Tuesday, August 7, 2007

When Jesus Twiddles His Thumbs

Note: The first part of this story about the social function is totally true and happened a few years ago. The FlashForward section is an addendum and reflection. I really don't talk to pictures on the wall. Ahem...
He was drunk.

In the Presbyterian Church no less. You know the one. Swanky, elegant, rich old-money-in-the-middle-of-town-prestigious-kinda-church. And in the sacred basement that night?

Speed-dating. Round tables. Too much perfume. And a perky little woman with an annoying bell. I was game. After all, what could go wrong in a church?

Here are the rules: There are twelve white-linened tables with burning candles and refreshments. You choose one and sit down. Male across from female. When the bell rings, you're off! Introductions and more sweaty palms. I so hate that. The bell rings again and you rotate to the next waiting gentleman caller.

You only have 8-minutes to make a "connection" with someone or go down in flames. It's time to hit the highlights. The (conversation in my head) is worth the price of admission but rarely what I say. Almost.
"What is your name?" (Mimi Queen of Memes)
"What do you do?" (Write a blog and sing songs)
"Have you lived here long?" (If you don't like them you lie and say you're from Tasmania) I was usually exotic.
"How long have you been single?" (A lot longer than 8 minutes....)
"What are you looking for?" (a sane man. Is that too much to ask?!) always ending with the inevitable...
"If you're a real Queen, where is your crown?"

And then Prince Charming showed up.

Slurring his words in the Presbyterian Church. All over the fancy furniture. Falling down into the cushioned chair in front of me. Batting his intoxicated wisdom in my face.
"Come here often?" asked drunkie Dan.
"Do I smell....." (no, Mims, don't go there.Remember where you are. God will get him...)

I stared.
He swayed.
"Where are you from?" he stuttered.
"Somewhere south of here," I glared, thinking......(Yep. South is where you're goin' buster. Waaaay south. Where it's hot and humid all year round.)

And then he asked the unthinkable. The unimaginable. The unbloggable. As God as my witness - "Do you know where the adult toy store is? Is it near where you live?"

*#!!*$. That's what I thought too.

I wanted to crawl under the rock on the wall.

I looked around.
Am I in a bar somewhere? Isn't this the pervert nightmare my mother warned me about? How safe am I ANYWHERE if this kind of interaction can take place in the bowels of sanctimonious tradition?

Where is that damn timer bell??! Four minutes to go and I'm stuck with this. I glared and tried to hold my breath. Waiter? Waiter??!! I need another man. Please, somebody, bring me another man.

Even in the romantic slow burn between us, he thought he was in control. Until he stood up. JUMPED UP when the bell rang.
And literally slammed into the next fortunate woman with his vodka-stained jacked that looked like it came from a mortuary. And he was still attached.

What am I DOING here? I'm only halfway through the tables. I can't walk out now. I paid good money for this game. I've met exactly six men who are as wrong for me as any man in the world could be.

An electrician turned novelist (whose bulb did NOT burn, trust me) DING! a podiatrist, DING! a sixty-year-old man with a retired fortune and a lisp (how did he get in this group?) Oh yea.....the fortune. DING!...an attractive man in his early forties with too many baby children obviously in search of a virtuous woman DING! to raise them and randy Dan. I've had more fun at baby showers.

Is this a sign from God?

I looked at the picture of Jesus on the wall.
He was not amused either.

He did not spring from the frame and help me. "Ask and ye shall receive" did not work that day, my friends. And even worse, He was looking the other way.


I don't blame Him.

So I prayed. God, get me out of here before I curse in the church. I'm gonna explode if I have to smile for 8-more minutes.
Then I saw him....Tall, dark, handsome and smelling good. No leaded or unleaded odors. Italian-stitched suit and dark wavy hair. Perfect. PUUUURFECT!! I'm sorry, God, I'm sorry! I'll never doubt Your wisdom again. I knew it was right to seek love in the church basement!
"Pssst! Mimi!" Over here!I looked up. Everyone was engaged in polite conversation. Who was that?
"Not now Lord. I'm busy. Don't you see Mr. Wonderful there?""But Mimi......I think you should know that...."One table left. It was my turn with the hottie. (sorry, Lord) I fluffed. I primped. I sprayed mint. I looked up. Smiling. Ready.
And doomed.
It was Dan.

And he was still drunk.
Mr. Perfect was heading out the door with a red-headed beauty on his arm before the game was through which left an empty table in the rotation. Paddling backwards was dear Danny who stood directly under the picture of Jesus before he literally fell into my life again. Did you see that Lord? It's almost as if someone pushed him on me. AGAIN. Are You paying A.T.T.E.N.T.I.O.N. ?
Light bulbs flashed, phone numbers exchanged, giddy guffaws, glasses clanking in tipsy toasts soaked in pheromones - and Mimi sat with a man dipped in communion wine. I was a maniacal mess. The only one in the room who was calm was Jesus, still praying, and still twiddling His thumbs.

I gathered what was left of my pride and walked to my car. I could have sworn I heard a murmur of prayer from above as I passed by the picture...."No, Father. Unfortunately, she was not wearing her pencil skirt but I have other things to discuss with her...."
I kicked off my shoes and carried them through the darkness, threw them in my car and started the engine; turning over a new leaf for good measure. N.O. M.O.R.E. S.I.N.G.L.E.S. F.U.N.C.T.I.O.N.S. Period.
I was in no mood for a conversation with the Almighty.
He had other plans.
Do you remember when you were eight-years-old and you fell off your bike and scraped your knee?
"Yes, Lord."
"What did I tell you then, Mimi?"
"Well.....once I stopped crying I hit my brother for pushing me."
"AFTER that.""You said 'You shouldn't hit your brother.' Right?"
"I should have hit my brother?"
"Actually, I saw him try to give you a nudge on the back of the bike, but you were busy admiring the scenery and the roadside honeysuckles. So when he lunged forward to push the seat of your bike, you fell in the gravel and tumbled into the ditch."
"Ahh....I remember now, Lord. "
"And what did I say, Mimi? "
"Well...I'm thinking. I had this overwhelming...... strange urge to hug him. Right after I socked him."
"Right. But what you didn't know is that he never touched your bike that day. He was just trying to get your attention. He reached out to grab your hair. And you fell."" Exactly. He made me fall! I should have smacked him. He deserved it."
"No, Mimi. You couldn't see then and you don't see now."

"You just told me, Lord, that he was responsible for my fall."
"And he was, Mimi. He was.....

Because he was behind you and he saw the car - the one that would have hit you had you not teetered and rose with a bloody knee and a blushing brother to face."
"Do you remember what happened in the parking lot after the speed-dating party?"

"Yes. Vividly. NOTHING. NOTHING happened. Zilch. No date. No date. No date. No guy."
"You were supposed to be with the drunk man."
"In the parking lot??! The pervert man? The...the....you don't mean HIM??"

"You didn't listen to Me when I tried to get your attention. There was no mistake in the table rotation. "

"But he embarrassed me. Everywhere I turned, he was there. And You did nothing!

"Aww......now, you get it. Exactly."
"I get it alright. I get that I'm all alone all the way home.
I get that I am alone now."
And then with a sarcastic smack, "Maybe if I'd ridden my bike to church tonight I wouldn't be in this mess? Maybe I should have decked the drunk man??! What?! I'm not good with parables you know. Just spill it, Lord. I'm tired and I wanna go home."
Jesus is not amused.
"Mimi. Sometimes I allow things to happen while you learn to dodge. I knew he would hang around long enough to keep you from introducing yourself to a disaster down the road. "

"He didn't prevent you from finding Mr. Right."
"He didn't?"
"No. He prevented you from finding Mr. Wrong."Jesus is exhausted
God is laughing
I am crying.
I reached into the backseat and found my purse, the one I'd flung threw the window in disgust. I wanted this conversation to end. It was time to say goodnite. I know when I'm right. And this time I'm right. I wish he would just climb back into the picture and try to save the redhead. She probably needs Him about now. I had more important things to do than argue with God.
"Goodnite, Mimi. I'm sorry you've had such a bad night.....Mimi?' 

The twiddling has resumed.
"What are you doing dear?....Mimi?"
"Calling my little brother."
God is smiling.
"And please. One more word of advice.
Save us all a lot of time and cancel the Match.com subscription. "

This story was featured at Colloquium on August 12, 2007. I was honored to be a Guest Author that day for Blog Your Blessings Sunday. Please visit her wonderful blog!


Vinny "Bond" Marini said...

Keep your eye on the prize...Mr. Right is there...just waiting for you to turn around and notice.

Akelamalu said...

Love it.

Don't give up!

Me said...

Such a mixed set of emotions behind this post.

Heres smiling at you, kid ;)

Lee Ann aka Dixie said...

I've been there and done that... and just when I wasn't there and not doing that Mr. Right came along... that was almost 3 years ago now.

Hang in there... it will happen!

Mimi Lenox said...

Bond - I know. You're a great friend. Oh! Congratulations for being NUMBER ONE in the Bestest Blog of the YEAR contest.

Akelamalu - Never. I'm just in a whimsical mood dear. But somehow...everything I'm feeling ends up splattered on the page anyway, no matter how hard I try to disguise it.

Orhan - You hit the nail on the head. The only thing I'm sure of is how much I hate the game.

Mimi Lenox said...

Dixie - You do sound so happy. That is wonderful.

I'm not into "looking" - been there done that and hated it - you're right, my most precious relationships came along when I wasn't. At the same time, I can't sequester myself in this house all the time. It's not likely someone is going to jump through the computer.

I am happy and my life is full. I am really content and grateful with lots of friends...yada yada yada....but we all know Pencil Skirt can't disguise much on the page, hence, my readers get the real me. Lucky you. Ha!! When I was in a relationship, it was here. When I'm not, it is here... The truth is my feet get cold and I really miss dancing. But I can't stand those "singles" things so I shall write and write and write and focus on my work.

I may have to get over it. I'll keep you posted.

Annelisa said...

Well, Mims, I don't for a minute think you weren't talking to the picture. If you can talk to paper clips, then a picture is way higher on the list!!

There's one thing I know - you were meant to go along to this date thing, like the picture...um, I mean... you know... like it said - if you don't cross this particular one off the list you wouldn't have had such a brilliant experience, now would you! :-) And if you hadn't had this experience, then you'd have been sitting at home thinking how wonderful it might have been (but wasn't), so you might still have been miserable. At least this way you know why you were miserable :-D

I've been enjoying my own company for nearly 9 years now. It's not so bad...

I'm sure your company's pretty darn good, so make the most of it while you can!



none said...

I always wondered about those events. thanks for clearing up any misconceptions.

Dan said...

Don't give up Mimi! One or two bad experiences are to be expected. How else cam we really appreciate the good experiences in contrast?

And God's right! When I got a flat tire recently I told myself that if it wasn't for that flat, I may have been up ahead the road apiece when an 18-wheeler flew through a red light. I could have been going through the green light at that time.

We never know! Hugs Mimi.

Travis Cody said...

Sometimes when you're so focused on leg lifts, the right one walks up behind you and thumps you on the back of the head.

Patti said...

Hang in there, Mimi. You never know when the right one will walk into your life. It will happen when you least expect and when you are totally unprepared!
It may be day when the pencil skirt is at the cleaners!


Mimi Lenox said...

Annelisa- You know me so well. Of course I was talking to the picture.

Hammer - Glad to be of service.

Dan - Yes, we do tend to get messages from the universe from time to time.

Mimi Lenox said...

Travis - I'll watch those leg lifts. Thanks for the tip!

Patti - You are absolutely right. I'd better go to the cleaners right now.

Desert Songbird said...

I can't believe I missed this post here and then ran across it at Colloquium! Loved this post, loved the message. Sometimes we all need that smack upside the head, don't we?

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