True Church Stories - #28
My hometown is Baltimore, Maryland -- home of the best seafood ever, topped with plenty of Old Bay. I grew up literally right on the Chesapeake Bay and enjoyed Maryland steamed crabs all my life growing up. I'm a seafood lover to the max and thankfully I married one so it's something we enjoy together. Back when Larry and I were pastoring in Maryland we would often treat our guests to some seafood, particularly traveling evangelists who were with us for a time of ministry. If they were with us any length of time we'd set aside a special day/evening to enjoy steamed crabs, corn on the cob, fresh sliced tomatoes...especially in the summertime...oh my! This is a little bit of heaven on earth. Well...
One time we were having a week of revival services with an evangelist and his wife from South Africa. They were not familiar with Maryland seafood or any of our customs and terms and I really should have thought twice about how I approached this conversation, but I just didn't.
On the first day this couple was with us we took them out to a nice Italian restaurant after service Sunday morning and we were planning on having steamed crabs the next day. As we were sitting in the Italian restaurant getting to know each other a bit, and commenting on the good taste of the Italian food before us, I turned to the evangelist's wife and with a totally serious look on my face said, "So...have you ever had crabs?"
She looked ABSOLUTELY HORRIFIED.
I had no idea why. I was just sitting there taking another bite of garlic bread waiting for her answer.
Her eyes got as big as saucers and she turned to me completely appalled and angrily snapped, "No!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
I couldn't figure out what I said to upset her so but suddenly it dawned on me she thought I just asked her if she had a venereal disease.
I quickly tried to recover from this. I resisted the urge to laugh..I could tell she was totally flipped out about this. Oh my stars. I mean the color literally drained from her face and she couldn't even look at me after she answered. I said..."Perhaps you don't know what I'm referring to. Let me explain. Here in Maryland we eat steamed blue crabs with Old Bay Seasoning.."
With that she relaxed and her demeanor softened again and said, "oh...really?" and I said, "Yeah, for real -- we'd love to share some with you guys tomorrow...you'll love it."
From that point on whenever I talked to any new friends about crabs I would ask them if they would like to share some steamed blue crabs with us.