The phone just rang…. “Was that today that we decided on? I thought we decided on tomorrow morning!” (high-speed thoughts shuffling through the previous afternoon’s discussion…immediate rise in blood pressure… brief moment of mental denial). “Well, I…Well, I… Well, I…, I guess I forgot.” My stuttering attempt to explain to my friend Carol, (and to myself) the reason why I was not where I was supposed to be was futile. It quickly subsided into laughter, as we commiserated over our shared affliction—”Church Pie Lady Syndrome.”
Only a short time ago (or perhaps it was several months ago. Who can really be sure of anything anymore?) the two of us played our roles as Beula and Edna, the Church Pie Ladies. This was at an actual event, a pie-baking competition that we called “The King of the Pies”* as it was only participated in by the men in our congregation. The panel of three judges decided to lighten things up a bit by acting out what we thought would be behaviour typical of ladies named Beula, Edna, and Velma.
Velma, understandably, seemed a bit more reticent about shedding the dignity of her alter ego, Dianne. Dianne is the pastor’s wife most of the time, after all, and so Velma hemmed herself in a little more, out of respect for Dianne’s position. On the other hand, Beula’s “Moderation In All Things” needlepoint was pretty close to falling off the wall that day, and mine was certainly unravelling as time wore on. We two were as changeable as the weather vanes in St. John’s, Newfoundland. There’s such a lot of clattering and groaning as the salty, somewhat rusty old things do their best to communicate the possible outcome of an afternoon.
As the years pile on, the need for humour in a person’s life increases exponentially. It’s a simple survival mechanism. So Beula and I weren’t about to miss an opportunity for some comic relief. All that excess sugar, chocolate, and Red Dye Number 2, (that some of the amped-up pie fillings so obviously contained), gave us the perfect excuse! Consequently, we were on our best, less-than-stellar behaviour.
Hey! If red food colouring could cause me to sit bolt upright during a sound sleep and yell “THERE’S RABBIT SH*T ALL OVER THE TV SCREEN, AND IF YOU THINK I’M GOING TO CLEAN THAT UP YOU’RE CRAZY!” then I’m sure it could be responsible for negative effects on my waking behaviour as well! This inadvertent “husband hazing”,this uninhibited somniloquy, happened many years ago, in the middle of the night, after I foolishly consumed a handful of red Twizzlers shortly before bedtime.
Several months previous to this, Rolly and I witnessed a “mini tornado” decimate a rabbit hutch on our little three acre farm. As we watched from the house, the shed actually lifted up into the air and spun around, full circle. Then it suddenly blew apart! Cages full of mama bunnies and their babies, bales of straw, torn off shingles, broken 2 by 4’s, and lengths of bent siding went flying through the air. After only a few seconds everything came to rest again, strewn over a long narrow swath, visible across the property and into our neighbour’s field. Amazingly, all of the bunnies survived their flight! Unfortunately,to date, no one has ever promised to give me my heart’s desire “when rabbits fly”.(Unfortunately, no pigs were involved in that particular incident.)
Just lately, a lot of what I need to keep track of in my life appears to have also taken on a direction of its own. Some days I’ve been as forgetful as a bus full of kindergarteners, leaving my own personal swath of debris as I go. Jackets… too light or too heavy for the weather. Shoes… their mates lost at the back of the closet. Purses… their contents dumped on the counter for a hand bag switch-over. Slacks, sweaters, skirts, dresses…too small, too bright, too boring, too tight… thrown across the bed, over the shower rod, or on top of the dryer. Appointments, likewise, have sometimes flown the coop, not to be found penciled in on anyone’s calendar, or in my appointment card stash which usually migrates from purse to purse, not even amid the message machine’s groaning overload of undeleted messages.
Perhaps it was art imitating life on that particular day, that we had so much fun playing the Church Pie Ladies. Our forgetfulness, as we struggled to remember whose pie was whose, and our changeableness, as each new taste brought a reversal in our opinions as to which was “The best one ever!” had us all topsy-turvy. We seemed to be spinning in circles like tops, perhaps feigned, or perhaps real. Judging by the trail of scattered items I leave in my wake these days, I really may not have had to do much acting! But then again, I do have a very strong background in drama. Nothing formal, of course, something better. Growing up with four sisters… Now,that will usually do it for you! But those are stories to tell another day.
*If you would also like to read “The King Of The Pies* it was published on wordpress Jan.14,2014 and it will give you a little bit more to smile about.