Posts Tagged ‘church’

I just moved to the San Diego area of California. Once again it’s an adventure into the unknown. Anywhere I move, I try to find a church nearby. So when a lady told me about a Baptist church not too far away from me, I was happy and excited. I went this past Sunday and just like with everything else, I found things to make me laugh. No, I am not laughing at god or religion but I’m sure most would agree that sometimes you just see some funny things at church. I had no idea I was going to a church/old folk’s home! Below are just some indicators that confirmed it was an old folks church.

Shoulder pads everywhere! It seems like black churches are always having some kind of “day”. It might be missionary day, youth day, deacon day, induction day, and all other kinds of days. On these days they always decide it’s necessary to coordinate and wear the same color. So because I knew I was going to a black church, I wasn’t surprised to see a whole row of older ladies wearing all blue suits and blue hats, a row of blueberries. They looked like that girl who turned into a blueberry on Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. I expected little umpa-lumpas to come roll them out the aisle at any second. As I sat behind them I noticed they all looked like linebackers from behind. It was the suit jackets! There’s a specific kind of suit jacket that all the older women wear at churches that have big shoulder pads and they’re always kind of tight around the bodice. So they look like they’ve been stuffed down into the suit jacket. My grandmother has some of these jackets. She’s in her late 70’s. Indicator number one that this was an old people church.

Mints are always available: Throughout the service I kept hearing this crackling coming from behind me. All I kept thinking was “I wish this kid would stop crackling that candy wrapper.” I turned around when it got to be too much only to realize it was an old lady. For some reason old ladies in church always have some kind of mint or candy that comes in those little individual plastic wraps. It’s like part of the old lady code or something.

Cat Daddy! That’s a slick back! As I sat there clapping along so as to keep myself awake to what I guess was the men’s ensemble, I noticed something. All the men either had no hair or they had a slick back. If you don’t know what a slick back is, it’s when a man relaxes his hair and slicks it back with grease or gel or who knows what else. It usually looks died black and shiny and a lot of times they only have the toilet seat head. That is they’re bald in the middle but what’s left on the sides they slick it on back. There was even one man who had a slick-forward :- 0 !

The service never ends: This is pretty normal in most black churches, the long services. However, you can tell the difference when it’s because you’re in an old folk’s church. They seem to think, talk, and move a lot slower which drags every single part of the service out. I left after about two hours and I was about a half hour late so I can’t even tell you how long the service went or if they ever ended it.

All the members are dead or in the hospital: Lord forgive me for this one but it’s true. I lie to you not. Half of the announcements were for upcoming funeral services for that week of members who had passed. Then as they took about 10 minutes to do a meet and greet where everyone cruised around with their walkers or canes to shake hands and hug and stuff. I heard all the different members talking to each other and almost all the conversations revolved around either who was in the hospital or who had just gotten out of the hospital.

Half the congregation is deaf: I was trying so hard to keep a straight face during service for this. First it was the pianist who was old and playing straight out of the hymnal book. I kept noticing that the music would get off beat every now and then. The rest of the musicians (drummer, bass player, etc.) would stop and then catch up to the pianist. I didn’t understand what was happening until I realized she couldn’t half hear and was throwing off the other musicians. At one point, the pastor mentioned a word that resembled musicians (but it wasn’t) during his sermon and she got up and started playing. It took a few minutes for the pastor to get across to her that he hadn’t called for her to play. But the fella who took the cake was an old man who led the choir in one of their songs. I couldn’t make out a word of what he was singing about. It may have been because he didn’t have his teeth in either. I was only able to make out the last line where he moaned into the mic “oooooohhh yeaaaaah”. I was praying from my seat that he wouldn’t just keel over right up there on the choir stand he was so old. Towards the end of the song he just stopped singing and proceeded to give himself a birthday shout out before the song ended. It was actually kind of cute because he was so damn old and the entire time he was singing I was sitting there guessing his age in my head. I was right on the money too. After the pastor had to yell into the mic about five times to get his attention, he asked him how old he was. This man was ninety-five.