15 May 2008

Last to know

A tongue-in-cheek lament about being out of the loop

I don't know what it is, but I'm never in "the loop." The proverbial loop. Maybe there's a secret initiation that I missed or a blood test I failed, but I know less about what's going on in my own parish/family/neighborhood than just about any random person on the street.

A few years back, when the Father Altier saga was happening at my parish, I had to read Paul at Thoughts of a Regular Guy's blog to find out some of the dirt that was going on. His blog was the first blog I started to read with any regularity and is what kinda sorta got me started with my own blog. I then read some local blogs and figured if Terry could rant away on his blog, I could publicly whine away. The whole blogging thing is self-serving, but somewhat cathartic.

I do have a friend who is ascloseasthis with Father Altier, but I didn't want to ask her what was going on since her opinion would've been a bunch of vim and vinegar for the Archbishop. Sometimes, it is better not to know.

Anyway, I don't "get in close" with my parish priest, or the nuns or just about any body else in that capacity. My great-grandfather always told his nine girls (and one son, my grandfather) to stay away from priests. He probably had ulterior motives for that advice, but to his credit, none of his daughters ran off with Father Kinney. However, in that same fashion, the subsequent generations of my family didn't make it a practice to invite their priest over for dinner. Everything was strictly business.

At a parish function awhile back, a lady pointed out the sisters of the parish. She named a few of them, but couldn't recall all their names. She asked me who they were. I'm sorry, I have no clue. I know the parish used to have some Sisters of Notre Dame there, but that was decades ago. I couldn't tell you what order the sisters are from, how many there are in the parish and I sure couldn't tell you their names. I see them at Mass all the time, but that's the end of it. But, back to the story. Another lady, sitting on the other side of me heard this woman ask if I knew the names of the sisters and my pleading ignorance, so she filled me in on all of them. I even know Mother's shoe size now.

Kind of like a good friend of mine who often tells me that she corresponds with either 300 or 800 people all over the world. Honky dory, good for you. If that's what floats your boat, more power to you. However, this mom is too busy making sure I have diapers and wipes with me at all times and that my kids aren't making a get-away under the pews to care if Mother Superior is in the building or not.

Our neighbors are on every imaginable committee at the nearby parish. They look at us a little more than askance because we don't belong to this parish even though it's within walking distance. We drive a few miles across town so I don't have to take Communion from a high school kid wearing shorts and a Green Bay Packers polo shirt. If it was a Vikings polo, that would be different. And, all the neighbors whose kids attend this parish are as thick as thieves -- then there is moi, who is not in the loop.

I'm not knocking in any way, shape, or form, helping out at your parish, it's just the folks who want you to know that they know Father or Sister so-and-so or that they are on the Liturgical Dance Committee, that make me roll my eyes.

But, as the sage Martha Stewart always says, it's a good thing not to get caught up in all this. Just like it's also good not to get caught in tax evasion or insider trading.

(FYI: I heard a concert of Brahms this morning and obviously, it put my brain to sleep.)

[Photo: Möbius strip]


Chris said...

LOL, I don't know a single person there so I guess you would be second-to-last to know! :D

Adoro te Devote said...

Well said! As a church employee, and as someone so recently on our Liturgy Commission...it's way too much work to be "in the know" and most of the people who brag about it are actually working too hard on the gossip and less on their actual areas of service.

Just an observation, may not apply to your friends.

I was actually hung by the loop, so it's not all it's cracked up to be.

Cathy_of_Alex said...

A fine post on TMI. If they tell you what Mother's underwear or bra size is: run!

Catholics need to worry more about their relationship with only one person. Guess.

swissmiss said...

Chris: I've pretty much told you all I know about the parish and that was who the priest and deacons are...so we are almost equally as out of the loop as one another :) As long as I know the Mass and Confession times, I'm good.

Adoro: Sounds like you've had some unpleasant experiences with parish politics! Yikes. I'm pretty much oblivious. Same as when the school was having problems, I had to read it in the paper!

Cathy: If anyone talks about anyone's bra or underwear size, that is definitely TMI for me. But if they were talking about a priest or religious, that's beyond my pain threshold.

Anonymous said...

Dear Swiss Miss,

You can always go Loop de Loop too. I am pretty much out of the loop too.

On another note, how Swiss are you? I am German-Swiss.


swissmiss said...

I'm actually a huge chunk Irish! I have been doing genealogy for decades and already had several user ID's or what have you as Swissmiss that I used on genealogy because all the standard Irish names had been taken and I didn't want to have to create another name to keep track of when I started blogging. I'm an 1/8 undiluted Swiss. My great-grandfather on my mother's side left his small alpine village in the late 1800s and settled in WI. (He was from Canton Graubunden, spoke German and was as Catholic as the Pope.) I'm primarily Irish on both sides, then Scottish from my father's side, then equal parts German, Swiss and English with a tiny touch of French and possibly some Welsh (strongly suspect one Irish ancestor was from Wales because of their Welsh surname - Bevans).

MoebiusTripper said...

I came across your blog and you might be interested in my sci-fi mystery novel called: "TIME TRIP ON A MOEBIUS STRIP." The novel is very religious...There is an angel in the story that might be either the Virgin Mary, or the goddess Aphrodite....You can read a sample page of my novel at my blog as well as see many Moebius strips made into jewelry, furniture, sculptures, etc... http://moebiustripper.blogspot.com

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

I have been 'in the loop' on a couple of occasions in our parish.It means having to keep secrets and behaving as though you have no idea what's going on. It feels dishonest-but it's better than gossip or hurting someone.
You're well out of it!

I do love Fr Altier's sermons though and am sorry about how he has been silenced.
Still, God makes straight with well twisted things.

God bless

Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

Hey, thanks for the kind words about my blog! You've got a nice on here yourself!

swissmiss said...

I don't do well with secrets. When my husband and I worked at Boeing, there were some programs that were "black." (Meaning secret or top secret and you weren't supposed to talk about them to people who didn't have a need to know). I couldn't work on one of these programs...too much work to keep secrets.

Thanks! If anything else dramatic happens at my parish, you let me know the skinny on it :)

Sanctus Belle said...

Ya know..I could have written this post. You and I are alot alike Swiss Miss. We should do lunch :) We'd be in the "out crowd" together.

Anonymous said...

If you are too much in the loop, you are probably doing too many church jobs. I used to be in the loop, since I "hung out" with the church secretary--now she has retired early--and I know nothing.