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Those could be the most horrifying words in the English language for some of you, but not as terrifying in its own way as it is for me!  So get set for a number of posts about the progress.  Now, I will warn you – if you have younger than “PG” readers, that the working title of the book, a memoir of my married life, is called:  “Irreverently yours, God Damn It! – The Itinerant Life of a Pastor’s Wife.”  I’m telling you this (working-only) title to let you know that although there will be some pathos involved – after all – into each life some rain must fall, or hurricanes blow, or tornadoes barrel through (you get the idea), what it will be, mostly, is a hopefully funny, and maybe a bit irreverent looking back on 35+ terrific years.  Let no one be mistaken – I have had a wonderful, happy life and I would not change a single thing.  It’s just that this sort of life is different from what most people think it is – a lot different!  It’s always seemed odd to me that for some reason or other, people think we should have perfect children, no problems, no bills to pay on rather small salaries.  But then I remember that I thought the same thing about my teachers when I was in grade school.  When I saw them outside of school, it was, well, weird!  I used to be so surprised that they went to the bathroom!

That reminds me, Tilly – The Laughing Housewife, of your post about the absence of bathrooms (or the need for them – and dogs that never poop or pee) in TV and films.  (Although I do remember a few scenes on LHOTP in which Carrie would make a running dash for the outhouse!).  In outer space, there is apparently no need for them at all. I learned once, that when one of the set designers for Start Trek:TNG was asked to draw up architectural plans for The USS Enterprise, he did indeed include bathrooms.  They actually looked pretty nifty. I suppose Captain Picard had a private one in his “ready room.” I mean, how else could he get ready?  Some of those away missions must have been long. . .  The other thing about Start Trek:TNG that cracked me up is that for some reason or others the uniform designers of the 24th century have not been able to come up with a shirt that doesn’t ride up, and need constant adjusting!  You’d think that sort of clothes problem would be solved by then.  I wonder if their underwear rides up too? (They must have edited out those scenes.)

After the TNG series ended, Patrick Stewart probably suffered one of his most embarrassing moments.  He was starring on Broadway in Shakespeare’s “The Tempest,” when at one point his costume apparently rode up, like his Star Trek uniforms used to.  He unconsciously did that “pull down and adjust” maneuver he was famous for, and in a very dramatic scene got the biggest laugh of the evening. Poor guy – a habit of that many years making must be hard to break.

OK – back to my book:  I’m going to preview it for you, with the following few sentences.  Remember, though, that EVERYTHING I write is subject to change, and this is only the beginning.  By the way, all the names and places will be changed to protect the guilty and the innocent!  And, I’ll be writing under a pen name.

Prologue:

I grew up with an image of myself as being everybody’s “pal,” but nobody’s “lover.”  I had lots of friends in high school and college, but no romances.  I think before the time I started dating the man who would become my husband, I had been on four dates.  After college, the two of us made up for anything I had missed.  We went out several times each week, and if we couldn’t, we were on the phone with each other. It was delicious, but I have to tell you, I was absolutely astonished at myself that I had entered into what the two of us pretty much realized was a forever relationship, with a Pastor.  A PASTOR!  For the last few years before this realization, I had said – publicly as well as privately – “You know what?  I can live a wonderful life all by myself!  I’m going to quit looking around for someone to marry me.  I will NEVER get married!  BUT – if I do, I WILL NEVER MARRY A MINISTER!”

I should have known that one should not add a BUT to a NEVER declaration!  Whoever does is doomed.  You see, I had grown up in a wonderful family, and our lives were centered around our faith, and therefore the community of our church.  Most family activities were at the church; and as most church-folk know, the best pot-luck suppers in the world are served at churches! (There are a very few exceptions to that rule, one of which I will recount as the story progresses.)  There was also sometimes a rather grim fact of life in some churches, which I observed from a young age, but only occasionally.  However, they must have made a good impression, because the only reason I ever ruled out ministers or pastors as husband material, was that I noticed how badly the Pastor’s family can be treated.  They are often the subject of endless gossip, most of it untrue (most of it).  I must have subconsciously decided as a young girl that the caveat on Me-Pastor unions would neverbe enforced.

I learned the excellent advice, ‘Never say never,’ was a wise axiom.  It took my husband and me less than a week to realize we were already on our way down the aisle. Eight months after our first date, we were married.”  The marriage has been an amusement park of rides, round and round on the carousel, up and down on the roller coaster, several trips on the “Tilt-a-Whirl,” with some bungee jumps and a few hairy “airplane rides” that ended with parachute float back down to earth.  In other words, I’ve had fun – with a few belly flops thrown in for good measure, to make everything balance out, and to complete our lives with the abundance of enough. . .

Don’t worry, my dear and Gentle Readers, the humor will start coming into the story; there will be more about our “eight months of courting days,” and lots about some lessons that I have still not quite mastered, about “keeping my mouth shut.”  (I know, hard to believe, right?)

Hope you are looking forward to my stories – our animals will figure into them too, so all you Popoki and Pepper fans out there, be of good cheer – there are lots to tell!

Until I decide to share more of the fledgling book, this, for now anyway, is enough. . .

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