I grew up in a household that was split down the middle on religion. My grandmother was old-school Protestant, while my mother was a devout Catholic. This made things both interesting and confusing, but mostly confusing–for me. I was baptized and christened. Went to Sunday School and catechesis. Attended services in a cathedral and also a small corner church. I received Communion and didn’t receive Communion as it was “ever-present.” Confused? Well that was me, the once “Cathotant.”
Memories of both churches are still vivid. Some are truly special because they include my grandmother who has since passed away. Other memories…well, let’s just say they constantly remind me of why I’m now someone who believes more in spiritual things than I do scriptural ones.
One memory that really stands out, and continues to poke me in the brain, took place in the Catholic church. I went to confessional for the first (and only) time when I was 13. Like Kayne West, I didn’t prepare what would spew from my mouth ahead of time. I “wung” it…hard. By doing so, I single-handedly came up with the lamest confession known to man. And I was reprimanded. All in the same sitting. Kneeling. Still confused. See?
Here’s how it went down:
“Bless me Father for I have sinned. It’s been zero days since my last confession. This is my first time.”
>>awkward silence because I suddenly realized I was in a tightly enclosed area <<
“Can I slide open this window so it doesn’t feel so…?”
>>chastised by the priest for being such a rude Cathotant<<
“Sorry. I sinned. I…I…I pulled my dog’s tail the other day.” End of confessional.
I.Pulled.My.Dog’s.Tail.The.Other.Day. What the burning bushes was I thinking? I know damn well that I probably swore umpteenth times that week or felt hatred towards someone or something, I was a teen after all. But really? My confession was so sizzleless and so lame, I think I heard the priest hit his head off the wall, deliberately.
“Is there anything else you’d like to confess?” he asked sounding deeply agitated.
HELL NO. At that point, between the claustrophobia and fear of some higher power punishing me for sins I did not admit to, I was outta there. Out, out, out.
I looked over my shoulder for weeks after that traumatizing event, worried that Satan himself was behind me with a leather belt. I’m serious. I haven’t been right since.
Another hemorrhoid-flaring moment happened during Sunday School at the Protestant church. We were instructed to draw pictures of what religion meant to us. Prompts were even given—draw a picture of attending church with your parents or scribble a big ole’ cross onto the page. All I had to do was take a pencil and draw what looked like a T, yet I decided to unleash my inner Michel-effin-angelo at that precise moment.
Standing in front of a classroom full of kids and several teachers, I proudly held up a Crayola-created image of the Pope. I even wrote the word P-O-P-E above the distorted figure’s head, which looked like a roll of toilet paper, to make sure everyone knew who it was in the drawing. I drew a picture of the Pope in Sunday School while standing in a Protestant church. That’s what religion meant to me. I should have sneaked into a corner and ate a jar of paste, but it didn’t click until after I had already made an ass of myself. Protestants don’t recognize a Pope. That was the Catholic side of things.
Of course, the teachers reassured me that it was perfectly acceptable to be confused about religion. I still felt like a big a-hole.
That was me. The once Cathotant. What’s your funniest encounter with religion? Share in the comments!