About my serious side

Not to break the spell or spoil the fun, but you've probably figured out my real name isn't Dummy.

The CTD Diaries is my playground. No one tells the truth in their diaries anyway so I figured I should find another place to get real, where the head lights aren't so bright. I originally thought this would be a good place to post my creative writing, but I think this is just a good place to tell the truth.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Letter to my husband from jail. I mean from Relief Society

Sometimes I wish I was in jail. Not because I want to be a lawbreaker, but because the best letters are written from jail.

If I was in jail I wouldn't have to cook or clean or hold Relief Society Presidency meetings and I could spend all that extra time writing beautiful letters.

Martin Luther King, Jr wrote an astonishingly beautiful letter from Birmingham City Jail.

I think it's all that time, mixed with all that separation that creates all that astonishing beauty.

Joseph Smith wrote beautiful fervent longing letters while he was in jail too. On Sunday our Relief Society lesson was all about his tender letters to Emma.

The teacher gave us all a piece of paper and said "pretend you are in jail and you might not see your spouse again. Now write him a letter. GO!"

She gave us 3 minutes to complete this task. I put my nose right to the grindstone and tried to put myself in that fervent longing state of mind that I imagine comes from being in jail.

This is what I pumped out (unedited) in 3 minutes:

Dear Alan,

You have been the rock of my life. I am so lucky I have had you as my companion on earth because I needed you much more than I realized. For many reasons, but especially to teach me about forgiveness. You have taught me the true importance of marriage. Patience. Acceptance. Long Suffering. (On your part, not mine. Well, a little bit on mine too.) I have really seen my flaws and weaknesses through marriage and that made me angry at times. I blamed you for that--even accused you of not loving me enough. But I have realized that love has little to do with . . .

"Pencils down!" said the teacher.

If I was really in jail, I would have added that love has little to do with having your ego stroked and your emotional voids filled. I would have said, "thanks, hon for teaching me that love is a choice and not an instinct. It's caring about the personal growth and development of your lover."

Actually I think I learned that from The Five Love Languages. This one is a hard lesson because it's so fun to have your ego stroked and your emotional voids filled. But filling emotional voids can be like pouring water in a net and that can get a little futile and self-centered.

I would have told him I was just kidding when I said that God must have been drunk when he invented marriage--though that's not actually an insult if you think about it because all the founding father's were drunk when they divorced England and that turned out for the best. And if God was drunk, it was probably because he couldn't handle all the pain he was about to inflict on women, (for their own good, of course.)

I would have told him that I actually think marriage is an ingenious plan because it's a super-sonic refining process and we don't have much time here, and anyway I couldn't have asked for a finer super-sonic refiner.

I would have told him that I'm sorry about the years I was working through my trust and abandonment issues and that it's really unfortunate John Mayer wasn't a pop star when my dad was raising me.

I would have told him how thankful I am that his only obsession is with our kids (and Glenn Beck) and that I would never be able to read a map or shop at Walmart the day after Thanksgiving without him.

And then I would have told him that I love him deeply and I would have drawn a few hearts and added this P.S. which would have said, "I'm so glad I got to teach you that tone-of-voice should sometimes be the spoon full of sugar and not the medicine."


Eric-n-Ali said...


During your first 3 min it sounded like you really did leave your playground, but then ran back to your safe funny playground! :)

What an interesting assignment. I think I will try it for real, and give it to her. Like a Business Plan, I'm guessing it really needs to be a living, breathing document where lines are scratched out, phrases are modified, spelling errors are fixed, and entire paragraphs are added to reflect the changing market conditions.

No matter what I said, I think it would always seem superficial. Unfortunately the sum of our actions always define how we feel on a daily basis. I wonder if Alison would even believe everything I said because it may be contrary to how I have acted over the years. I feel love for you, but I don't send birthday cards! :)

Thanks for the idea!
Love Eric

The Crash Test Dummy said...

hee hee. You caught me Eric.

But everything was true. And it's amazing how funny the truth can actually be. And like you said, no matter what you say it sounds superficial, unless you jazz it up a bit. And it's always a work in progress.

And I really do think God might have been drunk when he invented marriage. :)

Hey, it's fun over here, huh. No one else has discovered us yet.

Funny Farmer said...

God was drunk when he invented marraige? Heeehaaaaaw! I like it when your feminist slip shows!


OldBoatGuy said...

Your letter to your husband really touched me. Because, I can't write one to my wife. So write your spouses love letters, and go on dates. Then when they are gone you will have no regrets.

Now don't be feeling sorry for me!

hyghk.....that's a karate move.

Funny Farmer said...

Oh dad, I don't know... I think we always have regrets no matter what. I do.

Liz said...

i love this post. i love those moments where we are just so grateful that they chose to stick around. and that we made that same choice. and doesn't that just make up for the glenn beck-like obsessions we all have? i love reading your blogs.

Stephen said...

Very philosophic, profound, introspective, loving, and sublime, well at least until you retreated to the audacious schizophrenic that we have grown to appreciate. Stephen

Youngblood4ever said...

Awesome! One question- did the hubby actually read your letter? All too often I forget to tell the significant other in my life how important he is to me.