Church has always been a slightly traumatizing event for me. People demand your hard-earned money, dictate when you sit or stand, and tell you you're a sinner. When I was young I was forced to don itchy, ruffly undergarments and wait around for what I assume was several hours while my parents "chatted" with everyone in a six mile radius.
My parents traded in the small town church for a mega sized house of worship. On the ride to God's house Ma and Pa often seized the opportunity to get that last bit of sinning out of their systems. So while myself and my siblings were trapped in the minivan Mom and Dad would fight like kittens trapped in a burlap sack. To this day sitting in the back seat of a van gives me acid reflux.
Furthermore, my Father drives like a maniac and openly bellows at other drivers in the church parking lot. Driving with Dad is its own post that will undoubtedly appear later in this blog. So by the time we get to church; I'm a bit miffed.
The church is roughly the size of Hogwarts, and as easy to navigate as the Japanese subway system. When we enter the sprawling lobby of the church we climb several staircases until we've reached the highest point possible. We perch in the tallest balcony, next to a few mountain goats. My parents place themselves far away from other people. Connecting with the community is nice but having the row to yourself is nicer. When I tag along Mother laments "we can't sit in our regular seats tonight because there's not enough room. Usually we sit in the handicapped seats. They're so much comfier." Neither of my parents is handicapped.
During the service my Dad checks the Cubs score and loudly informs everyone within three rows that we're down by three runs. Mom clenches her fists, pulls her elbows close to her hips and shimmies with the concentration of an Irish step dancer. Then they both settle in and promptly fall asleep. Mom insists she "thinks better with her eyes closed." Both snoring lightly, I sigh and contemplate how I got here.
The sermon, of course, honor thy mother and father.
I would go the church more often if the choir used auto-tune