again next Sunday when some clueless trial of my patience says, "I'm so glad I earned my jacket" or "jackets are eternal" or "keep the commandments and you'll get a jacket too"...or I'll be in jail for punching the straw that broke the camels back.
Stay tuned...something is bound to happen. After all, life can't be One Direction and fields of butterflies all of the time.
p.s. star gazing is not my favorite hobby, I'm don't think it's even on my list of thing I plan to do before I die. If I'm going to get a members only jacket it's going to be for something a helluva lot cooler than star gazing. Just sayin'.