Thursday, October 14, 2010

6:48 PM


You guys,

This is gross.


When I was in middle school, I was super religious. Seriously, I went to church every week and hung out in my church's youth center (which was a redesigned BARN complete with a was ah-mazing!) and I knew at least half of my friends through church. I was all up in the church thing. 

So it should come as no surprise that during the first few days of my eighth grade year, I decided to join the Christian kids on campus for a few minutes of worship every Wednesday morning. Obvs,  because of that huge divide between church and state (yes, the divide that is somehow still halting my ability to get married in all 50 states) we weren't allowed to actually hold our meetings on campus. But luckily we lived in Texas, so there was a church across the street (and next door, and down the road, and catty corner, and behind...) our school.

The group I joined was called something completely unoriginal like "Christian Fellowship for Young Adults" or "Fellowship of Christian Athletes." I don't really remember specifics, but it totally involved the words "fellowship" and "Christian."

And before you ask, no, I was not a campus athlete.

But it didn't matter, because I was Christian and I was willing to get to school early to trek across the street and hang out with J.C. and friends. That's all the kids cared about.

So. One specific Wednesday, I got to church and I was in such a good mood! It'd been a few weeks so I knew most of the kids pretty well and I liked the church even though no one else was a Catholic like me and also, we were given free juice boxes and Krispy Kremes. It was a beautiful morning to be in 8th grade.

Everyone got into the pews and before we began reading scripture, the adult hosts asked if they could have two volunteers: a young man and a young lady. I was more than happy to volunteer. I guess you could see the excitement on my face because adults chose me to be one lucky volunteer and then they chose a tall lanky boy, a basketball player or something, to be the other.

The two of us are asked to go into the lobby until we were called back in. We went outside and talked about the metal crosses hanging from the walls and stained glass and our love for J.C. and yadda yadda. After about five minutes we were called back in.

On the alter were two grey trashcans. In the trashcans were cheerios. We were told - with no explanation - to eat the cheerios as fast as we can; it was a food race!

I don't remember who won.

I don't remember what the point was.

What I do remember is the look on everyone's face afterwords: pure disgust. I couldn't figure out what was up, because for the rest of the morning, everyone looked at me and the basketball player really funny. But soon, our 45 minutes of J.C. time was up and everyone walked back across the street and went about our usual middle school lives.

It was second period when the loudspeaker crackled in math class and the principal's voice came through, asking if Miss Abernathy Q- could "make her way to the principal's office."


In Texas, there's a big belief in corporal punishment: if you behave badly, the principal has the authority to beat you with a paddle. No lie. So every time anyone got asked to visit his office, all they could think about was what had they done wrong and how much would their spanking would hurt. Even if you weren't in trouble, you still thought about it.

Unfortunately, I was not receiving a spanking. Instead, I got to the office and found the room crowded with my parents, the basketball player and his parents, and the balding yet terrifyingly strong principal. What had I done wrong?

All of the parents were yelling and the principal was blushing and trying to take control of the room. I stood in the door awkwardly for about five minutes as blame and the words "disgusting," "sue," and "school board," were fired back and forth between the principal and the parents.

Finally, I realized something major had happened and I was out of the loop. "What happened?" I shouted.

Everyone stopped yelling and looked at me. It was nauseatingly silent in that office. I wished I hadn't asked.

"Sit down," the principal motioned to an empty chair by my parents.

"You didn't tell her?" My dad asked. He. Was. Pissed.

The basketball player looked up. "Yeah, my friends told me about it in class."

"WHAT?!" I asked. Honestly, I hate hold outs.

"The cheerios you ate this morning? They were covered in snot."

I cocked my head. Exactly how would this happen? Can you guess, dear reader, how this happened? I couldn't. But luckily, the basketball player explained it for me:

While we had been chatting it up in the lobby, two more volunteers were chosen. These two kids were asked to stick cheerios up their noses and then shoot them out into the trashcans. Five minutes later, we were asked to digest said cheerios.


I said as much and - for once in my life - was not at all chided for my crass vocabulary. The principal turned about as scarlet as a pomegranete seed upon hearing my opinion. He suggested that I wait outside with my parents while he talked to the basketball player.

When the kid and his parents finally left the office ten minutes later, the kid told me he didn't think it was that big of a deal. As long as we didn't get sick, he didn't care. He hoped he saw me in church next week.

Was that a joke???

I let my parents go into the office without me. They screamed a helluva lot, but we didn't end up suing.

And in the end, I don't know how they resolved the matter.

But I never went to any Christian fellowship meetings ever again.


Today's point: Sometimes there will be people (maybe older than you) who seem pure and wonderful and trustworthy and who declare they want nothing more than to help you get further on your life/spiritual journey. And though they may have never given you cause not to, I advise that question these bitches. Their motives may be legit, but if they believe that snot covered cheerios can teach you a lesson about God, you probably don't want to learn a whole lot from them.