So, last week I wrote this brilliant post on the subject of kids throwing tantrums in Sacrament Meeting. Oh, my heavenly stars. How it was adored! And by "adored" I mean I've had so many notes attached to bricks and thrown through my windows I'll soon have enough masonry to finish that aroma-therapy nook next to the solarium. Now, if someone will start tossing decorative pillows and cucumber face masks at my house, I'll be set.
But I stand by my post, girls. And I'm standing by this one, too, even though it may result in an entire guest room with attached bath hurtling across my lawn.
Today I speak on the subject of the sort-of new Relief Society ice breaker known as "The Good News Minute." This activity replaced the less-popular "Quit Your Whining Hour," which I feel was an inspired change.
However, I have learned through sad experience that, when left to "govern themselves" in the implementation of a new and lovely practice, women occasionally show the good judgment and decorum of a flock of concussed magpies.
In the months since the Good News Minute became a feature of our Sunday meetings, we ladies have re-defined "good news" in so many ways Webster finally gave up and published a separate dictionary just for Mormonese.
(Frankly, it was about time. Our use of the word "true" alone would occupy 268 linear inches in your standard dictionary. And don't even get me started on the number of internal organs we like to describe as "full.")
For example, over the course of one month, a young sister in my ward offered, as her "good news," weekly updates on the progress of construction on the new Cafe Rio down the street. The best of all possible news-es came when the restaurant opened a full TWO WEEKS early! Such rejoicing! Such celebrating! And who needs the Spirit in Relief Society when you have dreams of pork enchiladas to sustain you?
One week I was visiting my mother's ward in Utah, and her bishop (who was hiding from the High Priests' group because he'd already had one nap during Sacrament Meeting) announced as "good news" that BYU had won their football game that weekend.
As a graduate of the University of Utah as well as someone who believes football is for guys who couldn't get jobs knocking down buildings with their heads, my testimony was sorely tried that day. Ok, not sorely. But it was tweaked a little, and I'm sure that counts.
"School started!" "Christmas is past!" "My conviction was overturned due to a lack of sufficient evidence!"
It's all such GOOD NEWS! And the women in my ward react with so much enthusiasm I expect half of them to build a human pyramid while the other half leaps around the room in cheer kicks and hurkies. Many of these ladies are seasoned, people! They aren't as limber as they used to be.
My beloved sisters of the Relief Society -- I say that to practice for when I'm called to the General Board, which is a distinct possibility on account of I e-mail my phone number to Julie Beck every week in case she lost it the last time -- I implore you to search a couple of your fuller organs to see if they might contain an ounce of common sense.
"Good News" in Relief Society should be taken from a different list than the one used in, say, your therapist's office. Or your mammogram. Or your Bunko club (which of course doesn't exist any more because we were asked to disband them, which we very righteously did, and if you say otherwise you'd best back it up with a gift of $10 or less).
Have a little consideration for the teacher who has to follow your announcement that adult undergarments are on sale at "Bladders-R-Us," or that your little fungus problem is finally under control and it's reasonably safe to sit by you again.
No practice hymn in the world is going to kill the image planted in the minds and overflowing spleens of the sisters in that room by those questionable Doses o' Good News. The teacher could have the Three Nephites there as guest speakers, could have an actual Jaredite Curelom spinning the Liahona on its nose, and the only thing the class will come away with is a vague, troubling curiosity as to where, exactly, that fungus was growing in the first place.
All right. I've said my piece. You can start lobbing projectiles through my screen door now. Although, if you wouldn't mind, could you throw Cafe Rio pork enchiladas instead? If I see that you've included black beans and their special 'salsa fresca', that'll be the best news I could possibly hope for.