holy awful

24 July 2011

I know...bad title. My other options were to go with either, "When Mass Attacks" or, "Nightmare at St. Mary Magdalen" and I thought this was the least blasphemous of the three. Maybe not.

If this blog were to be meaty enough to actually encompass any sort of specified theme it would probably be something like, "One bottle of whine with a dash of shoddy alterations" or maybe, "Goodwill maven's daughter was mistaken for a boy today...again" or "Complain, complain, indoor photo, outdoor photo, have a nice/tolerable/pleasant day". 

Well...we're going to stick the needle in the whine and complain vein for today's garbage as I recount last night's horror.
(fine, horror might be a bit of a stretch but let me have my 15 minutes of unadulterated sulk)

(this is long and boring...almost as bad as the cry it out post...maybe just skip and move onto something more breakfast)

As I'm sure I've mentioned about four times...Simon is at work this weekend and I think for the next million weekends as well. This simply means that the Goodwill down the street will be seeing a lot more of my puffy face and that I have to brave Mass alone at our cryroomless parish with the little terror tyrant while Simon will have to attend a late night Sunday Mass wayyyyyy past Julia's bedtime. (I know I baby at church should be a piece of breezy cake but Julia is strong and I am weak and containing her wailing and gnashing for an entire hour in one square foot is really difficult for the likes of my pathetic self)

I decided to be a little heathen and hit up a little Saturday evening Mass in order to take advantage of Julia's weirdly good mood. And to be honest I welcomed the thought of a small break from the endearing monotony of watching the shepherdess mind and annoy her lone sheep hour after hour:

So we put on our Sunday best, grabbed our stash of plastic rosaries and headed out the door. As soon as we walked in and took our backish row pew...I took note that we had missed the dress code memo which was: sweats, sweats and denim if you dared to be fancy and felt immediately like two hairy hammertoes on an otherwise pedicured foot in our dresses, heels and mascara. 

 [cut the baby thrashing and mom frown from yard and paste into pew for imagination's sake]

I won't singe your sockets with all the gruesome deets but basically the entirety of the hour was punctuated every 90 seconds by the lady sitting directly in front of us turning around and medium volumed whispering at Julia (doing her best vowel sound utters) to be quiet and "SHHHHHHHH!!!" complete with finger on mouth and eyebrow furrow. This amused Julia and encouraged her vowel sounds to move to shrieks and pew bangs and kicks which only exacerbated the lady's already sourpuss tude. I would like to mention that the offended feline was donning some heavy duty hearing aids and if Julia had understood English I would've definitely instructed her to reach over and swiftly turn them both to the off position. Call me heartless or hell is thee truth. I do have to say that Julia was content with her bottle during the in-ordinarily long homily about the case of the missing organ broker and the church's $29,000 that appears to be lost forever. She did redeem herself though when she entertained the children to our left with an ugly cacophony of gross from her diaper region which irritated their mom and turned my face bright red no fewer than three times during the consecration.  

Anyway, the final blessing was given and Mass came to a welcome end as I sat Julia sideways on my lap while I packed up her little rosary arsenal. I felt like I was getting out unscathed for the most part when a lady approached us from behind to tell me how much Julia admired her sparkly necklace when...."crack!!" I turned to see that Julia had fallen backwards and upside down from my lap throne and directly onto her head on the cold tile floor. Luckily I grabbed her right big toe before she completely collapsed into the folded kneeler but the damage had been done and poor Julia waited three long seconds before she let the longest and loudest permanent brain damaged scream loose.  I obviously felt horrible and was able to pacify her pain with the remnants of her bottle and we finally, finally stood up and started to make our way out of the church. Of course, as I reached down to grab our bag, I accidentally pinched the already wounded patient's toes in between my mammothy thorax and the side of the pew which understandably elicited another round of tears...but this time, embarrassingly, from both Patton parties. I booked it to the car where lucky Simon perfectly timed a phone call from his busy and crazy perch where I'm sure he enjoyed my exaggerated, tear-filled and irrational rant about never attending Mass again, him taking Julia to work tomorrow and [sniffle] exactly how dangerous is heavy drinking when pregnant?! (joke mini...calm down)

Of course, this is basically the end of the story and I'm not sure why I felt the need to type this all out and click "publish post" this morning. I guess the lesson learned here is to suck it up, Grace, and gird your wussy, wussy loins for next Sunday and the Sunday after that and the Sunday after that and so on. 

Amen and goodbye. 


  1. Aww! I really feel for you! It's difficult at Mass with kids even with two parents. Once I had to take both kids myself and it was SO hard (Christopher flopped mid-aisle going to Communion and refused to move). Major kudos to you for having to go alone so many times!

  2. I want to reassure you that as awful as those "mass moments" are for you, nearly all of us have walked that road with our noisy and less than well-mannered toddlers, so I know there had to be sympathetic folks in the nearby pews. I personally would have been thrilled to have an obviously faithful young Catholic mom doing her best so as to worship with us. The lady in front of you? Try to let that go, she should know better, butfor some reason, doesn't.

  3. Feeling for you over here, too.
    While the second parental unit in our little family isn't gone nearly as much as Mr. Resident Simon, he does work twelve hour days during the week and today he decided to mosey on down to San Diego for Comic-Con. So this clueless new mother finally managed to feed herself today (circa 2pm) since her perpetually fussy baby boy decided to actually take a nap longer than 15 minutes. Now she sits in her living room surrounded by two big piles of laundry and an even bigger pile of to-be-written and way overdue thank you yeah...generally failing at the life game today...Sorry to vent in your com box. Hope things are looking up for the bruised and battle-worn women of Camp Patton.

  4. I feel for you! I'm alone at church +++++with my toddler every other Sunday because of my husband's job and it's never easy. Today I wasn't feeling 100% so I just skipped...Funny thing though, our church has a conference number you can call to hear my hometown congregation's sermon (we live near a different congregation now) and I couldn't even listen to THAT without being interrupted by my almost two-ear-old! It sounds like the folks in my church are more understanding but it's still very frustrating. They keep assuring me that he'll get through this stage soon...I just keep wondering when?!

  5. Those "+" signs were not supposed to be crosses or anything...just the work of said toddler. ;)

  6. Honestly, sometimes the only thing that gets me through (THREE HOURS) of church is the fact that this specific age doesn't last forever. In a couple months my child will be older and there will be some fresh form of hell for me to wrangle.

    The joys.

  7. And all in 1 hour! Sometimes I find myself literally rolling my eyes during sub-par homilies wondering why I chose this mass to drag Max to. Now that's hell bound. You're doing great Grace! I wish I could just pack up the car and come visit you and Jules with Mary some weekend.

  8. Sorry G about mass and the brain damage and the pinched toes...Poor J and mom.. But really, really, really I am mad at the lady in front of you who kept trying to shhhh you and your baby. She obviously NEVER read the passage where the big J said he wanted the wee ones to go to him. At a cry-room-less parish the CHRISTIAN thing to do would be to offer you some sympathy to the mom with the tyrant child, some understanding or even better... she could have attempted to make the situation easier for all parties involved and let your adorable son play with something on her person so everyone could enjoy the word instead of making you feel (insert feeling you felt here) for actually doing what you are supposed to and GOING to mass... by yourself no less- much braver than I would have been. shame on her and lots of love and prayers for you and little J!

  9. Oh NO that lady did NOT hush you during mass!


    Hello? Are the pro-life? Do they understand that that means people will bring babies to church and that babies are, um, BABIES???

    I want to throttle that woman.

  10. Grace! That lady is hideous. How awful. I'm so sorry.

    I went to Mass alone with the two littlest yesterday too. It was equally as bad as your experience, except doubled, and one guy in a foyer actually walked over to me (I wasn't even in the actual church, so loud were my offspring) and pointed out that it was the consecration, and couldn't I please keep my children quiet?

    I just stared at him. Unbelievable. Although at that point a priest appeared from the recesses of the church and stood behind me making faces at Liam for the rest of Mass, which did actually keep him quiet and made me feel a whole lot better about people. I also wondered if this church kept a priest on "quiet the children" duty, because it was like he had nothing better to do than play with my kid. It was pretty cool.

    Don't sweat it, sister. Just keep going back. Maybe next time wear a shirt that says, "I'm letting my kid scream just to annoy you."

    And Kate! How funny to run into you in a comment box. I can't believe Jacob went to Comic-Con...I'm so jealous. I spent all of last week envying those lucky nerds who went. What's the point in being a complete dork if you can't go to Comic-Con?

  11. Oh my laws! I'm sure this wasn't meant to by hysterical, but it made me cry with laughter. Only because I live this every Sunday, ha ha! Church is more of a physical workout than a spiritual workout with babies and toddlers. Fortunately it gets better. Boston is usually really good at church now. Soo.. just put up with 4 more years of gnashing teeth... plus another 4 or 5 for each following child... and you should be good to go. Sweet. But seriously, sometimes when I have to take Tagg out of the chapel to walk the halls the ushers automatically shut the doors because he's known to scream like a banshee when he is tired and upset and lucky for me our church is right.during.his.nap. Oy.
    I'm sorry it was so rough! But thanks for the giggles.



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