Thursday, June 26, 2008

That's What I Think

This video, in connection with an e-mail I got today, reminds me of a scene from my mission. I was in district meeting and we were playing our district leader's favorite discussion memorization game. I don't know what he called it, but I call it torture. The game consisted of him giving the player three numbers and the player responding with the answer. The first number was for the discussion, the second number for the principle in that discussion, and the third number was the paragraph in that principle. We had to give it perfectly from memory. There was no reward for getting it right, but there was punishment for getting it wrong. We were forced to drink a glass of chinotto, which is both an assault and an abomination to the tongue. The only time in my life that I've had difficulty memorizing anything was on my mission. Because of that, I ended up drinking more than my fair share of chinotto, while not making any progress on my memorization. Double the pressure with none of the reward for doing well. To put it quite mildly, I hated that game with a passion fiery enough to scorch the earth straight through its crust.

One particular week during district meeting I flatly refused to play the game. I told everyone it wasn't helping me (the only one who hadn't already passed off the memorization) and it only served to make me angry. When my district leader did not accept that answer, I merely kept silent when it was my turn. To avoid argument, I began simply drinking my glass of chinotto and staring down my district leader. Usually I'm much more kind than that, but I was provoked beyond my limits that day. At one point I was so upset by the continuation of the pointless "game" that I was concentrating more on not yelling at my district leader than I was on other social niceties. The gas in my stomach from the carbonation finally built up enough that a burp had to come out. I didn't realize it was there until it escaped, but I knew it had been loud enough that there was no covering it up. Rather than excuse myself or apologize I said, "And that's what I think of your stupid game." Not my finest moment, but it got the point across.

As for how the email I got today plays into reminding me of the video, I'll just say that someone who made part of my life a misery (no, not my old district leader) made a request to come back in, though in a very small way. This person is one of three people there have ever been in my life that I have been unable to get along with. I tried, I really did, but I was unsuccessful. I guess this person was unaware of my dislike, which was the way I tried to keep it. I have not yet responded at all, but spent the day wondering if it would be mean to just ignore the person. After advice from my husband and a friend (they both know this person and my feelings), ignoring seems the best thing to do. The video is to say what I think of the email. I'm sorry to be so mean and blog about it, but I'm much more restrained than I could have been.


Amber said...

It sounds like you were mad but still nicer than I would have been. I would have never played that game or drank that stuff. I truly would have just sat there. Some people said it tasted like Root beer. What led them to believe that I'll never understand. Our district discussion games in my first city were usually hilarious. We took turns being in charge of the game and once some of the Elders made a big ear out of cardboard with black yarn coming out of holes that had been poked into it. You had to pull out one of the ear hairs and there was a piece of paper stuck to it with the discussion and principle you had to say.

Della Hill said...

And I had started to think maybe I had missed something by not serving a mission.
Cool video.

Carrie & Karl said...

We never played memorizing games in the mission, but we did play the game where one person would open their book of mormon and start reading, the first person to find the spot and start reading along with them got to choose the next part to read. I was pretty good at that one. The closest to your game we got was the contest to eat 8x8 hamburgers from in and out (yes I did it).