Ohh, Betsy!

Goose on the loose September 30, 2009

Filed under: Brandon vs. Anna — Anna @ 8:41 pm

So Brandon and I were talking with our home teachers on Sunday afternoon. They prepared a lesson about the influence of righteous women and Brandon was generously talking me up. So, as he starts telling an example of how I have helped him and his spirituality, he starts telling the story by saying, “I was loosey goosey about the church.”

The first thing I think is, “Why is my husband using the term ‘loosey goosey’?” I think it may have taken a full minute to realize it was in fact my husband speaking and that he wasn’t channeling the spirit of a cheery Kindergarten teacher.  Shortly thereafter I wondered what our guests were thinking when they heard Brandon was “loosey goosey about the church”.  I felt sure that by saying he was loosey goosey about the church it sounded like he didn’t really have a testimony of the Book of Mormon or that the Word of Wisdom was just a “suggestion”. Considering our home teachers don’t know us very well, I didn’t think loosey goosey was the best choice of words because it did not accurately convey the message. He was merely describing a situation when he chose to give up rated R movies because I had stopped watching them. In my opinion, saying he was loosey goosey about the church was an overstatement.

So in our usual fashion, we take it to you dear readers to weigh in on our debate. Brandon stands by his decision to use the term and has prepared a rebuttal to my argument.

I agree with my lovely wife that “loosey goosey” seems a bit antiquated, which may explain why the word now requires clarification.   Websters Dictionary defines the word as ” notably loose or relaxed : not tense.”  This definition clearly refers to a sort of “laid back” condition, in the sense that one is not constantly worrying about specific requirements, e.g., shopping on Sunday or participating in other discouraged Sunday activities, occasional swearing (no F-words since that would exceed loosey goosey), playing with face cards, not listening to Kenneth Cope, or listening to Obama speeches.  Simply put, to define the term to mean that one does not care one way or another about the church or its standards suggests too much.

The argument could be made that the term arose out of the tumultuous 60’s, 1964 according to Websters, and should be seen as a product of its generation.  I concede that the 60’s represented a dramatic departure from current social standards: “high-and-tight” haircuts gave way to shaggy and shoulder length (for men), Schick smooth gave way to knotty beards, and fitted clothing and aprons gave way to “clothing optional.”  But the plain meaning of the word, as represented by Websters, is clear and easily understood – even by the home teachers who must have wondered why I dug up this old adjective.  It is not necessary for us to venture into context.  Accordingly, the term, as I used it, appropriately represented my standing in the church: I am certainly not a straight arrow, but I keep the target in mind.

For the foregoing reasons, my usage of the term, though odd, properly conveyed the point I was trying to make.