And get to church cause you're a good girl

Monday, March 30, 2009

So I feel that I am aware of body language, others as well as my own, yet I have a hard time controlling my body language.

Yesterday morning, at an unholy hour, I was sitting in a meeting with the Stake Relief Society Presidency going through RS training. I can only imagine the hostility projecting from my facial expressions. As second counselor I am over Enrichment, and the presidency informed me that I need to be hosting at least one enrichment activity a month that is centered around cooking. They explained to me that the girls in our stake are lacking in homemaking skills, because we don't cook and the girls don't know how to crochet, knit and tad.




Tadding for your information is basically a more intricate form of crochetting. Why do I need this skill? Hellifiknow. (It seems less like cussing when it's one slurred word). I prefer to save myself 20 hours of work and spend $2 employing children in sweat shops in China for that sort of thing.

Also, I'm rather annoyed by their assumption that the girls in the stake don't know how to cook. Just because we are not coming home and cooking 4 course meals each night does not mean we do not know how to cook. I'm sorry, I'm actually a pretty great cook (I base this off the *mulitple* marriage proposals I have received solely based on my cooking abilities). It's unrealistic to cook big dinners for one. I'm just as happy with yogurt and cereal as I am with a pot roast.

And why is this the concern of our leaders anyhow. Perhaps they should have focused on this while we were in Young Women's and we were still in a family setting, where we could practice... or with the young married couples who are struggling. I suggest we focus on actual skills that would be valid for a 20 something year old girl in the 21ST CENTURY!

I don't need to know how to pluck a chicken, how to tad, or how to hang mosquito netting in my kitchen. Perhaps I could be learning skills that will aid me in all stages of life (whether I have the opportunity to get married or not), such as stress management, money management, or heck even how to invest my money now that I am an educated woman who is supporting herself.

I also resent the assumption that the girls in the stake lack homemaking skills. I mean look at it from my point of view. I am in the Relief Society Presidency. So one of 45 girls that they actually work with, and they don't even know my name, let alone do they know that in fact I can cook, arrange flowers, sew, crochet, make bread, and all the other little "creative" skills they mentioned in this meeting. So if they didn't bother to ask me, one of the girls they work with, why should I believe that they know other girls in the stake are struggling?

All in all I don't think I am really so much annoyed at the things that were said so much as the way they said them to me. They put on this voice (you've heard it if you've listened to the majority of sisters talks in General Conference), where they speak to you like you're young and not quite capable of processing all the information. It's almost as if they raised their voice to a normal level and didn't talk slowly the spirit would leave. It's frustrating, and I find a hard time believing that's the voice they use with their family and friends.

So, if you actually made it through reading this whole post (sorry I know it's long), I need your help. I obviously need to work on my christ-like love (more than my cooking), and I need help understanding these women. Any advice, chastening, comments, or questions are greatly desired!


Heather said...

Ok, so funny story..... my roommate cooks from scratch almost every night..... like, actually chopping vegetables, and stirring up meats, and starches and who knows what else. So I was feeling a bit down because all I ever do is Bertolli from the bag, so I decided I would cook a from scratch dinner, nothing out of a bag on Saturday. I burnt it. It was a waste of $44 to get the ingredients and burn it! I would have been much happier with Bertolli which is cheaper, and I don't burn it, and Bertolli is enough for two meals for me. I say all of this to say that people who are single do not need to know how to cook from scratch meals. It is ok to eat Bertolli out of a bag. And I agree, I think most mormon women who are 20+ years old do know how to cook, we just don't need to right now. and when we need to, we will be fine.

Anyway what I have found more helpful is how to do food storage for one person. We have covered what you should store, what makes sense since you don't really want a 50 gal drum in your small apartment kitchen, and what recipes you can use to rotate food items (I realize that the recipe part is where I might have to break away from the Bertolli, but I figure I will try that another week).

I get a bit frustrated with money lessons because people are at such different stages. But I think if there were a couple of topics, and you could pick the one that interested you (like investing, or how to do downpayments for a condo or whatever), that could be fun.

It sounds like these women are a lot older than you are, with the patronizing voices..... Maybe since you need to have an enrichment each month, you could do a poll and see what the people in your ward want to do, rather than just randomly having a tad-ing class... or whatever that was.

Good luck!!!! (it sounds like a tough calling)

jamie said...

Our relief society recently came up with "enrichment groups". There is a "Dining In/Dining Out" group, a "How to" group, and I think a couple of others (maybe an athletic one? I don't remember). But anyways, for the Dining In/Dining Out one, there's a group leader who made a blog, and people post some recipes they've tried, resturants they love, etc, and our activity is going to go eat at a resturant. Not everybody in the relief society is a part of this group, just the girls who wanted to be. And the "How to" group leader takes suggestions from the girls of what they want to learn and has activities every once in a while to learn how to do that skill (one time it was knitting, another time was learning about firearms). So maybe you could do something like that, since it sounds like that might please your leaders (i.e. it'll get the cooking and "tadding" in) but it still might be fun and useful.
Just thought I'd share.

Anyways, whatever you decide to do, good luck!

Mary said...

So these women sound extremely annoying. When I in Laurels, I had to work with some frustrating leaders and I did not do so well (yelling, talking back, giving attitude, etc.), so maybe I shouldn't be giving you advice, but I will anyway. My advice is (if you haven't already) to call an Enrichment Committee, and shove this monthly cooking activity off on them -- that is, delegate. Then hopefully your leaders will be happy and also you don't have to constantly work on their bad idea. You win.

Also, I cooked all kinds of interesting things before I got married, but now Christian is most excited when I make sandwiches, brinner (that's breakfast for dinner), or Campbell's soup. That's really all he wants.

Shelli said...

Heather's story about the $44 burnt dinner is so typical. Maybe if she had had an enrichment night teaching her not to burn thing...kidding.

We've already discussed this, but I wanted to make sure I commented.

You are right. They are wrong. You should have said something? I am going to make sure I never spend a minute of my time learning how to tad. I might even give up on cooking altogether.

(I once spent $23 on ingredients for a cheesecake that collapsed when I took it out of its spring form pan. Ruined. There was no salvaging it... and it took hours to make. It would have been better if I had just made a pb&j and called it a day.)

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