I just joined a new book club (don't worry Kasey and Erica; ours will always be the number one book club in my heart) and while discussing last month's book, someone said something to the effect of:
"Have you guys ever heard that saying where you meet a pioneer in heaven and when they find out that you lived in the time you lived, they will bow down at your feet and revere you for living in this very hard time in the history of the world?"
Yeah, I've heard it.
And guess what? I think that it is a complete joke. Total nonsense. Who is this Justin Justification who keeps spreading this stuff to members of the church? This got me thinking about if an actual pioneer woman were to come live a day in my life, what would she think? Let's start by having her take a tour of my house. (This is as close to Parade of Homes that I will EVER get.)
You all know my affinity for character driven stories (oh, you didn't...well, Kasey and Erica of my former book club did), so of course, my pioneer woman is going to have a name of Polly Pioneer, or PP for short, and I'm going to dialogue her tour. (Note: I do not know exactly what a real pioneer would be thinking [not that all pioneers were the same], this is purely my guess as to what a pioneer would say...sort of like Justin Justification is just guessing about how the pioneers would feel about our time period...yeah, sort of like that).
So here goes:
PP walks up my driveway and sees my air conditioned and heated SUV that seats all my kids and then some. "Wow, does that thing protect you in all kinds of weather, and you're saying that you could get from Nauvoo to Salt Lake in two days in that thing? Amazing! You must be super wealthy to own one of these things...WAIT, you're not super wealthy! Almost everyone travels everywhere by car?"
PP walks into my entry way. "My goodness, these coats hanging here are made of such quality material and craftsmanship, and your children have 5 pairs of shoes each? They must have to walk in some pretty extreme weather. Oh, wait. They rarely wear this coat for more than 10 minutes a day in the winter. And what's this heat I feel coming from this rectangle on the wall?"
PP walks into the family room. "What is that bulb on your ceiling...elecricity? No making of candles? And what the devil is that? (a computer) and you spend how long on there everyday? That thingy (TV) is blowing my mind!"
PP heads into the kitchen. "This ice box chuck full of food would have come in handy in my day. And you didn't grow ANY of this food? You didn't grind ANY wheat? You mean to tell me that you never even hand knead your bread...and you just make bread when you feel the whim? What is it exactly that you HAVE to do everyday to keep this family rolling? I know that boiling water to drink can get tiresome. You don't do that either?!"
PP now heads to one of three bathrooms. (I'll spare you the bathroom talk about plumbing, hot water heaters, and yes, feminine hygiene). "Oh so after you spend 20 minutes in perfectly hot water, you use this thing (blow dryer) to get your hair styled just the way you'd like more quickly? Is that so that you'll have more time to sew all the clothes you and your family will need?" (Polly is starting to get some sass.) "And why on earth would you waste your time painting your nails different colors. Oh, is it because you rarely ever use your hands for hard labor or your feet to walk places?"
PP opens my closet. "You didn't sew any of these clothes? And you don't wear them all just because they aren't exactly what you like this year?"
PP goes into my medicine closet. "So when your child has a fever, you give them this stuff and within 30 minutes they are comfortable?"
PP sees my washer and dryer. "Now, hold up! You put it in, turn it on, walk away and BAM! Your clothes are clean in less than an hour? And you never hang them out to dry?"
PP sees the kids' bedrooms. "So, they all have their own beds and look at these clothes! You actually bought some of these just because they were cute?"
YOU GET MY DRIFT.
I am not saying that we should all feel guilty about the luxuries that we have today, but is there value in recognizing that our entire lives are a luxury? I think there is. We really can't compare trials or life experiences (which can still be terribly hard) especially since none of us chose to come to earth when we did, but Justin, come on! I just can't see the pioneers feeling like I have it bad because I don't. I have it all. And Polly thinks so too.