I am the bravest person in our family. Twice a year our church has an event where so many people come that we cannot all fit into the chapel and two thirds of the congregation must sit in chairs in the gym. I happen to like to sit in the chapel for two reasons.

#1. The benches have cushions on them.
#2. My grandchildren are accustomed to sitting in the chapel. When we sit in the
gym they are not corralled. I, as well as the people sitting around us, get
nothing out of the meeting. Leaving them home is not an option.

Therefore, every six months I drag myself out of the house sixteen hours, (OK, two hours) early to save a bench in the chapel.

This year a small bench on the side is not big enough for my five grandchildren, my husband, my eighty-year-old mother-in-law and two kids. I have entered the big time and must save two-thirds of a big bench in the middle.

My husband would be here with me, but he has been up at the crack-of dawn taking care of the sick, afflicted, and otherwise inflicted members of our congregation.

I litter the bench with books, coats, my purse, a crumpled Kleenex, a few dozen pens and a blob of empty gum wrappers. The theory is that if it looks like a garbage dump, no one will want to sit there.

My ploy doesn’t work. I smile and grimace while people who had the luxury of tending to their beauty sleep sniff and glower as they walk by my pew.

A couple sits down on the bench behind me. “Your’re saving places.” the woman stated.

A crime punishable by human sacrifice in some churches I think to myself as I pull my nag-a-phone out of my purse and call my daughter. “The natives are almost on the war path. Where are you?”

“I’m trying to hurry.” She said sounding out of breath.

“Bring the kids naked, we can dress them here.”

“Mom, I’m coming.”

“Well don’t be surprised if I’ve been bush whacked and stuffed in a corner somewhere to rot.”

“Mom, I’ll get there faster if you quit talking to me.”

“Hurry up; I have to go to the bathroom.”
I didn’t dare go to the bathroom and leave my bench unguarded. Once I tried to save two spots, one for me and one for Rick. I left everything but a sleeping bag and the kitchen sink to mark my territory. I should have marked it the same way my male dog marks his territory but when he does it, it doesn’t show on his clothes.

When I came back, some cannibals had taken up residence and all my stuff was in a pile along the wall. I knew they were cannibals because when I stared at them in shock they bit my head off.

Apparently, Christianity depends which side of the pew you are on.


Angie said...

LOL. I hear ya. My husband and I usually sing in the choir, so we want our kids close enough to keep an eye on from the choir seats. We get there early and claim a bench, but we're up there in the choir seats, and last time somebody moved our stuff and took our bench! The kids had to sit in the back and I had to sit with them and run to the front for the choir number!

Summer said...

That happens other places too. This summer for my niece's ballet recital I needed 11 seats at the Columbia Theatre. Even though I was there 30 minutes before the doors opened, the line was a block away and the best I could get was a row on the side with 9 seats (better than nothing and I don't mind sitting in the balcony with her brother). I thought fists were gonna fly, at one point a couple blatantly told me that I could not save seats and sat down anyway. When my sister showed up she almost got in a shouting match and went to find the manager. As soon as she left some of my family had shown up and the people were intimidated and left...I was very happy to move to the balcony! :)

Jane Isfeld Still said...

HA HA HA There is etiquette and manners and the other point of view. All I can say is saving seats aint for the faint hearted.

C. K. Bryant said...

ROFL!! Okay, I'm guilty of being on BOTH sides. I've glared at others for saving seats (only because I didn't think of it first) and been the one saving seats when others have glared at me. Very funny story. Sounds like you need to have one of those "reserved" signs made to go over the back of your pew.

Gail said...

I admit I'm one of those seat savers. I put on my game face and away I go.

Jane Isfeld Still said...

OK Christine, I have to say I have been mad when I havn't thought if it either so there you go. I leap the fence and can comment on both sides too. LOL

Heather B. Moore said...

very funny! my 10 year old likes to go early and save seats for everyone. Once she was saving one of the big benches when we only needed half of one. I think she got some good glares that week.

Terri Ferran said...

Have you considered engraving your name on a bench? Then you can say, "It has my name on it"

Jane Isfeld Still said...

I could say Still Janes's LOL

kbrebes said...

I love your humor, Jane. I can't wait for the day when I actually NEED to save seats! (looking forward to grandchildren!)

Argonauta For a Day said...

This is a hysterical post. Definitely must make book #3.
Love you to pieces,
Author- LDS Puzzle Pals and LDS Puzzle Pals- Prophets and Apostles

Annie Bowlby said...

Oh, Jane, how I love your writing! Great story...and I for one totally support your keeping your brood where they are happy and comfortable! I always love looking over to "your spot" and seeing your wonderful family. Smiling at you, Annie

susan dayley said...

Loved this one. I shared it on FB today.


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