I decided to go to Mass yesterday afternoon at our little village church. There was a special Toussaint service at 2:30pm, and I thought it would be a nice introduction to this special time in France. As I walked up the hill, I saw the priest by his car. He called out..I looked around. Who was he talking to? No one seemed to respond to him. I looked at him...who? me?? He nodded, and I walked over. In rapid fire French he requested me to do something while he rummaged around in his very full trunk. 'OMG', I thought, 'he thinks I'm French.' In perfect French (made perfect because I have to say it so often!) I said 'I'm sorry, I speak only a little French.' Switching to pretty good English, he asked if I'd help him. By now he was searching for something in his backseat. 'OMG, help him do what?' I panicked as my eyes landed on the Communion wafers and other accoutrements of Catholic Mass. 'He thinks I'm Catholic...what if he asks me to do some Catholic thing that I have no idea what to do??' I lowered my voice and whispered, as if this was some highly sensitive state secret, 'I'm not Catholic; is that okay?' Helooked a bit puzzled, but he chuckled a bit and replied, 'of course...you are still welcome here!' Then he handed me a white satin cloth trimmed with gold and several priestly garments...I think his chasuable and robe. Can you see my face burning with embarassment as I walked into the church? He must have thought I was totally insane; all he wanted me to do was help him carry his things into the church. Even an Episcopalian can do that!
My embarassment only grew worse as I walked in the open doors. There was M. the Farmer, laughing at me! In his almost incomprehensible patois, he giggled, 'I thought maybe you were the new priest with that stuff...ha, ha, ha. But no, you can't be the priest...ha, ha, ha...unless they've changed the rules...ha, ha. ha! I had to giggle along with him...no, monsieur, not me! I'm just the not French, not Catholic crazy woman carrying the priest's things!