A couple of weeks ago, I got a voicemail from my friend, Jane. Well, Jane's more of an acquaintance. I've not sat down and had tea with her or anything. The point is, she wasn't sure I would know who she was when she called me, so she said, "Hi, Alex, this is Jane the Pretzel Lady," and then gave me the information on the upcoming community association meeting. (This meeting wound up being both boring and tense. I was glad I went.)
I go to Jane's church. Jane sits in the front row, on the left-hand side of the sanctuary. I walk past her house a fair amount, visiting friends or going to church meetings. She always says hi to me.
At the annual church retreat on Labor Day weekend, I was trying to find a good place to read, so I was poking about in the lodge after ten at night. I found Jane in the rec room, reading her Bible. I walked into an adjoining storage room, the one where the folding chairs are kept, and read in there. Later, Jane told me she saw me go into a room, but didn't realize, until after I had left, that it was a closet. I think this made her feel a little bad for me. I told her I didn't mind at all. We know each other as the other person looking for a quiet place.
At the retreat, I was in charge of registration and keeping track of who ate at which meals and so on, for billing purposes, so I had to learn the names of everyone who came. This was good for me, because, until that point, I only really knew the names of the other young adults, the people in my care group, and the people who lead a lot of things. Even though I've been at this church for almost five years, there were still a lot of people that I didn't know. It was just an hour before reading in the closet that I'd properly met Jane.
One time, I was talking with Harold after church, as he packed up the sound board, when, suddenly, a little kid ran up, gave him two pretzel sticks, and ran away. Harold explained that every Sunday, Jane brings a passel of pretzel sticks to meeting, to give to children for good behavior. After giving out one pretzel to each kid, Jane would give two pretzels to Harold, saying, "And two for the pastor."
I don't think that Harold has been the pastor for the last ten years, but Jane still makes sure he gets two pretzel sticks after meeting every Sunday. I suppose Harold somewhat resented that Jane still treated him like a pastor. Also, I can't imagine Harold welcoming special treatment for being the pastor. I don't think he minds the attention too much, though.