So yeah, we went to church yesterday.
I had planned to write about it yesterday, but it's taken me a day to process it.
Especially considering that I forced my wife to go. Yeah, go back and read that sentence again and then look outside to make sure it's not raining unicorns.
Initially, my wife was supposed to go to the market with a friend, but that fell through and I was like "so do you still want to go to that church?" Suddenly, we were in a marathon to get everyone (three women and me) dressed and out the door on time, which -- and I know this sounds sexist -- is kinda like the hardest thing in the world. Seriously, Houdini couldn't do it.
With literally 20 minutes before service starts and over 20 miles to travel, my wife, fully dressed, huffs down on the bed and says "maybe we just won't go." That's when my dumb ass says "we can make it." I have my reasons.
So, 21 minutes later (after driving through the rain no less), we arrived at church.
OK, "church" may be a strong word for where we went . . . let me explain.
First, we were greeted at the door by an older lesbian who told us where to place our umbrellas. That's not to say lesbians don't attend other churches, I'm sure they do, but not, you know, this obviously. This woman, like everyone else there, was dressed like they were heading out to the mall. Seriously, if you picked up a Whole Foods and shook it, these were the folks who would come falling out the doors -- White, 50 years old (or older) lots of shorts and sandals, ponytails and, I suspect, patchouille-scented natural deoderant.
The other reason why I wouldn't really call this place "church" is because there was no religious iconography -- anywhere. Not one cross, Jewish star or that moon thingy for Muslims. There were no bibles, no hymnals. But the thing I loved the most was -- there was no screaming. There's lots I don't like about the Black church experience, but most pale in comparison to my absolute loathing of the preaching style. I mean seriously dude, you have a microphone, I can HEAR you. And what's more, I understand English, so there's no need to repeat EVERY THING YOU SAY three and four times. Besides, all that screaming is disturbing my nap.
No, the "pastor" at this church was a 47-year-old Black woman with a un-hip afro that spoke like a college professor. There was no talk of "Gaawd" or veiled threats to non-believers, just a woman sharing a story about dealing with her son's growing independence. Naturally, this brought my wife, struggling with our youngest's pending kindergarten attendance, to near tears.
She was also moved to act outside of her comfort zone. You know that part of every church service where they ask new members to stand an introduce themselves? Well, my wife, a woman who avoids family gatherings due to social pressure, stood her bold ass up and introduced our family to a room of strangers. To say I was shocked is an understatement.
But that's part of the reason I pushed to go. She's had such a negative past with church and her baptist upbringing that I wanted her to have a good, non-pressure filled experience. And, I guess it worked. I mean she wants to go back.
Me? Eh, I realize sometimes you have to careful what you wish for. Yes, I hate all the spiritual bigotry involved at church, but MAN is it entertaining! Universalist Unitarians are very nice and very welcoming to a heathen family like us, but that doesn't make them fun to be around. God, I'm like a high school girl who disses the nice guy for the dick who never calls back.
Anyway, the real fireworks are soon to come. My wife told my mother-in-law that she found a church she likes, to which she replied by literally shouting "HALLELUJAH!" Just can't wait to hear what she shouts when she tells her that "church" was full of heathen hippies who don't so much as utter Jesus' name.
Till then . . .