I know you are shocked, SHOCKED, to see me posting at this late hour, but once again I can't sleep. So since Josh's computer is on i'm hoping to blog myself to sleep.
So what's pissing me off now? Glad you asked.
I have been a Christian almost all of my life. Seriously, i've been down with Jesus since I was like four. At that time my family attended church. We stopped going after the pastor got all up in my mom's grill about how she needed to be there more often and basically tried to tell her how to live her life. My mom doesn't do that shit. So we left that church, but continued to live our lives with God as a big part of them. We were raised to pray, to trust the Lord to care for us and see us through hard times, and revere his infinate power.
When I got into high school my mom and sister began going to church with my aunt and after a while my dad and I went too. We went to this church for about three or four years. I went to college, but when I was home for weekends I went to church with my family. Then our pastor, Delores, was transferred to another church. Before she left I went home one weekend and was offically sprinkled into the Methodist church.
The following week we met our new pastor. First impression: didn't like him. He wasn't warm and freindly like Delores was. She nearly glowed with the Holy Spirit. This guy, just, didn't. He seemed like he had become a pastor the same way one becomes a tile salesman or a guy in accounting. Like it was a job, not a calling. Not the best way to connect to a congregation. We tried to give him a chance, but I couldn't warm up to him.
Then my mom asked him about becoming a pastor. My mom has a very deep connection to God. She would make an excellent pastor. He told her she was too old to go to divinity school and couldn't afford it if she wasn't.
The fact that this man is still walking around shows that I haven't run into him since. They no longer attend that church, although I think that they are still official members. I know I still am.
Where the hell am I going with this? Keep your shirt on, damn.
Traditionally the wedding is held in the Bride's hometown. That way her family can help plan and pay for the big day. That usually means marrying in the parent's church.
Well i'm getting married in Greenville, not my parent's town. A whole two hours from their church. I don't belong to a church down here. You see where this is going.
So over the past three weeks I have called so many churches it's rediculous. All of them say the same thing: you or your parents have to be a member.
I must admit, I was surprised by this. People marry in churches all the time. Are they all members? I'm sure at least some of them have to be just using the church. I called places completely prepared to pay a fee for the use of the church, since they have to clean and light and heat the place, no problem. But none did that. Fine. Frustrating, but fine. Everyone was very nice. Until today.
I remembered Tuesday that when Linda got married she wanted to do it in the Lutheran church that she had joined a few years back. However, for various reasons she hadn't been to services in a long time, so they wanted to charge a fee for the use of the building. She got upset and started going to her neighbor's church where her dad was pastor. Well, I thought that if they were going to let her pay to use the building maybe they would do that with me. So I called and left a message.
Today they called back and spoke with Josh. The conversation went something like this:
P: Hi i'm returning a call from Brandi.
J: She's at work right now, would you like her work number?
P: Can I assume you're the fiance?
P: And i'm assuming you don't have a church, but you want to have your wedding here.
J: That's right.
P: Well, i'm not sure what to do with you two. Maybe you can come in and talk to me about it.
J: Well, i'll let her know and have her get back to you.
Ok. Let's look at this more closely. First off, why assume Josh is my fiance? Just because he's a man? What if I live with my brother, or a gay roomate? That's a little pretentious, and you can tell by his tone he immediately judged us for living together. Presumably. Josh could have been over fixing my sink for all he knows, but he skips right on to his high horse. That right there is enough to make me not want to deal with you. I don't need the 'tude.
Secondly, you assume we don't have a church. Well duh. Why would we call for your church when we belong to one already? That doesn't even make sense.
Finally, the one that spinned me into the Delta Quadrant of pissed off, a place i'd never been before in my life, "Well I don't know what to do with the two of you."
Yes, that's right. We're incorrigable. With the vandalism, and the stealing, and the murder, and the selling crack to school children, and the puppy kicking, and the going into people's houses at night and wrecking up the place. We just never learn. Oh. Wait. Not only have we not done anything wrong, we just don't have a church in Greenville, but this guy doesn't know us from Bonnie and Clyde. How dare he judge us for not having a church. Maybe we've been to a few and didn't like them. Maybe everyone else judged us for living together and we were hoping for a sanctuary away from that. Whatever the circumstances all he knows about us is what I left on his answering machine, which was simply asking if they let people use this church who aren't members and my phone number, and what he concluded from two minutes of talking to Josh. Fuck that.
And what is this talking to us? To scold us in person for asking if we could use the church and not be members? If you have a problem with that, fucking say so. Don't waste our time with a meeting that will come down to "You really shouldn't be living together without being married".
And don't suggest that we can use the church if we agree to go there from here on out. I want to go to church, I plan on it later in life, hopefully sooner rather than later, but I want to go because I want to go. Not becuase i'm trying to get something out of it. That's wrong and dishonest. I would love to go to church, but right now isn't the time. Josh works such crazy hours that if he gets Sunday off, which is practically never, it's our only day off together to visit our families, or sleep late, or clean up, or have any real time together. We don't need the burden of "we have to go to church" when it has become a chore or the guilt of "we really should have gone today, they're watching us. We owe them because we got married there". I want it to be "What a pretty day. I can't wait to go to church". I want to do it when i'm committed and when I have to time to give back through choir or nursery or Uninted Methodist Women or something. Not to just show up and go home. And that's coming.
And i'm not saying that they are wrong for not wanting me to use the church. It's their building and they can do as they please, but just say no if the answer is no. And you can say no in a professional, non judgemental way. And i'm not saying they're wrong for not being thrilled about us living together, but they don't know that for a fact, so stop jumping to conclusions just because a man answered the phone, and if we are wrong for living together leave the judgement to God. That's his job.
So it's going to take about 70 years at maximum warp to get back home from the Delta Quadrant of pissed off i'm currently in, but we have broadband out here, so i'll keep blogging. And i'll let you know when or if I find a church for the ceremony. And i'll let you know if God smites my sinful shacking up ass. But you know, the last time I checked he was a being of infinate love and forgiveness, and i'm pretty sure that he's happy Josh and I are getting married, so I wouldn't start preparing for those plauges yet.