Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mistaken Identity

Evening, All. It's been a very full day but I had to share a couple of stories of mistaken identity that took place.

I was asked to cover a funeral for a neighboring parish. The pastor is suffering from a chronic illness and therefore couldn't be there. So, dutifully, I zipped over and celebrated the funeral and then went to the cemetary for the burial. Before the funeral began, a woman in the congregation waved me over. Frankly, I didn't expect anybody to know me at this parish; that's the nature of rural Oklahoma parishes. You don't really rub shoulders with folks more than 30 miles away. I would suspect that is true in city parishes, but I digress. This woman looked me in the face and asked my name. I gave it and she looked at me and said, "You can't be you." I was worried about onset of stroke in that moment - mine or hers, I couldn't say. She stammered, "You look so different." Ah, there it was. She had seen me last October about 70 pounds ago. I quickly explained what had changed and then slipped away.

At the place of burial, the server (who was a older gentleman) and I got to talking and he asked where I went to school. I told him Edmond (shout out for the mighty and original Bulldogs!) and he asked, "Did you wrestle for Edmond?" Now, gentle reader, I have NEVER in my life been mistaken for an athlete. A trivia dork, sure, but an athlete, ah, no. I am still flattered by the question and lamented that I was not.

For whatever reason, sports weren't in the cards for me. I tried basketball in eighth grade and made a TOTAL ass of myself. I give myself credit, though, as I did go beyond my self-expectations. I sorta wish I would have stuck with it. But who knows? I wanted to belong to that world. It just wasn't in the cards.

If I had stuck with sports (which along with an absence of athletic ability and the sports fanatic gene sequence) I would have missed out on all the interesting things I did do. You see, I was a dancer. Ok, stop sniggering. Truthfully, those who are migrating over here from Facebook who knew me in High School can tell you that what I did in show choir was only dancing in the technical sense of the words. Think of it as lumbering to the music. Still that experience in front of a crowd helped prepare me for priesthood. After doing Joseph and Bye Bye Birdie, I am pretty hard to embarass. I can recover from almost any flub. I still sort of wish I had stuck it out on South Pacific, but that's another story for another tie.

I guess that's part of growing up, isn't it. You try on a bunch of hats, trying to find the one that fits. If you are lucky, you never stop trying on new things. It's what keeps life interesting. Most people I meet are a quilt of all those experiences, good and bad, failures and successes.


Anthony Keiser said...

Heck of a busy day, Father. I dabbled in Basketball and Soccer in grade school, but my only "sports" in High School were Scholar's Bowl, Debate, Mascotting (Yes, a 75 pound Eagle Suit) and managing the Wrestling Team.

My brain obviously got more exercise than my bones...

Chris Favre said...

My Mom was a junior Olympic swimmer, and all star softball player, and my Dad was a band nerd. The Favre athletic gene isn’t in my family line. My sport in high school was debate and extemporaneous speaking. I may not be able to run fast, but at least I can convince someone within three minutes of a totally useless point and back it up with trivial and disconnected data.

Oh, and as for the next generation of Favre, he love’s his dance class at St. Greg’s.