… projectile vomited on the priest during my First Communion.
I didn’t mean to. I wasn’t even sick. But it happened, and my parents were never the same after that.
7 years old. First Communion was a big deal in our family as my parents were active in the church (Dad was married to stepmom #1, who was a fearsome little social-climber). Anyway, on my special day, we kids were lined up and kept waiting in a very hot room. Getting thirstier and thirstier, I spied my older sister and, after getting her attention, asked her if she could get me some water.
“No, I can’t. You’re not supposed to drink before the mass or you’re going to Hell.”
“But I’m thirsty!!!”
“If you drink, you’re going to Hell,” she said smugly, “but I’ll tell you what I did. When you drink from the chalice, just take a big gulp. It’s grape juice and there won’t be many kids after you, so it’s not like nobody else is going to have any.”
So, after an interminable wait we finally start. And I’ve gotta tell you, I am THIRSTY!!! So I wait while all the kids are called, getting thirstier and thirstier the whole time. Finally, the priest intones my name:
“JohnT, yadda, yadda, yadda. Drink from this cup…”
Whereupon I literally yanked it from his hands, tilted it up pretty high, and took 3 or 4 big, HUGE gulps… of wine.
Guess who is extremely allergic to alcohol, to the point where my stomach immediately and violently rejects it? Guess who found out during his First Communion?
My eyes got huge, my face turned red. I remember turning towards the audience looking for my traitorous sister, when I turned my head, dropped the chalice, and Linda Blaired all over the front of the priest. Wine, breakfast, remains of the previous nights snack, all came out and splattered the priest, the altar, and the chalice.
He jumped back in shock, the kids erupted in laughter, the audience… well, I don’t remember what the audience reaction was because I was consumed by the fact that I had, for the first time in my short life, really, truly, fucked up. And big.
I acted sick, which was pretty simple because I was sick. But still, one just doesn’t do such things… not in my family, you don’t.
My parents resigned from their church duties that week, found another church, and eventually got divorced about 3 years later. I don’t think that my first communion was the straw that broke the camel’s back, but I do think that it was when things started to go wrong between them. Which was alright by me, as I couldn’t stand her.
So, when did you embarrass your parents the most?