Monday, October 13, 2008

I Have No Filter

So... now what?

That was my exact thought as I sat down to write a blog tonight because I spent the week before last consumed with taking pictures. And I spent last week writing about them at length to show you people every detail of my daily existence.

So I'm just going to tell you a ridiculous story about myself to kick off the week. What could be better than you laughing at my idiocy???

When I went to college at UNI, my Aunt Janella worked at St. Stephen's, the Catholic Student Center on campus. My brother Hoody (Steve) also went to UNI and so I had family around, but also the freedom to make my own way. Having them there also made it very easy for me to feel like I belonged at church on Sundays since Janella was always there and Hoody went with me as well.

(Just as I'm writing this I'm wondering if Hoody always went to church before I came to college or if he did it for my sake... scratch that -- Mom, I'm sure Hoody always went to church.)

So anyway, it took all of three seconds for me to get involved at St. Stephen's. Over the years I was a cantor, I helped plan liturgies, a lector, a greeter, I participated and led retreats... basically they couldn't get rid of me. It was a new building that housed the chapel but also had a great lounge, classrooms, a kitchen and dining hall... really anything you can think of, which means even my friends on campus that didn't really care about church often hung out if for no other reason than it was a great place to study.

While I was in college the community was really growing and membership was up to the point where they decided to form a Discipleship Council. There were twelve student members who helped the staff in shaping the vision for the Center, as well as working on outreach and fundraising. It was a great way to not only give the students a voice, but also give us hands-on experience in preparing us for knowing what it would be like to be on parish councils or other such things when we were out of college and in the real world.

Never one to turn down the chance to be involved (can you tell I never liked having down time?) I was a member of the Discipleship Council and served on it for a few years. My last year as a member I was already in quite a bit of pain, trying to work and finish up classes to graduate. We were in the middle of a fundraising effort that included a raffle with some pretty great prizes. First prize was $5000, second was 2 airline tickets, and I have no recollection of third prize, but I'm sure it was spectacular.

The reason the first two stick out in my head is that I was supposed to draw for the second prize. There was a big dinner before the drawing and I was in a lot of pain so I went to lay down in the lounge during the dinner and was waiting to do my job at the raffle. My friend Tom came and got me when it was time, so we went into the main dining hall and stepped in front of everyone to kick it off.

Tom was at the microphone, drew for the $5000 winner, announced the name and everyone cheered. The person came to the front and got the big check and their photo taken... it was all quite exciting. So then I went up to the microphone... and remember I was really tired and in pain. Which means I kind of lose that filter from my brain to my mouth.

They spin the big cylinder of tickets and I reach in and take out a stub. I flip it over to reveal the winner and say,

"Holy Shit! I drew my own name!"

In the microphone. At church. In front of the whole congregation.

I am quite sure I have never turned more red in my life and louder laughter has never been heard in that hall. My first thought, I never win anything. Second thought, I didn't want anyone to think I cheated. Third thought, I really wanted those tickets. Finally my brain got to the point where I realized I SWORE IN THE MICROPHONE.

God bless Len, the deacon at the church. He took the mic from me and said, "It's ok, Sara, I've heard you say worse during Mass."

I guess there really is something to say for being loved and accepted for who you really are.



  1. Oh man, what a laugh this gave me this morning...I can just see how this all played out in my mind. I have to say, I think those would have been my words too, and thoughts as well.

    Something similar happened at our fall fundraiser at church a few years ago, the chair lady was drawing names for the prizes, with the main prize being a complete computer system, it was valued at around $5,000. Well, her youngest child pulled their own name. There was a little old lady in the front row, and she is just a biddy. Well, she rather loudly said,"Well is that not just peachy. How nice" and then...."how much did you pay that kid to draw your name" All was was a mess.

    Great story Sara, nice way to start the week.

  2. (Sara)
    rflol So nice to know somebody else has their own "isms". i bet that deacon still smiles when he thinks of you!

  3. How nice to be able to start my week with a laugh! I would have probably said the same thing.

    Last year I was invited to a Pilot Club "Tea" and fundraiser. One of the ladies at my table won a raffle prize. She didn't say anything with a 4 letter word in it, BUT, she did trip over her sisters purse and fell flat on her face...I think she might have prefered swearing!

  4. Okay, that is just plain hysterical... as in bent over in my chair laughing! How do you seem to know exactly what I need when I need it? I can not top that.

    I can offer my own memory of the our church fall bazaar in which my mother was in charge of the raffle for a beautiful quilt stitched by one of the circles. This was sort of the "crowning glory" of the bazaar if you will. At some point she felt the quilt didn't have enough tickets sold so she took it upon herself to go person to person and convince them to purchase a 1 dollar ticket... however she warned them... SHE was going to win the quilt. Fortunately, we went home BEFORE the drawing where her name was indeed called as the grand prize winner... and we were lucky in that everyone actually thought it was pretty funny.

  5. Oh that is so funny!

    Great way to tell the story too- I didn't even see that ending coming! :o)

  6. Wow, this must be more common than I would have thought. At a Charity Fashion Show last Spring, a local TV personality who had been conned into the Master of Ceremonies job by his mother was asked to pull the ticket for a free Caribbean Cruise for 2. And he pulled his mother's ticket! There was a little mumbling at the mike and we heard him say, "Are we sure this is legal?" Everyone laughed when he announced her name.

  7. Thanks for that story today. It made me laugh out loud, which is something I really needed about now! I look forward to your blog every weekday ( I even check on weekends...just in case!)

  8. Oh Sara... that is SO funny. I think we might be distantly related... you could be family! :)

  9. Oh my goodness!! How horrifying! LOL Came across your blog today and wanted to say hi!

  10. ROFLMAO! Good one, Sara :) I giggled when I read what you said, and then guffawed when I read what Len said. Too funny!

  11. That was hilarious!! We are all human...and make mistakes!! Glad you were still loved and accepted there! That is a great story!

  12. Thank you for your blogs. I have a painful condition, too, though not as bad as yours. You geve me a lot to think about. I read your postings every day. Instead of futiley trying to be our pre-illness self, we can be the very best sick person that we are. You are one of the best people I know.

  13. You guys are a riot... glad to know I'm not the only one out there making a fool of myself! :)

    @Susan... glad you're here and that it helps. You being here helps me too :)

    sara (gitz)

  14. God bless you, my filterless friend! I am just thankful I was able to control the bite of chili I had in my mouth so that I didn't choke to death on your story.

    GREAT one.

  15. What an adorable story! Girl, you are just awesome - my kind of people, for sure. :)

  16. HAHAHAHA!!!

    Now, THAT was good.
    I'll be back for more, Sara.