Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Bavarian Cream, Laughing in Church Kind-of Weekend

I’m really really really really tired right now…but it was a fun weekend, and it went by so fast!

And yes, there was Blue Moon beer and Episcopalians.

There was also red wine, two bottles of “real” maple syrup won at the Farmer’s Market, a delicious “salmon” pate sandwich made entirely of raw food (mostly nuts and vegetables), tasty Mexican food, and best of all, a delectable dessert of Bavarian Cream with Almond Praline and Custard Sauce, made lovingly by master chef Jonathan. Oh my gosh, I am so full!

Jonathan’s Bavarois aux Praline (Bavarian Cream with Almond Praline and Custard Sauce), his latest Julia Child creation, was sooo good, and the best part was that he totally surprised me by topping it with really cute lit birthday candles (shaped like stars) and walking into the room, singing “Happy Birthday” to me. (My birthday’s in a week, but we celebrated it a bit this weekend.) I thought that was so sweet and thoughtful of him! I was tickled pink.

My bestest girlfriend Diane also surprised me with a fun birthday gift which included, among other things, a Trader Joe’s gift card (one of my favorite stores) and cute little yoga-themed sticky notes. They’re adorable! And so fitting, since I’ve been a bit obsessed with yoga lately. (It’s the one exercise besides walking that I actually like doing.)

And of course, we all really enjoyed each other’s company and laughed a lot.

I even got the giggles at the Episcopalian church we attended (we attended the church in support of Jonathan, who sings in the choir) this morning. For those who don’t know, the Episcopalian church service is very very extremely similar to the Catholic mass, so it was pretty easy for my Catholic-raised self to follow along.

Of course, there was a female priest, so that was different (and kinda cool).

And there was one difference that I wasn’t completely prepared for, even though Jonathan had mentioned it to us earlier. In the Episcopalian church there’s a “communion rail” in the front of church—and the people process to the front of the church, kneel down in a line, and receive communion. The part that I wasn’t sure about was how to take communion in the Episcopal church.

Jonathan had told us ahead of time that some people ate the host, and then drank from the wine cup—as is common practice in a Catholic church. However, he’d also said that many other people, rather than drinking from the communal wine cup (you know, germs and all that), instead did the “chip and dip” method—where you dip the host in the wine and then eat it.

Well, this presented Diane and me with a quandary: Should we drink from the communal cup, or should we do the “chip and dip” method? After thinking about it for some time, we decided that we’d do the “chip and dip.”

So the time for communion came, and Diane whispered to me, “I don’t think I’m gonna do the chip and dip—I think I’ll just drink from the cup.”

I nodded, watching the people in front of me go up to the communion rail.

But then, a moment later, she turned to me and said, “Wait, I think I am gonna do the chip and dip…because otherwise they hold up the wine cup to your lips and make you drink it like a little kid.”

Well, for some reason this made me laugh a little…but I stifled my laughter, since it was my time to go up to the rail. I kneeled down, and Diane kneeled next to me. The priest gave us our hosts and we both held them for a minute. I stared at the host, just sitting there in my open palm, and made a split-second decision. I looked at Diane and went ahead and popped that sucker into my mouth. Taking the cue from me, she did the same. Then we drank from the wine cup and waited…and then stared at each other, like “when should we get up?” Suddenly I saw the priest coming toward us with yet another host, and I nudged Diane. “Get up!” I whispered loudly. We hightailed it back to our pew before the priest tried to give us second helpings.

Then again, if the host represents Jesus, would there be a problem having a second helping of Jesus? Wouldn’t that actually be something you’d want to have?

These thoughts were running through my head as we went back to the pew. Then, as we sat there waiting for communion to be over, I thought, “I just couldn’t do the chip and dip.”

And for some reason, this really hit me funny. I started laughing—although thankfully quietly enough that I don’t think most people heard me—and Diane whispered, “What’s so funny?”

I just sat there shaking with laughter, trying not to laugh out loud.

Isn’t that just what seems to happen when you’re in church or at some other solemn occasion? I just could not stop laughing…so I bit my cheeks and tried really really hard to concentrate on what the priest was saying. Luckily, finally, the laughter subsided. Thank God.

Thank God, indeed. Thank God for my wonderful friends and husband, who give me so many new, interesting, fun, and funny experiences.


Buck said...

I had a great time with you guys, too.

"Two servings of Jesus."

That's hilarious. And in all my days of graduate school theology, that question never came up.

Mom said...

I think Jesus approves of laughter and you can have as many servings of Him as you want.
The proper name for the chip & dip method is intinction, but from now on I'll call it chip & dip, a better description.
When I'm in Chicago i want an invitation to Jonathan's for dinner.

Random Thinker said...

Is double dipping your Jesus allowed?

Diane said...

Jesus squared! As always my time in Chicago was a blast! We never have a dull moment!

Barb said...

Sounds like a perfectly wonderful weekend and I know you deserved it. Loved being able to read about it.

Two Servings of Jesus ~ LMAO!

Maria said...

My very Catholic sisters would tell you that you had made God very sad with your unladylike behavior. That is one of the readons why I am no longer a Catholic...I think that if there is a God, he/she would be laughing right along with you.

And how wonderful that your partner remembers your birthday! I must admit that Bing and I regularly forget each other's birthday. Ah, such romantics...

Lisa said...

The chip and dip! That's hard to imagine, I'm afraid it's been so long since I was in a Catholic or Episcopalian service.

I hope your upcoming birthday is as much fun as this past weekend.

rosemary said...

Yup, I want to go to Chez Jonathan's!

As for Catholic Mass....since it has been decades since I participated in that particular ritual I guess I have missed the wine tasting...and I agree....Jesus was giggling like a girl too.