Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Confessional Tuesdays

Yes, it's true I liked my thematic Friday so much that I've decided to also have a ongoing theme for Tuesdays - if I can keep both of them going simultaneously it will almost be like learning to juggle!

So this theme will consist of silly little things that I will confess to. If you are hoping for something juicy, exciting, or shocking - I am sorry to say you have come to the wrong place. My confessions will be the sort that if I was to take them to a priest he'd probably say something to the effect of, "Are you kidding me with this nonsense? Get out of her and don't come back until you've committed some real sins - I'm talking mortal sins here!" (PS. In true confession style I must admit that I have never had a priest talk to me in such a manner, nor can I honestly imagine one doing so. In fact the priests I've encountered have all been pretty cool guys.)

Okay, so today's actual confession is that... (drumroll please) this is not my first time blogging. I know, I know I gave the impression in my first post that I was a blog virgin, that I had been saving myself for this one very special blog, but the truth is that I had a short-lived, but rather passionate fling with a (oh, I am ashamed to admit it) myspace blog. It was almost two years ago and we only did it together a handful of times, it was meaningless really, and I promise that I am so much more committed to this blog than I ever was to that one... I really hope that this doesn't change our very special relationship.

For full-disclosure I thought I would post here one of my old myspace posts that fittingly enough deals with the subject of confession. And after this, I promise, we will never talk about that old blog ever again.

Friday, July 14, 2006

The Most Embarrassing Story Ever Told
Current mood: nerdy

Okay, so because I think of everything too much (well except for the chaos in the middle eastern section of the world, that I just can't seem to think about at all - I read the headlines and it is people dying in Iraq, bombs flying in Israel, missiles being tested in North Korea, and I think fuck - this looks like World War III - and then I turn to the entertainment section... oh
that TomKat what will they do next?) I've decided that if I'm going to write a blog and it's going to be about me - then I have to put myself out there a little bit.

In the spirit of this - I am now presenting - the most embarrassing story ever told. I suppose it would be more thrilling if I said that I have never told anyone this story before - but it has had limited engagements.

Sophmore year at college in the triple - one late night - us girls had story telling time and all told our most embarrassing stories. I honestly cannot remember Melissa's - but I think it might have been something she had told us before as she tended to just be more forthcoming in sharing
life's crappier moments. I clearly remember Jenny's and it made me laugh so hard I cried - but that is just not my story to share.

I also have told Andy this story - I believe in an attempt at full disclosure - so that he would understand that as wonderful and (ahem) gorgeous he might think that I currently am - there was a time in the middle school years when I was the girl with the bad perm, a haircut that only made it worse, and gigantic red frame glasses. I was so homely it was almost cute. Things did not really improve until almost the end of the high school years. The point is - one never really recovers from this sort of thing - and I carry the extremely painful adolescent gene and could very easily pass it on to our children.

This is a lot of set-up for a little story - so in Golden Girls style - let me begin by setting the scene. Picture it. St. Christopher's school in Western New York - I was in seventh grade. St. Chris's was a small Catholic school that I had gone to since Kindergarden. I loved it up until around fifth grade when for reasons I still do not understand - the world split into those who were cool and those who were not. I was not.

Due to the fact that I was in a class of only around 25 kids - with only ten of them being girls - my group of friends went from being small to miniscule. I had two friends - one, Stephanie, was awesome, our friendship was effortless and the other would have slit our throats in an alley if it meant she could be part of the popular clique. We repayed her by constantly bitching about her behind her back - but still remaining her friend in public - because really having just one friend was just a little too pathetic for us.

Now if you went to middle school or high school you already know what the popular girls were like - there were the leaders who had the gift of random cruelty and the followers who backed them up without question. The worst of these was Molly Z*.

Her gift of cruelty was so great that even the other popular girls were relieved when she was absent from school. Now when I talk about cruelty - I am not referring to teen movie's and Carrie-esque plots of dumping buckets of pigs blood - why go to such lengths when a few little words can have the same mental effect? Remember this is adolescence when your Mother asking you to clean your room can trigger a screaming fit that ends with you screaming "I hate
you - I hate everyone" before slamming your bedroom door. I mean c'mon that wasn't just me, right?

Anyway, Molly had the gift of finding her victims flaws - overweight? She would point it out. Shy and never know what to say? She had a remark ready. Would rather die than have your secret crush revealed? Prepare the casket. For some reason she especially loved to torture my one
best friend, Stephanie. And one thing that Molly loved to do was snap her bra strap and try to unhook it. She thought this was hilarious. She managed to actually unhook it one day as we were coming up the stairs from lunch. I remember clearly Stephanie's look of mortification as she
realized her bra was unhooked. I remember Molly's braying laughter. When we got to the classroom Stephanie went in the closet to try and fix it.

I wish I could say that I had said something in defense of my friend - even a pathetic "what is your problem?" but honestly she mostly left me alone - for whatever reason - and I wanted to keep it that way. Pretty much the whole class saw it - nobody said anything to her. Look, the point here is - and we'll come back to this later - BITCH HAD IT COMING.

Hmmmmm, this entry is quite long. Okay, I guess I will save the actual embarrassing part of the story for my next blog entry. But since I did promise an embarrassing story - I guess I will just have to give you Henny Deed's*.

Imagine Henny as a fifth grader, a skinny almost delicate quiet little girl. In the middle of a test - the whole classroom silent - she farted. This, however, was no normal fart. This was a fart of
such intensity that it sounded like a gunshot and actually lifted Henny off her seat. Luckily for Henny the sound was so loud that it filled the room - making it difficult to tell exactly whom it had come from. When a classmate looked at her questioningly - Henny did what anyone would do. She lifted one long finger and pointed it at the boy next to her.

If you have an embarrassing story - share it in the comments - think of it as therapy.

*Name changed to protect identity.

Monday, July 17, 2006

The Most Embarrassing Story Ever Told - Part II
Current mood: nerdy

Okay, where did I leave off? Ah, yes - BITCH HAD IT COMING. This statement is so full of truth of that God himself looked down from heaven as I typed it, nodded his head, and said, "...Word." Don't believe me? Read on.

So, St. Christopher's being a Catholic school meant that reading, writing, and arithmetic also came with a nice big helping of church. From First to Eight grade I went to church at least twice a week (once on Sunday with the parents, once during the week with my class) - and if there was a holy day of obligation - sometimes three. We also had religious studies classes, special times when we were receiving the sacrements like first communion, and finally a twice yearly confession - to cleanse the soul.

Confession was stressful. Despite what is always seen on TV with the traditional booth with the mesh grill to hide behind - this is something that I never experienced. When I made my first confession in second grade we had the choice of the traditional booth or the less formal "face
to face". This entailed basically going in a small room and sitting in a chair, directly across from the Priest, and doing the whole thing that way. It was sort of like going to the Principal's office, but without having something specific to confess. Also you had to follow the script.

If you are unfamiliar - it is as follows:

Forgive me Father for I have sinned. It has been ? years since my last confession and these are my sins _____?

This is where I had to get creative. I mean how many kids really have sins of any consequence to confess? I had not recently shot a man just to watch him die - I didn't even like to watch
stuff like that on Television. So instead it was - "Um, I fought with my sisters. Um, I lied. And ummm, ummm-" (You really feel the need to squeeze out at least three - otherwise it just seems like you think you're just too good for the whole thing.) "Umm, I don't like to go to the Doctor's?"

Then the Priest will say "Okay" and if you are terribly unlucky - "anything else" at which point you're like - CRAP! Must think up one more thing. "Um, I was jealous of someone else." Okay, that part is done with, now it is time for the Act of Contrition. A prayer that you must memorize and will only use when you are in confession. Consequently, you memorize it for confession and then as soon as it is over you immediatly forget it - until - oh crap - it's confession time again and you must memorize it all over again. As well as I remember it goes something like this:

Oh my God I am sorry for something. In choosing to sin and failing to do good - I have sinned against you and the church. I firmly intend - with the help of your son - to something something and to live as I should. Amen.

Then the Priest would say okay, tell you to say some Hail Mary's or whatever and you were done.

The thing is that the Priests were always really nice and reassuring and were doing everything in their power to not make it a totally excruciating experience - and I usually walked out of the room thinking whooo that was easy - what was I so worried about? The thing is I am a worrier. If I imagine it being horrible - then my brain tells me that it is totally feasible for it to be that horrible. The best way I can explain this is to say that I am 27 years old and I am afraid of the dark. At night, with no lights, I am afraid to be outside of my apartment (which is an upscale gated community in the suburbs). And to be totally clear - when I say outside - I mean outside of the bedroom, where my husband is sleeping and into the dark scary kitchen where the serial killer is waiting. I am sure there are drugs that one can take for this - but luckily I have found that if I wake my husband, he is usually thirsty too and more than happy to go into the kitchen and get some water for both of us.

In Seventh grade there was no longer an option of the old fashioned confessional booth. Our church was burnt down by arsonists when I was in fourth grade and since then church services were held in the church basement or the cafeteria. Confession was held in small offices - with face to face being the only option. As a class we would head downstairs - usually meeting up with another class there. They would split us between the two Priest doing confession and line us up outside the doors. I was somewhere in the middle of the line and was already feeling nervous.

It is the kind of nervous that I feel before going on stage or having to do public speaking - a jittery nervousness that made me feel like I had to pee - NOW! And as the line moved forward it just got worse. I am sure I could have asked to go to the bathroom - however, since a year before when some kids were vandalizing the bathrooms - they had cracked down on security and monitoring who went to the bathroom where and when. In the classroom, you had to raise your hand to ask permission, then sign out when you left the room and sign back in when you returned. It was enough to put you off going to the bathroom forever. At any rate the protocol here was unclear and I decided that I could hold it.

I was up next and as the door opened with the person before me exiting the confessional room - my nervous anticipation reached a crescendo - and I realized too late - that I could not hold it after all.

At St. Christopher's we wore uniforms. Skirts and blouses for the girls. Pants and dress shirts for the boys. Our only way to assert any of our personality through fashion was our footware and at this time the trend was to wear sneakers and rolled down socks. Now if you have to pee yourself in public - this is actually a pretty good thing to be wearing. The moisture avoids your skirt and instead runs down your legs where you socks happily soak it up. To the unobservant - nothing has happened at all.

If I had gone into crisis recovery mode maybe this would be the worst of it. I could've gone to the bathroom - ditched the socks, ditched the underwear, cleaned up a bit and maybe with a bit of luck no one would have been any the wiser. Instead I was in shock. I entered the confession room and sat down. Let me repeat. I SAT DOWN. It was an upholstered chair. I have no memory of that confession, but I can tell you that I did not confess the sin that was foremost in mind, that I had peed myself in public.

When I stood up I left a wet mark on the chair. I can only assume that the priest did not notice. I immediatly went to my teacher and asked her if I could use the bathroom and she said yes. So easy! Too late now. And too late for damage control. My socks are soaked. My underwear is wet. And the back of my skirt has a gigantic damning wet spot. As the realization sinks in that no amount of toilet paper is going to be able to blot this up and as I begin to consider trying to drown myself in the toilet - my teacher comes in to check on me.

It turns out that the person after me discovered that something was amiss when she sat down on the same chair that I had left my (wet) mark on. When she stood up and realized she was wet - some people started to do the math - and found me in the bathroom - still drenched in the assualt weapon. The person I had unwittingly assaulted was no other than Molly. Of course, I was way too mortified at the time to realize that this is actually sorta hilarious. And shockingly, the meanest girl at St. Chris, never said a word to me about it - she was probably too scared of what other bodily fluids I might release.

I wanted to join the witness protection program after this - instead of ever having to face my class again - but my Mom made me go to school the next day and all I have to say about that is - that if you are of middle school age and pee yourself where everybody can see or find out about it and you think that you are going to be teased/tortured mercilessly... then you are correct. I suppose it was character building - but I still sorta wish I could have just changed my name and moved several hundred miles away.

In conclusion.

I never went to confession again. My last year at St. Chris I was coincidentally absent on confession day and after that I went to public school and it was easily avoidable.

And a Moral.

If I tell you that are starting to piss me off, you just might want to watch out where you sit down after that.

1 comment:

  1. This cracks me up every time I read it, Kate!