If I Could Turn Back Time

November 14, 2008

I'm pretty sure that I do something regrettable every single day. It comes as a result of being overly sensitive, overly dramatic, and overly guilt-ridden all at the very same time. Well, yesterday I raised the bar by doing something that can only be classified as highly regrettable.

Last night Jared threw one heck of a Grand Opening party in his office. The food was excellent, more than thirty people attended (including the Mayor), and the conversation was free and easy for everyone. Overall, I'd call it a smashing success.

About halfway through the festivities, I stepped outside to encourage the hairdresser from next door to come and get some food. But as I took one step into the hallway, I was confronted--face to face--with a smiling set of Mormon Missionaries. Such nice young men.

"Hi Sister Lawson," they exclaimed in unison!

To which I replied (in a snitchy little tone), "Holy cow, the missionaries?! Who invited you guys?!"

"Brother Lawson did. We're his patients. Do you think we should leave?"

"YES!....uh, no. Don't leave. It's just that Mormon Missionaries sometimes have the ability to bring a non-Mormon party to a very screeching halt."

"Really Sister Lawson, we can leave," they replied.

"No...don't go," I hesitated. "But can you take your tags off? Pretend to be a normal person for like one hour?"

"No. We can't."

"Well can you hold your plates up to block them," I demanded?


"Well fine, go ahead. Just don't proselyte, okay?"


"No guys, I'm serious. If I so much as hear a whisper of a word like 'Repentance' or 'Heaven' or 'Baptize,' I'm gonna kill you. Both of you."

And off they went.

Hoo boy. Not really keeping in line with the whole "love thy neighbor as thyself" thing. I'm sure they're used to death threats from angry homeowners with junkyard dogs and KEEP OUT signs, but from Sunbeam teachers? Probably not.

And that my friends, is my regrettable moment for November 13, 2008.

Perhaps tonight I will invite them over for family prayer, and when they knock I'll whip open the door, yell WHO THE HELL ARE YOU, then slam it and deadbolt it before they even have the chance to respond.

I bet it wouldn't surprise them one bit.

Are there any former missionaries out there? If so, how do I patch this one up? Cookies? Contacts? Money?

I'm can be such a butt head. Such a raging butt head.


Lindsey said...

Seriously Am, I wouldn't worry about it too much. I mean, as a missionary, you get used to rejection. And if it were me (in place of the missionaries -I was one) I think I would have been surprised to have a recinded invite, but also, understanding. I am sure a quick appology would suffice. Remember, they are great at forgiving and VERY Christlike. :)

Rhien Family said...

As a missionary, I tried to find all possible excuses to stay away from parties of any kind. I knew that we could be spending our time better somewhere else. It's hard to talk to people about your religion when everyone else has a party on their mind.

It's like trying to proselyte in an amusement park. Nobody's going to like it.

Cookies and a note would probably absolve you of any hard feelings.

Thanks for the laugh.

Mindy said...

Definitely cookies. What young man can't be won over by some cookies?

Our Family said...

With everyone in the nation focused on the fallout from Prop 8 in CA it's totally understandable that you responded that way to the Elders. As a returned missionary I can't count how many times members wanted us at their parties, but asked us not to say anything to anyone about the Church (which we wouldn't have anyways in that situation). We always thanked them for inviting us and told them we had just stopped by for a second, but had an appointment we needed to get to. Those Elders understand. I agree with the cookie apology. Or at least a dinner invite. But I wouldn't worry too terribly much. It happens everyday to them I'm sure and they don't get any cookies out of it! And it makes for a great journal writing entry for them....

Joy Through Cooking said...

...and now I have Cher in my head. Thanks.


Holly said...

Pizza fixes everything. (except my fat bum)

Seriously, invite them over for copious amounts of pizza and ice cream. They'll love you forever.

Feel free to invite me too.

chattypatra said...

Yikes! Well, you and I both know why you feel guilty, so there's no need to go into that. Most of us have been there, one way or another. (Been there, done that.)

Cookies are fine and all (big fan here), but that is hardly what is truly needed here. First, I would apologize to them sincerely, saying pretty much what you've said here; they have feelings too.

Second - and more important - I would invite someone to listen to the first discussion at your house and bear your testimony to your guests about how you can be a Mormon even if you are not a Molly or a Peter Priesthood.

What missionaries need are good referrals and I am 100% certain that - after this 'incident' - Heavenly Father will inspire you and guide you to the right person if you ask him for help on this.

Please do it Amy because, hopefully, one of these days it will be James the one who is getting the door slammed in his face (literally or figuratively), and then you will be able to help him get through the rejection.

Thank you for your brutal honesty, Amy. It fills my heart with hope for this world. Love you!

Brad and Rebecca said...

you gotta have them to dinner...and it's gotta be GOOD. No pressure.

Amy said...

No one misunderstand here...I really still don't think it's appropriate for the missionaries to talk about the Gospel at a Grand Opening Party.
If they want to testify of how wonderful Dr. Lawson is, then that's another story.
I don't feel bad for taking away a missionary opportunity, I feel bad for being rude. That's all there is to it.
They had apts today, so Jared brought them cookies from me and let them read this post. Apparently they thought it was funny. And one of them goes home on Tuesday, so he's like "whatever."
As far as Prop 8 goes--there's not a whole heck of a lot of talk about it in this neck of the woods....so that didn't even cross my mind.
I just wanted people to enjoy the food and talk about the magic that is Jared.

One more thing...the missionaries practically live at my house every night after dark....they've gotten more of their fair share of dinners from me! I'm gonna start asking for grocery money soon.

So, once again, I only feel bad for treating 2 humans being like a flaming b*tch.

Got it?

Marc and Megan said...

Amy, I seriously don't see any reason why you should feel guilty. Maybe my skin got extra toughened in Italy, but I wouldn't have even batted an eyelash at your request. And, from your comment above, it sounds like they don't think you should be feeling guilty either.

I think this is one of those scenarios that you're playing through in your mind and it gets bigger and badder every time it plays through again... and then before you know it the scenario looks nothing like what actually happened. That happens to me ALL the time! :)

Megan and Sean said...

The cookies were MORE then enough. Of course this is coming from me someone who did this the other week when it was our (monthly) turn to give the Elders boxed dinners (I know what the heck??) I said to Sean, "Can't we just leave 'em on our steps?" Sean said no. So I said okay, 20 minutes that's all they get! Those darn Elders, we see plenty of them!

Topher said...

No one's asked why the doctor invited them in the first place. I was going to first say "it's his party", but then I figured that would offend the hostest with the mostest because she's probably the one that did all the work and he's just her trophy doctor/husband. So,keeping in mind that elders usually have no common sense when it comes to social events and they were just doing their job, yea you should probably just cut them some slack. Now if it'd been me, I would have said, "But Sr. Lawson, we're just here to liven things up. We're going to jump up on the chair and do this little trick where we grab our coat lapels and pull them up and down so it looks like our neckties are moving from side to side. It's a great icebreaker and will distract from the fact that the office is painted a light shade of purple." to which you would have responded "Oh thank my lucky stars! I didn't even think of that. Well get in there and work some magic!"

chattypatra said...

Got it. My sincere apologies then.

Katy said...

Doat! Jared!

I think you're OK Amy- just say sorry for being a wretch- that you feel pressure to make a living.

Grandma said...

I think you'll be laughing about it with them when you see them next.

Cynthia said...

As a former missionary, I felt vaguely guilty when the elders stopped by our apartment in Pittsburgh for the first time and I made my husband talk to them, QUIETLY, because my sister was on Jeopardy at that exact moment. I welcomed them to sit down and shut up if they wanted to, but instead they made awkward conversation. I'm afraid I hushed them several times.
And my sister lost.
Love your post, you don't know me.

Michemily said...

It's our duty to share the Gospel, no matter where, and even if it's just quietly letting people know that we're Mormon. Yesterday I was so sad because I invited my roommate to an activity that was being put on by the Church, and he said, "Is it from 'you guys?'" As in, "you Mormons?" He told me he never wanted to go to anything at the church with me again, and I felt horrible. It's my fault he got a bad impression. I hope in the future I can be a better example and that I can let this go so we can still have a good relationship.

Anonymous said...

Amy, hon, your reaction is totally understandable. I had the same reaction when I saw them: "Mormon missionaries - at a grand opening party? What a party-killer." But they were discrete, as far as I could tell. They didn't once try to hook me or Allan. Maybe it was the distinct look of "hippy" about us? :) I think a quick "didn't mean to hurt your feelings" apology would be in order, but that's it. It's your party. You can set the boundaries where you want them. And frankly, I'm glad for the boundaries you set because I wouldn't have wanted to make them cry or embarrass you if they tried to talk to me about church stuff.

Cheryl said...

I had a friend in high school who used to put it this way... "I'm just dumb socially." That's how I think of myself when I screw up and do something rude or stupid without meaning to.
Don't sweat it.

Gina Lee said...

Post idea: I want to hear your conversion story. The missionary "incident" gave the idea. ;)
Don't worry. They now have something to write home about and a funny story to tell in 50 years.

Janille said...

I wish I didn't feel your pain (so to speak) but alas, I do!

akshaye said...

Haha.. well it could be worse. At least they did not show up at a Prop 8 protest :)

Laura said...

Amy, I really enjoyed this post because I'm a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania and I'm friends with some Mormon missionaries in town. This weekend I had a Big American party where I invited all the Peace Corps volunteers in the region, the Mormon missionaries and some Catholic missionaries I knew. I really like my Mormon friends, well one of them, the other one makes me feel kind of hated, but I think they had a good time and I sent them home with some taco dip and chocolate chip cookies because American foods that are hard to come by - and much appreciated by Americans. I was so nervous for them to come over though because a lot of my friends are very hurt and angry about Prop 8, and so am I, but I empathize with you because I too felt kind of like a jerk because I'm turning to my best friends going Hey, I invited these guys and I expect you to be nice to them so behave - and basically asked my very angry gay friends not to bring up Prop 8 - not to be out, and not to be angry for the duration of their stay at the party for the sake of me keeping things nice with these guys. It went fine, but I guess I'm saying don't feel bad. It goes both ways.

Laura said...

Amy, I really enjoyed this post. I'm a Peace Corps volunteer in Romania and I just last weekend had a Big American Party for all the volunteers in the region. I invited the Mormon missionaries I know in town and two French girls and one other American that work for a Catholic organization. I like my Mormon missionary friends and I was happy to have them over and send them home with some taco dip, tortilla chips and chocolate chip cookies because I know how much a taste of home means to Americans in Romania, but I empathize with your situation. I was nervous about having the missionaries over because most of my friends, like me are disappointed and angry about Prop 8, and very hurt by it, and here I find myself in a position of telling my friends "I invited these guys so behave and be at least a little bit nice to them." I feel kind of like a jerk for turning to my close friends and saying Don't bring up Prop 8, and don't be angry. Come out to them if you want, I don't care but please don't start any fights.
So I wouldn't feel bad, Amy. I guess this kind of thing goes both ways. Thanks for sharing your story.

Laura said...

oh. sorry I posted twice. I didn't see that it posted the first time. I realize there is contradiction between my two posts. I can explain, but chances are you don't care. If you do care and want an explanation send me an email at theonlylunchbox@hotmail.com

Meghan said...

Amy, I need to get on here more and see what you are up too. Megs in the shower and she had this open, so I started reading :) It's been over 8 years since I was an LDS missionary :) Loved this story.

- steve