Monday, December 31, 2012

A very, very special night, apparently

So welcome to New Year’s Eve—the one holiday, according to the church’s Handbook, that, when it occurs on a Monday (as it does this year), church units are authorized to preempt family home evenings for a party.

I know it’s just me, but this just seems odd—not that there’s a carve-out for holidays and family home evening observance, but that if you’re going to pick exactly one holiday to allow that, it’d be this one. I mean, why not other holidays that already have a tradition of evening gatherings, like (in the United States) Memorial Day and Labor Day (and Independence Day, on years when it falls on a Monday), or explicitly religious holidays like Xmas Eve (when it falls on a Monday) or Easter Monday (in those jurisdictions where it’s celebrated)?

Saturday, December 15, 2012


So this past Monday i knew that my workweek was going to be a bit unusual, and also i was a little behind on laundry,* so i spent a little extra time that morning planning what shirts i was going to wear each day through the weekend.

The shirt i planned for this Sunday is a purple one.** I look good in purple, after all, and so i have a handful of purple dress shirts anyway, so the odds were in that color’s favor to begin with.

Well, unbeknownst to me a group of women on the internet had decided to tweak the noses of Mormon social conservatives† by wearing trousers to church instead of skirts or dresses. Well, this started to be a thing, until it then devolved into really, really intense vitriol to the point of death threats(!) against those putting the whole thing together. It got bad enough that Facebook, never really known as a hotbed of civility, took down the Facebook page about it ’cause the discussionarguments were getting out of hand. (Way to be normal, fellow Mormons!)

Also unbeknownst to me, some men decided to get into the act by saying that they were going to wear purple ties or even purple shirts (gasp and horror!) in support of the trousers-wearing women.

So, once i learned about all this late last week, i was locked into wearing a purple shirt today, since i was short on shirts to begin with and i’d already worn the other good-looking dress shirts i had available.

This leads to an interesting question: Am i wearing a purple shirt in solidarity with women wearing trousers (no, it’s just that i look good in purple—see footnote †), and will people view my action as such (i do, after all, not infrequently wear purple shirts to church anyway)?

More to the point, though, i guess the big question is whether i really care what other people think about this.††

A postscript: A Facebook friend of mine says she’s going to wear a purple dress to church tomorrow, just to play with the ambiguity. Cheers for her!

* Hey, cut me a break here—we have four kids, and two of them go to a school with a moderately tight dress code, so laundry is always an issue, ’kay?

** Me, wear a white shirt to church? Oh, please don't make me giggle so hard.

† A goal i stand thoroughly in favor of, by the way. I explicitly take no position on this specific tweaking, but the idea of tweaking Mormon social conservatives generally? More often, and more power to you, that’s what i say.

†† No.‡

‡ Though i will admit to a bit of curiosity in the sense of the sociological experiment of it all.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Learning and growing

So people say that serving a full-time mission gets you to grow and learn in cool ways, but they generally mean spiritual things by that.

For me, i think that the most important thing i learned from being a full-time missionary was how to laugh. I come to this conclusion by recalling how many people commented on how after my mission i was able to give in fully to laughter when i thought something was funny, whereas beforehand i’d always been a bit reserved about laughter.

And i think that just that result alone would have been reason enough to have gone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Why these differences?

So my oldest is a teenager, and as an active teenaged Mormon girl she’s working on her personal progress program (alliteration!), and so this last Sunday i went over the stuff she’s supposed to do for it with her, figuring out what she’s done and what she hasn’t, and so on.

The main thing i learned from this review: Some of the requirements involve some pretty insipid stuff. I mean, don’t get me wrong, some of the things she’ll be doing for this are actually really cool, but nearly all of them are basically to read a bunch of scriptures and reflect on how it’ll relate to your life as a wife and mother. Oh—and then write about it in your journal. If the number of repetitions is indicative of importance, then the most important thing she’ll ever do in her life is write about what she’s thinking in her journal. Gee, excitement. Or something.

Seriously: As long as the program for (most of) the boys of the church involves things like first aid and emergency preparedness and woodcarving and survival skills plus—maybe—some spiritual stuff that gets snuck in here and there, while the program for (all of) the girls of the church involves what it involves, well, some of us are going to continue to be bothered by the disparity.