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Monday, July 02, 2007

sooner or later...

My brother's wife's sister's husband (I'll give you a minute...okay, got it?) is a funny guy. When they were newlyweds, they filled out those "forms" at church: Do you like camping? (so we can call you to work with the scouts) Do you cook? (so we can ask you to help out with parties) Dustin wrote down that Babe plays the piano.

She doesn't.

Imagine her surprise when she was called to be the primary pianist.

"We feel that you'd do a great job playing for the children."

Babe was confused, "But...I don't play piano."

"Uh...[papers ruffling] it says here that you do play."

"Oh, haha, my husband wrote that as a joke. I don't actually play."

You'd think that would be the end of it. But no.

"Just the same, we feel you should be the pianist. Oh, and the primary program is in three weeks."

Bless Babe -- she accepted the calling and went to the church each night to practice in preparation for the primary program.


One of my visiting teachers (and neighbors) is a kindly woman who, each month, gives me a new count of how many great-grandchildren she has. Yeah...we have a lot in common that way. We call her Sister Griffindor. She plays the piano in Relief Society. The Griffindors have some property "down at Escalante" (pronounced Ess-ca-lannee), and she has, on occassion, phoned me with this: "Jenny, we're going to Escalante this weekend, would you mind playing in Relief Society on Sunday?"

Now, I don't play the piano. But I don't have the heart to tell her this, especially because she asks me on a regular basis. Luckily, I can fall back on, "Oh, sorry, I have to teach the Young Women on Sunday."



A week or so ago, I took li'l ~j. to a fireside, featuring a man from our ward -- this guy. He's outstanding. You know how men can trace their priesthood lineage? Brother Shumway can trace his piano teacher lineage back to Bach. (Yes, that Bach.) (And, he also happens to be our ward's primary pianist -- lucky kids!)

At the cookies-n-punch reception following the performance, I was speaking with Sister Shumway. We were talking about music and composition and the like when she said to me, "Oh, and you play, too!"

I don't know her very well, so I began to think of a way to deny it in a kind way, but all that came out of my mouth was, "Uhhhhh...".

I didn't have time to deny it. She jumped right in, putting her reassuring hand on my arm: "I've heard you! You're very good!"

Well. How can I say no to that?! Here, the wife of one of the best pianists on the planet telling me that I'm very good at piano? I started to believe her! Do I play? Yes! And I'm VERY good!

Until I got to the car and remembered what happened to Babe. I'm counting down the minutes until this turns around and bites me.


Anonymous said...

LOL!!! just remember-- you could have been a pianist- but you chose to be a MOMMY. I can't stop chuckling!!

Carina said...

It's like the time they called me to be the ward organist...

and I don't play the organ.

Ryan said...

Sorry that I won't be around to "protect" you when the bit comes. :)

Ryan said...

(that should have been "bite") :(

QueenScarlett said...

Hilarious and Wow... is this an example of really bad listeners or... going to bad ODs?? If they call you to be a pianist... I vote for playing chopsticks...or that theme from BIG - that would be a fun meeting. ;-)

Tori :) said...

Sei got called to the primary pianist. He tried for a week to play the primary songs how they are written in the book. But he couldn't. He can't read the notes! So, he had to go back to the bishop and let him know that yes, he can play the piano SOOOOO beautifully, but it's all by ear and he CAN NOT seem to figure out how to play the songs how they are written.
Gee- that must suck to have such a talent. I wouldn't know.

La Yen said...

I have been subbing as song lady in the primary for two weeks. I am terrified for the "official" call to come...

sue-donym said...


Oh what a tangled web we weave...

i i eee said...


I always hated being the relief society pianist, since I knew there were probably 30 other women in there who could play the hymns 100 times better than me.

But it's not a competition, right?

Geo said...

It's like when you're about to have a car wreck and suddenly everything is in slow-motion. You can see what's coming and even have time to get philosophical about it, but you can't make it stop.

Our current Primary pianist is a one-finger wonder, honestly, and she can't seem to keep time or tune with even just the one. It's sad, but very comical. Brutal might be a better word for it. I want to give a raucous cheer every time Our Gang stands up and gives the latest awful performance. I know our ward must have earned some kind of trophy by now.

P.S. In your honor, I just got the best word verification of my life:


Anonymous said...

Sometimes you just wonder about that whole inspiration thing.

So keep us posted. I can't wait to hear part four of this story!

Cardine said...

Um... that's how I got started really playing the piano. I got asked to play a hymn in church! I was like, but I don't play the piano. And they told me to learn how. So now here I am, and I've had a ward organist calling now for a cummulative of about 4 years!

Melody said...

Fun post.

Someone in my writers' group got the impression that I am not just a poet, but also an accomplished artist... she's mentioned this to other members of the group... maybe because I've done a couple of collaborative exhibits with a visual artist friend of mine - one of them was at the Salt Lake Art Center. So, you know, that made me really credible.

I haven't found a way to break the news to my misguided cohorts. Besides, I like being seen as a writer AND an artist. They dont' tend to seek out poets or artists for the primary anyway, so all is well.

La Yen said...

Guess what calling I got yesterday?