Humble Pie

Slab o’ Humble Pie, Anyone?

I think you’ll find the Crow is excellent, today, Madame.

After all my bragging about good food, I think I better take myself down a peg or two, in the interests of God not doing it for me.

You know Scripture says that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. And I’m all about grabbing with gusto for all the grace I can get!

One of my very favorite teachings from my beloved former pastor of “Old Church” was what he used to teach about I Peter 5:6. That verse says:

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand,
that He may lift you up in due time.”

My pastor taught us that in that verse, there are two people being discussed: God and me. And there are two jobs being discussed: humbling and lifting up. According to this verse, it’s my job to humble myself. And It’s God’s job to lift me up. If I walk around doing HIS job (lifting myself up), he’s going to have to do MY job (humbling me). And you know, that is just someplace I SO do NOT want to go!

So, I was reminded today of one of the more humiliating experiences of my life, that is a tale that some of my friends have actually rather relished, and I thought some of you might get a kick out of it.

It is a bit of a cautionary tale. As in, please, do not sink to my level of self-absorption, or you, too, may become a victim of your own pride.I think the sad truth that will be revealed in the telling is the really almost unfathomable depth of my vanity, but since I pretty much get what I deserve in the end, you’ll probably be really glad you stuck around for the payoff.

Our story begins 21 and a half years ago. I was young, I was foolish, I needed the money…Oh, no, wait, that’s another story….In this story, I was about to marry the man of my dreams, my Prince Charming, none other than the Big Bison himself. I was working for the local school district so we planned an August wedding so that I could have all summer long to do last minute wedding preparations. So thorough was my planning (and so simple was my wedding), that I built a week of vacation for myself into my schedule prior to the wedding.

You see, my dear friend and maid of honor, Alison, used to go to the Eastern Shore (that’s in Maryland) with her family every year about that time, and we thought, “Wouldn’t it be fun and relaxing to go to the beach together and be rested and relaxed for the wedding?” The BB wasn’t going – this was just a last trip with my gal pal and her family.

I had picked (as do most brides) a lovely white wedding gown. My gown had a low V-neck back. This was 21 years ago, and most people I knew cared NOTHING about skin cancer (no one MENTIONED that as a risk back then) but all my friends certainly DID care EVERYTHING about having a good tan. I had been working on my tan all summer long. What would people be seeing during the ceremony? My back! I NEEDED to have a nice tan. With no visible tan line.

And so that’s why, on this particular day, Alison and I strolled to the beach, staked out our real estate, spread out our towels, and I unhooked the back of my swimsuit as we lay down on our tummies. Uh oh. Do you just hear the “uh oh” that’s coming?

It’s a shame I didn’t.

I fell asleep in the sun’s warming rays, and then, (cue the ominous music) out of nowhere, a monsoonal wave of epic proportions began its inexorable journey up the beach making a bee line for Alison and me. Eight million gallons of ICY Atlantic water were suddenly and unceremoniously dumped all over my body, as well as the bodies of everyone near us.

And what did Sleeping Beauty do?

Why I sat up, shocked and sputtering, of course.

And looked down and screamed.

And watched as the Wave That Ate Ocean City carried my bathing suit top back into the pounding surf.

Happily for me, Alison had her wits about her as well as her bathing suit, and she has really fast reflexes, too. so she tore down to the water’s now receded edge and managed to snag my top out of the roiling undertow. Thank God for a maid of honor who was also a great outfielder.

Anyway, she staggered back to me, carrying her dripping prize and laughing her fool head off, while I sat back there with my towel clutched to my chest, my lips purple, my teeth chattering.

I got myself strapped back in, and we kept laughing, and tried to comfort ourselves with the knowledge that everyone else had all their stuff washed away too, and they were too busy recapturing their own paraphernalia to have ever noticed my debacle. Right? It was all good. One for the books, for sure, but no one had really noticed, anyway. And Alison smiled at me in a pitying, consoling, best friend kind of way (as soon as she had finished squashing down wave after wave of hilarity at my expense).

And then, say, five minutes later, these two guys come walking down the beach. They catch our eyes, smiling in a friendly fashion. And then one of them winks at me and says,

“Nice suit.”

And they continue their little stroll down the beach.

Laughing and elbowing each other.

Have I mentioned how smooth and even was my tan at the wedding? Had no tan line on my back whatsoever. (she said, straightening her spine and holding her head high in the most determined of fashions).

“How ’bout another slice of that Humble Pie, Hon?”


Yum
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