Monday, January 29, 2007

We request your presence...

at a party in honor of your birthday!

My wife celebrated a birthday last week. (I won't mention which birthday. My momma didn't raise no fool!) And she received gifts and cards and phone calls from family and friends. And our family took her out to dinner and baked her a cake. It was all good.

But she also got an invitation to a party. In her honor. And that struck me as odd.

Let me explain...

My wife grew up Mormon. Now I'm not here to bash Mormons or any other religion. Every person can choose their own spiritual path. And I know lots of Mormons and they are all very nice people.

But my wife has not attended the Mormon church in all the years I've known her...and for a few years prior to that. So we're going back over 25 years! In that time she has lived in several different states, found another spiritual path that is deeply meaningful to her, and has no intention of returning to the religion of her childhood.

So how does the religion of her childhood relate to her birthday. Well, it was the local Mormon church (or 'ward' in their terminology) that sent her the invitation. Here was a group of people whom she has never met, inviting her to her own birthday party at the home of someone she doesn't know.

Maybe it's just me who finds it odd, I don't know. But the cynic in me finds it hard to believe these people are very interested in her birthday. I mean, where were they the last 25 or so birthdays, if that's the case. No, I'm pretty sure this is an attempt to lure her back to participation in their church. And even then, I've got no problem with them just calling up and saying 'hey, we know you haven't been here before, but we would like to invite you'. At least that's honest. But to stage a party in her honor...as a way of getting her to attend a church function...well, I found it odd. Even to the point of being almost inappropriate.

But then I've been called a cynic before...so this won't be the first time.

21 comments:

MamaLee said...

Hi there! First time reader here. Sounds 100% like a ploy to get her back into the church. Nothing like being underhanded, if you ask me!

I hope your wife had a lovely birthday. And that the number wasn't TOO high. lol

bardouble29 said...

mvahhhh, the nasty ploy...like you said, its strange to receive an invitation to your own party.

Not to be rude (and if there are any mormons who read this, I am NOT trying to offend anyone) but I used to hide when the mormons knocked on my door. They (the elders) don't take no for an answer. I have my own beliefs and would express that to them, but they were still worried about my soul.

Happy birthday wishes to the wife...

thethinker said...

I don't think it's just you being cynical. Sounds like a persuasion tactic to me as well.

"Happy Birthday. Oh, and by the way, while you're here, you might as well become a Mormon again."

CSL said...

I have give them points for creativity. And the gift would be some of those modest underwear they always have on over their, ahem, birthday suits? Ther's a lot of humnor potential in it anyway.

Happy Birthday to your wife!

Teena said...

Happy birthday!!!!!! I hope it was a good one!!!

radioactive girl said...

Happy birthday to your wife!!!! The invitation sounds strange, but a party is almost always good news, right?

My best friend in high school was mormon. Well, I guess he still is, but I haven't talked to him in years. I always found it fascinating to listen to him talk about what he believed and why. He was a great convincing talker, which probably served him well on his mission.

whimsicalnbrainpan said...

I think you're right Em. It is a little odd and (I think) a bit underhanded. I'm sure these people have what they feel are "good intentions" but I wouldn't go to the party if it were me. In fact it kind of creeps me out a little.

Happy Birthday to your wife!

Thumper said...

Having been a Mormon (and out of the church probably as long as your wife...) Yes, it was a way to try to bring her back to the church, albeit not as underhanded as it might seem. The only way they knew who she was, that she had been LDS at any time, and where to contact her is if someone in that ward had mentioned her, and asked that she be contacted. That person would have had to know about her birthday, too.

That it was done as a birthday invitation instead of sending the missionaries over...they really were just trying to be nice. It was likely a Relief Society gathering, and the subject do jour was to celebrate your wife's birthday...and yes, they probably were very interested in celebrating her.

And ya know what? They probably celebrated without her, and don't take her not goign personally. Mormons are not known as Peculiar People for nothing... It's a lot of those peculiar things that made me step back, but that's a whole series of blog entries in and of themselves...;)

Em said...

mamalee - thanks for visiting!

Thanks for the many good wishes - I'll pass them along.

Thumper, thanks for your comments. In our years of marriage, I've learned enough to know they are a Peculiar People. Not bad, just peculiar. LOL If you ever write that series of posts, I'll be there to read them!

Melody said...

A definite ploy here! *Danger Danger* LOL!

Beth said...

Odd? I think that's just down right creepy! They don't even know her! And it's an invitation to a birthday party for her?! That's wierd, ya know? sounds like Tom Cruise might be behind this or something.....run!

T. said...

It's a little odd, but then aren't Mormon's in general? (That's to say, the religion, NOT the people.)

Happy Birthday to your wife. I'm throwing a party in her honour.

Any excuse for cake and icecream around here. Her participation is not required.

There will be no talk of religion, only what flavour icecream tastes best.

Rene said...

I don't know, I too was born and raised in the church but haven't attended for about 20 years. However, I have a visiting teacher (a woman who comes by just to see how I'm doing). She never tries to get me to go to church or anything, she simply comes by to see how I'm doing. Holidays she drops off a gift and we chat.

I'm with Thumper. Yes, they were trying to get her back in the fold but they were also letting her know they care. Why wouldn't they be trying to get her to go back to church? What Christian religion isn't trying to bring their members in? Goodness, at Easter and Christmas, the newspapers are filled with ads of churches trying to drag in members.

People really pick on Mormons and seem to think it is okay. I'm not sure why. People say they aren't trying to offend Mormons, but they are. They aren't a bad people. Are they "peculiar" because they don't drink alcohol or caffeine? Are they odd because they abstain from pre-marital sex? What is it that makes them odd in people's opinion? They are conservative and old fashioned (which is why I quit going), but as a people, they are devoted to family.

Okay, I'll get off my soapbox. Happy Birthday to your wife, and yes, it was wise not to say the year. Doing so could easily shorten your life expectancy.

Kati said...

Sounds like the Mormon's, for ya. They & Jehovah's Witnesses have always been very well known for being very friendly, very "family oriented" to try to bring new members into the fold (not that this is necessarily a bad thing, but it can go TOO far). I think this definitely sounds like a ploy to get your wife "back in the family".

And a belated HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Mrs. Em!

Sheila said...

Happy belated birthday to your wife.

Mustang said...

Happy birthday to your wife, mate ! God bless and lead her.

About the invitation, its definitely odd...do watch out..

velvet girl said...

Gee, they don't do this for all the members of the community regardless of former religious affiliation?

I'm a bit of a cynic and I would run.

Happy Belated Birthday to your wife!

-velvet

Attila The Mom said...

Hubby's from an old LDS family, so I'm just not going to go there! LOL

Happy Birthday to Mrs. Em!

Anonymous said...

Hi!!! Have it come to your mind that the invitacion is yes because they care about your wife, want to meet her, but most of all because they celebrate every month the birthdays of the sisters who's birthdates are in that particular month within the relief society organization. I'm sure that was something really nice from them but hey if your wife decided not to go is understandable and her choice although I'm sure they celebrated the births of the other sisters for that month the same as if you wife were there. It's not a plot at all....

Daniel and Jennifer said...

It's a nice thing some wards do for all the sisters in the ward. If she doesn't want to be invited to things as a member of the ward, she should ask to have her name removed from the records.

Anonymous said...

Hi, first time reader..I am actually a "MORMON" weird, odd Mormon (from what some readers think) I actually feel pretty normal, lol. yes I eat peanut butter, and dont walk backwards on Sunday (I have heard it all).

Anyway what happened (to get technical) is your wife has probably never removed her records from the church, and therefore is on the records of activity. I am actually in the presidency for (RS) women in my "ward" and every year we do a birthday celebration for ALL THE WOMEN (not just random people they picked out, like your wife to get back to activity). We are suppose to send invitaitons to everyone on the records (thus why your wife would have gotten the invitation). She may not have gotten one in years past, because they many times only send it to those in "active" attendance, so folks dont think its strange if they arent active (then you and the 20 other readers who commented here) dont think we are strange inviting random people to random birthday parties.

My suggestion is if she has NO interest in ever coming back to church is to have her records removed from the church, then she will not recieve our birthday celebration (which is really a nice thing) invitiations in the mail or other invitiations any longer.

Thanks for the post. :)