24 March 2012

5 Things I'll Admit To

So much easier.
1.  I didn't teach Asa how to tie his shoes until he was 8 or 9 years old. 

I had never gotten him lace-up shoes. They are a lot of fuss. And I am busy.

But, don't they teach that in daycare anymore? Or Kinder? He was at "all the best schools":  Catherine Morrill Day Nursery, Nathan Clifford Elementary. . . . What is happening in this country?

2.  I went over a year and a half without smoke alarms in my home. 

Again, busy. I can't even concoct some lame excuse. . . . I didn't get any because I didn't get any.

The important thing is—I now have smoke alarms and a Carbon Monoxide alarm. Bring it on.

3.  I don't give myself regular breast exams.

Sure, I have the little placard that the Breast Cancer Awareness people give out to remind you and show you how. And I did hang it in the shower. A talisman of sorts.

I catch myself reading the card compulsively when I'm washing my hair. Just haven't gotten beyond that stage. I'm, um, very busy?

"Barney" was a recidivist biter.
here, who is the biter,
and who the bite-ee?

4.  Once when I was maybe 5 years old, I made this high-pitched SCREEEE noise while sitting next to our Scottie dog and she bit me on the nose.

Nothing showed, but my nose bled copiously from the inside! I thought I was going to bleed to death! It was very dramatic! Hurt like the dickens. 

My mom yelled at the dog and I felt kind of bad about that, but no way was I going to say I made a noise first.

5.  When I was 14, I joined the Lay Witness Mission of the United Methodist Church. Under pretense.

Other denominations probably have something like this, but the UM were particularly enthusiastic about Lay Witness Missions during the 70s. Maybe they still are, I just don't know. 

On a mission, Methodist brethren from various churches gathered at a church in another  town for a weekend. And, as it's described in Mission literature, we brought the Holy Ghost with us! IMHO, we could've done with a marketing make-over. We weren't supposed to scare anyone.
This is a prayer circle, usually held in the
parking lot of the church, as here.
It was exciting
for me at that time.
The teen and adult agendas were separate, though at times we were brought together. 

On Saturday night we had a big meeting where missionaries were called up by the lay leader to witness to the people of the host church. 

The goal, as I understood it, was to get everyone so emotionally overwrought that, in their weakened state, they got to believing that the physical touch of God (Or the Ghost? Can the Ghost touch?) was upon them. Worked pretty good, too. People were a mess.
I went on missions just because it was so damn fun. Lots of  teenagers. We had pretty much free rein, and you can believe we felt the wind in our faces. 

We tooled around in the church vans, youth leaders only a few years older than us driving. We did goofy teenage stuff and developed serious, if transient, crushes. We shamelessly ran  emotionally-charged exercises, playing it to the hilt. That made everyone cry, even the boys. It was Emo for Christians. Heady stuff.

The one time I was called to witness, I made up a story from whole cloth. Just an "epiphany fantasy" I'd summoned in advance, knowing I might need one.  

See Holy Ghost, at top. It's always
a bird in pictures. Let's just go
with "Holy Bird." Less scary.
It's not like I'd had real experiences or feelings that counted toward witnessing for God. I didn't just fail to bring the Holy Ghost with me: I'd never made Its acquaintance.

I cried convincingly during my testimonial, standing up front by the altar. Lay Witness Missionaries smile on one crying. I was enthusiastically invited on each and every mission afterward.

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