I thought I'd dress up a bit in front of everyone. So I pulled out the J. Peterman's banker's suit, and I just fit into it so I thought I'd use it. It's still just a mite tight, but sometimes I can't tell the difference between it feeling kind of tight and it fitting, as I think some things are just supposed to fit a bit tightly. I still remember seeing an episode of What Not to Wear where the lady getting the style redo said, "Everything's so tight" when the folks doing the show were very good about making sure things fit the way they were "supposed" to.
I used the purple silk shirt and then added my purple and silver tie from my Zoot suit along with the patent leather shoes from my Zoot as well. They really helped the whole ensemble, I think. I almost thought about adding the matching pocket handkerchief, but decided against it at the last moment.
I got there early, with John and Jet and they went to class and I went with George to figure out what it was that I was going to do. He asked me to read the scripture reading in addition to the other prayers, and I looked it over again and asked for a pronunciation guide on Quirinius and that was good. It was, of course, Luke 2:1-14, the telling of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, or, as John puts it, the Linus verses. *grin* The structure of the service was pretty simple, no extras like baptisms or communion (which, I know, will make some people laugh to read), and so the flow of it was solid and to the point. I was still nervous as anything, though, before it started.
I asked Tonya, who is really fashionable when she wants to be, to help me with whether or not to button the darned jacket, and she told me to unbutton it as it looked better that way.
I was all trembly like I usually am, right before we started, but once I started reading it was easy enough. The words were in front of me and they weren't terribly emotionally loaded, so I could just go through them and try and do the emphasis and phrasing, take the necessary breaths, and keep it slow enough to keep it clear and clean. I really struggled, hard, with the scripture, and worried more about getting through it cleanly than adding too much more to it. I worried about how well or badly I'd done with it after I was done with all my parts and just sat on the bench.
Afterward, though, lots of people said I did a good job. Several folks complimented me on the suit. One fellow, who's said in the past, that he has to wear his suit to church, he feels really wrong if he's in jeans, complimented me on the suit and I laughed and said that it was about time I borrowed a page from his book. He laughed and nodded and said that it was good to see me in a suit.
Then... wow... it still bemuses me to think about it, but an elderly couple that John's been good friends with for a while, came up and the man of the couple said that my suit was absolutely fantastic, that he really loved it. He thought it was just beautifully cut and excellently made. And his wife followed up with, "And that's with fifty years in retail to back it up." He was, in his time, one of the executives of the purchasing department for Neiman Marcus.
I do love my suit, but to have someone who really knows fashion to really love it as well was something else. I'm now really, really glad that not only did I spend the money on the suit but that I am now able to fit into it...
The compliments for my work up front were oddly parallel to the compliments on the suit. There were lots of folks that just said that I did a good job and thanked me for being up there, as they wouldn't ever go up There with all those people looking at them. Then, one of the choir members, who first stopped me to compliment me on the suit, then said that she thought I'd done the reading very well, that the cadences and my phrasing were excellent, and when she really listened to what I emphasized, that she felt that, "You read it exactly right, you read that scripture the way it was meant to be said."
I teared up.
I don't usually *take* the compliments I'm given. I have a bad habit of brushing such stuff off as, "oh, it wasn't really that good, or oh, they're just saying that." But I'm realizing that my attitude kind of belittles the folks saying it, because, really, these folks really knew what they were talking about. Our choir is really excellent, and for someone to make it in the choir, they'd have to know about emphasis and breath and cadence...
So... for once, I should just take the compliments as given. That I have good taste in clothing when I choose to exercise it. That I can be a good lay leader and bring people into the Word when I read it.
I did good.