Not Richie and me and our two dogs
Every day my husband and I take our two dogs, Darcy and Alfie, for a walk at our church. Our church has beautiful grounds, probably four or five acres of ponds, fountains and woods - it's like a park. People bring their dogs there to walk every day, or they ride their bikes through the grounds. There are three buildings - one church, one activities center and one I don't know what it is building, but it's nice. There is also a wooded private area where four retired priests live. Our dogs love it there and if we time it right we don't meet the pastor walking his dog, a very possessive little dachshund. The dog, not the pastor. The caretaker has told us there are even coyotes in the small wooded area north of the priests' retirement area. It is heaven.
Michigan Retirees - last year's Christmas celebration.
So, I went to the sign to double check the time of the vigil, then I wondered if they had the cross on the altar. At our church in Chicago the cross was left on the altar after the Good Friday service and you could visit on Holy Saturday. I went up to the church - I still was holding the leash of my dog, Darcy - and tried the doors. They were locked, so I suppose they don't have the Saturday tradition here. I turned around to see two cars at the beginning of the circular drive before the church, sitting there watching me. Being among all these old people you see a lot of strange car maneuverings - driving on sidewalks, parking four feet from the curb... you never know. So finally one of the cars drove by me, then the second. I waved at the second car, like an idiot, thinking that if they were snowbirds they may need some information. All I got was an angry head shake and they drove on.
Curious. Rich and I continued walking the dogs, around the second building, then around the third building. Everything was gloriously beautiful.
Coyote in disguise
That was when Harriet Hateful pulled up next to me, besides the woods with the coyotes, next to the retirement homes where the pastor and his dog Bella live. She jumped out of her car and began screaming at me.
Actual photo of the woman taken with my cell phone. Honest.
"I saw you walk your dog up to the church and let it pee on the ground there and people will be there for services and it will stink and that was the most disgusting thing in the world and I have never been so shocked..." yadda yadda yadda. I was really surprised. I don't really think Darcy peed up by the door. She'd peed all over the park before and if you know dogs they just keep trying to get more out to mark a territory, but I don't think she even had time to do that. What in the hell was this woman talking about?
Why are so many people so angry all the time? I tried to tell her that I didn't usually just walk up to the church with my dog, I was just trying the door, but she just kept on screaming. And I mean screaming! I said, "Don't be ridiculous. The pastor walks his dogs here, too. Lots of dogs walk here. There are wild coyotes here." When she wouldn't listen I walked away and she continued screaming at Richie - my Richie who is perhaps the kindest, gentlest man in the entire world.
The voices in my head were pretty angry
She told him it was sacrilegious to walk dogs there - it was holy ground, and that she wasn't even a Catholic and she had more respect than he did. She is REALLY lucky I didn't hear her say a word against my husband. I mean REALLY lucky.
He stayed calm and said, "well, if you'll just point out to me where the holy ground ends and regular grounds begin, we'll keep to that area." That really set her off.
Well, eventually she got tired I supposed and drove off in a huff, but I can't help wonder what motivates people to judge others like that? She doesn't know us, doesn't know my husband volunteers with a Literacy Program for the poor, or that he is a Big Brother. She just went off. Spoiled my afternoon completely.
I will need a lot of chocolate Easter Sunday to ever feel really whole again.
Any excuse to put a picture of Colin up.