Published Sunday, December 02, 2012
There is a certain time when the forces of evil are most potent.
It has nothing to do with Halloween, midnight or the witching hour, whatever time that is. Rather, it is the time when perfectly normal people go a wee bit batty, and all for good intentions.
I speak of the hour before church.
Despite my analytical skills, I’ve yet to figure out why we cannot get to church on time. Sunday morning is like hanging out in the poppy fields in The Wizard of Oz. It’s a stasis of unknown origin, what should be simple, isn’t.
I know I am not alone with this problem for one simple reason. Years ago we attended a church and would shuffle in late with several others, almost a routine. It was becoming a problem. So much so one Sunday the pastor finally stopped the service and said, “how is it we are never late for a movie, but can’t get to church on time?”
I really don’t believe he was looking at me. Although I know all the perfect, always 20 minutes early to have the exact same seat every Sunday crowd, were.
By the time the SONs finally stroll down Sunday morning, their attire ranges from Frat House Beach Party Theme, to Old Retiree In Florida (complete with black socks and sandals) to I’ve Been Living Under A Bridge For The Last Week.
I cannot even discuss their hair. This is a sore spot for me because, frankly, I don’t have any. So anyone abusing God’s abundant gifts does not sit well with me.
And right as we are ready to go, one SON can’t find a sock; another can’t find his journal, despite every week telling him where to put it so, yes, he’ll know where it is and we won’t have to go through the big search again; and the third decides he is absolutely starving and can’t move until he eats.
One Sunday I finally resorted to what is now known as the Donut Debacle.
A simple answer to a recurring problem - arrive on time. The mathematical formula was also simple. We must leave the house at X time to arrive at Y time, Y = when church starts. So I remind the SONs a few hundred times that morning that we will leave at X or else there will be nada donuts.
Now our church offers a smorgasbord of cholesterol-pumping donuts prior to each service. To the SONs, donuts = ambrosia. And of course we are about 15 minutes past “X” time when we finally back out of the driveway.
And one SON mentions what icing they plan to have on their donut and I turn around and say “no donuts.” Let’s count to three. One, two, three ...
WHAT??!!, MOM??!! DAD??!! NO FAIR!!!! and so forth. And I again remind them of the 327 earlier reminders about leaving on time or no donuts. And it’s at this point the Little Black Dress decides to go into maternal bear mode. She tells the SONs she supports me, I’m their father and what I say goes. And then she whispers to me with a “what are you thinking? You can’t deny them donuts. That’s crazy.” Apparently I’ve treaded on something sacrosanct.
So basically, my whole Raid on Entebbe move is out. And I can hear the SONs snickering in the back, because they think they’ve got their donuts. But I know they’ll blow it because we’re trying to get to church and it’s that whole forces of evil thing.
And sure enough, within about 15 seconds various SONs start wailing/yelling as they were playing the “He Hit Me First Game.” Every action has a reaction. Because The Dress turns around and in a very un-Dress like way says something to the effect that she wants to go to church to fellowship and worship Jesus and they are killing her spirit of joy. This is followed by the “don’t talk, don’t touch your brother, don’t breathe” speech.
Which we all know is followed by about 15 seconds of actual obedience before the SONs decide to play the “I’m Not Touching You” game.
And the sweet maternal bear turns into quite another thing and says “no donuts.”
We’ve been doing much better at getting to church on time lately.
John A. Winters is a staff writer with The Newnan Times-Herald. His personal blog is at: justflipthedog.com . You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org .