Sunday, September 25, 2011

How to Irritate Me During Church

Obviously I'm someone who is extremely easy to irritate.  I am aware of this, and I've never tried to pretend I'm anything other than a crabby eye-roller.  I'd say the easiest places to get me fired up are the road, the grocery store, and the gym.  Anyone who has been on the phone with me when I'm driving knows how easily I irritate.  What can I say, I don't like inconsiderate people.  Well today I got pretty fired up during church.  When we sat down, there was a man to my left, and a family to Jacob's right.  At some point, the man next to me acquired like 7 little kids, all of whom he crammed into the space between us (which was not big enough for 1 person).  Normally, I'd like to think I'm pretty understanding of kids in church.  I know it can be pretty boring, and I get that you get restless. BUT it's the responsibility of the parent (or in this case grandparent or strange uncle) to teach the kid what is acceptable church behavior, and what is disrespectful and distracting to others.  I'm fairly certain the guy sitting next to me would have allowed these kids to set off fireworks and play the bongos during church.  During praise & worship, we were standing up singing, while the little girl next to me sat on the pew and put her feet up on my legs, then got behind me and kicked my bottom.  To top it all off, at one point I could feel hair brushing my leg, and I looked down to see her laying on the pew with her head hanging off, looking up my dress.  At no point did she leave me alone, and her grandfather seemed totally indifferent to her behavior.  I know the curiosity and adventurous spirit of a child is supposed to be a charming thing, but I honestly wanted to punch the girl in the face.  I don't care if you're only 5, if you don't stop kicking me and trying to see my underwear, we are going to have serious problems.  The lady sitting behind me must have known the little girl, because she was talking to her and making jokes and laughing at her antics.  Look lady, I'm being nice because she's a child, but you're about to be missing some teeth if you don't stop encouraging her.  Finally, when praise & worship was over, all the kids left to go to children's church and my blood pressure went back to normal.  At least I can recognize when I'm not in the right mindset for church.  That's a step in the right direction, I think.

During the sermon, there was a baby in the row behind me that started to get fussy.  As we've already established, I'm very irritable, but the baby didn't bother me in the slightest.  It's a baby, and it's just fussy.  No big deal.  Well try telling that to the lady in front of me because she started doing the subtle over-the-shoulder glance to the mother.  After a few glances, she started to get much more obvious, turning her head all the way, staring at the mother, and giving her the stink eye.  After a few minutes, she guilted the mother into taking the child out.  He wasn't even crying!  After a few minutes, I realized I had met the lady in front of me before.  Several weeks ago, during the welcome portion of the church service, the Pastor said he wanted us to greet everyone around us and make an attempt to learn people's names.  This lady (I can't remember her name, but I'll call her Darlene), was sitting next to Jacob and I.  When I shook her hand, she told me her name was Darlene, and I said "Hi, I'm Hayley."  To which she responded "WHAT!?" like it was the most outrageous thing she'd ever heard.  I repeated it and she ROLLED HER EYES AT ME and said "well I guess I'll remember that one."  WHAT DOES THAT MEAN!?!?!  I should have taken her out then, because clearly she's still up on some sort of high horse, and honestly I'd love to be the one to take her down.  Who openly mocks someone elses name?  I don't even have that weird of a name!  So needless to say, when I realized it was Darlene in front of me who had shamed that young mother into taking her mostly-quite baby out of church, I really wanted to exact some vengeance on her.  I considering crossing my legs and kicking her bottom, but I didn't....And yes, I missed several minutes of the sermon because of all this.  What can I say, I'm easily distracted.  But if you're a glass half-full kinda person, at least I'm leaving plenty of room for the Holy Spirit to work.

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