Friday, February 15, 2013

Catholic Guilt


I wrote this post a while back and haven’t had a chance to use it.  This week, with the Pope announcing his resignation and the best line ever popping up on Twitter (The Pope is resigning?  Is it something we did?  #CatholicGuilt), I figured it was exactly the right time.  So here goes.  Ahem:

 

Before I even begin this story, I must specify:  Yes, I go to church every single Sunday.  It makes me feel better about the trash that I write throughout the week. 
 
 

And yes, I do understand that singing a few hymns won’t erase the drunken skankiness of my past (yesterday), but hey, it’s a start.



Over the past couple of years, I’ve become friends with a Methodist woman (I like to call her "My Meth"--she loves that) who has made it her mission to get me to abandon my Catholic faith and come to her church.

 

Okay, she so hasn't done that. But I like to say that because it gets her all riled up—and because then I’ll have someone else to blame for the times when I do go to her Sunday services and my dad finds out.

 

The first time the hubs and I decided to cheat on the Catholics by attending a Methodist service, we spent the entire Saturday night prior to the service shaking, tangled up in our sheets, drenched in nervous sweat and unable to sleep.  No, it wasn’t the lack of alcohol making our poor bodies behave that way, and I know this because we’d had a few drinks before hitting the sack that Saturday night. 

 

It was actually our Catholic guilt making our bodies lurch feverishly as we tried—to no avail—to get some sleep.

 

I remember the hubs rolling over in the dark to face me.  “Do you think they sacrifice Catholics?” he whispered, tremors in his deep voice.

 

We learned that Sunday that no, they most certainly do NOT do Catholic sacrifices, and that also, it may not have been the best question for the hubs to pose to the greeter as we nervously walked through the doors of the church.  Oh, well.  Better luck next time.

 

Here are a few other things we learned NOT to do—things that might make visiting another church one weekend go a bit more smoothly for you.  Hey, I’m here to help, my peeps:

 

1.) Do not shake with fear as you enter the new church, as if it would be the act of walking into another church—and not one of the many nights of standing in a random bathroom, quivering with regret after a collegiate one-night stand—that would cause you to spontaneously burst into a thousand flaming pieces and fly into the fiery pits of hell.
 
 
Wow, that “bathroom quivering” line was way more depressing than it was funny, huh?
 
 
Ah, memories.




2.)   Definitely don’t slap the ass of the woman handing out programs for the day’s service, causing her to squeal with delight and say, “Betcha don’t get to do that in the Catholic church, huh?”

 

Okay, maybe you can do that one.  But to be fair, I should specify that we knew each other through mutual friends, so my behavior wasn't all that shocking to her.  In fact, I'm pretty sure she enjoyed it.  Pervert.

 

3.)   When offered a cup of coffee (Seriously, my peeps, they have coffee during the service), don’t say, “And I won’t go to hell?” prompting the congregation member who kindly offered it to respond, “Um, well, I don’t—I don’t think so…” and look down at her own cup questioningly.

 

 

4.)   Do not yell at your husband for handing you one of the children when you weren’t ready and almost making you drop your “steaming cup of the Lord’s Coffee.”

 

5.)    When standing in the middle of a group of people you hardly know before the service begins, do  not engage in an argument with said husband over said Jesus Coffee, especially when he begins with something like this:

 

“I hope you enjoy that coffee in hell.”

 

“They don’t even have coffee in hell,” is an example of what not to snap back. 

 

“Exactly.  Remember that,” is what he should not respond with a smartass smirk.

 

Obviously this is a totally hypothetical situation, but if it truly had happened, I would venture to guess that I was a little too happy for the hubs’s liking, and he had to do something to squash my coffee-loving spirit.

 

 

6.)   When the preacher takes his place at the front of the congregation to begin the service, do not lean over to ask your friend, who was nice enough to sit with you during your first visit to her church, if you should address him as “Head Witch.”

 

 

7.)    Do not ignore the hubs when he begins sneaking sips of your coffee while you’re wrangling with the children.  Instead, raise your eyebrows at him, move two chairs down and explain that it’s because you “don’t want any sparks to fall on me” when he bursts into flames.

 

 

8.)    After the beautiful service ends, do not ask your friend if she thinks God will be mad at you for attending her church.  She might get a bit upset and yell, “And don’t come back, ASSHOLES!” as you are walking out with your family.

 

 

9.)    DO buy a hair shirt for the next time you decide to attend a service there.  Like the hubs said, “Isn’t church supposed to be a little bit more miserable in order to count?”

 

 

You’re welc for the tips, my peeps.  Although I’m pretty sure if you’re reading this blog, the first thought you have on Sunday morning is probably more, “Who moved the damned whisk-ay?!  I need some for my coffee!” and not so much, “Hm, which church service shall we attend today, darling?”
 
 
 
And by the way--thanks to everyone who voted for me on Circle of Moms!  The votes that I got made my week.  You're awesome!!

13 comments:

  1. Ha! My husband is catholic and I'm barely Presbyterian. It's a little upsetting to his mother that he prefers to attend services at my church (without me because I'm too busy sleeping)than their Catholic church. He says he prefers it because my church tells better "stories" and gives "trials of marriage" advice. I'm not quite sure how to take that.

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  2. hahahahh!! I guess I can fully appreciate this since I'm not even a Christian...better get the laughs now, since I'll later be burning in some hell-fire! :P

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  3. One of my best friends used to always tell me I was going to hell...then she'd add, "You and me both, sister. We'll be holding hands and singing 'fa la la' as we skip all the way down together!"

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  4. IN LOVE WITH THIS POST!
    Carrie from Just Mildly Medicated

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    1. Aw, thank you so much!! I'm headed over to check out your blog right now!

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  5. This is frikkin' HUL-arious! I'm not Catholic--Presbyterian to be exact, and oh man do we know how to party.....but anyway--I only went to a Catholic service once when I was quite young. Can't say I was much of a fan of all that kneeling but that's Ok---my best friends were all Catholic and damn good partiers as well....we never gave guilt or hell a second thought. Glad to visit your blog, and I did vote for ya every single day just because I love your awesomeness!

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    1. We are some great partiers!! You are too sweet. Thanks for the votes--and I voted for you, too, although I'm not sure you needed my help all that much. You ROCKED it. Great job!!

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  6. Haha I love this. I'm not religious so I'm looking forward to the awkward conversation at the pearly gates when I die and realise I've been a fool xx

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  7. Hahaha! The hubby beliefs in God too much to go to church. But as a Catholic I loved it ;p

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  8. I love this blog. Seriously. But I can't read anymore because my 1 year old is asleep next to me and all of my repressed giggles and the occasional snort (better out than in...or is that pithy wisdom reserved for belching and farting?) is starting to wake him up. Will be back later sans enfant and with hot toddy at the ready (that's so I can drink whiskey without looking like a drunk cause being a drunk is my mother's gig and I'm the redeemed one in the family. Appearances and all that..)... ;-)

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    1. And I love you for reading. :) And for the comment that being drunk is your mother's gig and you're the redeemed one in the family--that made me cough my coffee up, I was laughing so hard. So now you owe me a cup of coffe, dammit. These stupid k-cups are expensive. :) Thanks so much for stopping by--I look forward to reading more of your posts, too!!

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  9. Loved it! this post was right up my alley, that being the alley of lapsed Catholics, though Catholic guilt is bringing me back with the whole: "My daughter must have a firm foundation" claptrap. Course with the way she behaves at Church it feels sacriligious just bringing her there.

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