CN and I hung out together most of last weekend. On the first of every month, we have Date Night, because we started dating on September 1st. So last Saturday, we made plans for dinner and a movie. (We had never been to a movie theater together before! Isn't that crazy?)
True to form, I was ready about 15 minutes after I said I'd be ready. CN teases me about this a lot, despite the fact that I told him a long time ago that VB time is always +15. I guess men just don't listen. ;)
So we hurry off to dinner on the other side of town. We have to eat really fast to make it in time for the movie. We were planning on seeing The Mist. Luckily, the Italian place wasn't very crowded, so we got out of there before the movie started.
We got to the theater just as the movie was starting. Whew! But there was just one, tiny little problem: there was a HUGE line at the ticket counter.
"There's no way we'll get in there in time to see the beginning," CN said.
He was right. We were too late. There's no way we could get in there without missing at least 15 minutes of the movie. Everyone in town wanted to get in this theater.
"Crap! I ruined Date Night!!" I said, angry at myself. I was pretty upset, and I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. I felt like a jerk. He tried to make it seem like it was no big deal, but I could tell he was a little upset about missing the movie. That just made me feel even worse.
That's when I told CN that from now on, he needs to tell me to be ready 30 minutes before we actually need to be somewhere. He agreed, and I apologized for being late. I told him I would take him to see the movie the next day -- my treat. He said ok.
The next morning, we went to church (shock and awe, I know! The Heathen Girl goes to church!) with a couple he knows. They are a really nice couple that are getting ready for their first baby. And thanks to our new time policy, I was right on time! Anyway, we went to a church that is not like mine. It's more......modern and liberal than what I'm used to, so it was an adjustment for me. I sounded like a 5 year old, with all of the questions I asked:
"Why is there a rock band here? Are we going to be on TV? Because there's a lot of TV crew-looking people here. Why are those people raising their arms when they sing? Why isn't anyone doing the readings? When do we get to kneel? What's with the big screen TVs? Why aren't we using our hymnals? I've never seen a church where people are allowed to wear jeans and flip-flops. And where's Jesus? I don't see him anywhere...."
CN just shook his head and chuckled to himself.
The questions actually started the night before, when CN asked me if I wanted to go with him to church. "Ok, sure. What is the proper procedure for when you receive the bread and wine there? I need to know, because I don't drink wine at church. I mean, you know I don't drink alcohol, but it's also because I can't stand the taste of wine. So how would it work if I want to opt out?" I asked.
"Oh, they don't even serve it, so you don't have to worry," he replied.
"I'm sorry....what? No bread or wine? Isn't that like....the whole point? The main scene?" I asked, confused. "Are you teasing me? You're making that up. Of course they serve bread and wine. It's not church without it! Stop pulling my leg!"
CN swore up and down that he was not kidding.
This blew my mind. I have never heard such a thing before. I thought all Christians had bread and wine when they went to church on Sundays. (Can you tell I was raised Catholic?)
So I was pretty interested in seeing exactly what went on at this modern church. It turns out that this particular church only does the bread and grape juice (yeah, no wine at this church -- another thing that blew my mind. "Juice?? WTF??) on the first Sunday of the month. So I got to have my Wonder bread and grape juice. It was very surreal to me. And I had forgotten how yummy grape juice is, so that was a good thing.
I've never been to a church service that wasn't my own denomination before. It was sort of like traveling to Europe: the general idea is the same, but there's little differences between this new place and your home. Some of the differences are cool, some of them make you feel uncomfortable.
We were having breakfast with the other couple after church. On the way to the restaurant, I explained to CN that I'm used to real wine, lots of moving around and a more formal presentation. I told him I was not totally comfortable with his modern church. It didn't feel boring and long like what I'm used to.
Call me crazy, but when I'm at church, I want to be hating it. I want it to feel like church. It's not supposed to be fun, in my mind. I want to get the hell outta there ASAP. I want to wear uncomfortable clothes, watch the same routine service I've watched since I was a kid, get a good serving of guilt, real wine, wafers that stick to the roof of your mouth, some hymns, and then I want to go home and forget about all about church until next Sunday. THAT is church.
He told me he'd never been to a Catholic or an Episcopalian service. I told him he'd better hit the gym before he goes to one, because there's a lot of moving around!
"First you stand, then you sit, then you kneel. Then you sit again, then you stand, then you kneel....sit, stand, kneel, stand, sit, kneel....and you sing a lot," I explained.
"I get the idea. We can go to your church next time, if you want," he replied.
"Um...ok. We might have to go to a new Episcopal church, though, because I haven't been to mine in at least a year, and now I'm too embarrassed to go back," I said.
"So......let me get this straight. You haven't been to any church in a year, and you're telling me that you'd rather go to NO church than one that is different than yours. Right?"
"Exactly! Wow, hon, you're a good listener. You ready for some pancakes?" I asked, as we pulled into the restaurant parking lot. CN rolled his eyes and sighed.
We had breakfast with the other couple, and then went to go see The Mist. I hated it. I almost got up to leave about 3 times. I don't like gory movies, and this was full of it. Plus, the ending SUCKS. I will stop there, in case you haven't seen it yet, but let's just say, I was not impressed.
When we left the theater, CN informed me that we would not be going to the movies a lot.
"But why?? I like going to the movies!" I protested.
"Because you yelled at the screen the whole time! People were staring at us!" he said.
"Oh. Sorry. Was I that loud?" I asked.
"YES!" he said, laughing.
"OMG! Why didn't you tell me to shut up? Did I embarrass you?" I asked.
"No, I thought it was funny. I tried to tell you to be quiet, but you didn't listen. That's why I was grabbing your arm. You ignored it. After that, I just gave up. But you talk too much at the movies. We need to stick to watching them at home from now on."
That's kind of good, though, because you can't be late to movies you watch at home. Maybe he's got a good idea here. Plus, I can yell at the tv all I want!
Later on that day, he and I were sitting on my bed. I looked at my room.
"WOW. My room is really messy. I'm a slob. Don't you think I'm a slob, honey?" I said.
CN thought for a minute, then replied, "No. You're just really, really, really bad at putting things away!"
We laughed. I love that he gets me. :)