This past Sunday provided me with a very unexpected experience...I never thought that church and wrestling would collide but I was proven wrong. So yes, the title of this blog post is "When RS (Relief Society) meets WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment)..." If you have read previous posts or talked to me about my experiences in my new family ward then you know I am congregating with quite an interesting demographic group. Hence, the need for a quote book to jot down my weekly experiences and I've now learned, quite possibly the need for a referee. I'll try to do the story justice so here goes:
Things started brewing during the Sunday School lesson. "Sister Feminist", as we will call her, was commenting quite frequently...mainly comments to bash on her husband or men in general. Including her reasoning that "Joseph Smith didn't get the gold plates at first because he wasn't yet married and needed WOMAN POWER." Hmmm... Things heated up when the teacher incorrectly called Joseph Smith's family indignant (unworthy) instead of indigent (referring to their economic struggles.) Sister Feminist felt that it was extremely unjust to call his family indignant but calmed herself down in a fairly short time.
The random somewhat inappropriate comments continued into the Relief Society lesson. The teacher shared a personal experience about being 14 and her family not having a lot of money. She said it was hard for her to go to church at that time because she was the youngest of the group and the smartest and had to wear hand-me-down clothes that didn't quite fit right. The other youth did not treat her well. Sister Feminist piped up and said "Why didn't you just go to another ward?" Teacher: "I was 14, I didn't really have a choice." SF: "You should have just switched wards...mumble, mumble mumble."
Teacher continues on to say that at that point she decided to pray morning and night and read the scriptures more. She finished by saying that because of doing those things she came out of high school much better than most of the people had treated her poorly. Sister Feminist came unglued at this point:
SF: "What do you mean you were better than them? You should never say that you are better than someone else!"
Teacher: "What I said was that I came out of the experience better because of my decisions."
SF: *raising her voice* "Well, that is a horrible attitude to say that you are better than someone else. And you should never have been ashamed for being smarter than those kids. That is a gift from God. But to say you are better than them..."
Teacher: *starting to get flustered, raisng her voice* "Ma'am...what I am saying..."
SF: *almost coming out of her chair, raising voice again* "Ma'am?! MA'AM?! YOU KNOW THAT MY NAME IS LOUISE!! IT'S LOUISE!! MA'AM?!?!?!?!"
--Granted, I think calling her ma'am probably wasn't the best response...perhaps "Sister" or using her name or whatever. But still, SF was waaaayyyy overreacting at this point. People are trying to shush SF to no avail. The Relief Society President (who, by the way, has been very sick and was barely able to drag herself to the meeting) decides to intervene.
RSP: "Louise, let's just calm down. I don't think Teacher was meaning that in the way..."
SF: *interrupting RSP mid-sentence while doing the ghetto girl oh-no-you-didn't head wag (I hope that makes sense)* "OH NO, I HAVE AN AXE TO GRIND AND I WILL GRIND IT HOW AND WHERE I WILL!!"
You could have heard a pin drop....we all sat there with our mouths agape. RSP ran out of the room crying. Teacher turned her back to the class to write on the chalkboard and try to move on with the lesson while SF continued to rant and rave incoherently. A counselor in the presidency says "Louise, why don't we step into the hall for a minute?" SF/Louise: "I'm not going anywhere...mumble, mumble, mumble." More shushing from the rest of of the sisters trying to get her to quit talking.
She continued to mumble and grumble under her breath for a few minutes before exaggeratedly getting up, grabbing her coat and stomping out of the room. It was a very awkward and uncomfortable scene for all of us. I honestly wondered if SF was going to come back with some weapon and go postal on us! The poor RSP eventually came back to the room but then broke down again at the end of the lesson while trying to wrap up the meeting.
Anyway, that's the long and short of it. I hope my "transcript" provided you with somewhat of an idea as to what went on but in reality I think you had to be there to truly grasp the words and insinuations and feelings associated with it all.
At the end of the day Heidi and I felt so bad about the whole thing that we decided to take some cookies to RSP and Teacher. Come to find out from RSP, this is not the first "smack-down" to happen in the ward and likely won't be the last. According to her "We cycle through this every few months and we were about due for a smack-down." WOW!! Guess that gives me something to look forward to. I wonder if I could supplement my social work income by tapping into the WWE's business plan and trying to sell tickets or put it on pay-per-view. Hmmm...better look into it. Sunday's only a few days away! ;)