Thursday, July 13, 2006

Holier>Thou

I'm getting better at keeping the Sabbath day holy. Christian and I have really made an effort since we have kids old enough to know what's going on. It's hard because some of my earliest and fondest memories are of breaking the Sabbath with my family. Every Sunday my mom would take us to Winchells after church. We LOVED this and looked forward to it. There were four of us so we each got to pick 3 donuts. When I was younger I was seduced by the sprinkled ones. Then I was into maple bars for a while. It was a mark of sophistication when I was old enough to savor a French crueler or even a simple raised sugar. It was so awesome.

Then my younger, more devout sister got the lesson in primary about not shopping on Sunday or something and ruined the whole thing. She didn't feel good about it. It was such a drag. I still don't admire her for it. But now that I have kids I certainly get it--I get why we had to stop when Carly wasn't cool with it. My kids wouldn't be cool with it either. Well, Maggie would. Ben would also probably be cool with it but he's the devil so you can't go by him.














Now I'm old and trying to be churchy and stuff and all I want to do is take a nap after church while the kids play Nintendo. To me that is heaven--the highest degree. But I'm all, TV? GameCube? Boating? Whatever you want as long as you leave me alone? Everyone has to define what keeping the Sabbath day holy means to them. Sometimes I wish I were an Orthodox Jew because then I would just know that I could neither thresh nor winnow during Shabbat.

Luckily I got this idea from the Friend about having a Sunday box full of wonderful churchy stuff for the kids to play with on Sundays (presumably while I'm taking my nap). It's a good idea. The kids are excited. We filled the box with journals, pictures, books, little scripture action-figures, and Liken the Scriptures movies--uh-oh. Suddenly I find myself in another moral quandary because those movies are sort of not excellent and I sort of feel weird when I watch them but at the same time, they are harmless and better than watching Sponge Bob on Sunday--or are they? I don't care because my kids love them and I think they are helpful. Kind of like Pop Tarts. Yes, there are healthier breakfasts. No one would dispute that. But you could do a lot worse than a Pop Tart! That's what I'm talking about.

I think I will also put Donny Osmond's Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat in the box. (I don't care what anyone says: He has tremendous stage presence which helps me pay attention to the story.) So should I also put New York Doll in there? What about some Bob Dylan CDs? He's religious. I think it's a good idea to listen to Slow Train Coming every Sunday. I remember watching Planet of the Apes on TV every Sunday. That was the only thing that was on. Damn dirty apes. In hindsight I see that listening to Slow Train Coming would have been better for me. I want better for my kids.

At any rate, the kids are stoked for Sunday. We'll see how it goes. I am looking forward to it too. In the meantime I continue to grapple. Thanks for grappling with me. Grappling is tiring, but apparently it's not a very good work-out because my arms are still really fat in spite of all this grappling. And when I say Ben is the "devil," I mean he is Brian Johnson, the lead singer for AC/DC.

18 comments:

  1. One of my missions lately has been to come up with more things that my kids can do on Sunday than things that they can't do. I say throw New York Doll in there. Also, Robin Hood (Disney, not Kevin Costner), some Veggie Tales, and anything that could be considered Sabbath-appropriate (ie, All Dogs Go To Heaven. Because it says Heaven.).

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  2. Also, I'm sure you can find Book of Mormon action figures and all sorts of other priestcrafts at the mall.

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  3. I have a short list of "can'ts" for the Sabbath:

    1. Thou shalt not wake mother from her nap
    2. Thou shalt not leave church after Sacrament Meeting
    3. Thou shalt not shop, and that includes going to the gas station for a Mountain Dew.
    4. Thou shalt not watch MTV or any other station where the "f" word is bleeped out.

    Other than that, you're free to move about the cabin.

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  4. To me as a kid, the Sabbath day meant playing board games and watching Disney-type movies and reading. And occasionally (say, once a month) the home teacher would come over and interrupt the fun.

    I think I was an easily entertained child, though.

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  5. P.S. When I was a teenager my parents were pretty lax about what we could do on Sundays as long as we were home, so I often listened to secular music and did homework. Then I went to BYU and discovered that there were people who frowned upon those activities. Also, my roommate would put pajama pants on under her skirt, but leave her skirt on. I always thought that was kind of funny.

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  6. Thanks for making me the Ned Flanders of the blogging world.

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  7. Carly, you are a total killjoy.

    If you ever fly to Utah on a Sunday, watch for Sabbath-day zealots on the flight. They're usually easy to spot.

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  8. Funny, I always thought of heaven on earth as being with family and friends, no matter if you were playing quiet games, going on a family event like the zoo or even for a stop at the ice cream shop. I really think if you feel the promptings of the small quiet voice that something is making you uncomfortable, well then stop.

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  9. Your NY Doll mention really does it for me. It's at once by far the most moving, faith-promoting LDS movie and also seemingly the most Sabbath-innapropriate.

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  10. Sometimes, after church, the car would magically pull its way through the KFC drive-thru, no matter how hard my dad tried to steer it home. My sister Gina was horrified, and the rest of us were delighted.

    Sunday box: great idea. Liken videos: poptarts that fell on the floor.

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  11. Back in our childless days we justified somewhat inappropriate activites by saying that we worked SO MUCH during the week and this was our day together (and working Sundays never helped the situation). I still love the image of my creative attempt at smuggling the ENORMOUS Red Robin bag from the car to the house without neighbors/ward members seeing, lest we be judged or visited as a result. But man, I could tell you stories about Albertsons on a Sunday in Provo, UT! (Don't try to joke with the guys buying sacrament bread--they won't think it's funny.)

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  12. I guess that you should thank, whoever it is that you would thank for such a thing, that he's not Bon Scott...

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  13. Thanks for this post. It made me feel a lot better about the fact that we are on vacation and instead of going to church, we went to the local mall and hit some really good deals. You just can't pass up a 50% off sale at Baby Gap and Children's Place, can you? CAN YOU?

    We figured vacation and keeping the Sabbath day holy just didn't go together.

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  14. Growing up my mother was a sabbath nazi. No TV, no radio, NO PANTS(well we wore skirts not nothing), nothing amusing at all. We had to: have family home evening lesson, scriptures, write in journals and letters to grandparents. It was Hell I tell ya (hell in the scriptural sense). As soon I had my own car and belonged to a singles ward my friend and I went to the "Fashion Place Ward (Mall)" or the "Cineplex Ward". Even when I was married but didn't yet have kids old enough to judge me and tell their primary teachers about my evil ways I would sneak out during relief society to get a big gulp and doughnuts at 7-11 then rush back and mingle in the hall. Now my kids are old enough to criticize so I have to be good now and limit my "ox in the mire" trips to the store etc. I just have to remember to stock up on Diet Coke before Sunday lest I go into a caffeine withdrawal freakout.

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  15. That boy Ben is a handsome devil.

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  16. Carly IS devout. That's why we always sat around Sunday nights waiting for the stroke of midnight to head through the Wendy's drive-thru for our chicken nuggets.

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  17. You can be devout. You can be pious. Or you can be a pain in the a**. That's the subtlety in my world.

    I don't shop, but I watch TV and nap like a champ. SOMETIMES, I do service....but I have mission flashbacks to Sunday hell, so doing service just makes me sleepier...

    There's today's "Glo the infidel" comment...

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  18. My favorite is when it was our turn to feed the missionaries on Sunday and we took them to a Chinese buffet, which was, incidentally, outside the mission boundaries!

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