It’s Sunday…

and I went to church. That’s what I’ve been up to this summer on Sundays. I go to church. It makes my mother so happy. I generally meet up with her after the service. When she sees me she just beams, and when she sees someone she knows she always introduces me as her daughter followed up with a great big smile. It’s funny her apparent happiness propels me to church now even if I don’t want to go.  

What’s better is that I actually got to church on time. So I wasn’t relegated to the rafters. I am very content to sit in the rafters because there is a lot more space. When you are seated on the bottom (or I should say on the sanctuary floor) they don’t like to leave the customary seat between each person. It’s like the movies when it’s opening night for a block buster they pack you in and there is a body in every seat. When I arrived I was directed to a partially empty aisle and told to go all the way down to the end. I made my way down the aisle and put my bag in the seat next to a very large teenage boy man. He was taken up a good one third of the seat that I sat my bag in. Side caveat: He really was taking up way more space then he needed to. I know that guys need space for the banana and berries, but my word there should be limits to how wide they can sit. They should square up with their shoulders or something there’s got to be a consistent way to bring order to the ridiculousness. Before I could sit down, an usher that I didn’t see quickly came over and asked me to move down a seat and hold my bag in my lap. Dang! He caught me. I picked my bag up and moved over as best I could into two thirds of my seat. I situated my bag in my lap and when I look up who do I see walking down the aisle? None other than Mr. Mean.

This is actually funny because I go to a rather large church, it is considered a mega church by some standards. While my church is large, it’s obviously not large enough to keep me from running into Mr. Mean again. I thought maybe he doesn’t recognize me so I immediately turned back to the pulpit. When he sat down he leaned over and said “I guess the Lord decided that our paths should cross again.” To my chagrin he remembered me. I didn’t respond I kept my eyes straight ahead. Then he said “I guess we are on the same schedule.” Again I didn’t respond. He leaned back over “You look very nice today.” To this I nodded (I know how to take a compliment), but kept my eyes straight ahead. Then he said “I’m still holding a brunch rain check just for you. What are you doing after church?” I leaned over and said “Thank you, but I won’t be using that rain check today or any other day.” I was actually expecting something harsh from him, but he said “I apologize. I hope you aren’t holding what I said before against me.” My response to this was a “ShhhHhhHhhhHhhhhush!” I then turned away from him, crossed my legs and attempted to find a space for my foot between the large leg of the teenage man and the seats in front of us. Despite my unreceptive body language, he was not the least bit concerned because he whispered in my ear “You need to forgive me so we can move on.” I inched closer to the teenage man, which caused him to turn and look at me. I just smiled and nestled myself behind his large arm and our shared portion of my seat.

Mr. Mean continued whispering every once and a while throughout the sermon things such as, “Your hair smells good, your shoes are pretty, I see you got a tan it looks nice, You should let me take you out I promise you’ll have fun.” I kept my back to him the whole service. As soon as the service was over, I leaped across the teenage man to get out of the aisle and bolted towards the exit. I looked back a few times, but didn’t see him. So I was safe.

I met up with my mom at our designated spot. She ran into a co-worker and of course introduced me. My Mother has the gift of loquaciousness so I politely excused myself and went to my car. As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot my mother called me.

“Hey Mama.”

“Are you still in the lobby?”

“No, I just pulled out of the parking lot. Are you okay?”

“Yes. I just met the nicest man.”

“Lucky You. Just what you’ve been praying for.”

“Not for me. For You!”

Then I hear her telling someone to talk to me.

“Hey Ursala!”

“Hello?!?”

“We give you our blessing. I know him. He is very nice, comes from a good family, no kids, never been married and he has a great job.”

Then I hear my mother asking for her cell back

“Mama?”

“Ursala, he’s cute, not like you like them, he’s a pretty boy.”

“You’re funny Mother.”

“I’m just telling you that he is nice looking.”

“Ok.”

“I gave him your number.”

“What?!? Mother!!! No!”

“Yes, he’s a good guy, comes to church, looks nice, comes from a wonderful family. He was so nice he gave us a ride to my car. You should thank me.”

“Wait, you got in a car with a stranger. You can’t do that.”

“He isn’t a stranger, Mrs. B_____ knows his mother. And he goes to church”

“Just because he goes to church doesn’t mean anything. He is a stranger to you. And you gave my number to this strange man. A man you don’t know.”

“Don’t be so dramatic. I know you’ll like him.”

My Mother has discerning taste, but she has never given my number to anyone so I’m a little concerned about her experimental match making.

“It doesn’t matter considering you’ve already given him my number. What if he starts calling me all the time?”

“Don’t answer your phone then.” I can tell she is exasperated with me, but I’m equally exasperated with her for giving my number to some strange man just because she met him at church.

“Mother you know I can’t do that I have to answer all calls to my cell right now. Well what did he look like?” I decided to be nice and not work my Mother’s nerves since I know she meant well.

“I told you already he’s a pretty boy.” I can tell I’m already working a nerve because I’m clearly not paying attention since I asked a question she has already answered.

“Could you be a little bit more specific? And what’s his name?”

“His name is L_____.”

“Wait did he have on a brown suit and a purply-lavenderish shirt?”

“Yes, he looked so nice.”

“NoOoooOoooo Mother you didn’t give that man my number.” Oh no my Mother gave my number to Mr. Mean. “Please tell me you are just playing or you meant to say you got his number for me.”

“He has your number and he is going to call you.” Click. My Mother almost never says bye when she is done talking she just hangs up.

I hoped there was some other pretty boy, in a brown suit, with the same name as Mr. Mean at church. I highly doubt it. I can’t believe my mother gave my number to Mr. Mean. The question is did he know it was my Mother or did she just pimp me out?

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You’re MEAN…take that

I’ve been going to church a lot more lately, at least more so than I have since I lived under my mother’s roof. I need divine direction right now and I find going to church helps me sort through my thoughts and re-energizes me for the coming week. I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling inside when I’m there and I need that.

I never get to church on time, so I always end up in the rafters. I don’t mind it much because there are screens to see the pastor. Plus, I get to see way more people than I would if I sat closer to the pulpit. When I arrived in the sanctuary, an usher directed me to a new section and I decided to sit in the middle of the empty section about five rows up from the first row. I was all by myself and I liked it. I was surprised when another straggler came up and instead of sitting in one of the first rows chose to come to my row. All the free seats around and he decides to sit right next to me. Hmmmm? He greeted me with a “Goodmorning Sister,” and sat down. I nodded my head and turned my attention back to the last song before the sermon.

Through out the service my new pew buddy was pretty vocal, commenting on the pastor’s one liners, repeating what the pastor directed us to say to our neighbor and sharing his bible. He even went so far as to place the bible in my lap. Once the service was over I pulled out my cell phone to locate my mother. My new pew buddy asked if I was texting my man. I chuckled sighed and replied “No.”

“Do you have a man?” He said with raised eyebrows, as if I might lie and just say yes even if I didn’t have one.

I stared some what blankly at him and then I said “Yes, Jesus.”

He laughed. “Cute, If I was your man I would come to church with you. Please, I wouldn’t let you out my site.”

At this I nodded again and proceeded to get up.

“Where are you going?” I was a little alarmed by his tone which sounded more like “Woman where the hell are you going I’m talking to you?” I guess when some body shares a bible with someone they feel they have a right to know where and what the sharee is doing. I pretended not to hear him and continued making my way towards the stairs.

“Hey wait up!”

I sped up a bit after I heard this, but he was fast and nearly knocked me down to get to the stairs first. He did offer his hand as I stepped off the last step, but I ignored it and used the banister.

“Where are you rushing off to?” He said very nonchalantly like he hadn’t just pushed me over to block my way.

“I need to find my Mother.” I thought this might get him to back off, but it did not.

“Would you like to go to brunch? That’s if you aren’t busy.”

I looked at him with a raised eyebrow. I thought he was kind of cute, he had on a nice suit, smelled good and had nice manicured hands, but he was so obvious when he came and sat next to me on my lonesome pew. “Thank you, but I have plans.”

“Ok, I’ll take a rain check on brunch. Why don’t you give me a call and we can get together later this week.” He then fumbled around in the breast pocket of his jacket and pulled out a wallet. “Here’s my card, my cell’s on the back.”

I took his card and put it in my program.

“You aren’t going to call me are you?”

I am not sure what my face looked like, but he backed up a bit, so I imagine I looked startled and my lip may have been curled a bit. At first I started to say yes, but I was in church and that’s the last place I need to lie. “No, I’m not going to call you.”

“Why not? I’m a nice guy.”

“We’re in church, actually in the sanctuary and you are trying to pick me up. I’m not sure that’s appropriate.”

“Nothing wrong with finding someone attractive in church.”

“Maybe so, but you seem a little anxious.”

“No, I just know what I like when I see it and go after it.”

“You’re just a little bit overwhelming, and you come off a little pushy. I’m sure you’re nice, but I’m all set and don’t need to make any new friends. Hope you have a wonderful rest of the day. Be blessed. ”

He looked at me with disgust and snarled back “You think it’s easy for a guy to just approach a woman? It’s not! You complain about not being able to find a man and when a great one comes right up and wants to take you out you just can’t wait to say no. I hope the rest of your day is hell!”

I stepped back and put my hand on my chest. To say that I was shocked was an understatement. He was a little loud so we caught the attention of other worshippers leaving the sanctuary and had attracted an audience. Before I could even shush him or say anything he retorted with

“I think church is an excellent place to meet someone and I thought you might enjoy my company, but you’re mean!!!” He said the word mean like we were in kindergarten and I had the only green crayon and didn’t let him use it to color the grass green.

“What?!?”

“You heard me.” And with that he turned and hurriedly walked off in a huff.

People were looking at me and I can just imagine what they were thinking. I just looked over them and rushed towards the exit. I couldn’t believe him. The nerve of him to call me mean. I didn’t really know how to feel about him calling me mean. I’ve been hearing that a lot recently and not just from men who have been spurned by me, but by men who I’m genuinely interested it. What I get is mean and cold to be exact. In the church episode, he was a complete stranger so I could care less. That’s not true. I do care because I don’t want to be rude to people. I just thought he was tacky and too obvious. I’m trying to give reverence to the Lord and he was just waiting til the service was over to get my digits. I also didn’t appreciate his assumption that I’ve been complaining about the lack of good men. I am not saying that I have not complained, but he doesn’t know that and it doesn’t mean that I have to give every man a chance.

I just don’t know why if you don’t want to be hit on or do not respond positively to declarations of love you are suddenly mean. If I don’t think we click, I don’t find you attractive, or know that in the future you will get on my nerves or I on yours shouldn’t you be thanking me for not wasting your time. In real life you only get unlimited minutes on cell phones. With a finite number of minutes you should use them sparingly on people or tasks of no consequence that you have determined are not adding any value to your life or know right from the start you don’t want them to even try to add value. As I get older I don’t waste time with people or things that are not making me into a better person or hurt me. If I don’t like the way you talk to me, how you treat me or even how you smell I will cut you off and walk away. It can be something big or something small, but it will certainly dictate what type of access you are granted. Time keeps on ticking and you don’t have a moment to waste. When you think back over your life wouldn’t you want to know that you spent more time doing meaningful things then passing the time on meaningless tasks or with meaningless people? I don’t want to have regrets so I pass on the mediocre and mundane. I am past the phase of socializing with men simply for entertainment purposes. Plus I have real friends and associates that I like to spend time with. I will admit that I still have place holders, but those are a necessity and they have proven themselves to be value adders. Simply put time is my most valuable resource and I don’t have time to squander it away.

I don’t think anything I said was inappropriate and I was polite. Plus I don’t think church is the pick up spot. I’m not going to respond positively when I’m trying to praise the Lord and you’re trying to push up.  At least let me get to the lobby before you roll up on me.