Monday, July 14, 2008

Worshiping at the Brian Shrine? I Think Not!

Just before Brian returned from Iraq, a news crew contacted me for an interview. The anticipatory Mom story. Sure. They asked if they could come to the house, so that they could get extra footage, of say, photos of Brian.


I have a confession: I didn't have photos of Brian around the house.


Gahhhhhhh, I'm a bad Mom! Not a single recent photo of Brian in the house!

I have one on my desk at work. I have them in my wallet. I have them on my blog, my Smugmug, my Myspace account. But in my home? No. He didn't like his bootcamp portrait because there's a hint of a black eye. I never received a portrait of him in his Class A's, and I'd handed out others for Toys for Troops displays. I had just this one, taken while he was in bootcamp.

Scandalous! And with a TV crew coming to the house! What's a mom to do?


I sent 4 photos off to Walgreens, ran in after work and picked them up along with some cheap frames. I frantically, strategically, placed 8 x 10s of Brian around the house. Here's the previous shelf, with another photo up-top, now.

Ah, there! I was as ready for the interview as I'd ever be. I'm always nervous, but Jenny Gastwirth had interviewed me before, and I like her. She's good at making me comfortable.

The photos? I guess they did the trick, because Gastwirth reported, and I quote, "Stewart's home is a shrine to her soldier son."

"A shrine?!" I squealed, when I watched the news. I was both highly mortified and terribly amused. I didn't have any photos 3 hours ago, and now I have an entire shrine?! defines a shrine as

any structure or place consecrated or devoted to some saint, holy person, or
deity, as an altar, chapel, church, or temple
How creepy. Well, shrines aren't creepy, but the idea that I'm worshipping at my own little Brian Shrine is. Hmph! I did NOT have a shrine to my son! What kind of weirdo will the world think I am?!

Here's my pretty little mantle, before I arranged a few photos on it:

And after:

See? Nothing but photos, candles, stained glass, flowers...

...wait a minute.

Holy crap! There's even a Jesus candle on the first shelf, one a neighbor gave me on the morning Brian left to bootcamp. Gastwirth was right! I had created a shrine to my soldier son!

Good Lord, I'm running around trying to portray an image of a doting mother with actual photos of her son in the house, and I come off looking like I'm worshipping at the First Church of Brian Jolley.

While it's true I do dote, I certainly do not worship the ground my son walks on! We are real people with a real relationship, like any other family, and I'm here today just to set the record straight!


It feels good to get that off of my chest.

Can we just put this behind us and move on then? I really came here today to show you a picture of the lovely flowers I picked up at the farmer's market on Saturday morning.

Little yellow flowers, and I put them in a quaint, antique bottle filled with water, and I think they look perfect here, over the headboard of my bed.

Aren't they just precious?


  1. Oh. My. God. I just snorted so loud at work that half the office stood up and looked over the cubicle to see what was going on.

    TOO funny!

  2. I was wondering where you were going with your story... I still can't wipe the smile off my face! You're twisted!

  3. LOL, we all know that you are one great mom, evidence to the contrary :)

  4. LOL! You got me!

    BTW, love the headboard! Ha!

  5. I'm worshipping at the First Church of Brian Jolley

    Does he demand the sacrifice of vestal virgins? I heard there might be 1 or 2 left in Utah. ;)

  6. ROF!!!!!!!!!!

    Way too creative girl!


  7. Love the last picture. You're FUNNY! :-)

  8. Now that's how to have some fun with Photoshop.

  9. I felt like crossing myself before I entered the shrine. :)

  10. You know, there's nothing I hate more than snorting a mouthful of tea up my nose.

    Really. You should let me know before you do something like that.

  11. That's too funny! You made me spit out my coffee...

  12. I'm glad you're all amused. I have to admit my skin was kind of crawly at the end there, worrying that you might believe me...

    To all of you that snorted your beverages out your noses: your sinuses need a good rinsing anyway, didn't they? It's allergy season.

  13. I think I just woke up the neighbors! HEE HEE! I've been offline so long - and to have this now is just what I needed! You crack me up!

    Missed you!

  14. Yeah. I actually love shrines, in that kitschy, Crafty Chica kind of way. But we're closer to Mexico and Dia de Los Muertos here. Up there amidst the corn and soybean fields you must be a total freak!

  15. Oh, dear.... YOU ARE SO FUNNY!!

    Yes, the little yellow flowers are precious and have served the purpose of their lives by silently lying there in worship of the great saint Brian.


  16. Wendy: I'm back! Wake up the neighbors!

    SS: I, honestly, like shrines too. I'm moving into a quaint little house that just *might* have a shriny crannie. Keep your eye out, and send me a dias de las muertos thingy, will ya?

    Always Happy: Ya Brilliant! My son will be thrilled when I start referring to him as GSB (Great Saint Brian)!

  17. Another out-the-nose snorter here - this one was just water, though. And yes, how DID you know my sinuses needed irrigating this afternoon! (Must be from smelling all of the stinky trash outside in the Oxford streets.)

    FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY! You are priceless!


  18. Put in a good word for me, on your next visit to the shrine... Pretty funny stuff, dear!

  19. Finally got a chance to read your post. Boy did it make me smile. How funny! I never thought my one line would inspire such comedy. Again great post. I think you have a future in stand-up. Thanks for the shout out.


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