Sunday, March 3, 2013

Just Another Suicidal Sunday

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.
So I removed myself from the environment and retreated to the hall.

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 simple analogy..."

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?
Did people really think that was funny?

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'.


Angenette said...

Like for your roller derby. I think that's a good place for a m.o. jacket.

Anonymous said...

The rest of Elder Oaks story states to STOP asking why single ward members don't have a jacket. When we do that then we make make them feel cold when they weren't cold in the first place. I'm sorry you missed that part of the talk either because you stopped listening when the imaginary gun was to your head or he accidentally lost his consitration.

Carrie said...

I actually didn't hear that part. I was too distracted by the laughing congregation. But I have a hard time believing he said that when we ask singles why they are single we make them feel "cold when they weren't cold in the first place" when a phrase of he quote says "Meanwhile, you are getting pretty cold...". If one is getting cold they're already feeling it. So maybe you can try again to explain the usefulness of that poor analogy. Or better yet, you can explain to me why everyone thought it was so funny. But please, leave you name. I have no respect for those who can't own their words.

Steve Kneeland said...

now I'm totally interested in that talk, i wonder if Oaks really said that or if ANon just heard what he wanted to hear. either way, as you mentioned the fact that the whole congregation laughed speaks volumes,as my old drama teacher used to say.. we laugh when we see ourselves.

Armelle said...

How embarrasing that they all laughed, please tell me it wasn't meant to be funny. Cute and inspirational, maybe (stargazing, so that's how he calls it?), but definitely not funny.

KarKar said...

If he is going to use the example such as, "star gazing" for a members only club... I suggest he use something a little more personable and intimate than that. I suggest "cupcake licking club" That puts it in to perspective, and would allow the congregation to chuckle. Because shit. just. got. real.

Until then, "down to earth humanitarian as yourself, and myself (and anybody who is NOT anonymous), nobody gets to laugh because they took the example as funny, when others are truly looking "to get warm" or "living the way they should..." that would lead them to warmth. It it just rude and judgmental. Something "the church" doesn't stand for, I thought.

Start that club, and get that cupcake licked!!!


Anonymous said...

Oh, dear. I've been following this blog for some time now and I have to say that one thing worse than not getting a jacket might be getting the wrong jacket, sewing a couple neat pieces of flair on it, and then, 12 years later (or more precisely one week before your 12th anniversary), you learn that you purchased the WRONG jacket and your jacket is an XL and most jacket shoppers don't want that size and you're carrying around enough unique flair that it doesn't appear that anybody will be wanting to give you a replacement jacket in the near future. Or something.
Granted that jacket did give me many good times over the years, but still... wrong jacket. So wrong. This jacket had secrets hidden in the pockets and lining. Deep pockets with crappy crappy hidden treasures.
I'm glad you're back to blogging. I've missed your posts. I hope you find a good jacket some day and in the mean time, pat yourself on the back for having developed some marketable skills, which will make it easier to care for your jacket flair should the need ever arise. Because I certainly did not do that. And now I am, as they say in church, seriously FETCHED.

Cheryl said...

Carrie - i'm trying to direct "male gaze" who wrote this piece to your blog here. I would LOVE to hear a conversation between you and him!

Anonymous said...

I don't understand why you continue going to church if it makes you suicidal. I felt the same way you did when I would go to church. I would get so frustrated and irritated with people and stupid things that were said. I felt like church should uplift me and give me an extra boost for the week. I wasn't getting this from church so I just stopped going. It wasn't worth the frustration I felt every week. Haven't stepped foot in a church for over year and I haven't missed it one bit. Maybe you should take a break and go do somthing fun on Sunday. Wathcing paint dry could always be fun. Take care! Meg

Carrie said...

Dropping out of church has obviously crossed my mind, or crosses my mind, quite often. I have taken breaks from church and have determined that it isn't the right choice for me. I'm glad you found a peaceful solution...that hopefully doesn't involve watching paint dry. That is oh not so fun.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for responding back. I also wanted to tell you that I love your blog. You are so straightforward and direct it is really refreashing. This problaby doesn't get a warm reception from the LDS community. They want everyone to think that everything in their life is a-ok. I've been following your blog for awhile and I love your crass sense of humor. Hang in there girl! I think you are pretty awesome. No, I am not gay!:) Meg

Carrie said...

Hey Meg, I actually get a lot of positive feedback from the LDS community in regards to this blog. I mean, I just say what everyone else is thinking. Of course people are generally pretty covert about it, I mean, heaven forbid they publicly put out an "amen" for such crass and negative realism. I only have a few haters, and to them I always smile and tell them to just keep drinking whatever flavor of Kool-aid they're drinking. One day reality will get em' and when it does they'll be blissfully unprepared. I'm thankful for all of my readers, especially the obviously awesome ones like you. Thanks for following.