Dear Blue Planner,
So it has finally happened. You’ve gone the way of Mr. Brown and projection films. I suppose I knew that someday you’d be gone, but I’d hoped against hope that you were somehow less transient than other proselyting aids that have fallen by the wayside. To me, you were nothing less than the platonic ideal of Planner.
Your departure, Blue Planner, is made even more poignant by the fact that your long-time travelling companion in the left breast pocket of my ZCMI-special Van Heusen 50/50-blend short-sleeve white shirts — the regal “white bible” — has been spared the long knives of the missionary department. What will keep that little vinyl folio snug against the back of the black tag now? Oh, you will be missed.
Yesterday I saw two sisters carrying around your replacement, a secular-looking spiral bound long-term planner. I had to turn it over and find the familiar logo before I was convinced that it was your legitimate successor. It’s a pale imitator, of course. What missionary wants to have a permanent list of contacts? I found it far more agreeable to throw you out every week and recompose the list of contacts — rarely did more than half of our finding pool make it onto successive planners anyway.
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that my feelings were not always so affectionate toward you. In fact, when I first encountered you, Blue Planner, I was insulted that you would ask me to actually write down a number to represent the souls of those I hoped to teach. Then the aspirational numbers written during some euphoric blast of optimism would inevitably begin to mock me as the week progressed and my inability to successfully mobilize the commitment pattern manifested itself yet again.
Having said that, I never wanted it to go down this way. A training video from the brethren, a distribution of shiny new planners at a district meeting, and you’re never heard from again. It’s a shame, really. But take comfort in knowing that your pre-impressed creases that made for surprisingly easy folding will always hold a place near my heart, even when I am not carrying you around.
Greg (née Elder) Call
(Inspired by this)