Confessions of a Philistine

Other than the Pope's Angelus message, which I'll post in a sec, I got nuttin'. Except two minor incidents to revive my old "in which she rants about things that bug her" series. Count this as installments 6 & 7 I think.
1) Friday night Hubby & I met some friends for dinner at a happening steak joint in the city. An old political friend was in town, many friends joined, and the conversation was great (a defense dept. big-wig told funny Rummy stories --that kind of thing.) However, the curmudgeon in me always somewhat resents joining dinks (double income, no kids) at restaurants they choose because the per-person price of the privilege of eating with bigwigs will be like . . . our whole grocery budget for the month. But this was a group of dear friends we rarely see, plus, today's our 12th anniversary and we said we'd count Friday as our celebration. Well, it was fun, but sure enough we won't be eating again until August (sorry, kids), and the waiter accidentally hopped me up on caffeinated coffee at 10:00 at night, so I didn't sleep at all and was therefore an utter mediocrity at a conference I gave at an ungodly hour of the ayem the following morning. Why did I enjoy my 3 buck omelette at Plato's diner after Mass this morning way more than my allegedly gourmet, but to me rather mediocre, meal on Friday? I don't resent wealth (I'm a fiscal conservative for heaven's sake), but does anyone actually enjoy eating overrated food in stuffy restaurants? Or do they just think they ought to enjoy it?
2) Secondly, is it possible to love God and children at the same time? I ask because for 8 years my husband and I lived in a diocese reknowned for its orthodoxy and where exquisite attention is paid to liturgy in most of the parishes. Being at mass in one of these parishes is a little taste of heaven. . .the reverence, the silence, the music that inspires worship rather than dance moves, the well-crafted homilies. . . .the whole liturgy working together to send you home with your soul refreshed.
And yet. . . .after 8 years, if we'd suddenly stopped attending our parish, no one would have noticed, as there was no real community, and if your kids ever wiggled or your babies babbled, you would catch it from the pastor, the ushers, and all the daily communicants. Homilies urged you to be pro-life, but the actual consequences of this philosophy were not generally welcome at Mass.
Now we've lived a few years in the neighboring diocese, and long for those liturgies of yore. Our parish pastor is a holy man, with deep eucharistic devotion, but the parish itself lacks any sense of reverence. The music inspires toe-tapping, which many people do (and they applaud when mass is over, as if they'd been at a concert), there's a lot of chit-chat, and the various servers don't seem to take their roles very seriously. This morning one of the teen eucharistic ministers was wearing a skintight filmy white sweater, the fabric of which had the unfortunate characteristic of quite disappearing under the sanctuary lights. Teen boys were sniggering, and I spent communion trying to drive from my mind the idea that I was receiving the Lord from J-Lo at the Golden Globes. Everything about the liturgy seems to point out, to us in the congregation, rather than up towards God. I quite despair of teaching my children reverence in such an atmosphere, and I don't feel fed. (The Eucharist is the Eucharist of course, but I speak of the externals of the liturgy that can either sweep you up into worship or hinder it entirely.)
And yet. . .everyone in the parish knows us. The pastor and deacons are extremely encouraging about bringing kids to mass --they actually thank us for it. This morning I was reflecting on the growing number of young families in our parish --attracted, I think, by the fact that they can sit up front with their kids (where they can see best), and no one glares at them if the babies wiggle or fuss a little bit. The daily communicants congratulate me every day on how well-behaved the kids are (they are very kind, believe me), and the little old ladies coo over the baby, even when he cries in the back the whole time. Why is it so rare to find someone who loves the liturgy who also loves people? And vice versa?
Sigh. In the words of the old pro-life slogan, why can't we love them both?