I was coming out of the church today and because my knee was hurting, I was leaning on my cane. Everyone was in line to shake Father's hand and too late, I realized that I was at the part of the line where I was up for the shakin' within the next two people, yet I still had a grip on my cane, which had rendered my hand unpleasantly moist.
I vigorously yet surreptitiously wiped my damp palm on my pants. Okay. It probably wasn't that surreptitious, but my family has gone to great lengths in my life -- you might say it has been their PROJECT -- to inform me that everyone in the world? They are not paying attention to whatever dumb thing I happen to be doing at any given moment. So I was drying off my hand, right? And then it was my turn to be greeted by Father.
I held out my hand and he gripped it and said, "God bless you! How are you?"
And instead of saying, as my mother taught me, "Fine, thank you, Father. How are you?" I said, like the BIGGEST FREAKING DORK IN THE WORLD, "Well, right now my hand is a little sweaty because I was holding onto my cane, but other than that, I'm great."
I was under the impression that I'd delivered this mot which turned out to be not so bon in an insouciant manner reminiscent of the adorably sassy Barbra Streisand in What's Up, Doc? but instead it must have come out in the weird and banjo-chorded manner of someone who'd married her cousin because Father, who could never be accused of having a poker face, visibly recoiled like I'd just bitten him and some man behind me in line gave a short bark of laughter.
You know that feeling when you wish a deep hole with a welcome mat in front of it would just open up and invite you in? Yeah, that feeling. It's a bad one, isn't it? I shuffled off, silently wondering why I can't JUST. SHUT. UP. Do I have some form of Tourette's? Is there some sort of treatment available?
But then I thought indignantly, "Well, sheeesh!! I'm sure I'm not the only parishioner filing out of the church with a damp palm! And at least I told him why my palm was sweaty! It was because I was holding my cane. What if I'd just sneezed, huh? My hand could have been moist and crawling with germs. I was trying to SET HIS MIND AT REST, but he reacted like I said I had some POOP on my hand instead of a little honest perspiration!"
I was strongly tempted to turn back around and whack Father about the shins with my cane, and that guy who laughed at me too. But instead I held my head high and walked on out, dragging my dignity behind me like a piece of toilet paper stuck to my shoe.
And everyone else who greeted me or whom I greeted?
I made strictly conventional replies.
My mother will be so proud.