July 16, 2006.  1:08 am.

It’s always nerve-wracking when I go to the family’s house for dinner.  I rack my brain for things to say in case I’m asked to bless the food.  I try to remember old lines. Bless that this food will be nutritious. I added nutritious to my prayers when I was eight or so. It was next-level.

You start young, when you can first form sentences, and parents chime in to help-

“Heavily fah-errrrr… bless this fooooood. Ame-”

“-No, you’re not done, bless that your father will arrive home safely. And that he won’t be ‘caught up’ at work.

“And bless that… DADDY… ohiswayhomeAMEN!!.”

Cuz Daddy is not yet home and maybe Mom’s not too happy with the situation.

And Daddyonhiwayhome Amen.  I love how kids don’t even try to complete sentences. They don’t want to repeat the cumbersome line that mom gave, and they’re smart enough to know Mom’s gotta be crazy to drag out the prayer any longer.

There are season-appropriate sayings, like Thankful for the resurrection on Easter. And current event references, Be with the troops.

Since I’ve been in Seattle, only once have I been asked to say the prayer.  It was my aunt.  She’s the only one that had the balls.  They all know where I stand.

Right before Christmas, a girl I used to have a crush on came up in conversation and my aunt said with a scary big smile- “You’ll see her when you come to church with us tomorrow!”as she swung her fist across her chest. Tomorrow was Christmas Day and I think she figured there was some sort of evangelical waiver for apostates on Christmas Day. Christmas freaking Day. They could ignore how they’ve heard that I didn’t believe in anything on Christmas Day. Cuz really, am I gonna keep up this sharade on Christmas Day?

Author: Aaron

Aaron lives in Texas right now.

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