From: Donna Banta
Subject: My conference weekend
Back when I was a Mormon, I hated conference weekend. Mostly because we had to get all dressed up and drag our little kids to the church to watch the thing on closed circuit TV. I did everything I could to get out of it, wheedling my then devout husband with excuses. "Nobody really watches conference on Saturday, right?" or "We can read all the talks next month in The Ensign, right?" Whether or not I got my way depended on the convincingness of my argument combined with how much the children and I had worn down Mark's patience.
More often than not we stayed home. But I did sit through some winner sessions. I remember being told to avoid symposia and not to say prayers to Heavenly Mother. I recall a bizarre talk by Boyd K. Packer that began with him flying into a rage over the notion of a man baking a pie. Also, I'll never forget a mind-numbingly boring analogy from some garrulous old coot who went on about how he used to straighten out bent nails with his dad's hammer. I don't remember who gave the talk, only that the nail story droned on for the length of a bible but never arrived at a point. --Meanwhile, the A/C in the chapel was overtaxed, my pantyhose were sagging, and we had run out of Cheerios for the kids.
In those days I would have done anything to get out of watching conference. A root canal, a four hour mammogram, an unsedated colonoscopy, even a C-SPAN marathon.
But times have changed. Now, I look forward to conference! I was a little disorganized on Saturday, so I missed hearing Boyd K. Packer advise the faithful that the second coming was not imminent. (Damn! See what you miss when you aren't prepared?) But I did catch Bednar's talk about how young people should give up facebooking and tweeting for the far more scintillating online pastime, genealogy!
I snorted serious amounts of Pelegrino through my nose, then called out to Mark. "Honey, get in here, you're missing Bednar!"
"I'm not listening to that prick," he hollered back.
"But sweetheart, this is awesome. He's telling teenagers to look up the dead on their smart phones. Also his face is all pink and sweaty like he just googled his great-great aunt Gertrude and downloaded an image of her in her corset."
Mark escaped to the kitchen. I turned up the volume. A dick named Andersen was going on about multiplying and replenishing the earth.
"Oh my god, Mark you wouldn't believe it. This total blowhard just told a story about a guy who's looking at his sixth child -- a daughter -- just minutes after her birth, has an epiphany, then runs to the bedside of his recovering wife and tells her the Lord said He wants them to have a seventh child and it will be a boy!"
Mark stared back at me with a desperate expression, the same one he wore the time I was taking too long in Target and he had to fake a stroke to get me out of there. Thankfully he just said, I'm going to Joxer's for a beer, wanna come? Out of respect for his priesthood, I submitted.
Then Sunday rolled around and we got up early, put on nice clothes, and went to something way more special than Conference: a NorCal Post-Mormon party.
|They offered a fine selection of beverages|
And, just because we're Ex-Mormons, doesn't mean we're not inspired.
- Donavan waxed poetic on the blessings of alcohol on an empty stomach. He also admitted that he left the church at around age 11, when he was kicked out of the "Tuesday afternoon thing."
- Anagrammy shared how in Relief Society she learned to make "meat" by soaking the gluten out of bread dough in her washing machine, pounding it thin, slicing it into "cutlets," then soaking it in bouillon and passing it off as Swiss steak. (The kids ate it, the dog refused.)
- Warren and Christina couldn't understand all the weird looks they were getting when they visited Colorado City. That is until they remembered they were riding around in Christina's car with the license plate, WRNSGRL.
- Tyler asked, "Do you think Joseph Smith married all of those women because of sex, or was it a power thing?" To which I responded, "I think it was mostly about his dick."
- We all concluded that Packer's announcement about the last days was aimed at protecting Romney in the upcoming election, so that voters won't think he's a member of some crazy cult. (And who better to deliver the message than the craziest guy in the cult?)