The Night I Met Mary Poppins At A Revival Meeting and She Turned Ugly On Me

crisco, anointing, revivalMamacita says:  Some of this post was written nine years ago.  It is still true.  And I am still a little bit angry.  

This post will seem possibly a mite disrespectful. That’s because it probably is. But when a person describes an event, it’s usually from that person’s point of view, so let the chips fall where they may. If I might use that analogy in this particular setting.

Remember that old boyfriend who converted from Tony Manero on the dance floor to Pat Robertson on the camp floor?  (He was so handsome until he turned. . . .)

It happened to him out of the blue. One night we were sitting in the bar at the Greystone Hotel downtown, drinking Margaritas and screwdrivers and getting up to dance every time the band played a song we could recognize, and the next night, we were on our way to a revival meeting at the Church of Disgruntled Believers Who Left Other Churches Because People Who Wore Nude Stockings Were Allowed To Enter. No booze. No tobacco. No dancing. No elbows.

preacher, revival, screamingWho made up the rules for this church? The preacher made them up.

I looked around for Kool-Aid but fortunately I did not see any.

We brought his little sister with us. She was around eleven or so.

He had told me to ‘dress accordingly.’ I did wear a skirt, but I was later told that although it was of a ‘seemly length,’ it was made of an ‘unseemly fabric’ and the uneven hem had potential to draw the eyes of even a married man to “heights.”  These people loved the word “seemly” in all its forms, especially “unseemly.”

I was also instructed not to let my elbows show if I decided to return. Elbows were a “private part,” and women should not drive the men to distraction by displaying them.

No problem there.

So, the three of us entered the church. It was absolutely jam-packed-full of people, and smelled like a concession stand that hadn’t been cleaned any time lately. We found seats about four pews from the front, and settled in. Everyone was talkative and seemed fairly normal, barring the dowdy clothes and the weird hats and umbrellas. It wasn’t raining. Everyone had umbrellas.

The old lady behind us looked exactly like Mary Poppins. She struck up a nice old-lady-to-little-girl conversation with the Boyfriend’s sister. A guy I remembered from high school was playing the Mary Poppins, umbrella, revival meeting, criscopiano. I was surprised to see him there, for as I said, I remembered him from high school. I dare say he was just as surprised to see me there.

At precisely seven o’clock, the placed hushed as though a bowl had been turned over the top of the building. Four old ladies walked down the aisle, sprinkling water from silver dishes, behind them.

The preacher (he was not a minister, sorry, but he was NOT a minister, just a preacher) stalked pompously down the aisle and took his place behind the pulpit. The four old women stood behind him.

revival meeting, crazy people, corncob, wild, chaoticThe moment he opened his mouth and spoke, the whole place exploded.

I honestly have no clue what he said that night, because I couldn’t hear him. The four women behind him raised their arms into the air and hooted like freight trains the entire time. Everyone in the church went nuts.

They were whacking their umbrellas all over the pews and the walls and each other. They were screaming and crying and singing and making freaky noises that were supposed doppler effect, revival meeting, screaming womento be ‘tongues’ but most of the time it was fairly understandable; plus, the ‘tongue’ people, while looking straight up or straight down, were flicking their eyes from side to side to make sure people were watching them.

Mary Poppins was shrieking like a banshee and hitting the Little Sister with her umbrella, so hard that she almost fell down. It was louder and crazier than many rock concerts I’d been to.

People were running around the room with cans of Crisco, smearing it on people’s foreheads. I had to knock one old man away from me with my foot! He was DETERMINED to put Crisco on my face. And one of them got the Little Sister, who began to cry in terror.

And the crowd scared me. They scared me badly. Some of them were coming after me personally, with those rolled-up umbrellas and their ‘tongues’ and their screaming and prancing and wailing and moaning and Crisco.

You read about Shakers gettin’ down. . . .Shakers had NOTHING on these people.

I looked back across the pews. People were standing on top of them and prancing. There were people dancing on top of the piano. Swinging from the rafters. It was like being at a campus rugby party.  There should have been a keg in the corner.

I was more frightened with every moment that passed by.  It was a living re-enactment of the Doppler Effect – and louder than a train.

Then I looked closely at his Little Sister. She was white-faced and shaking. That’s when I got angry. terrified child, scared little girl at revival meeting

I took her by the hand and together we braved the aisle and aimed for the door. People jumped in front of us, and tried to keep us from leaving. I elbowed them aside with my sinful sensual elbows and led her out.

In the hallway, we looked around and found the restroom. We holed up in there for the duration of the meeting. I would have just left with her, but we were too far away to walk anywhere familiar, and I didn’t have any money for a cab. She sobbed in my arms for an hour.

When things quieted down, we ventured out of the restroom and cased the joint. We found the Boyfriend standing outside in a group of cigar-smoking men (can you spell HYPOCRITE?) and he wasn’t overly pleased with my “behavior.”

All the way home, I told him exactly whose ‘behavior’ needed improvement.

I didn’t expect him to call me again, but he did. Too many times.

I never did know if he was just taking a walk on the wild side, or if he saw me as one of the sinful who needed redemption.

Either way, I was no longer interested.

I am a Christian, but I am not a bloody lunatic. And adults who look and dress like Mary Poppins should not terrorize a little girl by screaming in her face and hitting her with an umbrella and attacking her with Crisco.

How dare those people frighten a child like that. I’m still angry on her behalf.

What kind of religion behaves like that? I have laughed about this experience for many years but I have also waxed indignant over it. I do not believe these people had religion. I do not believe these people had anything remotely associated with religion.

I think these people were repressed judgemental morons who saw evil in everything, and who forced themselves to live such anal lives that the corncob could fall out only when they were going nuts in church.

I do not mean to make fun of all churches. No, no, no. I’ve met lovely people in church before. I’ve also met them outside of church.

But I AM making fun of churches that encourage behaviour like I saw that night. And I am making fun of people who behave like those people behaved.

Because, you know, if we don’t make fun of them, we might break down and cry over the complete and utter idiocy of much of the human race.

Perhaps that is why were were given a sense of humor, after all.

Blogging: My First Love Is Also My Current Love

thinkthereforeMamacita says:  Some people are saying that blogging is dead – that Facebook, Twitter, and PInterest, which are faster and shorter and easier, are taking over the social media movable feast. Not for me.   It is quite true that these platforms are taking up much of my former blogging time, but you know something. . . . popular and fun and useful as other aspects of social media might be, my first love is also my current love:  blogging.

I am one of the old-school bloggers.  My archives go back to April 2004, and by blogging/social media standards, that’s practically ancient.

WordCamp ChicagoI go to conferences mainly to meet up with other old-school bloggers.  Oh, I love meeting the newbies, too – we all begin everything as bloghernewbies – but my heart beats with love at the very thought of the other old-timers, the bloggers I’ve known and followed for years.  I’d list them here but they know who they are.  I only hope they know how precious they are to me.

Whether I’m speaking or just attending, blogging conferences are necessary for my soul.

blogworld, new media expoMy clients are precious, also.  I give them my full attention, and I hope I give them exactly what they need and want.  I also hope they let me know pronto if I don’t.

This blog is not a client blog, although several clients have “discovered” me here.  This blog is where I talk about my own “stuff,” and if that is of interest to others, more the better.  (SQUEEEEEEE….)

Blogging saved my soul alive, but that is probably another story.  Someday, perhaps I will have the courage to tell it.  Some of you already know it, and your support has meant the world to me.

Those of you who have encouraged me along the way will be precious until the day I die.  Possibly even after that.

MixWest, BlogIndianaBlogging has enhanced my life.  It has enhanced my teaching.  It has enhanced my social media work.  It has enhanced me.  Our blogs are an extension of. . . well, us.  This blog is me I.  (First person nominative pronouns follow linking verbs. . . .)  <–Proof that this blog is about me. (First person objective pronouns follow prepositions.)  <–More proof.  Real blogs are about real people.  Don’t confuse a real blog with an ad campaign, or anything the writer is being paid to write.  Personal blogs and business blogs are not the same thing.

Yes, a blog, done up right, will be a conversation.  It will be therapy.  It will be an open window and, if you’re  lucky, an open door.  A blog will help you learn about others, but mostly, it will help you learn more about yourself.  Your blog will be a living thing, with a heart and a soul.  It will make you better.  Mine is improving me, ongoing.

I think it would do the same for you.  Give it a chance.

Blogging is far more than keeping a diary of what you had for dinner.  That might have worked for Samuel Pepys, but these days people save that stuff for Twitter.  :)

We had chicken/cheese enchiladas for dinner tonight.  Interested?  I thought not.

Blogging gives us a look into other people’s lives, and allows us to become acquainted, really acquainted.  Blogging lets us share, and help, and like each other and, sometimes, even love each other, and I don’t necessarily mean the romantic or creepy kind.  Blogging is the village that everyone needs.

I met some of my best and dearest friends via blogging.  So can you.I Love My Blog, Scheiss Weekly

What are you waiting for?

Things I Still Haven’t Done. Yet.

a round tuit, scheiss weekly Mamacita says: I’m not the only procrastinator you know, but I’m probably the only one who still hasn’t used an ATM machine.

Ten things I still haven’t done:

1. Used an ATM machine. (Oh hush. I understand they require money.)

2. Peed in the shower.  No.

3.  Awakened in the early morning refreshed and ready to meet the day.  Never, as far back as my memory goes.  I do not “do” early morning gracefully or graciously, period.  I have enjoyed a beautiful sunrise on occasion; you know, right before going to bed.

4.  Enjoyed wearing a heavy coat even when it’s freezing cold outside.

5.  Fallen in love with a dog. (We never had dogs; we had cats, and it was risky falling in love with them because I grew up on a really busy corner in the middle of town.  Every cat we ever had – and we had a lot of cats – ended up pancake-style in the middle of the street.  I live in fear of finding my current cats that way.)  I haven’t ruled out having a dog; I love their faces.  It’s just not in my experience.

6.  Outgrown the Monkees.The Monkees, Scheiss Weekly

7.  Worn a lot of makeup.  I could use some, according to Mom, but I just never developed any interest in it.  Obviously.

8.  Cared much about fashion, period.  Again, obviously.

9.  Had a pedicure.  This is on my bucket list, though, as I understand they give you a leg massage.  I’m in your power if you give me a leg massage.

10.  Outgrown Spencer Gifts or the gift shop in pretty much any museum, gallery, or theatre.Broadway mugs, gift shop Everything is overpriced, but most of our coffee mugs bear the name of a Broadway show. You can’t buy those at Target.

*11.  Possibly, growing up.  Growing up is for suckers.

*Bonus.  Everybody loves a bonus.

Half A Pot Roast, and a Mashed Grilled Cheese, Please

grilled cheese, mashed grilled cheese(From 2004)

Mamacita says:  Remember that anecdote about the young bride whose husband asked her why she cut the beef roast in half before she put it in the pan?

She told him she did it that way, because her mother always did it that way.

So the young husband asked his mother-in-law why she had always cut the beef roast in half before she put it in the pan. Her reply? She did it that way because HER mother had always done it that way.

At the next family dinner, the husband asked his wife’s grandmother why she had always cut the beef roast in half before putting it in the pan. Her reply? Because her mother had always done it that way.

His wife’s great-grandmother was still alive, so he went to the nursing home and asked her why she always cut the beef roast in half before putting it in the pan. Her reply?

Messermeister knife, Texas Pepper Jelly“I only had the one small pan, and the only way a roast would fit in it was if it was first cut into two pieces.”

When my children visit, I often think of this story. I don’t know if it’s true or not, but it might as well be, because so many of the things we do make no sense except in the context of the past.

First of all, both of my children love grilled cheese sandwiches. I mean, who doesn’t? Secondly, neither of my children will touch a grilled cheese sandwich unless it was made with Velveeta.

Thirdly, and most importantly, I can grant these wishes because A. I won’t eat a grilled cheese sandwich unless it was made with Velveeta, either, and B. Velveeta is a name brand food I can actually AFFORD!

When my son comes down to visit, usually on a weekend, the minute he enters the house, he requests grilled cheese sandwiches. When he was a little boy, the only way he could eat a grilled cheese sandwich was if I mashed it down flat with the spatula after the Velveeta had melted. THEN his little mouth could close around it, and he could eat the sandwich “like a man.”

He is a grown man now, but he still wants his grilled cheese flattened with the spatula. spatula, grilled cheese, Scheiss WeeklyBecause that’s how his mother always made them, the mother being me, and the flattening of the grilled cheese because it was the only way he could fit it into his tiny little mouth.

If he gets married, I can’t wait to hear about his wife’s reaction when he asks her to mash a perfectly good sandwich flat. Will she question it, or just do it?

Sometimes, family traditions have serious beginnings and funny middles. As for the endings, there aren’t any, not really.

Pogue Ma’Hone – Both Versions

Mamacita says:
May you be buried in a
casket made from the wood
of a 100 year old oak
That I shall plant tomorrow.

Oh, tis a wondrous thing to be Irish, although the same could not be said earlier in our country’s history. Many people do not know how unwelcome the Irish were here, in those days. We’ve since learned wisdom.  About the Irish, anyway; some people are still working on wisdom in general.

I loved to read about Beany Malone for so many reasons, some of which were the casual ways their Irish ancestry was a part of their everyday lives.  Beany’s cousin Sheila McBride was the also the source of one of my favorite expressions, “pogue ma’ hone.”  It means, “the back of my hand to you,” if you’re a classy lady/gentleman, and “kiss my arse” if you’re me you.

Click here for some cool St. Patrick’s Day experiments for you and your kids to do, stolen borrowed from the Master Magician Scientist, Steve Spangler.

What’s a little green water between friends?

This picture is by Tim Nyberg, a fantastic artist who draws awesome things which look even more awesome than they originally looked before he drew them so awesomely.  He drew this one  for the Wittenburg Door, which is a wonderful thing in and of itself; the site is down right now but you can still see it in its archived glory.   (Don’t click the link if the corncob makes you walk funny.)

What is it supposed to be?

Why, it’s St. Patrick driving the snakes out of Ireland, of course.

It was no mean feat, and I should know.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day to you all. If you’re not wearing green, strangers are allowed to pinch you.

What’s that? I can’t hear you. Come a little closer. . . thaaaaat’s right.  Gotcha.

I repost this, adding a little here and there and subtracting a little likewise, each March 17, so if it looks familiar to you, you’re not crazy. Well, not about this post, anyway.

Pogue Ma’Hone to you all, for you know why you deserve it even if I don’t.  Pick your version.

Poetry Friday: Sara Teasdale and the Muses

Poetry Friday, Scheiss Weekly, Jane Goodwin Mamacita says: There are many poets whose works I love, although of course NOBODY loves everything that anyone does. You may apply that philosophy to every aspect of life. You’re welcome.

Sara Teasdale is a favorite of mine. Her poems strike hard, yet she strikes below the belt with beauty and metaphor and pictures for the mind’s eye, and lessons are learned in spite of ourselves. “I Shall Not Care” is quite possibly my favorite of my favorite Teasdale poems.

I Shall Not Care

WHEN I am dead and over me bright April
Shakes out her rain-drenched hair,
Though you should lean above me broken-hearted,
I shall not care.

I shall have peace, as leafy trees are peaceful 
When rain bends down the bough;
And I shall be more silent and cold-hearted
Than you are now.


I could turn into a traditional teacher now and tell you that this is a traditional poem with a rhyme scheme of ABCB, DEFE, but I won’t, even though rhyme schemes are a great way to help people learn about patterns in rhythmic pieces, be they song lyrics or just lyrics.  Calliope, Erato, and Polyhymnia are smiling at you, and so are their sisters.

Do you like poetry?  I hope your answer was “Yes” because if you said “No” I would have to give you my lecture about how it’s too bad that you hate music.

Because, my dear, if you remove the melody, what you’ve got there is a poem.  Probably with a rhyme scheme, and a muse that pimps it.

I’ll ask again.  Do you like poetry?  You do?  Good answer.

Greek MusesAnother time we’ll take the Muses’ names apart and connect them to a lot of modern things.  Or, you could do that yourself; it’s easy enough.