Apr 28, 2008

When Picture Taking Gets Ugly - in Church

Over the weekend, Studly Man and I drove five.long.hours. to see his niece and nephew receive their First Holy Communion. We’re not Catholic. Studly’s family is, but Studly and I are not. Our church handles communion quite differently, so I was in for an education.

There was LOTS of excitement. There were LOTS of people. Seventeen of them were either directly or distantly related to us. I took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures, ‘cuz that’s what I do. (I used to take pictures to document life’s adventures. Now I take them for blog fodder.)

Now what I failed to realize is that e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. in Austin, Texas has a blog. I know this because e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. in Austin, Texas stepped in front of me and my camera to take pictures. I can only assume they were doing so for their own blogs, no?

Have you ever seen a fight break out? In church? At the altar? Me either... until yesterday.

Ever INSTIGATED a fight? In church? At the altar? Me either... until yesterday.

It all started innocently enough. Darling Jonathan and Alondra were dressed all in white, and excitement filled the air. Their mommy was aflutter seeing to all the last minute details and greeting each family member and friend upon arrival. Multiply that by 24 mommies who were doing the same things, all the family members, plus all the regular parishioners present, and you’ve got critical mass. (Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

After lots of ceremonious music and activities, the first pair of the precious 26 First Communicants made their way down the center aisle. Before they got halfway to the altar, 6,432 people armed with every variety of video and still camera leapt from their seats and jockeyed for pole position in the race for the best photo op. At first I thought I had slept through a fire alarm and missed the urgent call to exit the building. Then I realized it was simply a throng of people awaiting the entrance of their beloved

I elbowed my way through the crowd and stepped over the body of a little old lady positioned myself for some prime picture taking. Jonathan’s pair came before Alondra’s. His smile started at his left ear and went clear around to the right ear. I snapped away and got great shots of our sweetie as he fulfilled each step of the process just as he had been instructed. I smiled and winked at him, and he headed back towards his seat.

Next was Alondra’s pair. I held the camera up to my eye, and got a shot of her as she was about to place her rose in the vase. (Note portion of camera-wielding throng in background.)But just as I was about to press the shutter button to capture her first participation in the actual communion, a very large buffoon man stepped between me and my perfect shot of Alondra. From somewhere deep within me, a low guttural voice said, "Oooohhhhh, MISTER! Move! Mister! Mister!"

And it was over. Alondra had partaken of her First Communion, and I missed it. Mister’s communicant was three kids (and sponsors) behind Alondra. Three kids later! He had two more HOURS to get lined up for his photo, yet he, in the quest for the perfect shot of his little sweetie taking his/her First Communion, prevented me from getting mine.

No longer being in control of my faculties, I knew something bad was going to happen. My
Cato-esque instincts took over, and Clouseau the man never stood a chance. I mopped the floor with him. (Okay. I made that last part up, but I WANTED to hurt him.) Alondra and I took our seats, and amazingly, life went on.

After the mass had ended and our mass of family had taken a zillion posed pictures, we left the building. We heard an audible sigh of relief come from the parking lot as our caravan drove away. I’m not sure who sighed... perhaps it was the building itself!

We motored on toward the house for everyone to change clothes after which we took some shots of the entire family group on the front steps.
Next we piled into six vehicles and drove until nightfall for about 35 minutes to The Salt Lick BBQ restaurant. We'd picked up stragglers along the way, and we were now a party of 28. Talk about strappin' on the feed bag! We ate so much I think we moo'd from the misery of fullness.

It was a great family time. Before we left, we spent a few minutes saying our goodbyes. Studly saw his father and little brother talking. He went over, got between them, and put his arms around them. My camera did this: The smiles on their faces (especially Studly's) made the whole trip worthwhile. His 85-year-old dad was plenty happy to have his sons (and the whole family) around. His happiness was our happiness.

God bless them, every one.


DidiLyn said...

Bah ha ha! That was so funny! Sorry, I probably shouldn't laugh at first communions, but that was seriously hysterical.
Loved it.
Thanks for bloggin'.

GoSuze! said...

You forgot to mention the breath-takingly beautiful funeral dirge music! Thanks for posting the pictures....the one of the three Castro men is terrific!!

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful photo of the Studly three...I hadn't realized how tall Mister Studly is, until I saw this photo! Same smile x3.
Great job with the photos.
Norah (I need to come up with a cool bloggy name)