Book Writing Adventures

What If He Won’t Go To The ‘Hallelujah’ Church??

I know some of you all think I embellish the truth just a tad for dramatic effect, but the following event happened TODAY just like I’m telling it.

So, our family goes to church…mostly. But we had missed three Sundays this past month, and let me tell you, nobody was complaining. Let’s be honest: church takes a HUGE chunk of your day, especially if you have kids. You have to wash, dress in unwrinkled clothes, herd the cats kids, get in the car, referee the kids who fight to sit next to the baby for a FIVE minute ride, all without pouring vodka in your coffee. After all, it is Sunday.

My mother, who is now a widow, is COMPLETELY dedicated to church, and she’s here for her bi-monthly visit, so this morning she had on her Sunday best–cream suit, new shoes from Macy’s, gray hair coiffed in a halo around her head like a snow globe.

We FINALLY get in the car, go to the five minute ride to our “church”–which happens to be a satellite for a mega-church located about 17 miles away. My husband refuses to commute to church. Precious minutes, you know? Plus the kids…geezus help us. We ain’t going that far. We’re content to watch our pastor on a gigantic closed circuit TEE VEE in the gymnasium in a private school. Meh. It’s okay, mostly because it has a nice sprinkling of white, black, asian and hispanic folks, which makes hubby comfortable. It’s mostly white though.

But we turn into the driveway to our private school/slash satellite church and the entry gates are closed. No church, no note, no nothing. We missed three previous Sundays, so clearly, we had missed the memo.

The kids were euphoric. “YAY! No church! Woo Hoo!”

My mother, who is old school, said meekly, “Well, if it’s not too late, I’d like to go to the black church.” She was talking about the ONLY (mostly) black church in our town, and she likes it, because she’s used to people howling AMEN every five seconds, women who wear hats that look like cornucopias, and people being prayed over, touched and fainting after frenetic Holy Ghost dancing.

Frankly, I’m used to it too. It’s what I grew up on. I don’t mind it so much–in truth, the music is better than the kumbaya non-denominational churches we’ve belonged to. But passing the offering plate 50-11 times can be a bit off-putting.

But being married to a former Catholic, who also is white, the ‘hallelujah’ church is COMPLETELY out of the question. It so foreign to him and our kids are visibly frightened by the whole affair.

But remember, my mom is in her best clothes. And looking at her, with her big red rose pinned to her suit, roughly the size of my 15-month-old’s head, and I just couldn’t turn home. We drive passed ‘hallelujah’ church real slow. It’s about 10:00. Hubby says, “Fine, you all go to the hallelujah church and you can just drop me off at Von’s so I can get the groceries.” The kids shout in unison, “Us too! Us too!”

Here’s when I lost it. I turn around and fire shoots out of my mouth. “LISTEN. YOUR GRANDMOTHER GOT ALL DRESSED UP FOR CHURCH, AND DANG IT, ALL YOU HEATHENS ARE GOING TO CHURCH, YOU HEAR ME?!”

Silence. Except for my mom, who’s snickering like a school girl.

Lucky for them, at 10 AM, we were too late for hallelujah church’s 9:30 service and WAY too early for the 11:30 service, so we had to move on.

We finally agreed on a church, mostly white, but the music was pretty good and the preacher was young, energetic and…kinda hot. (Did that last comment make me a heathen too? Eh, oh well.)

So ladies, what do YOU do when you and your rainbow man can no longer go to a hallelujah church, maybe because it’s too foreign for your man, or the ladies in the cornucopia hats stare…whatever. What do you do? Have you stopped going altogether? Was there a compromise that had to be met?

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