A while back I was sending my son some money for his birthday (I know, not a very personal gift, but that was what he needed). He is in Texas and has not lived in Utah since he was 11 years old. I thought I’d throw in some “only in Utah” item that he would appreciate. At the store I found Sweet’s Orange Sticks, which I’ve always liked, and threw them in the package. I thought about putting in Some Dude’s Fry Sauce, but I figured that was pushing it. I went with the orange sticks and a couple of Visa gift cards.
Today I was in the grocery store, and my daughter and her friend pointed out a rack of LDS-themed greeting cards. There were the usual suspects: “Return with Honor,” “In the Hollow of Thy Hand,” and other scripture-based cards. One showed a missionary with a Muppet, claiming to have found a golden investigator. My personal favorite showed an Arnold Friberg-esque “Lamanite” mother tearfully embracing her young son: “Farewell, my stripling warrior” the caption read. My daughter thought that one was particularly retch-worthy.
At Wal-Mart, I saw several snow globes containing everything from Delicate Arch to the Manti Temple, and next to them shot glasses stamped with a likeness of the Salt Lake Temple. I want one of those, and I don’t even drink.
My beloved spouse has been making Saturday trips to Deseret Industries to find old movies, books, and whatever else strikes her fancy. One Saturday night I descended our stairs only to smack my forehead hard on a tole-painted plaque reading “Choose the Right.” I guess half an inch of wood was just enough to make the ceiling the right size to impact my head. We also now have plaques reading “Love at Home” and “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord,” as well as a framed copy of the Proclamation on the Family.
We used to make fun of my sister-in-law, who could not understand basic concepts like the Atonement but shelled out several hundred dollars every year for scripture decals, family home evening “wheels,” inspirational books, and Education Week seminars. Her home was a monument to Mormon kitsch, but I think we’re catching up.