Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Another Confession of a Pastor's Wife

So, here's an awful story from my past.  I'm going to tell you about one of the first times I publicly humiliated myself in the whole business of being a pastor's wife.  Some of you know this story already.  Sorry about that.  For some reason I feel compelled to tell it again.  This compulsion to tell on myself is probably part of some undiagnosed mental health problem. 

It all started innocently enough...

Photo taken June 1989, Mike's ordination day and my first day as a Pastor's Wife.

After Mike's ordination, we went to live in a small town in Central Montana.

Most of you know exactly where we were but I like to pretend I have thousands of unknown readers so let me be a little mysterious here...   It was Mike's first call (meaning it was the first parish he pastored, right out of seminary).

I wasn't terribly worried about being a pastor's wife.  The first day at our new church was a bit scarey, just because everyone seemed to be looking us over.  However, I had reasonably good manners and didn't expect I'd cause too much trouble.   Our children were young but usually well-behaved.  I tried to just be myself, but of course the best version of myself that I could muster.

We'd been there maybe a year or so when one day I was with a friend from our church.  For the sake of this story let's call her, ummmmm, just off the top of my head I'll say, Rosemarie.  Rosemarie had met a woman who was new in town.  She'd invited her to our church and Rosemarie introduced me to her, stating that I was the pastor's wife.  I made a mental note in my head so that I would remember the name of the new woman.  You know, those kind of mental images or name play things you do in the privacy of your own brain when you want to remember something later.  That was all well and good.

A few weeks later, again I was out in public (Why am I even allowed out in public?), when Rosemarie approached me with this same woman by her side.  Rosemarie, kind friend that she was, didn't put me on the spot and started to say something like, "Sue, you remember..."  That's when I cut her off, proudly announcing, "No, don't tell me, give me a second, I'll remember..." I believe I said the first name correctly and then kept talking OUT LOUD ... "Wait, I committed your last name to memory...oh yeah, it breaks down into 2 words...."  The lady had a funny look on her face.That's when I remembered the visual image I'd attached to her name.  Unfortunately, I burst out laughing at myself.  It was one of those laughs where I truly went over the age.  It was oh so very inappropriate.  I may have even drooled.  I know that I had to hold up my hand in a gesture meant to say, "Excuse me please."  I ducked into a nearby bathroom, still laughing.  

Her last name was Horan.


AKM said...

Whoops! Ha ha!

That is such a cute picture of the two of you!

Kate Ware said...

Oh, my, you both look so young!! And I've never seen Pastor Mike with a beard! Sue, I just have to tell you that you completely crack me up! :) It is so refreshing to read your stories, because I think many people put the pastor and his family on a pedestal -- expecting something more. KWIM? It is a delight to hear that we're all human, and that some of us can look back and laugh at ourselves! (There's days I'm not quite there yet. I don't know if I would have come out of the bathroom! LOL!)

Susan S said...

Kate, you are so good for my ego! Thanks! Actually, I did come out of the bathroom and eventually got to know the lady better and we were able to laugh at the story together. Thank goodness she had a good sense of humor!

Maria Rose said...

Ha ha!

trooppetrie said...

This is too funny, I can not even remember my own kids names, let alone anyone elses. I am new to your blog and wanted to say thanks for making me laugh this morning

Janine said...

Oh my word - that is too funny! Glad to hear I am not the only pastors wife one who battles to remember names. Thanks for the laugh this morning. Big hugs to you.

Kelli- AdventurezInChild'Rearing said...

i could so see this happening to me! i use the same trick and my hubs always has special "nicknames" for people (not all of them public) years ago when i was in real estate- i typed the nickname on a contract instead of the real name- it also had double meaning if you know what i mean!
so sorry for the loss of your friend - i'm thankful you will see her again & hey, i'll get to meet her too! God bless-

Anonymous said...

Horan. OMG. Bwhahahahaha! I totally feel your pain. Are you sure we aren't separated at birth?

At least her last name wasn't Wunderlich. I know someone with that last name and you really don't want to know the mental picture I use to remember it.

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