May I refill your water for you?

By Mir
December 18, 2005

After not nearly enough practice, today was the day for my church choir to sing our Christmas cantata. Twice. Normally I go to the 10:30 service, but there’s also an early service. So today I had to be at church at 8:00. I’m sorry, let me say that again, slowly. I had to be. At church. At EIGHT O’CLOCK IN THE MORNING. On a Sunday. When I like to be sleeping.

So the good news is that I dragged myself out of bed and made it there on time. Barely. And the other good news is that most of the people who go to my church are old and mostly deaf, so the cantata was very well-received. (Hey, there was nothing wrong with the music that about three more weeks of rehearsal wouldn’t have cured.)

The bad news is… well… maybe you should go grab a snack, first….

Okay. First of all, we wear black and white for concerts. In theory, this makes us look all professional and snazzy. In reality, I suspect we look a lot more like a travelling band of drunken waitstaff. Who actually walks around in a white shirt with black bottoms? Waiters and waitresses, that’s who.

Plus what people choose to wear varies so wildly that (in my humble, yet snobby, opinion) we end up looking less like an ensemble and more like people attempting to demonstrate the many different possible interpretations of formal. I always thought my favorite parts were the overly-embellished fakey-silk polyester blouses the older women in the choir tend to favor, but today I’m pretty sure someone was wearing pants that were navy blue instead of black. Definitely a new favorite.

It’s possible that I–being rather Snow White-ish myself–abhor these outfits even more than is necessary, because I never, ever wear white tops. I already look like I’m dying of anemia just because my natural skin tone is somewhere between “locked in the basement” and “dead.” I will wear cream. I will wear ivory. I may even wear bone. I do not wear white. Except for these concerts. I own 3 white blouses that only see the light of day when the choir performs.

[Yes, three. I bought one with long sleeves, and one with short sleeves. Then I found another long-sleeved one on sale. Shut up.]

Anyway. I managed to get myself out the door, on time, sickly pallor and waitress uniform in place. I realized about two minutes after I set out that I’d forgotten to take my morning meds which–at this point in time–include a large dose of advil to allow my neck semi-normal mobility. There was no time to turn back, or to stop and buy some. Gah. Well, no matter, someone at church would have some advil for me. Right?

I wove my way through a sea of older women who all carried purses larger than the average suitcase. And NOT ONE of those bitches had any advil. (Side note: What the heck do women carry in purses that size? Why do women get smaller and smaller as they age, but their purses continue to grow?) I was starting to panic, and the woman who sits next to me offered me some Tylenol. Better than nothing; I accepted and tossed them back seconds before we got started.

After the first service, I ran out to the nearest convenience store for actual ibuprofen. $1.79 for 4 caplets. A little piece of me died, paying that. But a larger piece of me–perhaps the piece that likes to be able to MOVE–demanded that I do it. (Speaking of which, I’m so glad no one had a strong opinion about the whole chiropractor thing in the last post. *snort*)

We sang again (recovering some of the blunders from the first service, and exchanging them for whole new flubs!) for the second service and then we were done. Huzzah! Time to go home and do all of the things I should’ve done the previous day while I was either stuck at the chiropractor’s or sleeping. Except that I’d promised to help a friend prepare for a party that afternoon. Damn my generous nature!

I headed over to my friends’ house, where I commenced chopping vegetables and doing other party tasks. Everything was fine until my friend–who is also in the choir–went and changed her clothes. Could I change my clothes? No, I could not. Because I didn’t have any other clothes to change into. Because it hadn’t occurred to me to bring any. Now I was at someone else’s house, helping to prepare food, in my waitress outfit.

Once people started arriving, I continued refilling dishes and helping out… vowing to myself that if anyone made a waitress joke I might accidentally spill hot mulled cider in their lap. Fortunately, it didn’t come to that.

By the time I escaped and made it home, I’d been out of the house all day and realized my weekend of chores wasn’t going to fit into the remaining hour before the kids got back. Most notably, there was still a mountain of clean laundry in my room. An entire day of good deeds, and I still had three weeks’ worth of socks to pair up.

And I didn’t get a single tip. Hmph.


  1. Kym

    “somewhere between locked in a basement and dead” ROFL Who can ever doubt your talent as a writer?!!!!!

    I just love your writing :)

  2. Chookooloonks

    “Side note: What the heck do women carry in purses that size? Why do women get smaller and smaller as they age, but their purses continue to grow?”

    Now THAT’s funny. I constantly tell my mother that instead of carrying that piece of LUGGAGE she calls a purse, she should just get one of those carry-on pieces with wheels. It would be easier on her back.

  3. David

    I know what you mean about the clothes. I made the mistake of wearing my church clothes — shirt, tie and slacks — into a Walmart once. Never again. I got hit up for money twice before I got inside and was asked by three different people where thus and such was before I could get my stuff and leave.

    I’ll have tea, please, no lemon.

  4. poopie

    I see a new sideline career for you with a catering company ;)

  5. Amy-GO

    As a fellow Pale Person, I will just say, I’m sorry. ;)

  6. Stephanie

    My daughter loves to play on the ‘mountain’ of clean laundry piled in my bedroom. She actually gets upset when I finally get time to put them up. She even enjoys digging through the pile to find a pair of socks that match. I just wish my husband would see it that way.

  7. Heather

    We have two services at our church as well (we’ll also have two Christmas Eve) and we generally view the first service as a dress rehersal. ;)

  8. LatteMan

    It is not only “older” woman (although I guess the purses do get bigger with all the prescriptions ;) , I think some woman are just predisposed to carrying large bags. My wife does it, and she can not honestly answer why. All I get is “in case I need to carry things.” But then 1/2 the time she takes her wallet and leaves the purse behind becuase it is “too big” sigh.

  9. udge

    Just like a woman: threatens bite your head off if you make a waitress joke, but then complains that nobody made the ultimate, obvious waitress joke :-)

    Perhaps you could ask the friend whom you helped prepare dinner, to help you do the laundry?

  10. Dawn

    I so relate to the not wearing of the white. I’m not pale, but olive, and I look like I need a liver transplant (or some kind of heroic medical intervention) if I wear white. Used to be in a choir that wore the same kind of outfit. Ick.

    But no tips!?! What up with that?

Things I Might Once Have Said


Quick Retail Therapy

Pin It on Pinterest