I think I've written about this before, how surprised and amused I was, not that long ago, by PIPs thrown into medium dudgeon by arriving at Mass to find that "their" seat was taken, and how surprised and amused I was shortly thereafter to find how easily I, on weekdays, and Himself and I on Sunday mornings slipped into the same kind of thinking.
This mindset and the calculations it makes necessary, ("we could leave for church at five after, and get our pew, but there's a pancake breakfast, so to get our parking space....", I am not making this up, this was my unacknowledged train of thought a few weeks back, HOW CAN WE POSSIBLY CARE ABOUT WHICH PARKING SPACE WE GET???????????) are made even more complex by the fact that this area has many, many seasonal inhabitants.
Hmmm, they've been here longer than we have, but they're only resident for 3 months in the winter, shouldn't we have dibs on....?
The old-timers are a touch more indulgent to us than they were because they recognize me now The Reader We Can Always Hear.
On weekdays, it's a smaller group, of course, but we are no less territorial. Since I first attended with The Rose, I have "inherited" her spot -- I have learned that if I don't sit, not just in the pew, but in the section of the pew that was "hers" and is now "mine", when the lady who leads the Rosary before Mass glances around for someone to call upon for a decade, literally, I CAN NOT BE SEEN. (This is despite my being significantly taller than most of the people in the area and very distinctive looking, for reasons i won't go into.)
When construction was going on in the church, Himself found it terribly funny that ALL the Mass-goers, at least those who arrived around when we did, took up exactly the same relative seat in the parish hall.
I also learned that in Church, when instead of pews there are individual seats, just as in the movie theater, guys are required by their membership to leave a "homo seat."
(I have been assured by my friends who are, that use of that phrase is not offensive. Feel free to instruct me to the contrary.)
This morning, I had no special task at Mass, but had to return something to the sacristy, so when I arrived at Church, I went in by a different door. I sat on the other side of the nave, so that I could observe when someone arrived and opened the sacristy.
After the Rosary, and after I had preformed my little errand, I returned to my unaccustomed pew, on the Mary-, rather than the Joseph-side, knelt, marked my place in the Magnificat, began to read through a reflection.... nope!
Felt wrong, I had to get up and cross to MY seat, which people had left open for me.
What's the female version of a "codger"? "Crone" is too degogatory, and "biddy" implies a kind of sweet, harmless loquacity.
Anyway, now I are one....