This past weekend, in an attempt to cross something else off my list, I took advantage of a free Sunday morning and went to church. I’d heard a lot of good things about this particular one, and it seemed like a place I’d be comfortable going to. I was there a little early – I wanted to get a feel for the layout, and not rush – so I sat down on a bench near the receptionist’s desk and began reading some of the material.
There was a man already sitting down near me, but I didn’t think anything of it. Until he started talking to me.
At first it was just the normal small talk – hi, how are you, and the like. And it was nothing new. I’m used to random people striking up conversation with me. But then this conversation got a little weirder.
Church Guy held up what looked like an album cover with a picture of a woman on it.
CG: This is my girlfriend. This is my girlfriend. Isn’t she pretty? Isn’t she pretty? (He had a tendency to repeat things – not everything, but the important points, I’m guessing.)
Me: *nodding politely* Yes, she’s very pretty.
CG: She’s very pretty. Very pretty. You’re very pretty, too. You know, I’ve known her since 1976! 1976! I bet that’s before you were born! How old are you?
Me: *even while thinking that I need to extricate myself from this conversation* I’m 25.
CG: 25? So I could be your father? I could be your father. She could be your mother!
At that point, after politely nodding once more, I stood up to ask the receptionist the way to the sanctuary, figuring that would be the end of it. But, as I asked her, Church Guy interjected: “I’ll show her, Mary! I got it!“
We walked to the stairs, and as we got to the first landing, he asked me, “Will you do me a favor?” He put the album cover of his girlfriend on the ground and said, “Will you just step on this, please? Just step on it.“
Me: No. I really don’t feel comfortable doing that.
CG: It won’t hurt it at all! Look!
He picked it up and showed me that he’d reinforced the back of the picture with duct tape.
Me: No, I’m sorry. I’m really not comfortable.
CG: Please? I just want to take a picture of you stepping on it.
Me: NO. I wouldn’t want anyone to step on my picture, and I’m not going to step on anyone else’s.
CG: Okay. Just keep going up then. The sanctuary’s that way.
And with that, he turned around and walked back downstairs to the reception area. And I started to wonder – how is it that these people always find me? I know I could have been ruder or a complete bitch, but that’s really not my style. And it’s not like I ever actually felt threatened.
I’ll be honest: I really liked the church, but I probably won’t spend too much time in the reception area anymore. There’s only so much crazy a girl can handle on her own.