social awkwardness

So, some days my social awkwardness reaches amazing levels. Last weekend, when I went with N, my postulant friend to another church where she was preaching, quite a few of us went out to lunch after the service. N & her husband, me, the priest and her husband, and a couple other ladies as well.

Anyway, we’re all sitting there, and as happens with long tables and lots of people, there were several conversations going on. I was talking with N & the priest and I wanted to say something about headcovering. And I started my story, and I think I finished it, but the point was lost. Because as soon as I mentioned the scarf, it just opened the gate to the one question, the only question anyone ever asks.

We were talking about being Episcopalian and how most people around here are completely unaware of our church. They mostly have no idea who we are, what we stand for or how we do church. I was wanting to say that I always find myself in a bit of a conundrum of how to answer when people ask about my scarf. They want to know what church I belong to, and when I say “The Episcopal Church” I can assume that they have no previous experience with it. I never know if I should clarify with a “But I’m the only one in my church who covers” or to leave it alone or what.

I was still in the thought process of how to verbalize this point when I was cut off (not necessarily rudely) by the priest who, like most Episcopalians, is much too polite to ask about headcovering without a previous introduction to the topic, now feels free to ask, “So, why do you cover?” when that was not the point of the story at all.

And so I trip through a few words along the lines of “It’s a personal devotion” and I’m slammed with a feeling of inadequacy because I’ve been covering for a year and I can’t answer the basic “So, why do you cover?” questions from other people, yet I long to actually talk to people who understand. While we might not all agree on the whys of our covering, there is still an underlying understanding and we can talk about these whys, but maybe even more importantly we can talk about the question of ‘what does this mean for us, now?”

Or, maybe all that last part is just a make believe fantasy because I’m in serious need of some community.

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One Response to “social awkwardness”

  1. magdalenaperks Says:

    The answer is (and I sort of borrow from Quaker Jane) “Because God told me to.” I get “Are you Amish/Mennonite?’ and once (honest) “Are you those people with all the wives?” It took me a minute…”Mormon. And not most Mormons. No, I am not Mormon.” Canadians know what the Anglican Church is, because the Queen is the head of it.

    You are not alone. Maybe un your congregation, but not completely alone. I’m not even the only head-covering Anglican priest.

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