When Church Gets Awkward

I mentioned last time that I just started a new semester of both grad school classes and "small groups" at my church. Small groups are basically bible studies where you have groups of people hang out each week and actually talk, as opposed to often times in church where you can just slink into the back row and never interact with humans if you so desire. Which is typically how I attend because:

A. our church meets in a movie theater so it's quite easy to hunker down in a back row fairly unnoticed.

B. I go to Sunday Morning service = I will be hunkering down because I typically don't enjoy human interaction of any kind first thing in the morning.

C. the church gives us free coffee and there's really nothing/no one that can top that in my mind, first thing in the morning, so it's best if me and Coffee just sit by ourselves.

But of course, because of my Internal Homing Device issue, where I run into people I know in the strangest of places, I sometimes can't just slink in unnoticed because things like THIS happen (where old significants of my past who do not typically attend my church show up with their new, overly friendly, children just to confuse me.)

Side note - funny enough, I hadn't seen the guy from that incident since it happened... until last week when he was getting coffee and I ended up in line right behind him. His significant other (baby's mama? wife? I'm not sure...) was also standing there and I think he got nervous because he just BLURTS out "HEY! HOW'S WORK!" to me immediately.

How's work?? We've seen each other all of two times in the last 6 years and we don't have anything to do with each other's work. That's like running into a friend you haven't seen in a decade and the first thing you say is "HEY! WHAT'S IN YOUR REFRIGERATOR?" 

It completely threw me.
Side note within a Side note: it reminds me of when my coworker in the cube next to me kept saying "Happy New Year" to a client LONG after the new year had passed. Apparently the client kept saying it during their conversations for like a week or two after New Years and my coworker thought it was funny to see how long it would last so he kept doing it because the client seemed oblivious. So in February, I'd still hear them having random conversations that would end with my co-worker saying something like "...ah, yeah, good meeting! haha....Happy New Year." It made me laugh.
So back to church guy. As if it wasn't awkward enough that I don't know what his significant other knows about us (or if she knows her daughter is randomly drawing pictures to give to me during church....) he THEN blurts out "Hey I saw blah blah blah the other day and he reminded me of the time I dropped you on your head!"

Um, yes. When this guy and I played kickball together, the team was hanging out after a game and because this guy had a bit of a crush on me, something came over him and he took off running, swooped me up and over his shoulder before I knew what happened, then he SLIPPED and we both came crashing onto a wooden floor. Me - head first. I guess some guys pull girls' hair in class when they like them, some guys nearly paralyze a girl when they like them....

In any case, I now feel even MORE awkward and I just nervously look at his significant other and laugh like "oh, yep I remember! Good to see you! Happy New Year..." (I didn't actually say Happy New Year but wouldn't that have been awesome if I had? Things were already weird. Maybe next time...)

So stuff like THAT happens that prevents me from merely slinking in with coffee and sitting in the back unnoticed. And then the more people I meet in small groups also prevents me from doing so. Which brings us to this week.

My old small group disbanded, so I have to find a new group this semester and I want to find one that is the best fit - so I'm now basically Speed-Dating bibles studies. Like, I emailed at least four different ones near my house so I can "try them on for size" because let's face it, not everyone will appreciate things like The Slap Game (here) or understand why I pay to fling myself down a hill in a giant ball (like here). I'm gunna need that kind of understanding if I'm going to open up to a group about spiritual matters!

So the first "date" I had with a group was this past Tuesday. And I was having a crabby-pants kind of a day. And when I'm a crabby-pants, I tend to feel the world owes me for no reason. And in that delusion, I was careening through the parking lot of the building where this particular group meets (I couldn't find the place for a while and it had no address on the building so instantly I took my frustration out in my driving, because I'm a responsible adult like that...) and as I leave the lot to get back on the street to park, I see a guy walking. But instead of politely waiting for him to cross in front of me, I barrel through to the road, immediately flip an aggresive U-turn, and slide into street parking next to him. Because I'm annoyed! So I get to drive how I want! Take that Universe! (which is really the perfect attitude going into a church activity...sigh...)

For a tiny second I think "wouldn't it be great if I just acted that way in front of a guy from this group...." Because here's the thing - my church is huge, has many locations, and I likely won't know anyone in this group. But I figure this guy is just a random dude in the neighborhood so no worries.

Then I enter the building...and so does that guy.

And he starts talking to a group of other people by the eleveators...some of whom are holding Bibles.


Then we all get in the same elevator and go to the same floor.

And it turns out not only is this guy in the group - he's the group LEADER that I emailed about the group in the first place.


I act like nothing happened and hope he didn't actually see my face when I whizzed past him outside in my car. And as he's introducing the group, he accidentally describes himself as something like "the last surviving member of the group" because I guess the group has been meeting for years, but has changed members a lot. So everyone bursts into nervous laughter because that seems to suggest that the other members DIED OFF and now we are second guessing our choice of group... And as I'm laughing along with everyone else, I'm thinking "Buddy, you are barely the last survivor considering I nearly ran you over downstairs...."

Then I start giggling. And I get that horrible feeling that I'm not going to be able to stop. And I'm smooshed on a couch with three other strangers and I keep getting hit with waves of giggles that I sometimes can't supress. I even start giggling uncontrollably WHILE I'm READING ALOUD at one point....but thankfully I finally got back under control.

So in the end, I'm sure I made a FANTASTIC impression on these people.

I'm planning on trying at least two more groups so fingers crossed that I don't embarrass myself and/or nearly kill anyone else that I might have to see again on Sunday morning...