Tonite marks the final scene of faking to my friends at church that I'm still an active, believing member. In faking, I mean going and smiling and acting like I'm meant to be there when in actuality I'd rather be anywhere but there, listening to the kids spew what they have been told to say, and singing Follow the Prophet, everything.
I do not do it with a secret agenda, I only go to help my sisters in the primary presidency with their major production sacrament meeting program practice, a.k.a. the quarterly activity I've been in charge of for months. So....all I have to do is bring the pizza and set up chairs for the kids to eat on, and then the rest will happen without my input. I may have to end up lying to them about why my daughter is not there. She has a part in the program, but I just can't bring myself to tell them she won't be there. I also hate to have her hear me say the church is not true one week, then the next week have her witness me "deceiving" my friends by helping. Besides, she has always hated doing the whole standing up in front of the congregation thing. I can relate...
2 traumatic childhood memories: (I can't wait to see what my bro. E replies to this! It oughta be good...)
1. Being asked to sing "Keep the Commandments" as a family at some church activity. By saying as a family, I think it was the kids only, but there were 7 of us, so some enlightened soul probably thought we'd make a great choir by ourselves. My memory of this particular incident may be off, or skewed by my total mind-numbing fear at having to do this horrible song in public...but I distinctly recall standing with my siblings in the middle of the gym at church (at the old 4th Ward bldg) in a circle facing outward, singing "Keep the Commandments" while circling, feeling anything but safety and peace. The crowd of people we sang to surrounded us on all sides, and they seemed to leer and loom larger and larger as we circled around and around singing the same awful words over and over in the most boring tune ever inflicted upon the ears of man. Is my memory actually one I've contrived from my nightmares over this hellish event? Did we really circle around and around while we sang it?? Were the people's heads actually enlarged, with long, pointy teeth?
2. My first talk as a 12 year old youth speaker in sacrament meeting. I was so nervous and hated it soooo bad that I could barely speak. Once all the blood drained from my body into my vital organs in an attempt to keep me alive, it was obvious this would NOT be good. I stood up there with shaking hands, heart beating so hard it could be heard in the microphone above my inaudible whisper. I was a good 18 inches from the mike. Then to my absolute horror (you see, I'd convinced myself by this time that it was just possible that nobody was looking at me ~ I was too afraid to look up from my paper to find out) the BISHOP stood up and lowered the microphone closer to me so people could hear. THEN the blood that was keeping me alive decided to rush its way to my forehead via my chest, chin, cheeks, and ears. I'm certain it was entertaining for the congregation to witness a mute ghost suddenly morph into a living plum, but for me it was horrible. Horrific. Terrifying. I could actually see the purple neon glow from my ears on the opposite wall of the chapel. Of course, when the bishop moved the mike, I stepped back and continued to grind out my tortured whispering. There was an audible sigh of relief from the congregation when I ended it.
Anyway, back to the actual subject. My master plan is to go tonight, help feed the poor, hungry primary children, and tomorrow I will mail a note to my bishop that will probably say these words:
Please release me immediately from my calling as counselor in the primary, due to personal reasons. Thank you.
Won't that be a shocker if they actually don't tell the primary president in advance, and the bishopric announces this Sunday the release of the following individual, right on the day of the primary program??! I'd almost like to be there, just to see the priceless look on their faces. Wait, that's pretty presumptuous to say. I'm not so sure anyone besides the pres. and the other counselor will even care.
I do hate to have my son there, though, because he'll be sitting there facing everyone, waiting to pass the sacrament, and then afterward he may be bombarded with questions of "Where's your mom? Why isn't your sister here?" Awful. Now I'm wondering if I should be there so this doesn't happen to him!!! Maybe I can convince him not to go.
Maybe we'll plan a day trip that day...