Daily Archives: June 1, 2006

God Is My Co-Pilot (And Also My Spotter At The Gym)

I should point out, given the subject of yesterday’s Shortcake, that I used to be a Sunday School teacher*.

This doesn’t mean I was super preachy… I was in charge of the preschoolers, so it was more about crayons and glue sticks than the Bible (little known fact: this is how I got the nickname “Miss Sneffany”, and why I sometimes call pretzels “prinzels”. Preschoolers are not big fans of the letter T).

Aside from holidays, I haven’t been to church in a really long time. My old non-denominational church was super open-minded and diverse, and it made me appreciate the good parts of spirituality without having to deal with judgmental assholes. Then our pastor retired, and the church got taken over by stereotypical evangelical pricks. It hurt my feelings to go there, so I stopped.

I looked around for a new church for a while, but nothing felt the same. I usually end up getting offended or pissed off or sad. I hate what Christianity has turned into and what church has become. I miss what it used to feel like.

Ironically, when I think about church, I think about Rock ‘n Roll. My church friends were all a few years older than me, and they were all hippies and punks who loved music in general.

We used to lead the congregation during worship service, so we’d get together outside of church once a week to practice. We would do a quick run-through of our “set”, and then we would spend the next two hours just playing and singing our favorite shit. Bob Dylan. Tom Petty. The Doors.

At the start of each service, we would play random music while everyone came in and sat down. My friend Destiny’s favorite thing to play was “Cornflake Girl” without the words. We once sang a song by The Eagles while the ushers collected the offering. And yes, our drummer had a cowbell.

I’ve been wandering from church to church trying to recapture that warmth and openness that I used to feel, but I think I’ve been going about this all wrong. People just aren’t reliable. Good tunes, however, will never let you down.

So from now on, I will spend my Sunday mornings driving around in my car or running on the track… listening to my Jesus Mix Tape:

NOW! That’s What I Call Church Vol. 1

1. Spirit in the Sky – Norman Greenbaum
2. The Sound of the Sinners – The Clash
3. Are You Gonna Go My Way – Lenny Kravitz
4. Amazing Grace – Destiny’s Child
5. Shadrach – Beastie Boys
6. His Eye Is On the Sparrow – Lauryn Hill
7. Jesus Is Just All Right – Doobie Brothers
8. Turn! Turn! Turn! – The Byrds
9. Crying in the Chapel – Elvis Presley
10. Jesus Walks – Kanye West
11. Personal Jesus – Johnny Cash
12. Gotta Serve Somebody – Bob Dylan
13. My Sweet Lord – George Harrison
14. God Gave Rock ‘n Roll To You – Kiss

I will not play the Jesus Mix Tape at any time except for Sunday mornings (assuming I wake up before noon). I will not force anyone else to listen to the Jesus Mix Tape, or even ask them if they want to hear it**.

It’s really just for me. That church always gave me a sense of belonging and balance and happiness, and music was a force almost as active as God in that respect. Combining those factors and eliminating the politics is just common sense, and I’m kind of pissed that it took me so long to realize it.

*A long time ago, Ex told me that he fell for me because I was a Sunday School teacher who once punched a girl in the face. This is still pretty much my favorite compliment ever.

**Note to Frank: this includes all of the imaginary boys that I wake up with after a hot night of fornication.

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Oh, Did I Mention Jen Got Drunk?

Okay, Katie and Joe’s wedding. No offense to the other weddings, but this one was pretty awesome and I don’t know if the other ones will be able to live up to it.

Katie is one of the prettiest people we know (and she used to be a wedding dress model, for pete’s sake) so there was no question that she would be a beautiful bride. But still, when she walked down the aisle, everyone gasped. Niki commented later that she looked just like Cinderella.

We also gasped because Katie’s dad? Is the spitting image of Terry Bradshaw.

When couples take their vows, it’s always touching and emotional and somebody cries, but those two were just so damn CUTE about it, too. The monsignor looked absolutely smitten as he interrupted to remark, “You sound like you really mean it!”

The reception was fantastic. They had a polka band! A POLKA BAND! Even better, they have an amazingly artistic and eclectic circle of friends and a big fun family, so it was an absolute blast. They gave everybody pint glasses with their picture on it, and Katie (who is unbelievably talented) fashioned a ceramic Katie and Joe for the top of the wedding cake.

The cutest moment of the night (not involving Katie and Joe) had to be when a little girl ran up to Jessica and announced, “I want a boy to dance with.” Jessica said, “I’m on it.” and promptly took her over to Nick, and all of us girls giggled as we watched them dance. THEN the girl ran back and said, “Okay, now I want another one. Younger.” She was almost pushing it at this point, but it was still cute. And man, don’t you wish we were still young enough to get away with that?

I’m normally the sole smoker of the group, so you can imagine my surprise when I walked outside and found a giant tribe of fun new people. I felt like the Bee Girl at the end of the “No Rain” video. The smokers were such a fun bunch that I saw SIX non-smokers take at least one drag by the end of the night. It wasn’t peer pressure so much as the sign of a really fantastic party (like those parties every February where people break their New Year resolutions). And Jen got drunk, which kind of sums up everything.

I have tons of other little memories, so I’ll just pull a Kevin and list them for you:

  • “Did the same girl just walk down the aisle three times?” – Erin, about Katie’s sisters/bridesmaids.
  • Dan chooses a particularly quiet moment in the ceremony to wind his disposable camera.
  • When the head table is called to the buffet, Ron and Nick (the groomsmen) immediately taunt their mothers and special lady friends for having to wait in line.
  • Maid-of-Honor’s speech: “I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but our dad looks like Terry Bradshaw.”
  • Someone mentions “that hairless rat pet thing” during their speech, and the whole room screams “STELLAAAAA!” Since most of us went to Webster, a theater reference was inevitable. And also: we were drunk.
  • During his speech, Joe orders everyone to drink. “A lot.” Everyone complies, including Jen “Half Pint” Stanza (!!).
  • Dan and Erin bet on who will puke first.
  • We spot a guy with a Hitler-esque mustache standing in front of a German flag.
  • Niki and I fake pose in front of the flag so that Erin can get a picture of Hitler.
  • “I guess they’re German?” – Everyone sitting near the flag.
  • We all agree that the bartender is almost putting too much booze in our drinks. Almost.
  • I tip the bartender at least half of my paycheck.
  • The dollar dance lasts for like four songs, because who doesn’t want to dance with Katie?
  • Erin and I are super impressed by Jessica’s America’s Next Top Model stilettos.
  • Becky and Stephanie bond over America’s Next Top Model.
  • Everybody comments at least once about how hot Marcel is. And when I say “everybody”, that includes a few married men and all the moms in the building.
  • The polka band plays the Chicken Dance, the Hokey Pokey, and Proud Mary.
  • Nick “hilariously” berates me for being single. While everyone tells me to kick his ass, I just glare at him. Ten seconds later he drops his drink. I made him drop his drink with my brain, you guys.
  • “It’s like he’s my best friend!” – Ryan, about the bartender.
  • Everyone goes back to Winifred to party.
  • Lots of funny/deep/meaningful/insightful conversations take place, which no one will remember because we are DRUNK. And when I say “we”, that includes Jen.
  • I tell everyone in the car that I’m too good for Mensa. Luckily, this is about the same time I stop drinking.
  • I wander into a really heavy conversation, and bust out my most successful distraction ever: “So… there’s a hot Italian guy playing guitar on the balcony. Wanna watch him with me?”
  • And finally, my favorite quote of the night: “I’m STAG! And I’m drinking STAG! WOO! STAG!” – John


Filed under Weddings