Is it just me or is sacrament meeting a prime place for embarrassing moments? And not just the meeting, but specifically during the sacrament itself. While I have 3 whole hours to make a fool of myself in front of my congregation, it is during those sacred 15 minutes of blessing and passing of bread and water that our family is most likely to call attention to themselves.
Of course the more serious an event is the greater potential there is for irreverence. When my friend Jen’s son was two he was convinced the whole thing was like a mid-meeting treat and would shout out: “I LOVE the Snackrament!” I wish I could say my most embarrassing church story was because of something wacky the kids did (I need to shout out to my sis-in-law Sarah who mooned the entire Primary when she was 3). But it wasn’t the kids. It was me.
A little background. Sometime in 2000, we discovered that my husband Dave had developed a sesame allergy. So if he bit into a burger that had seeds on the bun, or any Chinese food that had come in contact with any seeds or oil (basically all of it), he’d get itchy, then red, then his throat would start closing. You get the picture. Well one Sunday we’re sitting in church wrestling 3 kids and I mindlessly grab a piece of bread from the sacrament tray and chew it. Mmmm. Savory. Crunchy. And then it clicks that I’m tasting sesame seeds. I look over at oblivious Dave who has the bread half way to his mouth and I dive across two kids to smack his hand away and shout in a stage whisper, “Don’t take the sacrament!!!!”
Everyone in a 6 foot radius goes stiff and silent. In the pew ahead of us are the Temple President and Matron. She steals a glance at us and shakes her head. Dave was the president of the young men’s organization and the boy holding the tray for our row looked like he was going to cry as he imagined what sordid thing Dave must have done for me to literally knock the bread out of his sinning hand. I turned beet red and felt like I was going into anaphylactic shock. Being the center of attention is just fine by me, but being the center of a scene–I was mortified. Dave loved it. Thought it was hilarious.
And there’s no way to gracefully dig oneself out of embarrassing moments. I am still cursing my sis-in-law Sue for getting me into trouble with our delivery man. Sue refers to the UPS man as “brown Santa” because they bring presents and wear brown. So this summer I hear a loud knock and I open the door to find a package there that I’d been dying to get. I scoop it up and shout across the road, “Thanks Brown Santa!!!” And when I look up I see an African American UPS guy shaking his head at me in disgust. There’s no extraction at that point so I slink back in the house and order things via FedEx for a while.
Sometimes I think a little humiliation is good for the soul. Especially as a parent. Kids routinely delve into humiliation–wetting the bed, crying in public, falling off monkey bars with the whole playground watching. Then when they come cryin’ to me, which they always do, I can nod my head and say I understand. And mean it.
What are your embarrassing sacrament moments?