Author Note: For those of you who are very religious and more importantly cherish your friendship with me, please do not read the following post.
This statement should in no way surprise any of my family members or friends. What should be surprising is that I have finally come to terms with it. Not because of anything that I have done in my past. Ok, maybe there was this one married guy, but that sooooo doesn’t count. I am going to hell for my pre-Christmas antics which put me in an emotional rock and a hard on…hard PLACE…hard place. CRAP.
Ok, so it started simply enough. My dad asked if I wanted to attend a church “musical service” at a lovely new church in his neighborhood. Two things crossed my mind, I would much rather have my eyelashes pulled out than to hear a kids choir butcher “O Holy Night” (and let’s be honest…I secretly live for that kind of stuff) and two, I should live up to my seasonal Christian duties and go to church.
If you were raised in the church and more specifically, a church in the south, you know what I mean by a “Seasonal Christian”. They are the people that you only see on New Years, Easter, maybe Mother’s Day if their mother is a member and has threaten to take them out of her will if they don’t attend that Sundays service, perhaps Thanksgiving if they truly have something to be thankful for and feel guilty not at least showing their face at church and finally and most importantly Christmas. I always wondered if those people thought they were fooling us regular church goers by their part time attendance. But then I came to the sad realization when I was about 13, that after years of being forced to go to church against my will when I would have rather stayed home and played with my Barbies or watched a football game or two, that I would one day become a “Seasonal Christian”. This statement alone is causing my saintly great grandmother to roll over in her grave and should perhaps insure my space in hell. But this isn’t the end of our story dear kids.
Since I was going to live up to my seasonal Christian duties and I was most likely going to a high class, new agey church where there would for sure no other negros around, I thought I should look my best. For the benefit of my saintly great grandmother, I wore a dress (she…and I for that matter…have a strict theory about women not wearing pants at church. It’s old fashioned, but whatever). Granted the dress was a tinsy bit on the short side, I did pair it appropriately with a fabulous H & M statement necklace, gorgeous porn star big curled hair and the one thing every stylish part time Christian needs…a pair of black peep toe Christian Loubiton pumps. I mean, the Lord appreciates that at least I was there, if not very stylish.
My father and I entered the church and were greeted by a multitude of smiling face. As a black baptist, this practice throws me off every time. White people are simply a happier race at church. It’s like they drank the koolaid, and realized they didn’t die. Of course all eyes went to me as I entered and I quickly found us a place in the negro lite section of the church. Now remember, I was told this was a “musical service”, so I was looking forward to several carols, a few hymns, a prayer or two and at least one child screaming violently in the middle of “Silent Night”, resulting in an embarrassed mother having to retrieve said child and hoping for dear life that this outburst would not ruin her chances of being the Hospitality Chair for the next calender year. But this was not the case.
I was tricked into attending a full service. Amazingly, I lasted the whole hour and I am happy to report that the church is still intact. The choir of middle aged WASP’s started with a lovely version of “Carol of the Bells” and then it happened. As I looked around the front of the stage my eyes locked with the hot bass player. I’m sorry…what is a hot bass player doing at a church? And more importantly, why have we not met. Since I know how “Carol of the Bells” go, I didn’t feel the need to pay attention to the song, so I was able to focus on my cute bassist. But then I remembered where I was, in a church, with a rather short dress, $1000 shoes and apparently a moral compass pointed to Gomorrah.
I began to regain my composure, said a silent prayer for strength and was determined to enjoy the rest of the service. And then, as if not a true test of my faith, the assistant pastor walked up to the pulpit. Now, I remind you, I was raised in a African American Southern Baptist Church where the existance of hot men was left to…well… no one at my church, and for darn sure, not any of our pastors or assistant pastors. But at said no agey Florida church, there arose my Richard Chamberlin and I was left in a full “Thornbirds” state of arousal. To say this guy was hot would be a slight understatement. so I will simply say that I did in fact picture myself saying a few “Oh Gods” with him in mind.
“Damnit Desiree…you are in a church!” I thought. And for a moment, I was not sure I was able to make it through the service. I wish, even as a good part time Christian I could tell you at least one point he made during his sermon. Well kids, I am happy to report that I do recall him saying something about the spirit being opened up and stabbing something so that it overflows…ok, this isn’t going at all the way I think it was meant to be. So there I was. Stuck in a full church service, perhaps blushing, with my dad who senses my discomfort and can’t stop giggling. I thought to myself that the only thing that could make this worse would be if they were to do communion. Because let’s face it, Seasonal Christians at least have the decency not to participate in Communion and look like full blown hipocrates. And of course, on cue, the pastor steps up talking about the body and the blood of Christ.
I look over to my dad and threaten bodily harm if he leaves me. We both sat there and watched as everyone around us participated in Communion. “Oh dear.” the lovely Golden Girl next to me said “You aren’t having Communion?” I blush “No ma’am. I’m a vegan.” Of course hot priest had to be on our side of the aisle as the rest of the saints had their cracker and Welch’s grape. I felt horrible. I looked good, but felt horrible. I could hear my great grandmother in my head telling me how I really should go up, but for the life of me, those shoes wouldn’t budge. Then we locked eyes and he smiled at me. Ah ha, hot priest, I see what you are trying to do. You are trying to eye sex me into taking the sacrament. Well it ain’t gonna work. Even if you do look like Christopher Reeve from “Somewhere in Time”.
The service ended with a B- performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah Chorus” and as for me and my libido, we sang our personal hallelujah that the end, and shot of Patron was near. My father and I left with an equal amount of well wishes and “Merry Christmases” from the other church members as well as an invitation to sing in their choir. Oh, you want me to come back? Yea, that will happen when pigs fly and that pastor is divorced. Until then, I think I am safer with the other sinners watching football on the Sabbath like the good Lord intended.