Off on the Wrong Foot

Man. My new ward is going to hate me. Tonight, while cooking dinner, kissing an owie, refereeing a quibble and washing the chicken off my hands, the phone rings. It’s about 5:20- the Deadly Hour. I wipe my hands, pull Abby off the counter perch where her boo-boo was waiting to be kissed, and picked up the phone, which was hiding under a pile of play-doh tools on the table. Caller-ID is not a number or name I know- and when I answer, there is only static and dead air. Hello? HELLO? Hang up.

Set Abby down, stir the rice-a-roni, pull Bean off the desk, and nip at Jeffrey to finish up his homework. Again. The phone rings again. Same caller ID, same number- HELLO?

“Mrs. M-blah blah?” Damn telemarketer, I think- they always pronounce my name wrong- it’s English, but spelled with double consonants, like the French. I can always tell if someone doesn’t know us. “No thanks!” I snap… “And it’s M-blah blaH.”

“Oh. Dear. I’m so sorry. This is Sister so and so from the new ward, and I was hoping to talk to Mrs. M.”  *sigh* AWWWcrap. Fantastic. It’s the chorister from the new primary, and she wants to know if we’ll be at church Sunday, since Jeffrey is the person of interest, and there is no presidency yet, and she’s trying to run things….

Aw crap.

Profuse apologies, grabbing a pen and paper, I jot down the five questions for Jeffrey, apologise again, make nicey-nice small talk, peel Abby off my leg, and hang up. Just in time to notice billows of smoke from the kitchen…!


Running for the stove, my rice-a-roni is charcoal. I throw the sizzling, blackened pot in the sink and steam hisses and spits all over me as the metal hits the water.

David hears all the commotion and comes to peel a few children away, while I put out the fire. He’s sitting on the couch with Beanie now, and Abby is playing quietly with Jeff. The fire is out, dinner made but cooling, and I’m calming down. Slooooowly.


Now I have to ask- WHO CALLS during the Deadly Hour?? From Primary?  Who calls from CHURCH and asks for MRS Anyone?? WHO CALLS BACK AFTER THEY”VE BEEN HUNG UP ON???


I will always think of my burnt rice-a roni when I look at this woman. I hope I like her. I really, really do- but we got off on the wroooooooong foot. Me and Sister Rice-a-Roni.

13 thoughts on “Off on the Wrong Foot

  1. I’m with you. I *always* ask for Sister So-and-so if I’m calling someone I don’t know from church. Although (cringing) I have to admit that I have called during the Deadly Hour.

  2. I thought of you during the deadly hour, really, like 5:20, and then thought “No, can’t call right now.” You must have been sending some serious vibes.

    She probably heard you the first time when you hung up on her.

    Does she have kids? Oops…sorry, you probably don’t know that yet. People without kids call during deadly hour all the time.

  3. That is the worst hour to call….another worst hour to call is oh, lets say a call from the sister missionaries at 9:30 or 10:00 PM… Yikes (and yes, I know they don’t usually get home before then, but could they call BEFORE they went out for the evening???) I am usually either dead tired or in bed by 9. It’s weird how now everytime you think of sis. so and so you will also think of the burned rice a roni, I hope the smell doesn’t linger as long as the memories.

  4. I think that sister rice a roni hit the three stikes rule… she made all the mistakes.

    The good news? You probably won’t like her LESS once you get to know her…right?

  5. Um yeah, only crazies call at that hour. And a chorister running the primary solo? I’m pretty sure she’s nuts. Normal women duck and cover until the ward is up and running. 😉

  6. You will either hate each other or you’ll be best friends. Because you have a story together now. A good story can’t go to waste on mere acquaintanceship. So go to – LOVE this woman! (Or hate her. Your call.)

  7. That is so funny. What you describe as the “deadly hour” is my most favorite time of day. We turn off all background TV/Music, etc… and everyone just kinda gets into their own peaceful thing. I think they have just realized over the years that a crazy situation while I am making dinner means their dinner might suck and that’s all they’re gettin’!!

  8. I’m still kind of stuck on the Mrs. thing. Weird.

    I’m with mad, though, makes a great “how we met story” for BFFs or arch-nemesises (nemesisi?). Sister Rice-a-Roni. Heh.

  9. The YW Pres once gave me some advice: I was having trouble getting hold of a certain person for an irrelevant reason. Sister President suggested I call during the dinner hour b/c I would be sure to get the other one at home. Maybe Sister Rice-a-Roni got this same advice.

  10. I’m sorry, but I was laughing throughout the post – since Michelle and I have been there, done that more than once.

    I agree – great “how we met” story to look back on and laugh.

  11. She was probably nervous about calling you, which made her feel awkward and thus the flubs. Or maybe she was meaning to do it all day and time got away and she ended up just doing it when she had the chance. Making calls like that can be hard.

    Once on the first day in a new ward I noticed a woman and thought, “She is the most unattractive, unpleasant-looking prune I’ve ever seen.” And she turned out to be the most lovely, pleasant, delightful, admirable person in the universe. I’ve had to repent of my mean thoughts ever since.

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