Sundays are stressful. Maybe not quite as stressful as when I had young children or lazy teenagers to hustle out the door, but still...Sundays are stressful.
Saturday nights are wracked with fitful sleep—my subconscious preparing for the following morning when my body and mind will be jolted to full alertness with the same alarming panic attack...What if we don't get to church early enough and...gasp...someone takes my seat?
This Sunday is even worse because it's Christmas Sunday. You know, one of those two Sundays a year when everybody and their brother shows up to church, taking all of the reserved seats from us regulars. Our pastor reminded all of us last week to arrive early this Sunday so we wouldn't lose our seats to the C & E'rs. (Okay, he didn't exactly say that--he asked us to come early to greet visitors who may only hear about Jesus on Christmas and Easter Sundays. But I got the message loud and clear…get to church early to claim your seat.)
"Honey, are you ready?" I was waiting impatiently by the front door forty-five minutes before our usual departure time.
Struggling with his Tigger Christmas tie as he huffed down the stairs, I noticed my husband's lips moving, though I could not discern his words.
"Huh?" I questioned as I cinched the tie up around his neck--probably a little tighter than need be. "Did you say something?"
"Not a thing," he choked out.
"Good. Grab your overcoat. We need to save an extra place."
To my relief we arrived at church to find a mostly empty parking lot. I hurried in, plopped myself in our usual spot, and fanned out the coat to save a place for our son.
"Early enough?" my husband muttered. I pretended not to hear him.
At ten till the hour the organist began playing Christmas carols and I started looking around for our son. The sanctuary was filling up fast, and though I was sure he would find us--sitting in our usual spot--I decided I'd better text him. After all, he hadn't been to church in months--for all he knew, we had changed where we sit.
Texting in church service is universally considered tacky, so I kept my phone in my purse while quickly typing "Regular pew." (I have an archaic cell phone, however--no keyboard for me--so "quickly typing" is a relative term.)
As the congregation rose to sing "Silent Night," I heard the mutted buzz of the phone vibrating in my purse.
Hastily glancing at the screen, I read my son's one word reply. "Huh?"
Oh good grief. It apparently had been so long since he'd been to church that our son no longer knew which one was our regular pew.
I waited for the pastor to instruct us to be seated before typing a slightly more detailed explanation--again keeping the phone hidden in my purse.
"First cushion pew. End of pew." (I personally prefer the hard bench pews up front--more difficult for my husband to fall asleep--but he insists that his bad back requires us to sit on the cushioned pews further back.)
Again my phone buzzed and I quickly hit the silence button. This time, my son sent a more animated one word reply. "HUH??????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Well, how complicated could this be?
I decided to reread my first two texts to determine what more I could add to my detailed explanation.
Just as the pastor asked us to bow our heads, I began sniggling. (No, not the sniggling where you're fishing for eels--eels are gross, like snakes in the water--but sniggling like half snickering, half giggling. You know, when you are in a situation where you can't really giggle out loud so you try to hold it in and the sound comes out your nose. Sniggling.)
In my quest to accomplish stealth texting, I had neglected to read the messages before I hit the send button. On my primitive phone, if more than one word fits the numbers typed in, the phone will choose a word for you. That requires the texter to actually look at the message to be sure it is accurate. Hiding the phone in my purse prevented me from proofing my texts.
The messages that were supposed to read "Regular pew" and "First cushion pew. End of pew." actually read:
"First cushion sex. End of sex."
And that is why I was sniggling.
Author's note: Based on actual events. Names were omitted to protect the innocent--which includes this author.
The opinions expressed by authors may not necessarily reflect the opinion of FaithWriters.com.
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