Fiddledaddy and I were recently approached to be interviewed by our pastor in front of our largish congregation. And no, the subject matter wasn’t our stellar parenting prowess. It was more along the lines of what our small group has meant to us.
And let me pause to say that I’d be lost without our small group. Mostly because these 3 other couples are in the same sinking parenting boat that we’re in. And they above all others understand when we are forced to make a hasty exit from small group with a certain screaming 7 year old tucked in a football hold.
We’ve all been there.
Some of our finest parenting moments have played out in public in front of one another.
And while I’d love to be able to stand in front of hundreds and hundreds of people and tell them about how much I love our small group…it wouldn’t be prudent.
When I saw the email I turned ashen and said simply, no, I can’t.
Fiddledaddy understands my issues. I have a very real fear of public speaking.
It’s not that I go all glassy eyed and sweat profusely, both of which I certainly do, but rather the problem is that when I’m nervous, I always, ALWAYS, say something highly inappropriate. It’s kind of like tourettes. (Is that politically incorrect? Well. I’ve proven my case.)
And honestly, there’s nothing worse than saying something really unfortunate in front of your pastor and the entirety of the congregation.
A few years ago I was asked to speak at a homeschooling event. Because of temporary insanity, I agreed. Honestly, I thought I was going to vomit all over the pulpit, because WHAT LUCK, the meeting was in a church.
Instead I explained to a rather shocked group of conservative homeschooling mothers that I had been named after a stripper. Which really had nothing to do with homeschooling. I just thought it an interesting anecdote at the time. I went on to discuss how my husband first brought up the subject of homeschooling when I was mothering a two year old and brand new infant, and I careened right over the edge of decorum when I began discussing breast feeding issues which included bleeding nipples.
The point I was attempting to make was that homeschooling was the furthest thing from my mind at the time. But at that point the whole thing became an out of body experience, as I hovered up in the choir loft staring down at the crazy woman who looked just like me and was foaming at the mouth.
I have a long history of this type of behavior. When I was in my 20′s, and a struggling actress in Los Angeles, I participated in a pageant in hopes of being crowned Miss Hollywood (because I wanted to win the trip to Hawaii). And so on national television, when Ray Coombs (former host of Family Feud) asked me during the interview portion of the show how I combat nerves, I coolly replied, “Tranquilizers.”
Mine was the shortest interview ever recorded in the history of pageants. Somewhere in the bowels of my garage I have that interview on a dusty old VHS tape. I will at some point unearth it, have it transferred to current technology, and trot it out for show and tell.
I gave the eulogy at my mother’s funeral 13 years ago. There is no recording of what I said, but I can assure you that it was chock FULL of inappropriateness. But I am certain that my mother would have been proud, since she was in possession of the same gene.
She is the same woman who when asked to give a live interview at the grocery store as to why this particular toilet paper that she was purchasing was superior to the others, replied, “Because it’s the only brand that does not scratch my a**.”
I wish I were kidding.
And isn’t it interesting that I chose acting as a profession in my youth? I would choke back bile every single time I was about to walk out on a stage, but saying someone else’s words was a good deal easier than my own convoluted diatribe.
And so, now I write. I believe that it’s safest for all concerned if I stay seated behind my keyboard, wherein the delete button has saved me from a multitude of sins and lost friendships, more often than not.