Since Chris and I both have extremely busy schedules during the school year, we wanted to get as much PreCana stuff done before the end of the summer. Naturally, the only FOCCUS test site that would fit into Chris' schedule was in Norfolk Nebraska. For those of you unfamiliar with Nebraska geography, Norfolk (pronounced Nor-fork solely so that the natives can mock the tourists) is about 3 hours from Omaha. I made Chris leave four hours early to combat that central Nebraska traffic, so we got there close to an hour before the class started. Our plan was to find the room, and then go get something to eat. I had been so adament about leaving early that we didn't get lunch, and it was approaching 2 p.m. Unfortunately, we were met at the door by the lady in charge of the program, and she was super excited to see us.
She was a very nice person, don't get me wrong. However, her fashion sense left a lot to be desired. She had the mom jean look going on- you know, the ones that are very high waisted, and make your butt look huge no matter what size it is normally. She highlighted it by over tucking in her hand made, neon lettered I <3 my husband t-shirt. I finished signing in and she introduced us to her beloved husband. (yep, that's how she introduced him.) She put her arm around his waist, and they stood there, grinning at us for a minute. To our credit, neither one of us laughed. Her beloved husband was wearing the exact same thing- mom jeans and all. Except his shirt said I <3 my wife. I don't know about anyone else, but somehow I was not able to take anything they said seriously the entire day. The shirts and tucked in jeans were just too distracting.
Needless to say, that pretty much set the tone for the day. We got started a good 20 minutes behind schedule, and the first thing they told us was that, becuase of all the paperwork, the class would probably go later than scheduled. We proceded to spend an hour (AN HOUR) filling out one piece of paper, which I had already printed off the internet and filled out.
For the record, it was also freezing in there. And the chairs were uncomfortable. Having not eaten lunch, we were starving. They had a little plate of cookies and water on a back table, so we kept sneaking back and eating stale Chips Ahoy cookies. By the time we got to the actual FOCCUS test we were miserable.
The test itself wasn't that bad though- we had talked about most of the issues in it, so I thought we would have the same answers on most of the questions. However, as we were driving the 3 hours back to Omaha afterward, we started comparing answers. We found that even though we agreed on all the issues, somehow we managed to interpret the individual questions differently and every question we talked about we had put different answers down. We haven't gotten the results yet, so hopefully Fr. Jim will still marry us after seeing it.
Looking back, I don't know if we got quite what the church intended us to get out of the FOCCUS test experience, but we did have fun together experiencing the craziness. I think the test results will be good talking points for our sessions with Fr. Jim too.
By the way, we did do the actual PreCana retreat too. I won't write about it now, but I will say it was a much more normal experience. Even-dare I say it- useful! Kathleen