Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Pretty Woman meets Urban Church

Oh my God. I can’t believe this is happening to me, she thought as she walked briskly up the downtown street.

Here I am, out for my morning walk, and I think my life has changed.

I didn’t even know they had churches in theaters, let alone ones that offered topics like “Misplaced Jewelry.”

It was a ploy, and they got to me.

I really didn’t know what I was in for, especially walking into the middle of the service, but there was that guy up front saying… what? Oh yeah… saying, “Like a ring of gold in the snout of a swine, so is a beautiful woman who lacks discretion.”

That was his idea of Misplaced Jewelry: A golden nose-ring on a pig. I’d agree with him, and I don’t know much about pigs.

But the second part: “So is a beautiful woman that lacks discretion?” That was the mind bender.

Who wants a woman who thinks, let alone one who thinks well? That’s not what my daddy taught me.

What did he use to say? Oh yeah, “Honey, your looks will take you far, but no one cares what you think, so keep quiet and let your looks carry you.”

And my looks have carried me! But am I a bejeweled pig?

What else did that preacher say, “Grace is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised.” Get out!

Beauty is empty? I think not!

But what if… what if… what if…

I’m going to have to read that other part he said he’d talk about next week: Proverbs 31.

There should have been a sign! A “Do Not Enter” sign like the one in front of me.

I feel like a truck hit me, like the one coming down the street. There was no warning about what the truck contained. It should’ve said, “Beware! Truck contains disconcerting thoughts, contrary contemplations, or maybe… liberating ideas!”

What if Daddy was wrong?

What if… I’ve been wrong all along?

What if?

(Stephen King in his book On Writing reveals one of his writing methods: he finds a scene, invents some characters, and plays "what if?" That's what I did with this photo I took last Sunday while out on a walk in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. I passed two theaters holding church services. I saw this woman walking, and I asked "what if?")


  1. Super piece of writing. Great imagination. 'What if' is not a game I play - perhaps I'm too cynical and I'd always come up with an unhappy ending!