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Sunday, September 10, 2006  

Skipping Church

I try to avoid clichés on this blog, not always successfully. I also try to avoid clichés in life. That's even more embarrassing when it's unsuccessful.

For instance, after M. Small's baptism, everyone joked with us that now that we had that sacrament out of the way, we would probably quit going to church entirely. We scoffed at such naysaying. Then, the evening of the following Sunday, I was out for a walk when we ran into the priest who had baptized M. Small.

And you've already guessed, I'm sure, that we had all skipped church that morning.

This isn't supposed to happen in a big city. It's more of a small town thing, where people who skip church worry about going out the rest of the day for fear of encountering their clergyperson. But on the other hand, we're in a small parish. And as I later learned, we live about four blocks from our priest. So it's like living in a small town in that sense, except that we also have Sex World.

If I'd been alone, I could have ducked into the bushes, I suppose. But under the circumstances, it would have been bad form for me to vanish and leave an occupied but unattended stroller on the sidewalk. Especially if our priest recognized its occupant. That would have been, to say the least, counterproductive.

So I went with the other extreme, heartily greeting her by name, acting all pleasantly surprised to see her, the whole bit. She talked to M. Small, asking if he remembered her baptizing him the week before. M. Small was no help at all, making a couple of nonsensical, context-free comments that I had to explain. "He's normally very smart," I wanted to say.

She asked if I was giving Trash a little alone time for the evening. "Yes," I said. "She hasn't been feeling well lately."

"You lied to your priest?" my coworker said when I told her this story on Monday. But I assured her that no, in fact, Trash was not feeling well, which was part of why we'd skipped church that morning in the first place. (Also, we'd already gotten M. Small baptized, so why bother? Kidding).

But anyway, I wasn't going to be all embarrassed and awkward, just because we hadn't been to church that morning. For all I knew, neither had she. And besides, how cliché would it be to act guilty when running into your priest on the day you skipped church?

So we stood and talked for a few minutes, and then we went on our respective ways. And then, when I was sure I was out of sight, I whipped out my cell phone. "You'll never guess who I just ran into," I told Trash. She managed to lift her head from the toilet long enough to hear the story. From her reaction, I was pretty sure that in my place, she would have dove into the bushes.

The good news is that we've been that much more motivated to make it to church every Sunday since. And of course we always make sure that our priest sees us there. Who knew that skipping church could actually be good for the soul?

posted by M. Giant 8:31 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

I was catsitting for some folks who live in the Warehouse District downtown. I was simply walking to go visit the cat, by way of Washington Avenue, across from Sex World, when I ran into a professor. We had to stand there, exchanging pleasantries, while both of us pretended there wasn't a Sex World across the street. It was really quite a strange, strange meeting.

By Blogger Neurotic Grad Student, at September 11, 2006 at 8:18 AM  

The first time I got birth control, I ran into my (Catholic) parish pastor at the drug store. It's hardly likely that he guessed why I was there but I still felt like that little interaction was one of the most awkward that I've ever had.

By Blogger Cheesesteak, at September 11, 2006 at 11:00 AM  

I know it sounds like an urban legand, but the first time my boyfriend and I bought condoms, we get to the counter and find that we are directly behind his neighbor, who he had known since he was about 3 years old. There was nothing we could do - we were both there, it was our only purchase, we were screwed.

She never said anything about it to him, or to his mom (as far as he knew) but it scared us out of having sex for another month, and he never felt confortable around her, at least as long as I knew him.

By Anonymous Erin, at September 11, 2006 at 1:10 PM  

God has a sense of humor. I once skipped church to color my hair. 'Ginger spice' is the name of the flashy auburn color my hair was supposed to turn. Ronald McDonald Flaming Red is the color I got. I was afraid to try coloring over it and ashamed to call the 1-800 number on the back of the box. Instead of a scarlet "A" on my chest for my sin, I had scarlet hair on my head. I just let it be that way for a while and chose instead to tell people what I had done. It's a sure conversation starter. Since that time, I have only allowed a professional to color my hair. Ronald doesn't need the competition and God doesn't need another laugh like that at my expense.

By Anonymous Wendi jo, at September 11, 2006 at 6:03 PM  

See, I don't go to church, but my parents do, and I live in my hometown.

Every last Saturday we go to a field party with camping, and when we leave, myself and my partner in crime go for steak. Which we must do with the quickness, for we are usually a.) filthy b.) quite obviously fresh from the woods and c.) not in any condition to see church people.

Mama's church lets out at 11:15. We exeunt omnes from the Logan's at twenty after, because it's my every-month nightmare that I run into her with, like, mud on my feet and tree branches sticking out of my hair on the day she's invited the pastor to come eat with her.

On the bright side, our once-a-month waitress? Loves us.

By Blogger parcequilfaut, at September 18, 2006 at 9:35 AM  

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