Baptism

Yesterday’s big outing was a trip to Long (STRONG) Island for the baptism/christening of our friends’ twin daughters.  I’m still a little fuzzy on what the difference is between a baptism and a christening.  I’m still a little fuzzy on which actually took place in the church yesterday – but as the program is entitled “Holy Baptism & Holy Eucharist Rite II” I’m going with baptism.  I’m fairly certain our card called it a christening.  Actually, maybe it just said “Congratulations” which works in damn near every card situation — except perhaps for condolence and get well cards.  Then again, maybe “Congrats” cards are occasionally appropriate when there’s a death in the family and a large fortune to be inherited.  Perhaps I have wandered off topic ever so slightly…

Dragging my ass to Long Island is impossible without breaking my Two-Rivers Rule.  I don’t think you should have to forge more than one river crossing for a social obligation.  If you live in Wisconsin or some other river-riddled area, I’m sure this rule seems silly.  However, when the land mass you have to cross between the two rivers is Manhattan, this rule can save your life — or at least your marriage.  The rule’s application is not solely limited to driving, either.  Having someone else pilot your transportation under the bowels of the city (or over the bridges, or through the tunnel, to grandmother’s house we go) generally doesn’t make the epic journey any easier.  These river crossings just seem to be the first area of transportation to fall apart when commuting issues arise.  By virtue of living across the Hudson in Jersey, I’ve basically forever resigned myself to never visiting Brooklyn or Queens again.

Yesterday I broke all the rules and barreled beyond Queens into the wilds of Long Island.  I’m not going to lie, I was pissy.  We’d woken up way too early for a Sunday.  I was wearing hose AND heels.  We had to trek to Upstate Manhattan to pick up some fellow party goers and I really could have used that extra twenty minutes of sleep.  I was stewing knowing that the return trip would doubtlessly take hours with both the Yankees and Mets playing at home in their fancy new stadiums with ample parking.  Crab-agawea.  Rocco was practically hyperventilating because we were almost an entire four minutes behind schedule.  Two crab-asses in one car take the misery to exponential levels before you can even blink.  We were about to add two more crab-asses to the mix, so best to break the cycle before the descent continued.

I popped in the Jason Mraz disc and played that ridiculously cheerful “I’m Yours” track.  The sun broke out behind the Trump Residential Towers along the West Side Highway and my toes started tapping.  Suddenly the car was filled with the jubilant caterwauling of Rocco P. Coltrane “singing” along with the music.  Somehow his total and complete disregard for lyrics, melody, and rhythm just fills me with joy, love, and laughter.  In fact, had the music not been playing behind him, I would have had abso-smurfly no idea what song he was attempting to sing.  I was laughing so hard I played the song three times back-to-back just to watch him shaking his head off-beat and floundering for the words.

In a surprisingly short amount of time we made it to the cathedral.  Somehow I was able to walk into a church on a Sunday for a service without being struck down dead.  As each heel climbed a new granite step I looked to the sky in anticipation of dark rolling clouds, claps of thunder, and bolts of lightening.  I actually made Rocco stand five paces behind me — just in case.

My friend, the mother of the to-be-dunked twins, flew in her family for the event.  No surprise there.  The cool thing is her father is the Bishop of Fon du Lac and he did the ceremony himself.  Apparently knowing the talent doesn’t work quite the same in an Episcopal Church as it does in the music industry.  I was hoping for drink tickets, a velvet rope, or at least a VIP lanyard — no dice.

I did, however, get a fantastic view of his hat.  I was fascinated.  Even a week of non-stop diligence with glitter paint and my trusty Bedazzler would never have created something this shiny and captivating.  The babies couldn’t take their eyes off of it, nor could I.  I had to know more!  Was this his personal Bishop hat?  If not, did all the cathedrals keep extra Bishop hats around in case one happened to stop by for a service?  If it was his own hat, how did he get it here?  Does it stow flat for easy storage?  Does it have its own special carrying case?  Does it count as a piece of luggage or a personal item?  Can you check your Bishop hat or are their religious rules about who can handle such a thing?  Does it have a little chin strap or carpet tape inside so it doesn’t topple into the baptism water while bending over?  Is it dry-clean only?  How flammable is that fabric?  Does he have a pet name for his hat?  I actually stopped thinking about Twilight for a full fourteen minutes while trying to figure out all the ramifications of having to wear a Bishop hat when working.

Suddenly I realized I was the only one in the pew.  Ah yes, this is why I get so widgey at church services — particularly the catholic-esque ones.  The bishop had invited everyone who’s been baptized, regardless of their particular faith, to receive communion (unless it’s called something else in the Whiskey-palian church).  And there I sat.  All alone.  In the dark.  Wallowing in my sinning ways.  Clearly God thought it was way funnier to pull this move than the cliché lightening strikes.  Har-dee-frickin-har-har.

Again my Twilight daydreams were interrupted by other thoughts.  Assuming you believe in that heaven and hell scene (this jury is still out), is it better to go to Hell for something you didn’t do or something you did?  Initially I thought I’d prefer the first.  I mean better an oversight or a shortcoming than having done something horrible and Hell-worthy, right?  Then again, I can think of some pretty fun Hell-worthy activities.  So now the question is — If I’m already Hell bound, why not make some trouble and have some fun?  Now where did I put that corkscrew?


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