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.