Saturday, August 27, 2005

Clericals and a Chocolate Shake

We are off to St. Stephen's early tomorrow morning. St. Stephen's is where I did two semesters of field education, while serving as a deacon, for about nine months last year. I would have remained there as a priest if I could have, but alas, it is now much too far away. Karen and I will rise at about 5:15am to hit the road at 6am and be in Belvedere at 7:30am. We will do three hours of driving altogether. Ok for the occasional visit, but as a regular gig? It's not worth that kind of commute.

We do get a treat when we go to St. Stephen's, though. We go to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. Well, perhaps not exactly true . . . I go to In-N-Out, Karen gets a bagel at the deli.

For me I get a kind of perverse satisfaction out of wearing my collar in places where it might not be expected. I am not one of those priests for whom ordering that set of clerical collar pajamas almost seems appropriate, but I will wear the gear out in public. I remember one of the first times I was out it in public in the collar, I was shopping for a suit jacket for Sunday mornings. I went to get a burrito at a restaurant near the clothing store. When I went up to get some salsa, I could feel the distraction of me in the clericals. The eyes followed me across the restaurant floor. Another patron at the salsa bar did not just do a double take, but a triple take. First look, a dude getting salsa. Second look, a wheelchair dude getting salsa. Third look, is that wheelchair dude getting salsa super-religious or something? Suffice it to say, the last take resulted in a look of utter consternation and salsa all over the floor.

Let's hope nobody spills his or her food tomorrow. But it is a good feeling to get odd looks for clericals, rather than just being in the chair, at least once in a while.



Blogger Ruth said...

Diane (ex St. M's, now at St. Stephen's WPG) has a funny story...
One day she went to her local, tiny corner store to rent a DVD. She had seen almost all their titles and was in a bit of a hurry so she grabbed a "nice" looking cover and hurried off. When she began to watch the DVD the words "soft core porn" might have crossed ones mind... She then realized she had rented it while wearing her clerical collar!

She did return it herself... sheepishly.

I don't know if she finished watching the movie...

Sunday, August 28, 2005 6:25:00 AM  
Blogger Kim said...

It's funny that you mention this, because I don't think I remember ever running into a priest in a collar here in CA. In NY, it was more common to see priests wearing their collar, (or nuns in habits for that matter)-- the deli, the grocery store, walking on the street in the crowd. It used to be that just the sight of such a thing would keep you on your toes (best behavior and whatnot) -- Kind of like a subtle reminder that God is watching.

Ruth, your comment made me laugh. My grandmother once bought me a book she thought was something different than it was. She was a kindly, white haired, rosary toting woman with a soft Irish brogue. The book wasn't pornographic, but it did have language and circumstances she never would have approved of! I was about 10 or 11 and couldn't understand why she wanted me to read it. It took me a long while to realize it was a case of mistaken identity!

Sunday, August 28, 2005 7:27:00 AM  
Blogger Helen said...

I am sure it was an easy mistake for Diane to make. It might be easy to confuses Saving Private Ryan with Saving Ryan's Privates

Monday, August 29, 2005 2:03:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a big fan of In-N-Out burger, too -- I usually find myself in LA once a year, and when I do, a stop at In-N-Out is always de rigeur.

I can imagine how the clerical collar might attract attention...and how that attention might feel like a welcome change from the attention that the wheelchair attracts. There's no real rabbinic equivalent, garbwise...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005 9:36:00 AM  
Blogger New Life said...

I live in Tiburon but yet to have visited the In and Out burger in Stawberry. I am attempint to be "good" with my eating for I have splurged waaaaay too much this summer. :) I think I will reward myself this weekend for being so good this week.


Wednesday, August 31, 2005 8:54:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Preston, one morning i skipped the early service in Tucson for the Times and a decent cappucino at a local coffee shop where i was a regular. Well, i got a lot of stares and a few chuckles. I still don't look like a priest, even in a collar. So i say fuck 'em. Go incognito, undercover, and actually be like christ in the world.

Thursday, September 01, 2005 2:03:00 PM  

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