So, I did get Confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass on Saturday night. Manfrengensen was my sponsor, and we were kind of worried that it was going to be long and laborious, but it wasn’t at all. In fact, it was quite lovely.
My in-laws came over to watch the kids, and Manfrengensen presented me with a gift; a lovely rosary, because he knew I had been wanting one, especially one that wasn’t too flashy, like the one he has.
I spent Saturday afternoon making cookies, figuring I would bring a small sample of them for the Deacon to say thank you for taking the time to prep me for the Sacrament, because that’s how I roll. I made some butter cookies, and on some of those, I put Butterbeer frosting. Then I also made biscotti, and some of those were covered in white chocolate. Then, I put them in a nice little box with a cellophane window on the lid from the craft store. It was all very Martha Stewarty. Even she would have been proud of me, I think.
We got to the church a little before eight o’clock and took our seats near the front. The other couple from my nights training at the Deacon’s house were there, and I actually felt my heart soften for them. The girl was really nervous. Her fiance hugged me as a greeting. I was kind of surprised, but I went with it.
Then the Deacon came over, shook our hands, and brought us up to introduce us to the Monsignor. I love the Monsignor. He’s an old man, and he can talk…boy, can he talk…sometimes, when he’s reading the homily, he’ll look up and go rogue, and if it’s not written there, if he’s improvising, it can get kind of comical because he just goes on and on, but it’s usually in a funny kind of way. And another funny thing is that the congregation never seems to get his jokes. Manfrengensen and I have a theory that the Monsignor was quite the card in the seminary. But of course now, everyone thinks he’s serious, and they don’t know whether to laugh. It used to kind of bug me that he’d go on like that, but again, my heart has softened, and he is just a sweet old guy. I mean, he doesn’t have a mean vein in his body. Sure, he’s like Dagwood Bumstead, but like I said, totally sweet.
So, the Deacon brought us up to the front of the church and introduced us (making his usual mistake of calling me Kathy…which is not my name..despite my correcting him on past occasions and the two of us even sharing a laugh about it), and I was holding the cookies in my left hand as I shook the Monsignor’s with my right. The whole time this was going on, the Monsignor’s eyes were on the cookies. Nice to meet you, nice to meet you, etc, but I could tell that what he was really thinking was, “Are those for me?” and kind of hopefully too.
Like I said, he’s a sweet old guy, but he never remembers me. Doesn’t remember that I sat next to him at my sister-in-law’s rehearsal dinner, or that he’s baptised all three of my kids and come to the reception after. Has no memory of the occasions when I have said hello, asked how his holiday or his weekend was, introducing myself anew each time. But whatever, he’s Tim Robbins in The Hudsucker Proxy, and the more I embrace that fact, the more I kind of love the guy.
So anyway, the Mass was very nice. It was the Vigil, so it was long, but it wasn’t bad. In fact, it was kind of beautiful with the lighting and the choir and all. After I’d been Confirmed, I actually felt kind of emotional, which was a feeling I hadn’t expected to have. I felt complete. I had never expected it to mean something to me, but it did. And I think the fact that I chose to do this, rather than having it just be what I was expected to do at the age of 13 or whatever made it a more meaningful experience for me.
Anyway, it was all nice, but you know all weekend, I was haunted by the Monsignor’s disappointed expression when I handed the cookies over to the Deacon. I felt guilty, especially since I had seen the Monsignor buying Girl Scout cookies last month, pulling his wallet from under his vestments after Mass, out in the front courtyard there, picking his favorites from the piles on the card table the girls and their den mother had set up. I didn’t actually see which cookies he chose, but I’m guessing he’s a Do-Si-Do man. I’ve seen him at the little grocery shop near the church, picking up his Hagen Daz. I know the old man has a sweet tooth. And I bet not too many people think to bring him some homemade cookies on a regular basis. So, I put a box together, and on Monday, I stopped by the rectory to drop it off.
I rang the bell and waited, and after a minute or two, he came to the door and let me in.
“Good morning, Monsignor,” I said. I felt nervous for some reason. I didn’t want to intrude on his day, just wanted to stop by to show my appreciation. Show that I was thinking of him. I felt embarrassed that I hadn’t thought to bring him cookies in the first place, so I kind of spoke quickly and deferentially. “I made some cookies on Saturday for the Deacon, and I don’t know what I was thinking, but I thought you might like some as well, so I brought you some today.”
He nodded and said, “Thank you, thank you.”
And I was smiling.
Then he said with no hint of recollection whatsoever, “And you are?”
The dude had no memory of me from 36 hours earlier! It all came back to him once I told him my name (even though I didn’t say I was Kathy) and he congratulated me, took the cookies, and I stepped back outside.
That guy cracks me up.