The Odd Couple

My Visiting Teachers came this morning. For those of you who don’t attend the same church I do, Visiting Teachers are a pair of women assigned to you who come by once a month to check on you, talk, see if your family needs anything, and pass on a spiritual thought. These are the ladies who will round the cavalry and stir up a mess of help when the baby comes- including meals for my poor family, playdates for my kids, and just general good will. It’s a nice idea.

Some of us do a better job at this than others, and quite frankly, I am a slacker. It seems like the retired ladies are the ones who are really good at it, and put the most into it. Understandable, since even though I am assigned ladies to check on too, I just can’t seem to coordinate schedules with the companion I have, as well as the two women we check on. Combined we have 15 kids, two part-time jobs, four husbands, one baby in-utero and finding the time when all of said parties are available is a folly. But we try. But that’s not my topic- the two women who visit me are.

If you looked all over kingdom-come, you could not find two women more diametrically opposed than the two ladies who visit me. Every month, I look forward to their visit, for the comic value alone. Visiting Teacher “Madge” is about as fluffy, huggy, lacey, made-up, crazy dyed orange hair, smushy, sentimental, cries all the time, never stops talking, a woman as can be. Visiting Teacher “Endora” is the polar opposite- intellectual, whip-smart, impatient, sharp, scriptorian, history-buff, bespectacled, plain, and a tell-it-like-it-is blunt force. Madge will talk over any comment, any question, any thought that has been expressed, meandering in a meaningless and un-followable manner, while Endora crosses her arms and glares at her, waiting for her to take a breath, when she can then jump in and resume what she was talking about, completely ignoring whatever tangent Madge just went off on.

The first time they came to see me, I had to bite my cheek to keep from cracking up, and as soon as they left I called the RS President and asked her if she assigned them on purpose. She laughed, confirming not only that she paired them intentionally, but that she gave them to me intentionally, too!

My solution for the chaos is to nod politely at Madge, while trying to follow the actual conversation Endora is having- simultaneously. Endora usually has something interesting to say, and tells very good stories, if you can sift through the crazy, disconnected tangents that Madge goes off on. Really, I like Endora a lot- her faith and testimony are rock-solid, and she has a ton of knowledge. Listening to them is like haveing an important conversation on the phone, while your kids are talking to you about thier needs- and both of them need you to respond.

So today, as Madge was leaving in her puff of perfume and tears and hugs, Endora pointedly told me to call her if I needed anything, and she would make sure Madge did it. I believe her. It’s never a dull visit, that’s for sure!