On Sunday we drove over an hour to attend the Latin Mass in Newcastle at St. Patrick's, the oldest Roman Catholic church in New England. The sanctuary is only capable of seating about 60, but its beautiful decorations draw the tourists as well as faithful Catholics. Large paintings of Jesus and Mary flank the altar and the Stations of the Cross are little masterpieces. Ours were the only children in Mass and keeping them quiet in the silent and stuffy room was extremely difficult. However, afterwards while they played in the woods and Mary caught a toad no larger than my thumb, a half dozen parishioners remarked on the beauty of our family and how good they were during Mass. (I won't let such things go to my head, since I see them all the time, not just in their Sunday best) One gentleman even asked Will if he would like to help serve Mass next month.
Later we stopped for lunch and a quick trip into Shaw's grocery store in Rockland for a loaf of bread. I don't like to shop on Sundays, but it was needed for supper and I had been told by a friend of the great deals she regularly gets there. Last week she mentioned saving 50% off her grocery bill, just from sale items so I wanted to take a peek.
While I was pushing a cart loaded with children and several more trailing behind, an elderly woman asked, "Are they all yours?"
"Yes," I replied with a smile, expecting another compliment.
"Are you sure?"
"Well I was there, so yes."
Her tone seemed to change and she said in a nasty voice, "I certainly hope your husband has a good paying job."
My mind seemed to go blank and then raced for an appropriate response. "Why yes, we do contribute to the tax base of Maine, rather well I might add." would imply that those who need state assistance don't deserve the gift of children. I could have lied and made her feel guilty by saying, "Yes, he is currently serving in Iraq." But he isn't and that would have dishonored those who's husbands are serving in harm's way. "I can't see why it is any of your business," didn't seem particularly nice directly after receiving Holy Communion. In the end I just mumbled, "Yes he does," and felt guilty over all the things I could have/should have said and that I shouldn't have been shopping on Sunday anyway.
What would you have said?