Madwoman Out of the Attic

a feminist trudging forward in a patriarchal world

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

What's Up With The Strange Church Phenomenon of Adults Singing Children's Songs to the Opposite Sex???

OK, so am I the only one that finds it mildly disturbing to see grown humans sing children's songs to the opposite sex? Help me understand this strange phenomenon, people!

Just a few weeks ago, on Mothers' Day, all the men got up and sang "Home Can Be a Heaven On Earth" to the women. Their voices actually sounded really nice, but the song - ugh. I'm not sure if even children should be singing that one.

And now my understanding is that all the women will be singing "I'm So Glad When Daddy Comes Home" and "A Child's Prayer" to the men on Fathers' Day. Double Ugh. "I'm so Glad..." has to be one of my top 5 least favorite church songs ever. Talk about gender stereotypes. I actually quite like the song "A Child's Prayer" but I like it for children. Why on earth have a bunch of grown women singing from the point of view of a child? What's the point?

Anyway, I'm parking my tail on the pew during this exhibition. Nothing on earth could persuade me to get up there and participate in this strange Harbor Hills ritual.

UPDATE: So I emailed the music person for our ward, and it turns out that while the women and kids will be up there together, only the children will be singing 'I'm so Glad.' (Thank goodness!) And then the women and kids will sing the child's prayer song.

I love Kirby

For your viewing pleasure, here's Kirby's latest. I think it's a gem.

You can't be happy if you're not in, right?

By Robert Kirby
Salt Lake Tribune columnist

Ben and I hadn't seen each other in the 10 years since the LDS Church excommunicated him. We stood next to each other at a downtown crosswalk for more than a minute before realizing who the other was.

Maybe it was the fact that Ben seemed happy that threw me.

According to church lore, he's supposed to be miserable, a spiritless outcast slouching from pillar to post with nary a moment's peace. He should look like Gollum by now.

Instead, Ben was a few pounds heavier, smiling, and holding the hand of the woman he's been married to for 30-plus years. We went to a restaurant and caught up.

Since his excommunication, Ben has defied church odds. He has not been divorced, driven to drink, financially ruined or infested with vermin. He's not even particularly distraught. He regrets what happened but seems OK with it now.

Ben supports his wife in her church callings and occasionally drops in to see how the old crowd is doing. But he's not interested in hooking up again.

Hmm, maybe Ben is just pretending to be happy. Maybe deep down his eviction from the Lord's church has him writhing in a pit of despair.

As a young missionary, I believed excommunication was the worst thing that could happen to a person. It was the mission form of a ghost story, tales of people who wandered the Earth damned because some ultimate transgression had cost them their membership.

Excommunication can be that awful for some people. The few I saw it happen to back then were certainly upset about it. It looked and sounded awful enough to keep me in line.

But I'm older now, and I've seen that it doesn't work that way for everyone. We'd like to be able to predict another person's misery or happiness, but we can't.

That doesn't stop us from trying. I've heard repeatedly in church that the only way to true happiness is through "the church" or "the gospel" or "total obedience" to some other ecclesiastically mandated operation.

Maybe happiness is that way for the person who's saying it. But it automatically follows, then, that most of the world is unhappy, that it's relatively impossible for Hindus or Catholics to know true joy.

That's a pretty conceited way to look at the world - that you have it figured out and 99 percent of everyone else hasn't. It's astonishing how well they hide their wretchedness.

I'm no expert (according to every authority figure in my life), but happiness seems to depend on making good choices, a process that's available to everyone, including those who don't think like us and those we don't like to think about.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Terms of Endearment

Names I call Mike:

Names I call baby:
Angel Bug
Bug Nut
Nasty Baby (when I'm mad)

Names I call both baby and Mike:
Monkey Love

Saturday, May 19, 2007

My mom is awesome

Mom came over last Sunday in honor of Mothers' Day. My brother was there as well, and of course the discussion eventually came to politics. My brother is pretty staunchly Republican, so it wasn't a surprise to find out that he favors Mitt Romney.

But mom, although officially registered as a Republican, showed her true political colors when she vehemently described how much she hates Dick Cheney and Don Rumsfeld. She thinks Bush was totally misguided and unduly influenced by these two nefarious characters. And mom doesn't think much of Condoleeza Rice for being a stooge of Bush. ("stooge" was her word).

When asked whether she liked Mitt Romney, her comments were 1) he's a good looking son of a gun and 2) he's slick as a whistle (or something to that effect).

She's not telling us who she's going to vote for (no doubt wanting to avoid pissing either my brother or me off) but she did say that she favors Obama out of the Democratic contenders.

(I think she's going to vote democratic in '08. ) Oh yeah!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

What's A Mother Heart?

Someone help me out. Please tell me what a mother heart is. I heard this refrain a few times in sacrament meeting today, and I'm baffled by it.

Now, I realize that I could try to find the GC talk entitled "Mother Heart" but I don't think I have the stomach to read it through.

And by the way, can you tell me if all men have a father heart?

Here's to hoping that next Mother's Day we'll hear some great talks about powerful women in the scriptures. (clink)

By the way, one of sacrament meeting speakers mentioned that Mother's Day was founded by a mother who wanted to honor fallen soldiers. Actually, she founded it to rally women together to fight against war and for a more peaceful world. Sadly, our present day saccherine Mother's Day celebrations have dramatically diverged from this noble original intent. Check out her fiery proclamation below. (Thanks, Jana.)

Julia Ward Howe's Mother's Day Proclamation - 1870

Arise then...women of this day!
Arise, all women who have hearts!
Whether your baptism be of water or of tears!
Say firmly:
"We will not have questions answered by irrelevant agencies,
Our husbands will not come to us, reeking with carnage,
For caresses and applause.
Our sons shall not be taken from us to unlearn
All that we have been able to teach them of charity, mercy and patience.
We, the women of one country,
Will be too tender of those of another country
To allow our sons to be trained to injure theirs.

"From the bosom of a devastated Earth a voice goes up with
Our own. It says: "Disarm! Disarm!
The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.
"Blood does not wipe out dishonor,
Nor violence indicate possession.
As men have often forsaken the plough and the anvil
At the summons of war,
Let women now leave all that may be left of home
For a great and earnest day of counsel.
Let them meet first, as women, to bewail and commemorate the dead.
Let them solemnly take counsel with each other as to the means
Whereby the great human family can live in peace...
Each bearing after his own time the sacred impress, not of Caesar,
But of God -In the name of womanhood and humanity, I earnestly ask
That a general congress of women without limit of nationality,
May be appointed and held at someplace deemed most convenient
And the earliest period consistent with its objects,
To promote the alliance of the different nationalities,
The amicable settlement of international questions,
The great and general interests of peace.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Day in the Life

Woke up early to get to Project Cuddle's annual 5k. Mike, baby, and I walked through the finish line after 1 hour and 4 minutes. I wanted Mike to run it since he did so well last time, but he hadn't been training, so he opted to walk with me and baby instead.

The rest of our day was taken up with trying to get baby down for a nap, buying baby stuff at the Tustin Marketplace, eating Natraj's Tandoori for lunch, buying a frying pan for mom for Mother's Day, trying to get baby to nap again, me napping because I slept so badly last night due to Mike confiscating my nose spray (yes, I'm addicted to nose spray), me trying to clean out my pit of a car, me going to my high school's musical, me watching Rosemary & Thyme while blogging and checking email.

That's it so far, but I'm looking forward to reading more scintillating chapters in Desert Hostage, the trashy romance novel Goretti's ex-boyfriend's step-mother wrote. She was good enough to buy me a copy.

Now I just have to find where Mike hid that nose spray...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Dinner Conversation

Me: Mike, someday I'm going to be a good wife.
Mike: When?
Me: 10 years...?
Mike: What will you do to be a good wife?
Me: I'm going to pick up more and not make you live in my filth.
Mike: That would be REALLY good. I'd love that.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I Can't Watch Seinfeld Any More

It's sad. So sad. Seinfeld was such a good friend to me. Almost every day for years, from 6-7, and then maybe again from 10-11, I'd catch reruns of this fantastic show. I'd have it on in the background for company as I cooked dinner or got ready for bed. I'd glance up and fondly watch George up to his usual antics, Elaine making her sarcastic comments, Kramer sliding into the rooms. Ah... the good times.

But it's all over now. I've broken it off with Seinfeld. I didn't want to, but I can't stop myself. Ever since Michael Richards sickening racist rant, I just can't watch it. The second he enters a scene, it's all I can think of. So my long standing relationship with this show is over.

I feel bad about it. I should be able to forgive Michael Richards. After all, he made an apology and went to rehab and all. And if I ever went on a freaky racist rant, I'd hope that people would someday forgive me for it.

But I just can't stop that visceral reaction, that sickening tightening of the gut whenever I see him on the show.

I wonder if there's any way I can repair this relationship. And if I should even try.