Tuesday, May 25, 2010

What Lady Priests Say They Do on Vacation and What Lady Priests are Really Doing on Vacation

Often, before I leave for a short vacation people love to ask me questions about what I will be doing with the time off. Being a lady, I feel it is important to answer these questions in a ladylike manner. So here are my answers (and here are my answers):

Question: What are you going to do on your vacation?
Lady Priest answer: Oh, I am just going to take it easy.
The real answer: First I am hang-gliding over a live volcano and landing on the beach of an island paradise that is controlled by an evil but incredibly handsome dictator. I will seduce him, per my orders from the National Church (that’s right, Dan Brown, all Episcopal priests are trained as spies and assassins in order to promote the Gospel), free that poor island nation, and establish the local chapter of the Junior League.

Question: Where are you going on your vacation?
Lady Priest answer: Just out of town for a few days.
The real answer: I am meeting up with Pierre, my French lover, in Paris. I will swing by London for a snog fest with Andrew, Prince of Wales, after that. Finally, I will spend two days in Shreveport visiting my grouchy great aunt and uncle.

Question: Are you going to do any reading?
Lady Priest answer: I am going to try to catch up on some reading, a few academic journals. There are some great articles that I want to read, one about Epistemology.
The real answer: I will be reading the contents on the can of aerosol cheese that I am squirting into my mouth as I watch every Law and Order episode until my ass sticks to the couch (which is a really long time because the couch is cloth).

Question: What are you most looking forward to on your vacation?
Lady Priest answer: I will most enjoy taking in the local color and cuisine.
The real answer: I am checking out every hot guy who passes my stool in the Tiki bar as I sip my pina colada from a coconut with an umbrella in it.

Question: Are you really looking forward to your vacation?
Lady Priest answer: Yes, I really am.
The real answer: You have no idea.


  1. Oh that is very satisfying. Being from the West Coast I am less likely to establish chapters of the Junior League for recently freed island nations, and more likely to create Gender Neutral Zones of Empowerment where everyone can Share their Feelings. It's God's work.

  2. This is awesome! Thanks for at last pointing to how foolish those questions of those peeps are. I'm so looking foward to explaining my summer vacation now! :-)

  3. I think you can also add the "after-questions."
    "How was your vacation?"
    Lady Minister Answer: It was very nice, very relaxing and a chance for me to rest up and get ready for the business of the end of summer and into fall! It was really needed after that mission trip!
    Real Answer: I didn't take enough advantage of the "all-inclusive free drinks" and I wish I had another week to rectify this disappointment.

  4. THANK YOU for offering a perspective on this that caused me to laugh out loud.
    I'm not a priest but my husband is, and I'm an organist/choir director. We get the question-set focused on "So what does a clergy family do on vacation?" and find similarly that our carefully constructed polite answers cover a multitude of human realities (Aerosol cheese[!], beer, too many episodes of Sponge Bob, even more episodes of "Lost," hoping the children will *ever* sleep so that we can find time to "relate," silly games of tag on the beach, grouchiness over dinner, etc.)
    And don't even get me started about the "you know, she's married to a priest!" thing that happens in my professional life. I'm very happy to be married to a man I love deeply, yet never imagined that in my own professional life (PhD, academic admin at large 4-yr institution), some of the people I work with would find my husband's vocation so magnetically interesting, so useful for forming weird assumptions ("psst! don't use that language! She's married to a priest!" and "don't tell her I live with my girlfriend"). Aren't we all grown-ups here?

    Still, life is good, and community is both gift and challenge, and as you have reminded me, God needs us just as we (really) are.
    Thanks again --

  5. Hi,
    I'm a New York Times reporter, writing about clergy vacations. I found your blog (not very imaginatively) googling "vacationing clergy." Would either or both of you care to be interviewed for my article? I am reachable at my NYT email, vitello@nytimes.com. or 212-556-5233. Thanks.