On the first Monday of each month, my sisters and I gather to play cards, tell stories, and howl and cackle at our own foibles as well as the foibles of others.

One of my sisters lives in a high-rise in downtown Salt Lake and is the Relief Society president of her ward.  The bishop of the ward also lives in the same high-rise.  He came to visit her after a bishopric meeting the other night, looking sheepish, hands behind his back and said, “I’m going to put a lei over your head.”

“Okaaaay,” my sister said.

He brings the lei from behind his back and puts it over her head.  “Now, tell me if you think the sisters of the ward would like receiving this as a gift on Mother’s Day.  Be absolutely honest,” he said.

The lei is knitted with a spiky green yarn. “It feels and looks like a caterpillar,” my sister said, guffawing.  Then she pulled herself together, and said, “No, they would not like this.”

It turns out that one of the counselor’s wives has offered to make a hundred of these for Mother’s Day for three hundred dollars.   The counselor could not say no to his wife, so he shifted it to the bishop, and the bishop now shifted it to my sister, his Relief Society president.

“They pay thirty dollars for one of these in Hawaii,” the Bishop said.

“I don’t live in Hawaii,” my sister said.  “And they wear funny shirts in Hawaii, and have you noticed that anything you buy in Hawaii doesn’t fit in your house when you get home?”

“Will you tell her?” the Bishop asked.

The sisters collapsed in shrieks over this story.  Someone might have said, “Oh tell him to grow a pair.”  My sister would never do this, of course.

So the morning after card night, I googled “knitted leis” to see what appeared.  Apparently, there are lots of busy hands out there either knitting or crocheting these spiked leis.

I think the problem lies with the word “lei,” which makes one think of fragrant, exotic and colorful flowers.  This is so NOT a lei.

What if you called it a scarf?  Could you accept it as a scarf?  There is no expectation of flowers in that word.  Or muffler?  But why would you be handing out mufflers in May?

Anyway, inquiring minds want to know if you would like receiving a knitted or crocheted lei for Mother’s Day in church, and would you wear it?  Say we call it a shawl?

By the way, this ward has for years handed out small boxes of chocolates on Mother’s Day, and no one ever complained.  Chocolate?  Knitted lei?  Knitted lei?  Chocolate?