Sunday, June 29, 2008

me in the spotlight losing my religion

Friday night I went to dinner with the entire Zoo Peters. Somebody is still out of country so it was just me, Miss L, Super J, and the three kids. Our waiter was a clean-cut fellow and I didn’t think anything of him (other than, “thank you for not stooping down so that your head is the same level as ours to talk to us, because that creeps me out”) until Miss L said, “I think our waiter is Mormon.” “What?” “Yeah, look at his sleeves. I think he is showing his religion.” And so I looked. Well, maybe half an hour later I looked. I got all distracted by a DIVINE lemon muffin and Miss L had to remind me a few times before I remembered to check. It only took one serious glance to agree with her. Yes, he could definitely be Mormon. He practically exuded Recently Returned Missionary. But how would be know? We started bouncing out suggestions for how we could find out. Some were designed to be overheard and see if he would respond knowingly:
“I hope we are not late for our RELIEF SOCIETY activity tonight.”
“Hopefully it won’t rain on our ENRICHMENT later.”
“Have you been to the TEMPLE IN WINTER QUARTERS recently?”
“What songs are you going to teach the kids in PRIMARY tomorrow?”
And on like that.

We also came up with some questions that we could ask. Most involved beginning with, “Excuse me…” and then some question that, if he was Mormon, he would probably be able to answer. And if he wasn’t, well, then he would probably respond with, “What? (Blank stare.) What?”
“…did you go to the fireside in the singles ward last month?”
“…what ward are you in?” (I was a little wary of this one lest he think we were referring to a prison ward.)
“…did you serve a mission?”
“…you look so familiar I think I might have seen you in sacrament meeting last week.”
Super J had the best one by far:
“Excuse me, but my wives were wondering…”

We went back and forth and back and forth and basically cracked ourselves up through the entire dinner. By the time we were ready to leave we were pretty sure we had completely freaked our waiter out with all our staring and laughing. But we still didn’t know. Do you think we could have left there without asking? Uh. No. It ended up being a team effort.
Super J: “Excuse me, but we were wondering…”
Me: “What church do you go to?”
Waiter: “What?”
Me: “What church do you go to?...”
Miss L: “Because you look kind of familiar and we think we might have seen you there. Maybe.”
Waiter: “I go to the blah blah blah up on blah blah blah. But I kind of hop around to different churches. Maybe you DID see me! Which church do you go to?”

And then I realized my mistake. I didn’t want to know which CHURCH he went to, I wanted to know which RELIGION he belonged to. Oh well. A different religion from us, that is for sure. I really wanted the moral of this story to be that Miss L can spot a Mormon from a mile away, but really I guess the ending is that we Mormons don’t have any kind of monopoly on kindness, smiles, clean-cut-ness, or politeness. Or maybe it is that religion, whatever kind you practice, can shine through you. Or maybe it is that I'm really glad that we can find so much humor in both the uniqueness and the stereotypes of our religion.

Stayed tuned for next time when Super J says, “My wives both took some Jell-O to the nursery when…”


Miss L said...

lololol...good times, good times. You bring the Jell-O, I'll bring the spoons and wipes.

So, yeah! Super J and I were talking about how clumsy our follow-through was, when he asked us where WE went to church. Yegads, I don't know that I could have answered that any more poorly than if he'd asked me what my bra size was. How easy would it have been to be like, Oh, we attend TCoJCoLDS over on Such and so street, and you should totally come sometime! We'd love to have you!! It would have been so easy, and yet...pridefully, I was so certain I was right, that when it turned out I was wrong, I blathered incoherently instead of seizing the opportunity. Argh. Curses. *sigh* Oh well. Next time I'll do better. :) Hey!!! Thanks for making dinner such fun, though! And braving flailing Mac & Cheese.

yikbo said...

Love this post.