Saturday, October 10, 2009

How Embarrassing!!!

My friend Anne directed me to a great blog, The first post I read was about an embarrassing moment in sacrament meeting. While we Mormons go to church for 3 hours on Sunday, the most important part of it all is the 15 minutes when the bread and water are blessed and passed around to the congregation. It's sort of like communion except for that whole transubstantiation thing (for years Jonah thought Catholics were cannibals). Visitors and babies are welcome to partake--it's not forbidden for the uninitiated. Only when you're doing some serious repenting do you take a pass. Basically we reflect on our baptismal commitments and think nice thoughts about Jesus.

Of course the more serious an event is the greater potential there is for irreverence. Which means most of us have embarrassing sacrament stories. When my friend Jen's son Walker was two he was convinced the whole thing was like a mid-meeting treat and shouted out once, "I LOVE the Snackrament!" I wish I could say my most embarrassing church story was because of something wacky the kids did (I need to shout out to my sis-in-law Sarah who mooned the entire Primary when she was 3). But it wasn't the kids. It was me.

A little background. Sometime in 2000, we discovered that Dave had developed a sesame allergy. So if he bit into a burger that had seeds on the bun, or any Chinese food that had come in contact with any seeds or oil (basically all of it), he'd get itchy then red then his throat would start closing. You get the picture. Well one Sunday we're sitting in church wrestling 3 kids and I mindlessly grab a piece of bread from the sacrament tray and chew it. Mmmm. Savory. Crunchy. And then it clicks that I'm tasting sesame seeds. I look over at oblivious Dave who has the bread half way to his mouth and I dive across two kids to smack his hand away and shout in a stage whisper, "Don't take the sacrament!!!!"

Everyone in a 6 foot radius goes stiff and silent. In the pew ahead of us are the Temple President and Matron. She steals a glance at us and shakes her head. Dave was the president of the young men's organization and the boy holding the tray for our row looked like he was going to cry as he imagined what sordid thing Dave must have done for me to literally knock the bread out of his sinning hand. I turned beet red and felt like I was going into anaphylactic shock. Being the center of attention is just fine by me, but being the center of a scene--I was mortified. Dave loved it. Thought it was hilarious.

And there's no way to gracefully dig oneself out of embarrassing moments. I am still cursing my sis-in-law Sue for getting me into trouble with our delivery man. Sue refers to the UPS men as "brown Santas" because they bring presents and wear brown. So this summer I hear a loud knock and I open the door to find a package there that I'd been dying to get. I scoop it up and shout across the road, "Thanks Brown Santa!!!" And when I look up I see an African American UPS guy shaking his head at me in disgust. What am I then supposed to say? "The brown refers not to your skin, but your uniform." There's no extraction at that point so I slink back in the house and order things via FedEx for a while.

Sometimes I think a little humiliation is good for the soul. Especially as a parent. Kids routinely delve into humiliation--wetting the bed, crying in public, falling off monkey bars with the whole playground watching. Then when they come cryin' to me, which they always do, I can nod my head and say I understand. And mean it.


Anne said...

Heather, great story about you and Dave. My mom doesn't wear her hearing aids as often as she should. She and other family members attended a sacrament meeting a couple of years ago for the blessing of a new grandchild. My brother in law's dad was giving the closing prayer and mentioned Jesus Christ. My mom thought it was the closing and said in a loud voice "amen!" She's now referred to as "pentacostal grandma." I'm just sorry I wasn't there to hear it!

Dava said...

I am laughing so hard!!! Great stories!!!!!!

Does AFTER sacrament meeting count? Back in the days when you had to hurry home, eat, and get back to church, four year old Joe was dilly-dallying. "Please get in the car, Joe!"
"No, Joe, we have to leave now!"
"Please, please, just a few seconds!"
"No, Joe, now."
"Just a sec!!!"
Just as the Bishop rounded the corner I shouted to Joe who was running the other way, "NO SECS"!!!!!
Um, didn't explain that one either. Wonder what that Bishop thought!

Erinlee said...

LOVE IT!! so glad the blog is back I have really missed it :)

SLP said...


Got to post this one on EXII blog.

My two year old has taken to shouting 'AMEN' during the last speaker's talk if he/she is running over into the sacred, long awaited nursey time.

Wish I had been there to see your sacrament action live :)

aunt sue said...

I love it. Ha! I can get you into trouble from 3,000 miles away.

Stefawn Von Gordon said...

My stomach aches from laughing... Dave, the forgetful sinner, and the "brown santa". I can't wait for my next UPS delivery. (Thanks, Sue)

Robyn said...

oooohhh. i am crying from guffawing--all by myself, no one to read this to outloud. couldn't read it outloud anyway due to spasmodic breathing/laughing. really want to share a clip on my blog or put a link to this entry...and add our own stories. like the time a "brown brother" from NYC came up to share testimony (singles ward) and talked about his pre-LDS life as a male prostitute...a week later he was asking me why getting a date was so difficult... we coined the phrase Tacky Testimonies. Would you like to add any stories to ours? ;) makes for hilarious dinner conversation with friends--