“I am in such a b*tchy mood!” my friend started as our quiet talk began.
“Don’t even start!” I countered.
“There are pieces of paper and pencils in each pew. Please write down your talents on the paper, encourage your neighbors….” I handed a pencil and paper to a friend of my parents, a well-known plein-air painter, who was sitting farther down the same pew.
“You can put ‘painting’ down!” I smiled at him and then handed a piece of paper to my friend, “You put ‘b*tching’….” I laughed, “I make great dog food….that is what I am putting down. “ I glanced at the artist down the pew and looked at my friend, “Hey – you just painted your living room and it looks great – put ‘painting’!”
She obliged. I wrote a few more things: “walk the dog”, “play cat’s cradle”, “pluck eyebrows”. We were having a blast; we almost forgot we were in church, until the priest said:
“Now the ushers will come and collect your papers…”
My friend and I panicked, but before we could hide our papers, an usher appeared faster than a specter and held his hand out for our papers. I grabbed my friend’s, gallantly put it on top of mine, and demurely handed it to the usher.
“Doomed.” My friend said.
“What are they going to do with those…?” The ushers mixed the papers in a basket.
“God, no! Are they going to have a drawing?”
The priest raised the basket over his head, said a blessing, and informed us that the staff would be reading and praying for our talents during the week.
My friend was between tears and laughter, but I reassured her: “It’s okay, they’ll think the painter wrote yours! I mean you both wrote ‘painting’….”
“Yeah, but do you really think that an 86 year old man wrote down ‘b*tching’ for a talent?”