I was in a right hurry when I grabbed the receipt out of the cashier’s hand—on my way home from work to cook dinner for three waiting, gaping maws. Hooking my finger through the sack of produce, I barely glanced at the lady behind me as I walked towards the exit. Two steps away it hit me: the lovely middle-aged woman with silver temples against dark hair and a soft face was one of my Young Women leaders oh-so-many years ago. Did I stop? No. But I smiled to myself as I raced across the parking lot.
To put the finest point on it, this sister was one of the sweetest, most gentle women I’ve ever met; generous to a fault and truly kind. She also came up with some of the most hilarious and memorable object lessons I’ve ever had the privilege of experiencing in my entire life.
The mutual night when she took a bowl of cinnamon lips gummy candy and passed it around the group. We all took one. Then she took one lip out of the bowl, sucked on it, spit it back into the bowl and had us pass it around to the other girls for seconds. Naturally, we all declined. “That,” she announced, “Is how boys feel when they find out you’ve kissed another boy, they don’t want you anymore.”
The night we sat in her living room as she handed around a plastic wrapped package of raw pork: Boston butt. “Please,” she pleaded, “Do not call it a ‘butt.’” We dutifully passed the package.
“Call it a derrière, or a bottom, but not a butt! A ‘butt’ is a piece of meat,” she finished with a sob.
Oh, my sweet sister!
Listen, I had really great Young Women leaders and I gave them an undeserved hard time. (I gave them such a hard time that when I was called many years ago to be a Young Women leader, I took a very deep breath. “Will you accept?” asked the counselor. “Yes, I’ve been expecting this because it is Karma, and it is my turn,” I said, knowing full well that we don’t believe in Karma. Mostly.) I can’t wait to run into that lovely woman again at the neighborhood shop. I’d really like to say ‘Hi’ and thank her for putting up with all of us rotten children. I probably won’t tell her that I remember the Boston butt.
I still savor those object lessons, possibly for the wrong reasons, to this day. And I can’t be the only one.
Please, my sweet sisters, share with me your favorite object lesson. I can’t be the only chewed cinnamon lip out there.