Sunday, April 4, 2010

the Tree House

[a few thoughts while spending time at an extended family gathering during Gen Conf weekend (Sunday's 2nd session playing in the background right now)]

Let's say there's this Tree House. All the cool kids go to this tree house. There they have special games that are played only in that Tree House, plus you get special green and yellow socks that you are always supposed to wear after you have gone to the Tree House. Oh, and Brussels sprouts are forbidden, anyone who plays at the Tree House must NOT EAT Brussels sprouts. Lots of stories surround the Tree House: how important it is, that if you do not continue to play in the Tree House and live the Tree House rules your hair will fall out and your pets will get sick and bullies will always be stealing your allowance. That in order to be a Really Important Person you must be part of the Tree House club. Also, stories about how COOL you will be if you get other people to come play in the Tree House, to be part of the Tree House club.

Sometimes, a member of the Tree House club may wonder if all of those stories are true; about the hair falling out and pets getting sick and being a Really Important Person (etc). Sometimes, that person may stop believing those stories (and may have issues with the manipulative nature of the stories).

Then they must make some decisions.

They could keep living the Tree House rules so that no one will know better and things can continue they way they were.

OR, they may decide to STOP wearing the special green and yellow socks (they like blue socks better) and decide to EAT Brussels sprouts (they really do like the flavor) but they only do these things in secret so that none of the other Tree House club members will know.

OR, on the weekend in which all their Tree House family and friends get together to tell more stories about the Tree House and it's rules, they decide on THAT weekend to wear shoes that reveal BLUE socks. And they pull out some Brussels sprouts during snack time.

They are not sure what will happen.
But what they are hoping for is that they can all still be friends without having to hide the color of their socks and hide the food they like

We shall see.


The Numismatist said...

I love this analogy. I also enjoy wearing the wicked blue socks. Mom still cringes when she sees them but I just tell her the green and yellow ones don't fit anymore. (And they had holes in them.)

Today I attended a Catholic Easter mass, listened to LDS Conference and attended my Buddhist service. I think I'm covered, at least for today.

Dh is in Ajo tonight, Tucson tomorrow. I have heard the desert is in bloom and feel bad that I'm missing it.

G said...

thx numi! you most definitely DID get your bases covered ;)

(and yes, the desert is in full bloom, wish you could be here. my backyard wall looks like this at the moment.)

Stella said...

I needed this story. This weekend I was a little traumatized by all the Tree House stories and I've been questioning my decision to step away from the Tree House and eat those sprouts and wondering if I was all wrong and if the stories about the Tree House are true.

It's been a hard weekend.

The end.

Lessie said...

I also like this analogy. I was talking to the dude ;) last night about your wearing the blue socks with the fam around, and he was kinda pissed off that we (you and I) even had to worry about stuff like that.

But I was happy and nervous for you, because I know what a brave step that was in my case and is in yours. Hugs :) And maybe I'll have a drink in your honor tonight as well ;)

Lessie said...

Hey Stella, just wanted to chime in and say that while I can't speak for G, I don't think any of us would think any less of you if you decided the Tree House really was for you. Only you know what feels right to you. Either way, hang in there. These are difficult things to figure out.

Stella said...

Lessie! That is so awesome to hear. I mean, I really feel it isn't--but sometimes, weekend like this you just have those--what if--moments.

And then, you sister totally tells you that you are not worthy to be in her life or the life of her children because of your "evil" influence (aka, my recent post about Jesus on exponent) and then you wonder at a religion that fosters this black and white way at looking at people and you feel you made the right decision--of course.

Sorry for the thread-jack--it's been a rough three days.

Stella said...

Goodness! Sorry about all the spelling errors. I'm on my second glass of "sprouts" and didn't have dinner. Oy vey!

G said...

thank you lessie :)

and hugs all around.

yeah, this weekend was a bit rough. It had some great up's with really fun family bonding over food and games, but then also some really hard downs with disappointed looks, awkward silences, and cold responses.

stella, I'm so sorry about what you had to endure with your sister. (And let me tell you, I TOTALLY get the whole "what if..?" quandary and it's accompanying fear. double hugs.)

G said...

(biggest irony... several close family members experienced cold shoulders from their own set of friends and family when they left the SandBox club to join the Tree House club. I tell you... can't handle much more Members Only Clubs style lovin')

Lessie said...

Stella, just before my sis' wedding, I got an ear full about how inappropriate my lifestyle was as well. Gotta love 'em, eh?

G, I struggle with the Sand Box to Tree House kids, but not to the point of awkward silences or disapproving glances.

Chandelle said...

G, sounds like your experience with the Tree House family was practically identical to my visit to Utah over Conf. weekend (whatwerewethinking...). My BIL just came back from his mission, so this was our first time seeing him, and he just looked like a kicked puppy dog all weekend. To break the tension Jeremy's brother and sister-in-law got tattoos with us. It gave us a special feeling of secret cohesion and an opportunity to rise above it a bit. Very glad to be home.

G said...

chandelle~ OMG... a TATTOO!! that's what would have made it all worth it! (love love love love that you guys got one together in secret solidarity. LOVE that.)

glad you are home and survived :)

Brooke said...

you lost me at the sandbox. I was totally getting it until the sandbox.

things would be a lot different for me if I lived in the same city/county/state/time zone as my family. I wish the color of our socks didn't matter so much. I love that you chose blue. reminiscent of blue stockings. hehe.

G said...

@brooke, heheh, sry. was trying to make reference to family members who came from other religious denominations and converted into the lds church. (analogies are such slippery things)

I love blue socks. :)

k said...

I love blue socks and sprouts. Especially sprouts. I also want, nay, need a secret tattoo. This has actually come up in my family, for similar reasons of solidarity.