Archive for May, 2009

everything is okay

May 26, 2009

I don’t know if anyone read my last blog before I changed the privacy setting.  But I’ll just pretend it’s not there.  I’ll just say my husband and I are still together, and everything looks like it might actually work out.

Instead, I’ll share an email I received from an old friend.  She finally noticed my Facebook says “atheist”.  So I get this.

I’m going to say something about your loss of faith in God which might embarrass or anger you, but I’m going to say it anyway. I  want to say that just because other people in your life haven’t succeeded in the Lord, or haven’t had a life in God you were interested in imitating, doesn’t mean you can’t.

I’m not sure where she got that idea about my “loss of faith”.  I did explain how it happened to her.  And I’m not sure how to follow up a clarification on what it means to be an atheist without making reference to Santa Claus.  And that might be a little mean.  But I’ll give it my darndest.  

Sad, tired, confused, and swearing like a sailor, but only in my head.  I don’t really know what to do with myself.  Don’t even want to read, which is unusual to say the least.  So I’m drinking black coffee and getting to work.

brand new!

May 18, 2009

After an unfortunate and life-changing event– it was a seemingly small event, but a complicated one, and I don’t think my communication skills are up to the challenge, so you’ll pardon my skipping the details– I have implemented Phase One.  Phase One of what, I’m not sure what to call it, but perhaps it will become clear once I get through a few more phases.

I have just purchased my first, very own, mobile phone.

It is a G1 and I am very happy.

crushes and coming out

May 14, 2009

I have a confession.

I have crushes on at least five people right now– that’s five off the top of my head.  If I pay more attention and take notes as I go about the week, I’m sure the number would be a lot higher.  Come to think of it, I bet I’m a little bit in love with all my friends.

It sure feels good to be able to admit that.  Even if this is an anonymous blog that nobody I know in real life reads… still.  There are so many different kinds of love; it’s nice to know that people are all kinds of beautiful and wonderful, and I can appreciate them.

Also, I just had lunch with some coworkers.  And you can add one to the list of people who know I’m an atheist.  She’s a Christian and it didn’t bother her in the slightest.  It was maybe a little condescending when she said, “It’s okay if you don’t believe in him; he’s still real.”  But still.  She didn’t even blink, and that was nice.

Close call

May 12, 2009

The Sunday School class I attend with my husband (“Marriage Enrichment”) has a mid-week meeting, which we don’t attend, since it is on Thursday and we have Bible Study that day.  But this week, the Sunday School mid-week thing is Tuesday.  And my husband asked me if I was busy.

So in my head, I said something like this.  Jesus Christ on a bike!  How much church do I have to go to?  This is getting ridiculous.

I was opening my mouth to say “No thanks” when I remembered: I am busy on Tuesday!  So instead I said, “I am busy!  Yes.  I am.  Busy.  Tuesday.  Yes.”

(Tuesday is an Atheist Meetup!)

But my point is, I have to watch out.  I don’t want to start getting passive aggressive about not wanting to go to church functions.  If I don’t want to go, I’ll just say so, and I won’t make excuses or start being obnoxious in hopes that they request I not come back.  I think I’ll have to quit Thursdays on account of them starting to drive me a little crazy.  They are so conservative.  It’s frustrating.  For example, I informed one woman that it’s possible to accept evolution and still be a Christian.  “What??”  She said.  “Yes,” I said.  I was a little alarmed by her reaction.  “There are plenty of Christians who accept evolution.” 

I don’t think she believed me. 

Anyways, I am afraid I am starting to be an unpleasant addition to the Bible Study, and I don’t want their only experience with an atheist to be unpleasant.  I wouldn’t like it if a Christian came to my Atheist Meetups and started preaching to me and disagreeing with everything I say.

Plus, for Bacchus sake!  I’m an atheist.  I don’t want to go to church.  I don’t benefit from Bible Study.  And I certainly don’t want to be everyone’s pet prodigal to convert and pray for.  They surely have better things to do.

Overrated

May 11, 2009

The idea of an Overrated Things List came up in my blogroll today, and as I was thinking about it, I came up with the following.

  1. marriage
  2. sex
  3. love
  4. home ownership

And then I realized that was an unpleasant list to be making.  It’s probably due to the fact that this morning, it suddenly seemed inevitable that I would separate from my husband one day.  I both want it and don’t want it.  And of course the wanting part scares me.  I don’t have anyone to talk to about it.  I mean if I needed to, I have a short list of people who would probably be willing to listen and offer advice.  But I’m a little scared of that, too.

See, my husband and I had plans.  I thought we were in sympathy with  each other.  And then last week, the youth pastor he works under was fired.  And my husband feels like he might want to be a youth pastor.  I guess I was mostly surprised that he was thinking about dropping his dream career in favor of working for the church.  Not only that, but he was thinking we would stay in Southern California even though we were planning to leave. 

And I shudder to think about how much our lives would further diverge if he were to become a pastor and I go on being a godless heathen.  He even worries if the church would “let him” be pastor if his wife is an atheist.  I told him that would be their loss, and I meant it.  My husband is a very good public speaker and he’s good with the kids. 

I probably don’t need to take it so seriously; I’m pretty sure he’s not going to quit school and be a pastor.  But it makes me so weary, all this needing to keep up with another person and make all these constant adjustments so that one of you doesn’t outpace or outgrow the other.  I wonder what it would be like to just live as a free person. 

I guess that’s what I get for marrying when I was 18.  Do you think it will help if I separate for a little while?  It’s not that I think it’s morally wrong to separate or even divorce.  I just don’t know if I am willing to risk my life as I know it for a life I don’t even have.  What’s the saying about people who want everything but aren’t willing to risk anything?  I’ll only live once, after all. 

But then again, I guess “you only live once” is both encouragement and deterrent to risking.

Most of all, I don’t want to be the sort of person who goes through life daydreaming and longing for a different life but never takes action to get it.

And after that, I don’t want to be the person who dreams of leaving her life, but never tells anyone, and then just up and leave one day leaving everyone confused. 

I can’t live like that.  It seems dishonest, both of them.  So… what to do?

Bad influence

May 8, 2009

Small Group was last night.  The opening question was, “Which Bible character are you?”  The first character who popped into my head was this one:

Deuteronomy 25:11-12: If two men are fighting and the wife of one of them comes to rescue her husband from his assailant, and she reaches out and seizes him by his private parts, 12 you shall cut off her hand. Show her no pity.

“Whichever woman inspired that law!” I said.  “I’m her.”  Later I changed my mind to Lilith, who doesn’t really count since she’s not in the Christian Bible.  But I did get to say “demon-spawn” in Bible Study, which surely doesn’t happen every day.

But then there’s Jael, how could I forget her!

That’s all off-topic, actually.  I was sitting there last night, listening to people talk about the questions they have, and the struggles, and I had to wonder what kind of bad influece they’d let me be.  Not during the actual Bible time, no sir.  They’d all gang up on me.  But if one of them called me and said, “Hey, I know you’re not a Christian, so I wonder what you’d think of this…”  I wonder.  I sit with all these Christians and just marvel at their refusal to entertain the notion that there might be no god, that their live could be easier and maybe even better if they could reject superstition.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I feel superior to them in any way; I know I was exactly like that, and not very long ago.  But I guess I’ve been outside the faith long enough to really see their limits and wonder if I could help them break those limits.

What would this world be like?

racist

May 6, 2009

My coworker B is racist.  Not so you’d notice; I’ve caught her at it only twice in the two years I’ve known her.  But still.  Also relevant to the story I’m about to tell you is the fact that she is a Christian, and we work at the electric company, Southern California Edison.

I went out to lunch with a coworker yesterday– happens to be a male coworker.  What can I say; I know office gossip will get me for it, but I need friends, so I take ’em where I find ’em.  So B sees me walking out with him and I mentally roll my eyes, knowing she’s gonna get me for it, somehow.  Sure enough, later we are joking around and she says she’s going to call my husband and tell him.

But she’s not simply going to tell him that I had lunch with a male!  No.  She’s going to tell him that I “had a date with an oriental man.”

“Oriental??  You’re unbelievable,” I told her.  That probably wasn’t the part she expected me to react to. 

But I got her back later, when I told her about my plan to make t-shirts that say “What Would Edison Do?” or “Edison is my homeboy.”  She was shocked.  She did an awkward little laugh.  She said I was a bad girl.  (This is the same woman who said I was going to Hell because I think the human body is poorly designed.)

“I’m not a bad girl,” I said.  “I’m just a heathen.”

And, I put the t-shirt idea in the suggestion box  😀

iPod on shuffle

May 5, 2009

Sometimes I gotta wonder about the ol’ iPod. It just followed up Katy Perry’s “I kissed a girl” with Celtic Woman “Ave Maria”. I mean, good songs both, but together? Can someone get a mash-up going for me?

Personal philosophy challenged. Again.

May 4, 2009

I woke up Saturday with an uncontrollable urge to go roller skating.  Luckily, I have roller skates, so off I went.  Then I went to a gaming café, and afterwards went home and baked a cake (Apple-Ginger Upside-down Cake), thereby missing the Derby.  My whole day was thrown off because I had planned to go to the Café, then changed my mind that morning, then my husband wanted to go so I went with him.  Before I knew it, it was after noon.  Don’t you hate when that happens?  All I wanted to do was bake goodies in my quiet kitchen, maybe listen to a little music. 

The weirdest part of the weekend was because of a dream wherein I had a happy reunion with an old friend.  It kindof threw me off because we aren’t exactly on speaking terms; I call it friendship limbo.  Anyways.  What happens the next day is that I get an email:

So-and-so would like to be your friend on Facebook!

Then I had a 30-second sputtering and cursing fit.  “Oooooohhh!  He wants to be my friend on Facebook!  Fuckin lunatic!  God damn him.  Fuck you.  Either be my friend in real life or fuck you.”

I don’t normally say “fuck you” so I was vaguely amused with myself.  But I was also angry, and suddenly exhausted.  And just that morning, Sunday School offered a fairly good dose of advice.  Buddhists call it detachment, Stoics call it fatalism, the Christians these days call it “aligning yourself with the will of God” (*eye roll*).  Even though I’d already been practicing it in the Stoic form, it was good (and, as you’ll see, timely) to have the reminder.  As Epecetus said,

Our opinions are up to us, and our impulses, desires, aversions–in short, whatever is our doing. Our bodies are not up to us, nor our possessions, our reputations, or our public offices, or, that is, whatever is not our doing…So remember, if you think that things naturally enslaved are free or that things not your own are your own, you will be thwarted, miserable, and upset, and will blame both the gods and men.

In other words, nobody makes you feel anything; your feelings are your own and your responsibility.  So after I cooled down from my fuck-off-a-thon, I had a nice long drive to work out my reaction.  I am still angry and hurt, but I have to take responsibility for that and change my feelings without requiring anything from my friend.  It is not his responsibility to make me stop being angry.  Or, if it is his responsibility, that is independent from my responsibility to be calm and be a good person who does not say “fuck you”, at least not to his face.  So another challenge to my personal philosophy which I will have to get through because I do not want to be medicated for depression again just because I can’t get my shit together.

Fuckin lunatic.  Fuck him!

LOL

On the plus-side, I went out to have Indian food last night, then to a concert of Classical Indian music, which was completely wonderful.  Magical, even.

Unconditional Love

May 2, 2009

I don’t know about you, but I don’t believe in unconditional love.  Just add it to the “no such thing” list.

Unconditional Love was the topic of discussion at last Sunday School, and it was starting to go in a bad direction.  I’ll spare the details, but I finally put my hand up and offered the following.

“I have a condition.  If my husband ever hits me or abuses me, it’s over.”

Of course my poor spouse turned bright red when I said that  🙂  But it was just a week ago when a woman in the class confided in me about her abusive husband, and the abuser was there for all this Unconditional Love talk, and let me tell you, that’s a weapon you don’t aimed at your head if you’re the one being abused.  “You can’t leave me, God says so.”

So anyway, my statement started a more interesting debate than we usually have (which isn’t saying much), and we came to the conclusion that if there was abuse going on, anyone in danger should leave the relationship and leave the house– hopefully not permanently, but separation is advised.  Also, I amended my statement about conditions for loving my spouse.  It’s not so much a condition for loving him, but a condition for living with him.  But that was, strictly speaking, a lie.  Honestly, if he ever hit me, I can’t see how I’d love him anymore.

But there are probably plenty of abused women who have said that.

Still don’t really know what love is, though, or what unconditional love would look like.  It’s probably a myth.  Which is ironic, considering another conclusion from Sunday School: God is the only one who can love unconditionally.  And you really don’t want to think about what that looks like.