Friday, February 18, 2011

A Word From The Bishop -- Keeping The Romance Alive

To: Abbottsville Fourth Ward
From: Bishop Paul Zimmerman
Subject: Appreciating our wives

They cook our meals, clean our houses, do our laundry, mow our lawns, change the oil in our cars, re-shingle our roofs, lay concrete, chop firewood, and singlehandedly bear, give birth to, and raise our children. For those, and countless other sacrifices, the wives and mothers in Zion deserve all the pampering we can afford.

My wife Carrie was applying for a semester abroad in London when I swept her off her feet and changed her plans. Someday, God willing, I'll take her there. But right now, the pressures of family, work, tithing, and church callings make such a journey impossible. I know that many of you brethren share my dilemma. But don't despair, while we may not be able to swing the overseas plane fare, with a little imagination we can do the next best thing here in good old Abbottsville, California.

Believe it or not, this Valentine's Day, I took my sweetheart on a trip to Merry Olde England!

First thing in the morning, the kids and I served Mommy a genuine full English breakfast in bed!

Their Food Hall is Famous

After that, I assumed the roll of black cab driver, loaded the pram and diaper bag into the boot, and motored everyone downtown so that Mommy could get lost in "Harrods."

Book lover that she is, Carrie dreams of browsing the bookstores on London's Charing Cross Road. This week the Abbottsville Barnes & Noble stepped up to take their place. I dropped the kids off at the Harry Potter display, then escorted my sweetie over to the Shakespeare shelves. (To enhance the mood, I downloaded the soundtrack to Mary Poppins onto both our iPods.) Unfortunately, our literary experience was interrupted when our kids' impromptu quiddich match toppled over half of the American Girls section. -- Served me right for leaving them in the care of non-members!

Carrie seemed a little frazzled after the quiddich match, so I took her home and treated her to the best relaxer there is, an authentic English High Tea. Not being a whiz in the kitchen, I had a moment of panic when I couldn't find anything resembling tea in our cupboard. But my ingenious children saved the day by scooping up dead leaves on the lawn, steeping them in a mug of hot tap water, and assembling a plate of traditional English scones.

Why go all the way to the British
Having been refreshed by the tea, we resumed our sightseeing. While I couldn't come up with a substitute for Stonehenge, I did discover that the illustrations in an old copy of The Pearl of Great Price bore a striking resemblance to the Rosetta Stone.

The clock reminded us of Big Ben!

Of course, no visit to Britain is complete without a trip to a castle. With all of our royalty residing in Salt Lake City, this presented a challenge. But I found a solution in the lobby of Abbottsville's new Holiday Inn Express. The desk clerk was super nice, and even let us tour some of the salons.

 Finally, we ended the day with a visit to the local pub for a traditional dinner of fish and chips.

While children are a Mormon mother's pride, joy, and entire reason for being, every sister deserves a little alone time with her eternal companion in their very own five star hotel. (I even changed the sheets!) During our trip to "Harrods" I had snuck off to buy Carrie some skimpy nightwear for the occasion. But prices were way too steep! Maybe it's just as well. My wife never looks sexier than when she's wearing nothing but my old BYU tee-shirt. So while she slipped into that, I slipped next door to the Harolds' to see if they could keep the kids for a few.

Turned out Brother Harold was treating his own wife to a similar Valentine's Day travel fantasy, and was in the kitchen rescuing a charred version of steak au poivre and pomme frites. He agreed to let my kids stay and watch the final half hour of Ratatouille if I'd take his back to my house for the next half hour.

Crickey! A whole thirty minutes? That left us time to snuggle after, and watch a little ESPN.

Then we gathered all the kids from next door, came home and hosted another impromptu quiddich match, this time in our own living room.

A perfect end to a perfect day. And nobody is more deserving than my little woman! She doesn't even need to thank me!! (And hasn't, come to think of it.)

Total cost of this vacation: $15.67. (+ $200.00 for damages to Barnes & Noble.)

If you would like to stop receiving these e-mails, we'll send over some of the Zimmermans' home grown tea leaves.


  1. Imagine Bishop Paul's surprise when Carrie suddenly bursts into tears and screams, "I gave up college for THIS!?"

  2. Oh my! I have no doubt this is a better Valentines Day treat than many Mo women experienced. Hilarious!

  3. Thanks, guys. Yeah, CD, Carrie is lucky to have such an awesome husband -- snort!

  4. Classy! Donna, I think you've channeled the LDS male mind. The creativity to re-create the details of England with such frugality really speaks well of Carrie's husband.

    My LDS brother is a really finicky eater and his wife has about nine dishes she's learned to make that he'll eat. So they go to Epcot Center in Florida and waddle around for two days and finally have to take a cab to a grocery store because "There was nothing to eath there!!" They were so proud that they got some Wonder bread and peanut butter and Smuckers jam and could finally have a decent meal. I highly suspect they'd think your description of English fare would be the epitome' of class.

    My mother, sister and her husband went to England about five years ago. My mom was so excited to finally travel to Europe. Yes, I said "Europe" so they get to London and go to the temple and then take a train to Colchester where they spend the next four days in the dank basement of some old Protestant church looking up the birth and death records of really really way past dead, dead rotted dead ancestors. Oh yeah, they took a quick tour of the bridge in front of Winchester castle. Then they came home. They culled over 40 names of really really dead people.

  5. Insana D, I feel for your SIL, although I must say, it is impressive that your brother sprung for a cab. Jesus, he must have been starving! If memory serves, there are also fast food venues at Epcot, right? Maybe not. I was there 15 years ago and haven't been back. And we did eat in an actual restaurant.

    The trip to "Europe" is so spot on. I've heard so many old biddies get up in RS and testify of their inspiring visit to -- somewhere they only went because it was a freebie via their husband's work. Then they spent their time doing genealogy, or visiting the new temple, or looking for scenarios that validated their own right wing political views. One woman got up in church and spoke of looking across the Great Wall of China and "feeling the repression." (Yeah right, couldn't be any worse than Relief Society.)

    Oh! Everyone, just so you know. For Valentines Day, Mark took me to Mendocino for a couple of days where he fed me real wine (not powdered grape drink) and actual steak au poivre (not from McDonalds.) Also, we relaxed by the real ocean, not the pool at the local YMCA.

  6. This post was horrifying. Because its largely true. Wowzers.

  7. @Kate, which is why this blog so often writes itself ;) Thanks for reading!

  8. Oh, my goodness, I can't stop giggling. This post is gonna be a 2011 Brodie award winner. Serioisly, genius!

  9. Glad I made you laugh, Russo -- we exmormons dearly need to!

  10. "D" Mmmm, I don't know what to think. I'm an outsider. Is this real-get a divorce. Is this fake-get a divorce. All the cool guys live in Northern California (and we appreciate our super awesome ladies).


    ps. I know y'all is joking, but I'm serious...all the cool guys live in Nor-Cal, and we really do appreciate the ladies (feminist). Awesomeness.