After a year and a half of slipping in and out of the services unnoticed, Mark and I finally joined our church this weekend. I should mention that it wasn’t completely my fault that this took so long. Becoming a member of this church wasn’t as easy as I thought. You can’t just walk up the aisle to the preacher with arms wide open, fill out a piece of paper and give a scout’s honor that you were baptized when you were 8. Buckethead and I had to attend a 5 hour member’s class before we were allowed to add our name to the church’s Holy Roller roster.
Regardless, Buckethead and I were pretty excited about the class. Mind you, we were told that the class would give us the opportunity to get to know other people in a more intimate setting that is hard to find in a church of 4,000 members. So, Saturday morning arrived and I promptly jumped out of bed, preparing myself for the day’s festivities; eager to break bread or share a latte’ with our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.
Rocking a pair of jeans with blinged out crosses (I thought it was a nice touch) and a button down shirt that covered enough skin even my father would be pleased, we grabbed our table number upon arrival and headed over to meet the other table occupants that I had dreamed would become our new best friends—good friends; the secret casserole recipe trading type of friends.
But then we met “The Millers” at table number 4. I check my number to make sure this isn’t a mistake. I check it again. My number is still 4. I then proceed to stare at my number really hard and cross-eyed in hopes that I may have some superpower I’ve never known existed that would allow me to change the number with my complex mind…..nope, that didn’t work either.
My heart drops into my stomach and I start frantically looking for someone to barter my pack of juicy fruit gum and a gel pen for an incognito table switch. But I recognized my hunt was useless; no one who want to trade us. My original hope for friendship quickly vanished.
Before I continue, I must note that I do feel somewhat guilty about my initial judgment. I mean listen, my heart isn’t coal black and I don’t reek of sulfur (except after a late night visit to Taco Bell). My mom taught me you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and besides, I was at a church function for crying out loud! But you don’t understand. There we sat across from 4 of the most unhappy, socially awkward people I’ve ever met in my entire life.
Attempting to give the family who’s tense glare and failure to blink made me more nervous that the time I got stuck in an elevator for 2 minutes with a man who had a striking resemblance to Bin Laden (turned out he worked in the basement deli). But guess what? My initial opinion was correct. These people REFUSED to talk with us. They wouldn’t say a word other than to mumble that they were “The Millers” that they didn’t like their old church, and that they had nothing to say. It was more likely that Brad Pitt would walk into the room shirtless to serve me a hotdog than this family attempt to get to know us.
Seriously. I'm waiting Brad Pitt.....
And to make matters worse, every 30 minutes we were suppose to have a group discussion that they voluntarily chose not to participate in, leaving Buckethead and I to discuss “get to know you questions” amongst ourselves. So Buckethead got to learn that I loved red wine and worked in HR. With my head perched on my hand, I gazed at the table to our right who were laughing, fellowshipping, and frolicking amongst a field of wild flowers, holding hands, singing ring around the rosy together (well, close enough). I was envious--jealous. I even tried to lean towards their table and laugh along side of them but it didn’t work.
In the end, I didn’t get the fellowship I was hoping for, but I did become a member of the church Buckethead and I hope to grow our family in for years to come. And to look on the bright side, at least we didn’t have to end our team building with a trust fall or anything…”The Millers” sooo would not have caught me.