Things I Think in Church – Easter Sunday Edition

You guys, I don’t want to sound like a heathen, because I’m totally not…I just don’t find myself frequenting the house of God. So on Sunday, when I showed up and made my mom cry (with joy) because I’m such a good daughter pretty much the best daughter ever, it wasn’t like a regular thing. Especially considering our move on Saturday (more on that later)…and our now living 35 minutes from my parents (and the church) instead of 15 from the parents and 10 from church.

Anyways, I started thinking (as I tend to do), and I couldn’t stop. So I figured you’d appreciate (if not commiserate) with me.

  • I think I’m having a panic attack. Okay, so to be fair, I did eventually figure out the problem…Before heading to church, I stopped at Walgreen’s for Easter basket treats for my favorite tiny humans. This means very little, except that as I was walking to my car, I started feeling that faint, OMG I’m dying and can’t seem to stop shaking thing. Of course, I realized quickly it was some type of caffeine spike or coming down from one…because (Whoops!) I used my Brew Over Ice coffee (highly concentrated) instead of regular Keurig coffee-without ice. So I slammed two of the chocolate-covered Peeps that were supposed to go in Easter baskets (I would have just had one, but you can’t give one kid a Peep and not the other…) and made my way into mass. I was shaking for the first 20 minutes.
  • I wish I had an Easter hat. Remember when you were a kid and you really actually got an Easter bonnet to wear each year? I’m going to start doing that.
  • Why didn’t I bring my phone in with me? I suppose it’s better this way…but when I finally started wondering what time it was-you know…15 minutes in, I had to scan the pews for a watch I could read.
  • Do you think Father is trying to punish the Chreasters or have a larger audience to talk about himself? After a 40-minute sermon, I was getting ancy. So I verbalized this question to my mom. Who looked at me funny. And asked what I meant by “Chreaster.” I explained (in a humored whisper) that a Chreaster is someone who shows up to church on Christmas and Easter. She chuckled and said, “Well, SOME people put Mother’s Day into that list.” Yeah Mom, I get the hint. I told her we call those CME’s. And she shushed me again. She never did answer my question though.
  • What TIME is it? I realized we hadn’t even gotten to the consecration (of course, when I whispered this to my mom, I called it “the kneeling part”) and I found a watch relatively close by….it was almost 1 o’clock already!
  • That kid is too old to be fucking around. There was a kid, probably 8 or 9 years old, laying down across the pew, sprawling himself out and just behaving like a very small child. I understand that there are many non-verbal things that could be going on with the child that I wouldn’t know about, but based on the fact that Mom kept picking him up and he kept laying himself back down, he likely just wasn’t listening to her. If that had been me? I’d have been taken outside and spanked…then brought back in and expected to sit quietly and behave for the rest of mass.
  • That guy’s pants are way. too. tight. Okay, so my mom was actually the one to verbalize this, but she was totally right. Don’t let your man wear tighter pants than you. That’s what I always say!
  • I really hope that people can’t hear what I’m thinking. I pretty much think this all the time, no matter where I am. Sometimes my thoughts are inappropriate as fuck and other times they’re just plain weird.

Unfortunately for my mom, I verbalized most of my thoughts, but whatever. There’s nothing more fun than making your mom cry and then laugh. But only if she’s crying the happy cry. Don’t be an asshole. Duh.

Did you go to church this weekend? Do you go to church? Do you think weird things when you’re supposed to be pensive and reflective?

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

A Born Fanatic

Thank God my mother raised me right.

(Preface: If you’re not into Jesus or politics, keep reading–I promise I have a point)
 

I was *NOT* born to be a religious fanatic

My parents instilled a strong belief in God, but more importantly they allowed me to believe (as I did and do) that good people who lead strong, genuine, and caring lives will be rewarded, regardless of their faith. While I believe that there is a God (and a forgiving, loving God, at that), it is not my place to push Him on others. It is not my place to HATE others for believing in something different than what I believe.

As a child, I had heard in various adult conversations that only Catholics shall go to Heaven. But as many children, I questioned in honor of my pals. But what about my friends who aren’t Catholic? I thought to myself, that if they are good people, they will be okay. You know why? BECAUSE GOD LOVES US. /end Jesus talk.

Don’t get upset, Mom, it’s a real bible verse!

I was *NOT* born to be a political fanatic

I have tendencies for both sides of the main court. I suppose that makes me an independent. I was educated by my parents to watch, listen, and learn, but also to see what was going on behind the scenes. Politics is heavily swayed by the media, so it is my duty as a voting citizen to do my own research.

Whether or not someone says one thing, they may very well do another. To be the most informed voter that I can be, and remain as unbiased as I can be, is the only way that I know to do my part. I truly believe that in our current society that I am more often than not voting for the lesser of two evils, and not for the better leader.

 

Anyone? Anyone? *Crickets*

I was, on the other hand, born to be a sports fanatic

When I was a baby, Mom would whisper in my ear, “You love the White Sox. You hate the Cubs.” and the all-important, “You love the Bears. You hate the Packers.”

This picture is the sole reason that I believe it is perfectly acceptable for little girls under the age of 2 to wear sports gear in pink as opposed to in team colors. I asked if this was my brother. Mom told me “no.” Until I pulled the picture out of an album and looked at the back that said, “Christine 1984,” I didn’t quite believe her.

You think I’m making this shit up, but I’m not. At all. I come from a family of sports-crazed chicks. My grandmother (Dad’s mom, one of my namesakes, who I never had the joy of meeting) Regina (Jean) jumped on the White Sox bus with a ball and made every player on the bus sign the ball before she got off. What a spitfire!

My mom, a die-hard, White Sox loving, Bears loving lady, has a list a mile long of her exploits in the sports world. From kissing baseball players to stalking football players, my mom’s done it.

In fact, when I asked her for her wild sports stories, she e-mailed me this (I literally cut and pasted for entertainment value–OK with a few modifications…my mom has little regard for typing quotations and doesn’t quite get the difference between all caps and normal type–sorry Mom! I love you! Really folks, Mom’s got impeccable grammar–she’s defo one of the reasons I’m such a grammar Nazi… it’s just the typing thing):

#54 Tom Hicks Bears…1980…I was working at the phone company, and answered the phone,
“This is Miss Nudd, how can I help you?”
The man on the phone says to me, “Hi Patti, this is Tom Hicks”
I almost died and had to put him on hold and said, “Tom Hicks knows my first name!” He had gone to the same high school as me, and knew my sister; I knew his little brother.
Scott Fletcher White Sox Winning ugly playoff team 1983…Working at phone company again…
“This is Mrs. Woj, how can I help you?”
“I’d like to install a new phone.”
“Ok..what is you name”
“Scott Flectcher”
“Uhmmm Scott, you play baseball?”
“Yea..you a fan?”
“Oh boy! Am I?!…I stayed out all night pregnant* for playoff tickets.”
I then proceeded to install his phone.
 

*For the record, friends, she was preggo with yours truly.

White Sox 1988?…White Sox playing Yankees. Dad and I were waiting after game near the Sox player parking lot…I saw George Steinbrenner (Owner of the Yankees.) About 15 people were standing with us…I yelled
“Mr. Steinbrenner!”
He walked over and talked baseball and signed autographs for 10 minutes..great guy..bad reputation.
 
Derek Jeter: Another Yankee…Great rep…bad guy
Dad and I were on the field after winning a contest with Old Kent Bank. It was Derek Jeter’s birthday.
He walks by I say” Hey Jeter…Happy Birthday”…he gave a me a nasty glare and without a word, walked away.
many more will continue in an hour or so.

Mom never finished, but I figure that’s plenty of tales, considering the list goes on and on and on… so you can see why I feel it is absolutely necessary to continue the tradition of training die-hard sports fans… I give you exhibits A and B: my niece, Princess B, and my godson, Little A.

Baby sports fan in the making. My niece at 2. For all intents and purposes, we’ll call her, Princess B. Note the pink Chucks on her feet.

My only claims to fame (other than the childhood encounters that my parents got us into because they owned a bar-and I have pictures of me with a bunch of White Sox greats whilst wearing a New Kids on the Block tee-shirt) are a couple of slightly embarrassing encounters and one awesome wave. Getting hammered with my pal Marissa behind home base (in Scout Seating), I yelled over to Ozzie Guillen, “Hey Ozzie!” waving frantically in order to grab his attention. Drunk Chrissy was convinced that mom would have done the same thing. Of course, we were losing at the time, and he looked at me, annoyed, and gave a little half wave back.

“Hey Ozzie!!!!!”

Then there was my first Bear. To this date, I have only met one Bear. The newish punter, Adam Podlesh, was at the Chicago Auto Show in February, and I was determined to meet him. Cletus and I had planned a lovely afternoon downtown to check out the zoom zooms and more. Podlesh was at the Toyota display taking pictures and signing autographs. I walked up there with my picture to sign and Cletus with the camera ready…and the only language my brain could muster was a dulled, awkward, starry-eyed “hiiiii.” He looked at me a little funny and asked if I wanted to take a picture first or sign an autograph first. “um…surrrre” I said. Wow, quite the verbal mastermind, I was that day…So we took the picture. It was awesome. Then he asked if he should sign the autograph to someone, I said, “Um to um Chrissy. *awkward pause* Um. That’s me. *awkward smile*” He smiled at me like I was a little goofy, but hopefully endearing… “Thanks, uh duh *grin*” I told him. Then I asked if I could hug him. And he said it was okay. So I hugged a football player. I like to think that I made his day by being a crazed and dazed fan…

But the best time was when I was at training camp in Bourbonnais, and Robbie Gould waved at me. No, seriously, he waved at me. I yelled out, “Hey Robbie!” and I was planning to snap a picture. When I clicked the snap button, I quickly realized that WHAM! I was video taping it!

 

That’s right. Famous.

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!

My First Communion

In the spirit of Confession Friday (which I learned about thanks to the The Word Worm), I’ve decided to offer you some really great (read: the worst ever) pictures of my existence. In fact, if you enjoy them…let me know. I’m not short on “classy” photos of my chubby childhood. I could make this a fun Friday thing.

My First Communion

Allow me to explain to non Catholics the basics of First Communion. In the 2nd grade, Catholic children, who’ve been guilted by their mothers since birth, make this right of passage into the church. This is when they start accepting communion (Jesus) into their bodies.

Second grade was a really awkward time for me. Apparently, even though I had attended first grade CCD, 2nd grade was too full and Mom couldn’t enroll me in the class. They told her that I could make my communion next year. Obviously, my very Catholic mother would have none of that. Soooo, she pulled a trick that only a woman in my family could pull. She pitched seven fits until the Director of CCD and Father Valente had to do something.

They gave my mom the second grade CCD student and teacher books, and she “home-schooled” my religious education in the 2nd grade. Once a week, or every couple of weeks, we would sit down and go through the lessons in the book. Some weeks we would cover several lessons, other weeks just one lesson. Either way, this felt like a torturous experience for a severely awkward seven-year-old who really just wanted to go play with her friends.

When it came time for Communion preparation, I had to do it all on my own (I mean, my parents were there and all–but no kids. No classmates. No peers.) So, the second grade teacher had made a cassette tape of the songs we would sing at the Communion Mass, that I practiced with. Mom and Dad took me to my First Confession. Mom and her best friend, Kathy, took me to get my First Communion dress. I got to pick out the dress and a veil.  That part, I loved.

Then came Communion practice. My first interaction with the other second graders. I knew some from school, and some from the previous year, but mostly they were strangers to me. To make an awkward child even more angsty, Mom informed me that I was not allowed to touch Jesus. This meant that while my peers would be taking the Communion into their hands, I would be taking it into my mouth. During practice, I was to test this out. I was so nervous and embarrassed for myself that I couldn’t see straight. The catechist running the practice looked at me a little funny when I didn’t have my hand reached out, because that’s not what he had explained…but he caught on quickly. Later, this would become, in my head, something kinda neat that I did during mass, and I was proud of it…but at the time, it was so embarrassing.

Finally, the day of my Communion arrived. I barely remember the actual day. I know that I was there. I know that I made it through. I remember the priest who offered me Communion had an impressed look upon his face when he did not see my hands reaching toward him, but my open mouth. I remember that there was a party, and that was fun.

Mom made me stand like that…

 

 

A pretty white dress and flowers, but I look anything but thrilled to be there…

I took the liberty of attempting that surly look in my present… here’s what came out.

 

Grrr Baby. Grrr.

And so now, my godson is on the cusp of his second grade year. About to make his First Communion. My mom actually taught him 1st grade CCD this summer so that he could sign up to be in the second grade class. He seems excited and interested.  I think he’ll be a lot less awkward than his Auntie Chrissy. Thank God.

 

 

Hey! Did you know you can buy my book on Amazon? 37 women wrote about the struggle for perfection, and I'm one of 'em. Go check it out!