January 17, 2011

The Sign-Up Sheet


Every time I see a clipboard at church, I break out into hives. Like grenades and pit vipers, I go to great lengths not to touch these dangerous objects, but sometimes they are unavoidable. Yesterday was one of those days.

Usually I watch for the clipboard like a hawk, but in Sunday School I caught off guard by a woman in the same room who was wearing what appeared to be a large tarantula on her collar.

"It's a black pin," my husband whispered before I could ask. "It appears to be home made."

I was studying the tarantula in excruciating detail when something tapped me on the shoulder.

I practically jumped out of my seat in fear and horror.

On the clipboard were two equally abhorrent sign-up sheets: one for a Mexican-themed potluck dinner and one for people interested in learning how to make strawberry preserves.

Despite my personal feelings towards all social events, I picked up the pencil, which was attached to the clipboard with a piece of string.

"Don't do it," my husband warned.

Motivated by intense moments of guilt (why should my children suffer because I am a homebody?), I have a bad habit of signing up to participate in church-related social events. Typically, I regret those decisions almost immediately.

The clipboard wasn't even to the end of the row before I started to have a panic attack.

"Get it back," I whispered to my husband.

"I warned you," he replied and shook his head.

It was too late. I had committed to bring enough refried beans to feed 8-10 people.

I spent the rest of church stalking the clipboard. Just when I thought all was lost, I found it again, in the Primary (kids' room). I practically snatched it out of another woman's hand.

Scratching my name off the list of potluck attendees produced the same feeling, I imagine, as being injected with a vial of anti-venom.

29 comments

myevil3yearold said...

Yeah I'm first! never been first and I had to rush down to do this so now I am going to read your post

Mrs. Tuna said...

I usually wait until you go to the bathroom and then write your name in.

Jamie said...

HAHA, I try to avoid those also :)

Stephanie said...

Haha. Never fail to chuckle at your stories.

Leigh Ann said...

Two words: Me too.

Catherine Dabels said...

I experience the same feelings when I write my name on the missionary dinner calendar.

Potlucks.....only a man would have come up with such a horrific idea.

Anonymous said...

I passed on one, then got a call asking if I'd be on a committee for an RS conference (for which I had chosen to pass on signing up for). I agreed, and now regret it. They get ya either way!

Niki said...

You validate me....

Trisha @ 3 Four and Under said...

That is exactly how I feel when I sign up to have the missionaries over. Do 19 year old guys really want to eat dinner with a 4 year old and loud 2 year old twin boys?

M said...

You are my hero. Seriously.

K. Castaldi said...

I love how everyone is commenting on the missionary sign up! LOL
This past Sunday I was staring at the calendar feeling guilty for not wanting to feed them AGAIN when my 13 month old EXPLODED a baggie full of cheerios. I passed the calendar along... I had cheerios to clean up!

Laurie said...

I thought I was the only one who signed up for things because I felt bad for my kids (I'm a serious home-body too). I feel so much better knowing I'm not alone there. One difference - I would have been too embarassed to hunt down the clipboard after I came to my senses. Good for you!

Ruth Ann said...

So that's what is happening when I see the clipboard later on and someone's name has been crossed out. I thought it was because they 'remembered a previous engagement."
And some missionaries like having little kids and their messes around because that's what it was like "back home."

Angie said...

Yeah- I hate those things. Hate them.

Anonymous said...

I'd much rather make beans for 8-10 than receive an email asking me to share a great experience that I had while visiting teaching. I got one of those today. Do you think I could shock everyone and say that vt isn't one of those things that I've ever really looked forward to?

Anonymous said...

Wow....I can understand the reservation of going, it is always stressful going somewhere with kids, but every time I do, I always have a good time. There are so meny YW there who take off with my kids, its great! I love it, its like date night with my sweetie....besides re-fried beans come in a can for like a buck, 3$ and you are set. Whats the big deal?

Charlene said...

I like signing up to have the missionaries over - I can then boss my family around to help clean the house...and they do it!

How come they won't if nobody is coming over? Now that's a good question...

Ha funny - My word verification is mormi...so close, yet so far.

Sandy said...

That's why I don't go to church. I leave my antisocial self at home.

Vicky said...

LOL! The dreaded clip boards! Usually, being in Primary means we get a reprieve from those! I would LOVE to see a pic of that tarantula though!!

zippityzern said...

I sign up, but I always sign my daughter's name, sometimes my daughter-in-law's, or if I'm feeling really crazed an alias. Sad to say, they (the keeper's of the clipboards) are on to me. Sigh!

Jill said...

Great post! I'm living in Germany right now, so when the dreaded sign-up sheets come around, I pass them right along without a look because I can't understand them anyway. It is liberating.

And, isn't it nice to know that sign-up sheet doctrine transcends all cultures and borders? The church is really true...

I'm So Fancy said...

You could always hire a Mexican housekeeper to whip up a batch of beans for you and pass them off as your own. Not that I would ever do such a thing...

Queen of the Universe said...

When I was young, I couldn't wait to be room mother or "the cupcake mom"... the one with the best cupcakes. And once I became a mom, I would race to sign up to be the one to bring them to activities.

Long story short, I now prefer to be the "paper plate and napkin mom." For far less energy and expense, I can bring decorative napkins and plates from the dollar store and still feel as if I contributed.

Meta said...

How blasphemous!!! Does your RS pres or VTs know you feel this way??? Seriously, thanks for bringing this up...I often feel the same way!

Norma =^.,.^= said...

Wahahaha! I usually bolt out of RS like I have springs in my underwear so that no one can corner me and ask me to bring/do something! Glad to know I'm not the only one!

Natalie said...

I'm in YW and last week they brought us the BLANK meal calendar first. I asked "did RS have this" and the lady actually said "they had it last week" like it was the responsibility of the 6 women serving with me to fill all of the blanks because the 40+ women in RS had it last week. Bla. I like it better when they forget we exist. Then there's no awkward clipboard handling.

Bekki said...

We've been told passing around clipboards are too distracting so, they have to be left at the front of the room for people to come find. Maybe you need to move into our ward...:o)

Anonymous said...

I must belong to a different branch of "the Church". I never see a clip board. We never have ward activities. And I haven't had the opportunity to feed the missionaries for 10 years. I live in Utah where the Church isn't quite as true as the rest of the world.

Jean said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA....

I'm in YW so I no longer have to face the dreaded clipboard and its inevitable guilt/obligation... sigh.