Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Survived!!!!

This past weekend was the required district wide Christmas party for pastors and spouses. I hate attending this event. Every year it is the same thing: buffet style dinner, cheesy entertainment and a bunch of pastors trying to one-up each other in the showing out department. I swear, you get a bunch of pastors in the one room and they all try to outdo each other with booming voices, religious jokes and their biblical quotes. If I have to hear "Man can not live by bread alone....eh, eh, eh..." one more time.....

Now something you may not know is that pastors are notoriously unhealthy. Our health insurance costs $1,000 a month and the conference had a hard time getting it that low because most pastors don't exercise or watch what they eat. Seriously, when do they have time? Congregants get upset if their pastor doesn't work at least 6 days a week and attend all of the night time meetings. Then there's all the church dinners and lunch meetings and meals at church members' houses. The food is either cheap (bbq is a staple here) or something that is exremely caloric because the host wants to make "something special." It's all a bit much sometimes.

But what gets me is the behavior of the pastors. First, the buffet. Now, Advent is supposed to be a time of preparation, fasting, looking at what you have and evening the playing field for those that have not. One of the main tenets of the Advent season is to simplify. This includes eating. But we get to the dinner and the people are loading their appetizer plates with huge mounds of shrimp and cheese. It was disgusting and completely inappropriate. An appetizer is supposed to be small, whet the appetite and stave off hunger until the main course. These people had dinner-plus on that one plate.

Then came the main course. It was a very good, albeit fattening pasta dish. Again, people loaded up their plates and then went back for seconds. Pastors are not a starving group, there was no need for seconds. But what really got me was the dessert. The host church had caterers filling our drinks, clearing our plates....when it came time for dessert, they were attempting to cut the cake and serve it while the people where sitting at the tables. Only, apparently, dessert wasn't coming fast enough because about a 1/4 of the people got out of their chairs to walk over to the cake istelf and grab a piece as it was being cut. SO RUDE!!! And not a little bit germy.

But the highlight of my night came in the seating arrangement at my table. I had to sit next to someone who was a big-time advocate for the Retreat. If you missed the Retreat post, go here. This woman (who was a pastor) kept trying to engage me in talking about the Retreat and how I had to go. I told her that I had no plans on attending. So she changed her tactics and said I could attend the Southern State retreat or the Middle of the State Retreat. I finally had to very forcefully tell her that I do not leave my family for that long and I WILL NOT BE GOING!!!! She turned her back on me and didn't say another word to me the entire evening. Hubby, of course, was seated on the other side of me but he had a good friend sitting next to him whom he talked to all night so I was left to twiddle my fingers and count the number of "Amens" (27) I heard during the cheesy band's attempt at singing Christmas carols.

But thank goodness it is over. I survived. Now if I can just get through the children's program (which I am in charge of). Ho Ho Ho....


rockygrace said...

Oh, I just love mandatory parties. They're so festive .... ;)

Anonymous said...

$1000 a Month for insurance???? Seriously?
I don't understand why Americans keep fighting universal health care.
It's not perfect, but holy crap, it doesn't land you in the poor house.