Be A Good Person. Or Something.
Back in 2005, I had to bear losing a family member. I am not going to go into how I felt about that because obviously it was awful and hard, and I was sad. Without sounding like a heartless wench, I am going to talk about something that happened to ME at the funeral. Hate me yet? Because I am going to whine. WHINE!
As usual with dear old me, I am going to inject a little background into this post explaining a few things. Yes, I just said 'inject'. I am going straight to hell.
I spent almost my entire school career going to a Catholic school. My parents are not particularly Catholic, they just thought it would teach us some discipline. Huh. Or NOT. As we have all seen in this social experiment they call their middle child. Did I win the prize mom? Dad....?
Anyway, even though I went to a Catholic school, I did not ever abide by the religion. Not because I find anything wrong with it, I just live by a complicated and ancient adage which states one thing only: BE A GOOD PERSON. I try to do this whenever I can. We all know I strayed when I was younger and I learned from that. Sometimes I stray now, but nobody is perfect. Especially the middle child. We are allowed a little leeway when it comes to the straying, we would turn to dust without it.
So even though I do not practice any religious customs, I am still very familiar with those in the Catholic religion. I mean, I used to recite an entire Mass under my breath in a nasally voice along with the priest, in order to make my friends laugh. Oh crap, did I just admit that? I mean I NEVER did that! I knew how long my kilt was supposed to be in high school, we were made to get on our knees in front of the principal if he noticed they were too short on his hallway prowls. To prove that it touched the ground people. Jeez.
But I digress. What I am trying to say is that I know the rules. I know how to dress appropriately in a church. I have stopped taking the Eucharist, being a non-practicing Catholic, but I remember how to, more so than most things in this life. So I decided that in order to please my more Catholic family members, I would not be selfish this one time and practice the Mass the way I was always taught to. By standing when I should, praying when I should, and taking in the body of Christ. It was hard, I know, but I did it.
It was the Summer time and it was hot. One of the hottest Summer's I can remember. So I was wearing a black dress that bared my shoulders. I made sure to suffer through the heat and cover myself with an old lady shawl. None of my tattoos were sneaking cameos, I was not wailing too loudly. I was sitting in a row with my siblings and significant others, and I was the only person in that row partaking in the Mass. To please my family.
The priest doing the funeral Mass was one of those old school cranky models, the kind that find their strength in religious indignation, only happy to see a person crumble under their booming voice declaring that we are all going to HELL! And if you do not live your life as a Catholic and a Catholic only, well he felt sorry for you and he would twitter his fingers and leer at you from above when you are in HELL.
When it came time to receive the Eucharist, I stood in line and patiently waited my turn. My sister, who was also plainly in this man's view and who was NOT being an active participant in the entire Mass (that a-hole, she is super hot and wraps everyone around her finger, even priests), was ahead of me. She demurely held her hands out to Father Hell and Damnation, and he gently placed the little disk of bread on her palms. She whispered an 'Amen' and it was my turn. I stepped forward and held my hands out just like I had a thousand times before. The priest was busy retrieving another piece of bread from the bowl. He looked up, holding the piece of Jesus's body up in the air....and then he LOOKED at me. Like, as in, up and down. In disgust. Telling me with his eyes he believed me to be a heathen and a succubus. A messenger of Satan and all that is from HELL. And then he walked away from me, COMPLETELY SHAFTING me of my desire to please my family. Sigh.
What did I do? What did he see on my face? Was he there that day when I was 12-years-old and was waiting for a friend's dad in church, and I was REALLY hungry so I went and stole the tupperware container full of the body of Christ and I ate it all? Yes, they keep that kind of stuff in tupperware. What were you expecting, a golden chalice blessed with the holiest waters of the holy?
Hmm...perhaps my admitting that does not place a favourable light on my person. How did Father Hell and Damnation SEE this? Perhaps he was right in turning me away. Maybe he saw the devil in my eyes, or maybe I would have burst into flames when I placed the wafer on my tongue. There WAS that one time that I walked into a church and stuck my fingers into the aspersory (the bowl that holds the holy water), and you know what happened? Sparks flew from my fingers as soon as I touched it. I am not shitting you. My brother saw it too.
Who knew my mother had her very own Rosemary's baby?