Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Close Encounters of the 2nd Kind...

Oh gracious. This happened a while ago, but I decided it needed to be shared anyway. And yes, the names are still changed.

So, Hilda and I went back to the temple again last Thursday to continue our weekly trips for Inits. Love it! The problem? Attending the temple on a weekly basis means you see the same shift of temple workers each time...even if you really don't want to...

There we were sitting patiently in the Init waiting room. It was so stinkin busy, Hilda and I couldn't even sit near one another...we were practically at opposite ends of the room. My choice spot for ruminating for the 45 minute wait was positioned neatly next to the garbage can. (Yes, this detail becomes important later.) About 42 minutes into my semi-impatient interim, the hour chimed and it was time for the "change of the guard". Cute little old ladies in white meandered in two or three at a time and got their next assignment in the booths beyond our waiting area. Having had this calling previously, I enjoy watching others try to figure it out. :) (Sometimes it can be stressful.) So, as I sat completely glued to the scene, a particularly familiar little old lady came into the room. I looked at her for a moment before I glanced down at her name-tag.....

At that instant, a multitude of things occurred simultaneously:
1) A load of proverbial bricks cascaded down upon my unsuspecting head as I realized it was none other than
Not-so-cute-and-harmless-as-I-thought Temple Stranger!
2) She looked up, across the room, and straight at me.
3) I gasped.
4) Hilda, who had been watching, saw the sheer terror flit across my face before I bowed my head so far I could have been mistaken for the Hunchback's dream girl...

Lord bless little old women with bad eye-sight! That's all I can say. Temple Stranger (a.k.a. Sister Bartholomew's-Mother) teetered over toward me, but apparently hadn't figured out who I was.

(Btw, if you are completely lost, it's because you missed a peach of a post a while back that you can find here. Read it. It's worth the laugh AND the enlightenment.)

As she dawdled longer than anyone else had at the sink washing her hands and getting a drink, I stole a glance at Hilda and mouthed, "That's the mom!" I barely caught a glimpse of Hilda's eyes as wide as saucers and the edges of her lips beginning to curl as the reality/hilarity of the situation unfolded before her.

Having finished her business at the sink, Temple Stranger then needed to dispose of the paper products she had used. I was SO focused on NOT looking at her, that I'd forgotten I was leaning on the garbage can (indeed, very much in the way). She very kindly touched my shoulder to encourage me to shift out of the way, which triggered a small, but very violent Fight-Or-Flight reaction throughout my entire frame. Pretty sure I jumped so hard, I
may have catapulted the snoring patron next to me into a second or third phase orbit. No, I did not look up. Yes, I did move out of the way, but I also began to laugh uncontrollably...you know, the kind of giggles that attack stealthily during Sacrament Meeting when you're supposed to be feeling the Spirit and being reverent? That kind of laughing. I sat there, arms now folded, head almost buried in mock-reverence, shaking. Temple Stranger took my odd reaction and recalculated it to mean that I was simply so moved in the temple, that I was crying uncontrollably. Oh gracious. As she patted my shoulder again to sooth the shaking, I could hear Hilda's snickers across the room...

Thankfully, Temple Stranger went to her post shortly thereafter. AND, with good fortune, I made it through the Inits and out again without being forced to come face to face with her...and without spontaneously combusting due to suppressed laughter.

WHEW. Hilda and I really may have to move our weekly temple trips to a new night, for the sole purpose of maintaining my sanity.


  1. You are a good story teller... this made me laugh.

  2. HA HA HA HA freiking HILARIOUS! PLEASE write a book Karen...

  3. :D Maybe some day...after the PhD...