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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

There Is One In Every Family, ...Three In Mine

Oh My Heck!

That is what I said the other day. I said “Oh, my heck”.

I said it in church.

The following blank space has been purposely left to indicate a period of uncomfortable silence.

I know, I know, what a stupid thing to do. To make matters worse, I said it in the hall so there were several who heard my offensive and distasteful remark and would gladly witness to such. For my effort, I received several crusty looks, two uncomfortable chuckles and one stare at the ceiling/roll of the eyes. It was a banner day for me.

To top it all off, like the maraschino cherry in a dry martini that I of course have never sipped, I was wearing a light blue shirt. No, I reply, it was not merly off-white, and no I hadn’t just washed a proper white Sunday dress shirt with my new jeans. I have made this general type of mistake before, only with a red sweatshirt amid spanking white underwear – another story altogether.

No, my shirt was created in Honduras to be a manly light blue and I wore it with little deliberation. I have been wearing the same two white dress shirts for several years, and recently, due to my discovery of frozen chocolate cream puffs at my local Giganto Mart, there is more of me to love than I care to admit. The top buttons fit a little snug, so I deliberately choose a different dress shirt.

I did this of my own volition. No one was there to force me or coerce me. I was not under any undo peer pressure like the time I deliberately spelled my name wrong on my tithing envelope in seventh grade just to be cool.

I alone am to blame.

What’s worse is that I was just starting to clean up my iffy image from singing a Sandy Patty song in sacrament meeting several years ago. Sandy Patty, a Christian songwriter is, how do I put this delicately,... southern. She says unconscionable things like, Praise the Lord, and I heard from a friend of her hairdressers that she once muttered under her breath, Hallelujah.

You see the problem.

Hind sight being what it is, I can see that the song I selected was all wrong for church. There were way too many key changes and more words that began with the letter "C" than are usually allowed. And I read in the notes instructions to hold the peddle down way too long - an action that I nipped in the bud fortunately in time before the choir director caught wind. Small favors.

As you can see, I am on socio-political shaky ground even without this latest blue-shirt thing. Let alone the Oh My Heck.

I am grateful that my religious beliefs are strong and are not to be swayed by the tides of sighs and frowns that roll my way when I am culturally inept. But maturity and understanding are little comfort when your family is left alone on the pew.

But I have a plan, a contingency in case of foul-ups - which I have discovered are only life threatening if unplanned for. I am going to hand out money. Simple and elegant. I am going to go to the bank and buy several hundred dollars worth of gold coins and hand them out like Angelina Jolie at a leper colony or the Academy Awards. I am not proud. You have no idea how these church people can mess with your life. I consider it an investment with eternal rewards.

I suppose I could have alleviated this whole mess by using some of my gold coin money to buy me a white shirt with a bigger neck and then I may not be in this predicament. As it is, I will never ask me to speak in church.



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