The Allegory of the Sinus


IMG_2188Firstly, let me point out that this post isn’t really about my husband or his snoring – its allegorical – which means I’m talking about something else.

Let me preface this essay by saying that I am confident that  many Mormon men are quietly aware  that a change is on the wind.   Not that they’d say anything in Elders’ Quorum or High Priests’ Group, where they have been quietly socialised into embodying a state of semi-consciousness.  But I firmly believe that most men know that the church could and should  better reflect more powerfully a  positive sex balance, and that its ultimately to the church’s detriment that it doesn’t.   Many of our Mormon men work in contexts in which their bosses, managers, directors and coworkers are women – a context that they have come to see as normal and healthy.  They live in homes which are managed expertly and inexplicably well by their female partners.  They have a tickling awareness that while many Mormon women are accomplished and successful outside of church, the gender imbalance  that exists in the church that excludes women from authority, power and influence is out of order.  The trouble is that for many Mormon men (not all)  the response to this creeping dissatisfaction has been a collective snooze.  But this collective snooze is emitting a collective noise that shouts and trumpets a collective disinterest in addressing the crisis.  But what is more, this noise  is  keeping their wives, partners, girls and sisters awake – and while they slumber we are thinking – a lot.    And hell hath no fury like a woman kept awake and thinking by their oblivious plus ones!  Anyway, here’s my story…

My husband snores.  Before you feel embarrassed for him  - let me assure you he doesn’t mind.  He’s an Aries, born under a jolly  planet so he’s largely impervious to embarrassment.  In fact I would venture to say in our 20+ years of marriage I have never seen him embarrassed.  Shortly after we married I wandered in on him unexpectedly in our bedroom.  He was standing in front of our full length mirror admiring himself in one of my dresses.  It was a pretty dress – so I credit him with taste.  Rather than blush and immediately scuttle behind the wardrobe he smiled broadly and did a dainty leap in the air, “This dress is really really comfortable – can I try one of your bras?”   So don’t feel sorry for him.

This snoring business has  been gradually occurring as his neck organs have accumulated the fallout that comes from ingesting too many hamburgers, chips and muffins.  Not that I’m svelte – I’ve always been ‘big boned’.  But he’s a thoroughbred so a kilogram extra makes him look pregnant.  In this case he’s carrying fat babies in his adenoids.

There are others who can attest to the thunderous racket his face makes in his sleep.  A few weeks ago he went on the Christchurch Stake temple trip to Hamilton.   Some days into this sacred trip away  I was sent an email by one of his room buddies.   In their wisdom the trip organisers had made  temporary bachelors of a group of  young fathers who had abandoned their families (during the school holidays) to get with God, and they housed them in the same apartment.   This meant that Nathan had to share a room with a local branch president.  A couple of days into this trip President Gardiner sent me a sound file with this in the subject line:  ‘Your snoring husband’.

I wrote back:  “I’m not going to listen to it.  I’ve heard it before.  I’m enjoying a weeks’ reprieve.’

When this message was shared with my husband he was hugely diverted as if this conversation was for his own personal amusement.

Over the years I’ve mentioned to him that his snoring regularly wakes me.  But he doesn’t seem to mind. He doesn’t even mind my vengeful midnight somnambulatory retribution.  In a sleepy haze I’ve slapped his face, stuck my fingers, and ear plugs up his nose, booted him, shouted at him, held his nasal passages closed, beaten him with a pillow etc.  None of which rouses him to apologetic wakefulness.  Occasionally he asks me in the morning to account for an inexplicable pain somewhere in his body for which he is suspicious I am responsible.  But notwithstanding all of the abuse – the snoring continues.

With confident foresight I used my gift of intuitive prophecy to explain to him recently what will happen if it doesn’t cease:

Phase 1:  I will begin my nightly slumber in our marital bed but will retreat to the spare bedroom when he wakes me.

 Phase 2:  I will just go  straight to the other bedroom when its time for bed.

 Phase 3:  I’ll  move my things into the other bedroom and the spare bedroom will become MY bedroom.

Phase 4: One day I’ll ask myself why I should move out of my queen sized  bedroom with its comfy super king bed when he is the problem.  Nathan will come home and find that I have moved all of his things into the other bedroom and my things back into our bedroom.

Phase 5: We will cease having intimate relations (actually that will probably begin at phase 2).

Phase 6:  We will cease talking.

Phase 7: Our children will be traumatised as they witness the slow degradation of our marriage – they’ll drop out of school and resort to drug use.

Phase 8: With nothing to to keep us together save a dull domestic arrangement I’ll find someone with more polite sleeping manners.

Phase 9: Nathan will die bitter and unhappy because after our divorce he’ll marry an unquestioning frump who his mother has chosen (she’s never really thought me suitable) and he’ll despair as I take ‘alla dis’ (said gesturing toward my ample bosom) on the road.  I’ll be happy because I’ll get me a full lipped  hottie with a six pack, and a slim neck, who listens to Schubert  and weeps while he makes me pasta.

The thing is, this snoring doesn’t really bother Nathan. He has the privilege of enjoying a full night’s  sleep.  That classic Mormon bedtime prayer:  ‘Please bless me to have a good night’s sleep and wake refreshed for a new day’ seems to apply to him –  but at my expense.  The only bump in his perfect somnolence is me. When I testify of the inconvenience his snoring constantly causes me he can choose or not choose to take it seriously with little or no immediate personal inconvenience.  After all – his sleep is unproblematic,  and isn’t that what really matters?

He that hath ears to hear, let him hear. Matthew 11:15

The 15 Ailments of the LDS Church (With a hat tip to Pope Francis)
Digesting the Dehlin Drama: Thoughts in the wake
How loving the church can get you hated by the church
Anguished Musings on a Frayed Testimony
  • LPF

    C-Pap machine has stopped Tom’s snoring COMPLETELY. It’s amazing. (And the machine is quiet)

    • LPF

      OK—Right over my head!! Duh!! However the C-Pap does work for snoring…

      • Gina Colvin

        I looked it up! Looks great and I think we get it on prescription if he gets a referral to the specialist. But it doesn’t seem really attractive – like – is it very unsexy??

        • LPF

          For sleeping AFTER the sexy part.

  • Darren

    Would being ordained into the priesthood help silence the noise which is disturbing the daughters of Zion?

    • Gina Colvin

      I don’t happen to think that priesthood should be about leadership and authority. To me priesthood is about doing the work of ritual and ordinance. I think women might be happier if the opportunity were given to do priestly work outside of the temple; I think they might be happier if women were involved in the pastoral work of the church (I’d love to have a temple recommend interview with women), and they might be happier if women chaired councils, and were represented evenly throughout the decision making bodies of the church. I think the idea of priesthood needs some serious reworking. We seem to have lego-blocked priesthood, manhood, leadership, authority, control and power – which is unhelpful to anyone – least of all the men.

      • Darren

        Mormon men are stupid if they think they should go about the business of Church leadership without the input and support of its women. I also think any man who thinks himself above or superior to women since they have the priesthood ordination ofleadership are in for a very rude awakening in the afterlife.

        I do not suppose to know why the gender-based roles are they way they are but I do view them as a great blessing to all when
        exercised as they are currently established. I know it’s a blessing to my, my wife, and our sons and daughters (we’re not blessed to have all boys ;) ).
        If you do not view the priesthood as leadership then why seek it? I thought you’re seeking priesthood ordination as a means to equalize the playingfield for women so that their “prestige” may raise. If it’s for service then what’s stopping women from serving? Of course their service will not be the same as that of something required from someone ordained in the priesthood but they can and do serve. The Relief Society is america’s oldest women’s organization and they do a remarkable job in service. The brethren today would be at a loss without them and the Kingdom of God on earth would not be full restored nor fully prepared for the millenial return of the Son of God.
        You mention wanting to give a temple interview with another woman? That’s fine by me in and of itself (in fact if my wife can do temple interviews while I stay home iwth the kids believe you me, I’d be perfectly happy with that arrangement) but what’s preventing you from serving women now to prepare for the temple? Alongside temple interviews, would you support a bishop having two young women as counselors? The long hours of meeting together alone? How would that help strengthen families?

  • Raymond McIntyre

    I can sympathise, my wife snores and unfortunately that is NOT allegorical!

  • kiwi57

    There is, of course, an alternative viewpoint. Which, it appears, you haven’t considered, or perhaps it hasn’t even occurred to you that it might exist.

    That is the viewpoint that the Church is not the world, but is the Kingdom of God. That the Lord’s ways are not the world’s ways. That envy-based political ideologies are not inspired, and their assumptions are not self-evidently true. That the choice between the Tree of Life and the Great and Spacious Building is exactly that — a choice. That Priesthood service really isn’t about who has the most talent or ability, and more pointedly isn’t about those who suppose they have the most talent or ability.

    I don’t think most LDS men are “snoozing” about something they somehow “know” to be “out of order.” I think the overwhelming majority of believing LDS men — and women — are convinced that the Priesthood is the Lord’s; that it is delegated and not demanded; and that if the Lord wants the criteria upon which it is delegated to change, He will make His will known to those who have the keys.

  • Debbie Nicholson

    Well, I don’t have a husband who has the priesthood as he is not a member, however, I regard him as though he did and I am proud to always fondly tell him that when he has to dress up in his “Bishops’s clothes” that I still love him for who he is regardless. I have a wonderful husband who if were a member of the Church would be just the GREATEST as he already lives the way Heavenly Father would have a faithful husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather would in my eyes. Yes, he snores, then he also says I do. He treats me as his Queen and I enjoy all privileges associated with such a person. He allows me to live my religion to the fullest which includes week long trips to the Temple. He knows the importance of my testimony. He also enjoys the fruits of my labour in the books that I write the content of which was given to me purely through inspiration this past week.