Paul decided he wanted to go to church Sunday morning–late Sunday morning. The good thing is the church up the block has like five masses every Sunday, so an impromptu “I’d like to go to church” isn’t a big deal. And I don’t mind going with him on occasion, but I have made it clear that he shouldn’t expect me to go all the time, especially when he starts staying with me while he works a few minutes away. Which, by the way, starts in a few days, really. He starts Tuesday morning, so I’d better enjoy these last few days of having my apartment solely to myself while I can. I’m glad to have him come in, but I am bracing myself to get a little irritable and miss my alone time. I’ve been living alone for about three years now.
Anyway, church. We haven’t gone in a while, and apparently in the time we’ve been away, they extensively remodeled the church. So much so that we just happened to catch their first mass back, which featured the Knights of Columbus in a procession with feathered hats and swords, the bishop, and an altar blessing, all on Palm Sunday.
Now, I didn’t realize an altar blessing is a big fucking deal. We Catholics will bless anything, so I was thinking this would be one of those deals where there’s a brief prayer in the middle of mass and we otherwise go on with our Sunday. NOPE. It’s a whole long ordeal. That ends with inviting the entire congregation to go up and kiss the altar, which I felt weird about doing as just a casual churchgoer–especially there, when I’m only in every few months. But nope, Paul insisted. We’ll probably never attend one of these again, he said. Again, it’s a big fucking deal. So he grabbed my hand and I could’ve easily resisted and won because no way would he tug at me for more than a few seconds before giving up, what with being in a church and having people behind him waiting to go up and all.
So I went up and did it. I kissed the altar. And it was about as weird an uncomfortable as I thought it would be, and I probably should’ve resisted Paul more.
On top of that, Palm Sunday mass always runs a little longer because for some reason, that’s when the church does its reading of Christ’s crucifixion as opposed to, oh, I don’t know, the reading of Jesus’ entrance with the palms. I always thought it was because the church assumed it was the best way to make sure people actually heard it every year instead of counting on them to go to mass basically every day of Holy Week. Speaking of, happy Holy Week!
We also saw my therapist there.
In the end, that mass lasted 2 1/2 damn hours. Killed my whole damn day, since it started just after noon. By the time it ended, I decided we ought to just jump in my car and do my grocery shopping, but of course Paul was hungry, because how could anyone not be? So we grabbed a late lunch/early dinner at Max & Erma’s, then did my grocery shopping. All while still smelling like church incense. I could still smell it on my hair in bed that night.