Monday, May 27, 2013

Sock Monkey, The Funky Monkey

I made this sock monkey for my cousin's son as a gift for his First Communion. Finishing it was a very Beastie Boys experience, since I was doing the last bits the night before the ceremony and party, so I was all No Sleep Til Monkey! For obvious reasons.

And yes, that is an argyle sock monkey, and yes, I noticed the ears are askew and decided that perfection was not worth the lost sleep. I used this tutorial out of the oh so very many that are available online by people who are way more organized and efficient than I am.

Catholics do the first communion in the second grade. So you have a bunch of seven year old girls in little wedding dresses and little seven year old boys in white suits looking like they're Vegas magicians. Except for the one kid whose parents have the sense and taste to dress him in a normal suit so he sticks out among all the little boys who all look like they're about to pull a dove out of their sleeve. 

When I had my first communion, I had a tacky, polyester froofy white dress (with matching headpiece and veil) that I just loved to pieces. I used that headpiece when playing dress up all the time. My grandmother bought it for me in Las Vegas, which should tell you everything you need to know about this dress. There was beading, there was lace. Totally worth all the weirdness of wearing a mini wedding dress, which no one ever notices or comments on because they're blinded by the cuteness.

During the ceremony, I flashed back on the rehearsals for my 8th grade graduation which took place in the same church. We practiced the hell out of lowering the kneelers SILENTLY. Thou shalt not bang the kneelers. Totally the 11th commandment. My teacher made it perfectly clear that he would not be tolerating any kneeler banging. He was also strongly against letting us rest our rears on the pew while kneeling, which is what I thought was the proper way to kneel because that was how all the adults did it. Apparently, this is not the case and will get you yelled at. (Of course, this same teacher yelled at one of the boys for not singing during a verse that only the girls were singing. Just that one boy. Called him out by name. So pretty much anything would get you yelled at by that teacher.)

During my cousin's first communion, I rested my butt on the pew anyway. Goddamn, but those kneelers are hard. I don't remember them being that uncomfortable.  Did you know that Greek Orthodox churches don't even have kneelers? They kneel right on the floor. That is some hardcore shit right there.

I also remembered going to mass with a bunch of my unbaptized cousins. As I returned from receiving communion, they all asked me what it tasted like. My initial thought was that I should get annoyed because I was supposed to be communing with God right after receiving communion, but even I knew that was some sanctimonious bullshit right there.  The brainwashing isn't *that* hard to shake off.

As you may know, the body of Christ tastes like styrofoam. At least it does if your church orders their communion wafers from, I dunno, the communion wafer factory, I suppose. 

When my aunt took all us cousins camping every summer, my brother and I had to go to the local church for Sunday mass, and their body of Christ was bits of bread baked by members of the church. So their body of Christ tasted like pumpernickel. Looking back, I think the only reason we didn't conspire with my aunt to skip mass and lie to my mom about it was that bread. It tasted so much better than our usual host that we actually got dressed for church, made Aunt Bea drop us off at Saint Bernadette's, then pick us up an hour later. That is how bad the usual communion wafers taste.

Maybe the answer to the Catholic Church's dwindling membership is pumpernickel.

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