When I was in kindergarten I had a recurring nightmare that I was with a group of people, not unlike Scooby Doo's Mystery Inc., and we were running from place to place and hiding from this witch. We were all running, but she was really after me. They were more like my protection, but what could they really do? She was a witch. Of course it doesn't sound scary now, but it was terrifying at the time, and I got to the point that I dreaded going to sleep because of it. My Mamaw told me that if you tell someone about your nightmare, it'll stop being scary and you won't have it again. I always admired her and thought of her as the perfect lady. Not only did she have a multitude of fascinating products in her gray train case, she also said things like "over yonder" and had an enormous amount of scripture committed to memory. She could dole it out like so much medicine at exactly the right time. She wore coral lipstick and said my name in the most distinctive way, Lawra. She was so special to me and I knew that she must also be right about this dream situation. So I told her all about it, realizing for the first time that dreams don't sound scary on retelling, and that you really can take the sting out of frightening experiences by sharing them with someone else. Maybe, that realization indirectly lead to this blog for me. By inviting people along as I find my way, each hurdle seems less intimidating. Anyway, I never had the dream again. The small act of sharing my childish fear made it go away.
Confessing my shortcomings and sharing my weaknesses and fears is a common way that I deal with them now as an adult. In my opinion, it's a bonus if you can find the humor in it. For all of my openness, I still embarrass really easily (see my first post). It doesn't happen in the moment, but in those quiet moments before sleep. I'll start to wince at a comment made casually or at the fact that I get so excited and run off at the mouth. I always want to be one of those girls that can sit there quietly and resist the urge, if they have it, to tell a dumb story. That's just not me, though. As Craig would say, "thems the brakes." Or maybe he would say, "if you're gonna be a bear, be a grizzly," or "this ain't that." He's a poet. Instead, I'll just have to deal with my embarrassment as it comes and share the things that redden my cheeks too much.
And then to the point, because why say a little when you can say a lot? Yesterday Craig and I had a meeting with a nun at our church for reasons that aren't important. She is his choir director and we both like her a lot. When the three of us were leaving the music office, I noticed a yellow and black tote bag on someone's desk. It was the kind that drug reps give doctors with the name of their product written on it. As we walked past, I casually said, "That's one of the drugs that my mom uses."
Let that soak in. Nun. Mom. Drug user.
And then came the flood. I started sputtering about how my mom isn't a drug user or addict. She's an anesthetist. No, Sister, she doesn't use them, I said. She professionally administers them. I don't say that to be funny for you. I didn't say that to be funny for her. I said professionally administers because I was drowning in my own, completely over blown, embarrassment. Sheesh.
The second that I need to share so as to lighten the load for myself, also happened at church. I'm a greeter, which basically means that I stand at the front door, say hello, and pass out bulletins. I also tell a lot of people where the restroom is. At the front with me are usually the deacons or their wives. On this one morning there was a deacon's wife and one of my favorite people over seventy. Seriously, I would invite him to my birthday party. Anyway, this girl came up to me on that morning and asked where the confessional was. FYI to non-Catholics, confession isn't really supposed to be optional. You're 'posed to do it. I don't. I have many times, but I don't. I never have at the church we go to. Oh god, as I type this I feel my face burn. Anyway, she asked me this in front of our church leaders who are always praising Craig and I for being so great for going to church every weekend and starting our family on the right foundation and being a good example for other young Catholics and I couldn't even tell her where to go! I had to say that, no, I had no idea where she might go confess. So, I guess in the end I was telling on myself anyway. Oh, this one still hurts. It's so much worse then the time we left the Presbyterian church and I accidentally dipped my hand in the trash can to cross myself, thinking it was the receptacle for holy water like at our church.
What is this burning? Is it my face, or is this what being smited feels like?