Where the inside of my mind leaks onto the screen.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Public Humiliation

It's 8:55 a.m. on a Sunday and the chapel is full of bodies in their Sunday best but lacking a certain expected sound.  A quick glance reveals that the organ bench is conspicuously empty.

I step up to the stand and whisper, "Bishop, it isn't my week for the organ, but I guess Amy isn't here.  I'll go up and play."

"Amy is right there..." he responds, a bit confused.  I walk the aisle to the pew where her family is seated and kindly proceed, "Um, I think it is your month to play the organ, isn't it?"

"No," she says.  "It is still February."

"Right.  And I played in January."

"No, you've been playing all month," she insists.

Really?  And of course, my mom, sister, husband, and half the ward are hearing this exchange as she tries to prove to me that she really hasn't been playing.

"I wasn't even at church two weeks ago," she points out.

And now it is 8:59, and I take a walk of shame up to the organ with no time to set the stops and find a decent song.  Just play something.  Anything.  The bishopric is kind enough to let me play half a verse before beginning the meeting.  And then I panic.

My list of preferred stops is on my phone.  Which I set down by my family in our pew.  Luckily Alex has decided to hang out with me.  I whisper in his ear, "Go tell Daddy that Mommy needs her phone and has no idea where she set it."

Kirk sends it up, sparing no time to prevent others from staring at the exchange, and I have about 30 seconds before the first song.  I set half the stops, but run out of time.  I play a brass-heavy opening hymn, cursing myself for not becoming more educated in either German (the language of all the stops) or the organ in general, helpless to make any decisions on the fly.

I finish the song, finish the stops, and try to move on from what I considered to be several moments of torture.  On to one of the most challenging choir numbers my awesome choir has ever performed.  I'm directing it when I hear a crash to my right.  Although I had no proof, I suddenly had the mental image of Alex falling out of his chair.  Which instantly gave me a giggle-fit nearly impossible to suppress.

I survived, but distracted, forgot to replace the chorister's book on the music stand.  Unthinking, I play a standard-length introduction to the closing hymn, and resolve its melody into the standard "time-to-sing-now" cadence.  At which point I realize that the chorister is still replacing her book.  I awkwardly loop the intro back onto itself and start anew.

But I'm distracted.  Embarrassed.  Flustered.  And I just can't focus on the music.  Which verse am I on?  Oh, they just sang "brother" which is in the 4th verse.  I guess I'm done.  So I stop.  And the chorister keeps waving.  And she glares at me.  So I start again, frantically skimming the lyrics until I note the word "brother" definitely appears near the end of both verse 3 and 4.

Whatever.  Sacrament meeting is over, thankfully, and I am moving on.  I have a mental to-do list which includes checking with a young man's mom about an upcoming solo opportunity.  I walk up to the woman, address her by her first name ("Hi, Jane"), and ask if her family will be in town on Easter Sunday.  She looks at me confused, and I continue, "I would like to see if your son wants to sing a solo, and I wanted to make sure you'd be in town."

"I'm not Jane Doe," she says.  At which point, I of course realize she is not at all the woman I needed to talk to.  She was super kind and tried to downplay the situation, but I just still felt pretty stupid.

So I came home and made brownies to share with the choir.

"What's the occasion?" they asked.

I just needed brownies.


Tricia said...

You are so awesome! I feel for you. I have had quite a few "Brownie Sunday's" too. The only difference is that I don't share! :)

Mecham Family said...

I have days like this all the time and it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one!

Mecham Family said...

....and, I didn't notice anything strange about the organ, I didn't realize we skipped the 4th verse, and I didn't notice a laughing fit during our choir number... so I guess I was just as distracted as you!