Tuesday, February 7, 2012

My Brush With Infamy

Have you ever had your mind wander away from you, only to return with a story to tell?  I have, and this is one of those stories.

For the last ten days or so, my children have had the stomach flu.  That's all you need to know.  (You're welcome.)

Two Sundays ago, before we were sure one sick kid was an epidemic, I was in (our brand-spanking-new) church, when I began to feel a little queasy.  This is where my mind started to wander.  (Don't tell any of my friends from church.)  What if I, too, became ill?  I've never seen anyone vomit is church before.  What's the etiquette?

I was in the worst possible seat from which to make a discreet exit: near the front, near the center aisle.  Near, but not, to my great horror, on the aisle.  There were three new, upholstered chairs between me and my escape, two of them occupied.  And, the new carpet was so new, it still smelled like new carpet.  I was not going to be the first one to defile it.  No sir.  I needed a plan.

Then, I saw my purse sitting next to me.  It's a lovely black leather bag I got for Christmas (last July, when I bought it for myself and then called Hubband to compliment him on his excellent taste).  I am very fond of my purse.  But I could regurgitate my breakfast into it if necessary.  It was even unzipped, ready to go.

So, that was my plan.

In the event of an emergency, I would get up, very calmly and excuse myself, but if the worst happened, I would use my purse.

Perfect plan.

But, wait.  My Kindle was in there.  It is a lovely Kindle Fire that I got for my birthday (which isn't for a few more weeks--Hubband is an efficient gift giver).  I am very fond of my new toy, but it is not, as far as I know, vomit proof.

New plan.

In the event of an emergency, I would get up, very calmly and excuse myself, but if the worst happened, I would dump the contents of my purse on the floor before using it.  Distracting, sure.  But it would spare the carpet, the chairs, the people between me and the aisle.

As my mind wandered back to the sermon, (I swear this is true) the pastor was teaching about one of our sister churches in Southern California which, in the early 1970s, tried to make their hippie-surfer congregation wear shoes, so that the tar from their feet would not ruin the new carpet.  That policy lasted only until the pastor found out.  He cared more about the hippies than the carpet.  People are more important than things.  Amen, brother.

But, I kept my plan.

I never did get sick, which is a good thing, because as the service was wrapping up, I realized that the purse in my plan, was not, in fact, my purse.  It was identical to my purse, but it belonged to the woman sitting next to me.  The woman whose small frame I was prepared to knock to the floor to make my escape.  My purse was under my chair. 

I am so glad that my stomach did not wander where my mind had led, because, while I do believe that people are more important than things, and I know my pastor cares more about his congregation than his carpet, I do not want to go down in church lore as the woman who lept up in the middle of service and puked in someone else's purse.


  1. Ouch... Ouch... Ouch... I'm truly laughing so hard it hurts. I love your brain.

  2. Dyyying! I love this. Hey, we've all been in similar situations, let's be honest.

  3. I am laughing so hard right now everyone at work wants to know what I am doing. And I can't let them know I am on Facebook on know I am not working.

    1. You can just send them a link later. ;)

  4. Oh no! Hilarious. Glad you were saved from a truly awkward situation :) Love the bit about the hippies, too.

  5. Throwing up is THE WORST!!!! So glad you did NOT get sick! UGH!
    I once dumped groceries OUT impromptu for a yakking kid. Just a plastic bag but people wondered WHAT I was doing!!!!!!!

  6. LOL

    I'm SO glad it worked out for you... and the carpet and the small framed woman, too!