My housekeeper, Rosa, and her long time beau tied the knot this weekend. She’d invited Studly Doright and me to the ceremony, but of course he couldn’t miss his golf game, so I attended solo. I was excited to be on the guest list, and to dress up for the occasion. After Studly left for golf, I began the process of getting myself prettified even though the event was several hours in the future.
The only hiccup in the getting dressed category was putting on my hosiery. It’s been ages since I wore hose and I ripped three pair before I finally got a pair on correctly. There were words said that I haven’t used since the last time I had to wear hose. They were not nice words. I was somewhat mollified by my appearance in the mirror once I had my dress and heels on. Not bad for a newly-turned 63-year-old.
I had the invitation to the wedding in my car, and entered the address in my gps. Thank goodness for high school Spanish, and that the street and town names were in English. I left for Quincy, Florida, with plenty of time to spare. I followed the gps instructions through Quincy and down several back roads to a house in the country. It certainly didn’t look like the church Rosa had told me about, but there was a spot set aside for parking. No cars were there, though. Hmmm.
I read over the invitation again more carefully, and realized immediately what I’d done. The church name, St. Thomas, was listed but with no address. The reception site; however, had an address and that’s where I’d gone. Just like that, my ample time disappeared. I entered an address for the church after a quick google search and drove back to Quincy at the fastest speed I thought I could get away with. The gps said I’d be five minutes late. I said, “Challenge accepted.”
The route took me back through Quincy where I managed to make it to St. Thomas’s with only one stop for a red light. I was just three minutes late. Take that, gps! Still, I was late, so I entered quietly through a side door. The ceremony was well underway, so I took a seat towards the back of the sanctuary.
Now, I’m not Catholic, but I earned my degree from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, and I have attended mass dozens of times throughout the years. Some of my favorite people are Catholic including my mother-in-law, and my youngest sister-in-law, and her significant other. I’ve even spent a lovely weekend at a Catholic retreat. I know how to behave in mass…when it’s celebrated in English. Not so much in Spanish.
I followed the leads of those near me so I’d know when to stand, sit, and kneel. I tried to catch the words to the responses, but without luck. Finally the ushers approached with the offertory baskets. “Aha!” I thought. “I know how to handle this.”
I fished out some folding money and was putting it in the basket when I realized there were some small gifts in there. Hmm. Maybe I was supposed to put my card and gift for the couple in the basket. I did just that and then was startled to see it being taken directly to the priest who blessed it and set it aside behind the altar.
Remember some of the words I said while destroying my pantyhose? It’s a really good thing I’d gotten those out of my system before the priest blessed that gift. They wouldn’t have been appropriate in church.
As soon as the couple was pronounced husband and beautiful wife and all of the kissing of the bride and taking of pictures had occurred, I tracked down the priest, who surprisingly spoke English with a lovely Irish accent. I explained about my mistake, and he promised to get my gift to Rosa and her husband. I think he was fairly certain that I wasn’t the brightest bulb in the box, but he seemed like a good sort who’d make sure the newlyweds ended up with the blessed gift. And isn’t that really what matters?