(I hate this story, quite honestly, but I love how I'm still sharing it with you. Please keep in mind that I was eleven AND I was . . . an idiot.)
My mom bought me some bras. So, when we prepared to go to church the next day, she told me to wear my bra, knee-high stockings and some deodorant. But the joke was on her--I didn't wear any deodorant!
When we got to church early, I slumped next to the alter. I should have been thinking about God, but instead I thought of itchy breasts. I cursed my bra then, right in God's presence, because bras were obviously of the devil, just look at this couple:
(Seriously though, I don't know who these people are.)
Now, the worst thing, the absolute most embarrassing thing, is that until maturation class (which I took shortly after this episode) I seriously thought people had sex with their boobs. Please forgive me for being crude and under 70, but that's what I thought. I mean hell, a lot of teens got pregnant and they always seemed to be hugging when I saw them. I didn't know how it happened, but it seemed reckless and complicated on animal planet.
Needless-to-say, I hadn't thought too much about boob sex, not until my mom made me wear that bra to church. I figured it was the first step toward the dark side. Maybe it meant I was a blossoming young-adult. If I hugged any young man, it might be the hug of doom. Did I have to hug him, or hug and fall asleep--I didn't know! I didn't even like sleeping with stuffed animals anymore, let alone people.
The pastor's voice suddenly woke me from my thoughts. "I'd like to share a few announcements before we greet each other, hug and shake hands."
Hug. I knew it. I'd died and gone to Hell. I had my bra on, I was prime meat. I couldn't let anyone close. I'd make a terrible mom. I'd been the one to tie my friend and myself to The Moving Dolly. I was the reason we'd crashed at the bottom of the hill. I was too young for all this stress, too young to hug!
I nudged my mom; I had to get out of that bra. If I just took it off, I could go back to being a kid, that carefree one who didn't worry about bras, boob sex or color TV.
I nudged my mom again. "I need to use the bathroom," I whispered.
"Right now?" she asked.
"Just wait until he let's us greet each other."
With a hug? Did she want grandchildren that badly? Didn't she know, people would probably try hugging her too? She was walking a very fine line, that woman who smiled at me like she had no idea why I'd turned red.
"Now, fellow brethren. Stand and talk in the love of God. Look at the person next to you. Hug them and say, 'good morning.'"
Who was he, Simon Says? He wasn't the boss of me. But my mom sure was. She had me stand up and shake hands. Some homely seventh grader inched closer. Him and his pimples almost greeted me, when I ran to the bathroom.
Why is it, that when it rains, it pours? I went into the bathroom, took off my dress, but couldn't manage to get my bra off. I tried imagining how people reach behind themselves to unclasp their bras. I fought with the thing, bumped into walls. A woman hushed in the stall beside me. "Is everything okay?" she asked.
Who was she to judge? I'd just heard her toot like a fog horn.
"I'm fine, just fine." I pulled my arms out of the straps, and shimmed the vile, lacy thing over my head. I think it was at this point, that I smelled something. It wasn't from the do-gooder on my right; it pulsed from my armpits.
I waited until all the gossipy, fart-loving "women of the church" left the bathroom. That's when I knew Meet and Greet Time had ended.
I put on my bra-less dress and felt alive once again. My bra and knee-high stockings rested in my left hand. I figured I'd go without stockings too since I was making a real stand against society.
I peered around, outside of the bathroom door. No one was in the hall, no one except the male usher. I felt safe. Nobody would come into the bathroom. I smiled with glee. Maybe my mom had told me to start wearing girly deodorant. Maybe she'd forced me to wear stockings and a bra, but I'd proof that woman wrong. Sure I'd shunned deodorant (a mistake I'd never make again) but I'd get away with it, no matter what!
I pumped the soap into my hand, smeared it on a paper towel and then used the best deodorant ever known--that cheap pink soap they have in Christian bathrooms.
I smelled great. I really did. The only problem was that pink had stained my white dress, right near my pits. I scrubbed the dress with water, stood under the dryer and hoped that would help, but nothing took the stains away.
I put my arms to my sides and nodded. If I didn't move my arms, I'd be okay.
Only one problem remained.
I could throw my bra and stockings away, but then my mom would kill me and probably have me buried in a black bra. I searched the bathroom. I could hide the things and come back when church ended, but there was no place to hide stuff! Didn't they know, every bathroom needs a cabinet under the sink? Then I remembered Mark 4:22,
"There's nothing hidden that won't come out into the light."
That bathroom decorator had skipped a step. You can't find something in the light unless it's hidden!
I peered out the door again. I had to use plan C, my last resort. I could put my bra and stockings in between my thighs. If I walked like Marilyn Monroe, with hips swaying and knees together, I could make it to my mom. I'd stick the items in her purse (the front zipper she never looked in) and then get them back out before we headed home.
So, that's what I did. I stuffed the items in between my thighs and prepared to walk like a runway model to the very front of the congregation.
"It's wonderful to see you here today." The usher held out his hand to shake mine, but I couldn't move my arms--that meant I couldn't shake hands OR HUG! Ha ha!
"Everything okay?" he asked as I sauntered a few steps away, arms down to hide the pink stains, hips swaying and knees practically glued together.
"Oh, everything's great, just great." I nodded, like a queen of the waddling penguins.
"Well, the sermon started. You'll have to walk in while he's talking."
I wanted to prepare myself a bit more. It was a long way to the second row, but that stupid usher opened the door and a bunch of people looked back. I started walking, slowly at first, but then my girly bra and stockings moved and shifted until they bunched up and made me look like I packed a frontal load. I nearly died, knees still touching, arms down, hands out. I waddled more, hoping the mass bump in front of my dress would go away and no one would notice.
"Dear Jesus," I prayed inside. "I know I suck at being a dainty girl. I haven't asked you for anything except salvation. So, can you help me now?"
That's when one of the bra straps swung down and tickled my ankle. Maybe God did that since I used the "suck" word. I heard an ancient lady giggling about how she remembered being my age. I turned; it was Old Agnes. She was ugly and bitter. I suddenly knew what awaited me in my future if she'd been just like me. Poor woman, she must have been a beautiful child. And she never slept with her blanket pretty-side up!
I waddled faster after that, and jumped in the seat next to my mom.
I was even sly enough, my mom didn't see the strap dangling. I tucked it under my leg--like a dainty ninja--a Dinja! After the service ended, I held all the girly crap in my hand and decided to run to the bathroom first chance I got. Most people had already left and my mom still visited with the piano lady.
Agnes kept trying to talk to my mom, but thank God, my saint of a mother was too busy laughing about music. Creepy Agnes waited for a while, but finally went away like a bad fart.
I put all my stuff back on after that, accomplishing the crime of a century.
We drove home, then I hid all my bras and stockings under my dresser. I suddenly felt like a spy, the kind who does a bad job at first, but then becomes a Spy Master!
I'd tried walking like Marilyn Monroe, but failed miserably, just like a beginner spy would have!
I still remember laughing as my mom searched for my bras.
"That's so weird. Where did they go?" she asked. "And do you smell soap?"
I smiled into my mirror. Maybe I'd turn into an ugly adult, but at least I'd be a smart one!
That's the day I knew I'd become a Dinja.