Monday, October 06, 2008

Always wear your collar while. . .

My last year in seminary, we had a class called Dean's Seminar, in which the Dean, a former parish priest, told us the really useful things one needed to know to function as an Episcopal priest in the world, like leading vestry meetings, what to do with wedding coordinators, and when to wear your collar and when not to (yes for driving in your car, and no for sitting on an airplane).

I'm a lot more sporadic about collar-wearing than I used to be but of course Sundays are an absolute in the collar-wearing business.

After church on Sunday and some brief pastoral calls, I decided I was going to use my free afternoon to take care of something that I had wanted to do for awhile, namely, see the Roman Art from the Louvre exhibit at the OKC Museum of Art (and which ends on October 12). Louvre art? In OKC? And the geeky side of my nature also thought maybe learning some more about Rome might be good for someone who, say, studies the New Testament and church history on a regular basis.

As it turned out, I wasn't the only person who had had this idea on a glorious Sunday afternoon. The last time I had popped down to OKCMOA on a Sunday after church I had been able to grab a spot right in front of the door. No such luck this time as there were parked cars for a few blocks around.

When I finally made it into the museum, there were two lines. Fairly long lines. One for cash and one for debit/credit cards. I wasn't sure how much cash I had on me, and couldn't remember how much the exhibit price was, so I took up a spot at the end of the credit card line.

As the line inched forward, the man in front of me engaged me in some small talk about the length of the line. As we crept along, he finally turned to me and said, "Excuse me, if you don't mind me asking, but are you a sister?"

No one had asked me that since we lived in highly Roman Catholic St. Louis. I smiled and said, "No, I'm an Episcopal priest."

"Then we're buying your ticket."

I protested but was overruled. His wife laughed that he was spending her money but also insisted on buying my ticket. It turned out that they were RC but even more importantly, her mother was the parishioner of a colleague of mine in a community in a different part of Oklahoma, and they think very highly of her.

I need to drop her an email and tell her she got me into the exhibit free and let Jim Lemler+ know--always wear your collar while standing in line at a museum.