A day to bring out new bonnets, handbags, and shoes. A day to wear dainty pinks, yellows,and greens. The day, of all days, to attend church, for though we can no longer boast of a 5th Avenue Easter Parade, attendance at church is the closest thing we humans have to showing off our finery.
Everyone, that is, except me.
Now why I did not choose to stay at home on this particular Sunday is a mystery to me. I should have stayed cocooned in my bed as I had on many a prior Sunday throughout the past three months. I was still recovering from those strange anemias after all. I think, perhaps, that I was thinking of the reason for the season, but that was clearly not enough. You see, if I were going to church this going needed to be preceded by taking a shower. And if I needed to spend my allotted three minutes in a tepid shower, this needed to be followed by a minimum of 30 minutes recovering in bed. As a result, I ran short of preparation time in the clothing department. And no amount of time was going to help me in the mirror department. I hastily dressed in a black and white outfit that I didn't feel comfortable in, but it was the last one I had tried on when the music stopped playing in the "musical outfits" game.
I had clearly forgotten where I was going to attend church on that fine Easter Sunday. I had chosen to attend Mass with my husband - not at my own parish church - but at a local monastery affiliated with an enormously expensive all-boys prep school. "No one will know me there," I thought. No one will see me with my prednisone chipmunk cheeks, my curly, dried-out hair, and half-closed swollen eyelids. And while that may be true on any given Sunday, no so on Easter Sunday. Not so. For the church was filled with alumni and parents of students of that enormously expensive school: Men and boys alike in their ubiquitous blue blazers. Skinny mothers in their Lily Pulitzer and Vineyard Vine clothes. My own brothers had attended that school when growing up. So many people I know have children who now attend that school. Why did I ever think I was going to be anonymous?
But in actuality, I was indeed anonymous. No one DID know me, but I certainly knew them. The sad fact is that two separate women who I used to see quite often in my afore-titled role as "Church Lady" looked right at me, did not recognize me, and left me smiling at them like some sort of fool who greets total strangers on Easter Sunday.
Identity theft had stuck again.
Image, then, my utter agony as I glanced at those around me - dolled up and prepped out to the ultimate max as I sat in my black and white polka dots. Yes, sat; for I did not possess strength enough to even stand up at the required times. Oh how I plotted and planned my exit strategy in case I happened to run into another acquaintance on the way out. I sent my husband for the getaway car and left the building before the first line of "Jesus Christ Is Risen Today" was out of the cantor's mouth.
How far I had come from the true reason for the day. . .