Short shorts

Some time ago, a couple of my dear friends asked me to write down a few of the stories that I have told them over the years about my friends and family which they found amusing. I’ll be posting a new story each week for your entertainment. I only hope they’ll read as well as the telling.

Protestant Ethics

When I was living in Oak Park, Illinois, there was a blond girl, whom I’ll call Candice, in my third grade class who went about recruiting children to join her church. Why my atheist parents consented to let me attend is beyond my comprehension. Perhaps it was because my communist father, who had been a party member in Yugoslavia, had to prove to our assigned FBI agent that he was a reformed man although statements such as, ‘History will vindicate Stalin’, often gave him away.

In any case, as the resident foreign weirdo I was thrilled to be asked to any event at all and jumped at the opportunity to go. So every Tuesday evening, Candice’s mother would pick all the kids up in what resembled a white ice cream truck but must have been a sort of proto-SUV.

Inside of the church, which was terribly plain to my eyes and bereft of icons, incense and chanting, the accouterments of my grandparents’ nominal religion, Eastern Orthodoxy, we listened to thunderous sermons of doom and gloom. The preacher’s stormy countenance was only slightly altered for the better when we joined in to sing hymns such as—What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

After the first evening, I was disabused of any romantic notions I may have had concerning American Christianity. Afterward however, we were herded down to the basement, where to my great delight, we indulged in my then twin passions, eating cookies and painting.

Each child was given a wonderful plaster plaque with a Biblical verse inscribed on it in the form of a scroll surrounded by grapes, flowers, various birds and insects, which we were to paint. While our finished work was being judged by a committee of adults, we were given three incredibly large, delicious cookies filled with chocolate chips, the likes of which I had never seen before, since my mother did not allow her children to eat sweets beyond an occasional ice cream cone.

When we finished our cookies and KOOL-Aid, another novelty, prizes were handed out for the best plaque. Try as I might, I never won and only once received honorable mention. I vowed that I would change all that, convinced as I was, that my ability as a colorist was far superior to the winners’. But I never got the opportunity since I inadvertently let it slip that I was attending church primarily because of the cookies.

Candice, enraged at my lack of piety, kicked me out of the group in front of the whole class, as only a virtuous Christian could.

Published by

Lily Temmer

I am a content creator and a website designer who creates big agency work without the overhead. What I Do: I help individuals and business owners stand out from their competition and get noticed. How I Do It: I provide website design, content creation, and digital marketing services. I help you establish a unique presence online and use that presence to dominate your local market. Why It Works: Hoping for referrals is the old way of doing business. We live in a digital world where 80% of consumers will search for or vet businesses online. Often rapid judgments are made solely on appearances. When you have seconds to make an impression, you will want it to be the right one.

10 thoughts on “Short shorts”

  1. Good story, Lily, and I am happy to see the debut of your blog! The story reminds me of my own, where I was really i to the Mormon church in HS, but when I found out that to stay with a Mormon family in Colombia instead of a Catholic one, I would have to share a room, I politely bowed out.

    So re your blog, in your Dashoboard, left hand side towards the bottom, go to Settings/General, and change the Tagline… I know you have something better to say than “Just another site”.

  2. Ok, so then you realized you were way better off with the Jewish girl and her pantry full of cookies, and I was enthralled with the smoked pig in your pantry. And we lived happily ever after:)

  3. Love the name of your blog. Looking forward to reading the stories, the ones I’ve heard but especially ones I haven’t like this one. Do you know where Candice ended up in life? Although I’m a nominal Christian I worry that in adulthood she has power over ( other peoples ) children to inflict upon them her unbridled Christian zeal.

  4. What a beautiful and peaceful fall picture !
    I’ll keep reading your new story every week, it is so nicely written and many of us can relate to it one way or the other.

  5. Actually I think they loved Bianca the dog the best. But I will let you know what that fight was about if you are open minded enough to hear. However this is not the correct forum for that.

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