Monday, March 30, 2009

How to Spot a Heathen

One of my New Year's resolutions was to "get right with God." Or just go to mass a few times a month instead of a few times a year. So far - so good. Until the recessional, when I have to shake hands with the priest. My least favorite part. I can see it in his eyes - he knows I'm the stranger among his sheep.

Being the New Kid at mass is sort of like being the new person in a group exercise class. All the regulars assume the same position week after week, and give you the hairy eyeball should you dare cross the boundary line of "their spot." So, you've got that going for ya' - along with attempting to atone for missing the last 50 out 52 masses in a year.

I have been a Catholic all my life - save for that brief moment around the age of 13 when I thought, "I could be Jewish - have a Batz Mitzvah and then three years later do it up again for a Sweet Sixteen?! Have party. Will convert!" My mother, ever the Debbie Downer, quickly pointed out that conversion is a lengthy process , so my Batz Mitvah and Sweet Sixteen would end up being a combined party. And I would have to learn Hebrew. (Yiddish slang learned by just being a New Yorker, did not count.) Oy vey. I barely made it through middle school French.

Catholic, I remained.

Being relatively new to this church and still test driving our compatibility...(Do they use real wine or grape juice? Is parking a nightmare? Are the homilies relevant or about natural family planning?)...I had not officially registered and was without personalized envelopes for the collection baskets.

Since embarking on this road to redemption, I've been stuffing the monetary donation in my pocket. It's been smooth sailing. Until...

This past Saturday I slipped my hand into the wrong pocket and tossed my dry cleaning slip into the collection basket. Not realizing until the basket was two people down - I debated retrieving it rather than cause a scene. Until I recalled that MY NAME was on the slip. Oh, for the love of everything holy!!

So I had to get up, wrestle the basket from some lady who insisted on giving it to the usher at the end of the pew, grab my ticket and drop in my money. Sheez. Leave it to a heathen to ruin the flow of traffic and disrupt the vigil.

Yes, I have since ordered the damn envelopes. And no, I didn't stay after communion.

Stay tuned. More at 11.

14 comments:

Monograms and Mayhem said...

omg... hilarious!

Ainslie Place said...

The Episcopal Church welcomes you. All the religion, none of the guilt.

I was born and raised Catholic and about 5 years ago we walked down the street and joined the Episcopal Church. Don't know why we didn't do it sooner. Our family is more involved with the church than we ever were with the Catholics.

And they won't care if you're the stranger among the sheep: Hospitality and fellowship are a big deal.

GrannySmithGreen said...

I am laughing out loud! This is one funny post! I wish I had been there. I might have egged you on by saying, "hurry usher, take it before the heathen grabs the cash!" Just too funny! Thanks for the giggle!

Stereos and Souffles said...

Maybe they would have thought you were making a clothing donation.
You even had it dry cleaned for them :-)

PaperCourt said...

I agree with Ainslie Place...join the Episcopal Church aka Catholic light.

The Lawyer's Wife said...

Love it ... spending my whole childhood Catholic we had the communion sneak out down pat ... Nana would say it was fine to leave as long as we did it while the people in the back were still standing ... we would just look like we were taking a bathroom break. Oh ... I see our whole row just decided to take a bathroom break and not come back until next Sunday.

Worked for me ...

The Lawyer's Wife said...

This post is why I am sure we would be bffs for ever. I would be laughing so hard I would fall off the pew and hit my head on the kneeler.

Too funny ... just thought this post required two comments!!!

Robyn said...

too funny... as a Catholic, I can totally relate.

Robyn said...

just don't make change in the collection basket; and we stop right before "thine is the kingdom, the power..." in The Lord's Prayer.

leslie ruth said...

Oh my word, this is hilarious. I'm not going to be able to keep a straight face the next time the offering plate goes by me at church!

And thanks for your comment over on my post about my own experience with the Mommy Mafia. It's been one of the best things I've heard in a while. Thank you...

thepreppyprincess said...

Oh Miss Breaking News, this one is too funny, and *so* Princess! I'll say an extra Hail Mary for you. (Bad Princess!)
tp

Happy Homemaker said...

Oh too funny!

Bring your rosary when you come visit next week...

The Mrs. said...

I second Ainslies announcement that we welcome you with open arms. Episcopals will take a dry cleaning stub as a raincheck. I've tried it.

Sara said...

Oh, too funny! As a new Catholic I can relate! You'll quickly find a usual spot to sit in too!