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My Not So Holy First Holy Communion

By Tracy Kay

The year is 1968 and the New York spring day was perfect. My mother has dressed (I say trussed!) me to perfection for my first holy communion.

I hated to dress up, but mom was so thrilled to have me in a fluffy white confection of a dress, complete with veil. You could almost hear her humming the song, “Oh Happy Day”! You see, my mom was “bougie” before the word was even invented.

As for me, I was uncomfortable in that getup and couldn’t wait to get to the church, go through the ceremony, and then get out of it as soon as possible. But, no, there were photographs to be taken. Even worse, we had to walk to the photographer’s studio and boy were people staring at me as we walked.

I was embarrassed by all the attention, so by the time we got to the photographer, I was in a foul mood. Mom could not understand why I was so cross, and I didn’t know how to tell her how I felt. So, I showed my displeasure by pouting and not cooperating. Hey, I was only eight years old, after all! Eventually, mom got her picture, but not the smiling angelic look she was hoping for. Instead, she got the I’m-not-going-to-give-you-what-you-want face. A little bribery might have helped, maybe some chocolate ice cream? Just saying.

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