The man who told Hubby the Tootie Green joke came all the way from his job as Assistant to the Grand Poobah to preach at our church today. He is a very nice man and preaches a decent sermon. Most people look at him and see a serious, earnest pastor with the aura of faith circling round him. I know him as Hubby's friend, capable of downing a few beers at a time and a man who likes a wicked joke now and then.
Anywho, there I was today sitting between Hubby in his clergy robes and AGP in his clergy robes and the devil got into me...just a bit. All I could think was I must look a bit like the stuffing in an oreo. This made me start to giggle. Of course, once you start to giggle in church you are going to hell in a handbasket and the only way to escape is to pass the giggles onto someone else. So I innocently leaned over to Hubby and whispered in his ear, "Tootie!" That was it for Hubby. Here we are singing "Shout to the Lord" and his face starts turning pink as he tried to stifle his laughter. I almost leaned over the other way to whisper "Tootie" in the AGP's ear, but realized it was a long time ago that he had shared that joke with Hubby and might take it out of context. God forbid he thought I was telling him I farted. So I kept quiet.
I had been asked to sing a solo song for the offertory in honor of AGP's visit and I did. I chose a song I wouldn't normally do, but it fit my voice and was easy to sing. When I was done, everyone was telling me how beautiful it was, yadda, yadda, yadda. I appreciate the compliments, but my voice is just a part of me, like hair or eyes. It makes me uncomfortable at how overly complimentary these people get when I sing when they are just as quick to cut me down because I am not friendly enough.
But, I was having a pretty good day (even though I was at church) until after the service. One man, trying to be nice, came up to me and said, "You really missed your calling. Such a loss." Now see, I hate the back-handed compliments. It sounds like what he said was nice. He was trying to imply he liked my singing. But it really came out that my time was over and I had wasted my talent. Which I don't think is true. Heck, I teach kids how to perform 4 days a week and I sing to my two-year olds all the time. The best compliment I ever received was a letter from a three year old that said, "I love when Muddy sings, it makes my ears happy." That's a compliment I can sink my teeth into! Just because you don't know my name doesn't mean I have wasted my talent.
But then another man came up to me and did the worst thing of all. He worked for a subsidiary of Columbia records for 30 years and he pulled the "I know people" line. I can not tell you how many rabbits I have chased down holes because a person told me he "knows" people. He said I should have been recording and with my voice I would be famous. He could make a call....And that's when I stopped him. I politely told him that I used to be a professional singer and even made a cd, but I left that life a long time ago because it was not conducive to married and family life. Because people like that aren't really trying to help me, they're trying to relive their own glory and power days. I long ago gave up believing anyone in my world could just make a call and make me world famous.
So I was deflated as I walked out of church. Neither man was trying to hurt my feelings. They were just trying to be nice. But as I was walking out the door the AGP grabbed me and said, "I really want to get you at the Annual Gathering and have you sing." Now that would be something. For just a few minutes I would be famous, at least in my state. I jokingly told him he would have to get me to the gathering first (it's not my scene) and left. It would be nice to sing in front of a large crowd again. I just wish it didn't have to be a damn church song. I want to sing something raunchy! Something rock and roll. Something where I can dress all in black leather and spike my hair.
Maybe I'll even call myself Tootie!