About Religion

I’ve been thinking lately a lot about everything surrounding my faith these days. I don’t feel uncomfortable with a good discussion about the Church, but I do feel uncomfortable when people want to explain all the reasons why they think I’m wrong to subscribe to it. At first, I thought like those people do – if you’re uncomfortable with it, it’s because you don’t like having your worldviews challenged and you don’t have good answers to these Big Issues – you’d rather stay in your bubble. So I always try not to be uncomfortable with it.

However, I think that this debate is kind of a similar feeling to, say, buying a car. To set the stage, let’s say I have been considering which car I want to buy. I have done a lot of research, found some things I like and some things I don’t like as much, but I have weighed the pros and cons and have spent lots of time and energy coming to a conclusion about whether I feel like it is a good buy. Then, I buy the car. I drive it for a couple of years, and the more I drive it, the more I like it. There are some glitches sometimes, sure, like any car. The a/c makes a weird buzzing noise and only one of the spouts works for the windshield wiper fluid. But overall, I am very happy with my purchase.

Then, someone I know comes to me — someone who is my equal in the case of judging cars — and says that he has found a lot of things that he feels are wrong with my car. He feels like, had I known these things, or had I been of sound mind when I did learn them, I wouldn’t have purchased the car. Further, he feels like I should get rid of my car, because the things he’s discovered are, in his mind, fatal flaws.

First of all, I have ALREADY done my research and have been driving my car for YEARS, and have been happy with my decision. Additionally, I am not sure why he feels like my decision of which car to drive is any of his business. But let’s say he’s coming to me out of kindness. He knows and likes me and doesn’t want to see me in a bad car. That’s respectable, and I appreciate his concern. However, his arguments and the information he has brought to me are all things I learned when I was researching the car in the first place, and I have already weighed them, reconciled with them, or found contradictions to them, and in the end still found the car worth buying. If they aren’t things I learned when I was researching the car, they still seem to fall into just a few categories: They are related to the things I learned, they are fabricated or misconstrued issues, or they are solvable and not worth avoiding the car for.

Let’s say I have this experience over and over. Lots of people have bought my car and are just as happy with it as I am. I know and respect these people. Still, however, friends come to me with their concerns, and frankly, none of their concerns are news to me. I am tiring of this dialogue. Wouldn’t you?

Do they think I’m stupid? Do they think I don’t know anything about my own car? Do they think I can’t make a rational decision, or that I haven’t spent any time considering all the facets of my car that I can find? Do they think I haven’t heard any of this before, being knee-deep in experience with this particular subject? Do they think I WANT to choose a bad car? For heaven’s sake, I already own the thing, and I didn’t make the purchase lightly. Wouldn’t they assume that I would choose a car with the same amount of careful consideration with which they chose THEIR car, or that I don’t have the same opportunity for resources that they do?

To end the analogy, of course choosing a religion is not the same thing as choosing a car. But I typically make fairly informed decisions in most areas of my life – why would they suddenly assume that I don’t understand how to make a choice about something else that’s important, just because they disagree or they don’t like the way I made my decision? And WHY would they think that the only reason I could be offended about these challenges to my ability for rational thought, was if I was indeed incapable of rational thought? Wouldn’t ANYBODY be uncomfortable with and a bit offended by that assumption?

I don’t mind discussing individual issues on a personal level, with someone actually wanting to discuss and thereby come to a greater mutual understanding of truth. But I do not have to justify myself to these people. This anti-Christian crap is not news, I have almost always already reconciled it with my own answers (acceptable or unacceptable to the other party as they may be) it’s almost never delivered in any spirit other than a desire to be right or to convince me that I’m wrong. And THAT is not something I have to be okay with.

The Short List

So I am going to be a new mother soon, and there is this sort of random question that is going through my head. What if you don’t have enough people to have a baby shower? I mean, I don’t know. I’m having a boy so my sister is throwing me one. I had mostly family in mind for my first one.

It will be thrown at my mom’s church, and there was a lot of people I didn’t know there either. Which made me do this: o_O basically, but it was people my mom knew… so I don’t know. I guess I feel weird and uncomfortable being the center of attention. Especially around family that I’m not 100% comfortable around in the first place. (Mostly family I only see once or twice a year–at Christmas time or the rare family reunion.)

I don’t really have any friends, so… it bothers me, I guess. Ok, I really don’t have any friends. My last shower I had two show up to was for a good friend of mine since elementary school and her boyfriend at the time. Even then, I don’t really talk to her anymore, but I think she’ll show up. I guess i’m just a little bit depressed because I’m very anti social, and I’d like for this baby shower to be more of a happier occasion rather than something completely awkward where i’m fumbling around and basically talking about my pregnancy to people that really, really could care less and that are only there out of respect. (My dad’s side of the family is a lot more wealthy than this side so i don’t know. They kind of like to show off sometimes.)

I guess I’m a little mad at myself for not socializing more so I could have… people to really talk to and have fun with there, I guess. Not for the gifts, I really could care less about that. (Although it helps in the long run haha)

I was thinking of talking to my sister who is throwing my shower, and seeing if it would be possible to only get the people I’m comfortable around to show up… but that would only make the shower about 3-4 people in attendance. (Excluding mom, sister, my husband.. you know the really close people.) I guess i’m just a little confused and looking for some support from people in a similar situation. Or have any advice.

Maybe i’m just worrying over nothing… which I’m doing a lot lately..

A Day Like No Other

Today is one of those days that people like me live for… a work day! Without the work, a day with me just getting things done. I wrote a lot…and then discovered that my piece wasn’t due till Tuesday. Then I just got organizational stuff done… you know, the kind of stuff that you have to do to make sure things get done. I still have a ton to do, but it’s nice to take a bite out of work.

When I got home, Tyler informed me that the water heater had self-destructed or something, but our whole hallway was/is one giant puddle. Luckily we had recently cleaned up, so nothing got wet besides the carpet (which is a pain) and a phone book (which we don’t use anyway). We might get new carpets from the landlord out of this… that would be lovely! But in the mean time, we have no hot water. I really hope we can get it fixed tomorrow…

It was wonderful to see Erin last weekend! I wish we could have made better plans though…in any case, I did have fun with Roger and Dawna, she really enjoyed it, even though her poor toes were freezing! She is so cute and fun to be with!

The Unsung Heroes

So, Tyler and I like to go out and try different restaurants. We love good food, especially when we don’t have to do the cooking or the dishes. Thinking back, I’d like to comment on some of the waiters we’ve had… tell me if you’ve had similar experiences.

The “I don’t know anything” waiter: This was the most annoying waiter I’ve ever had. I had her at a sushi restaurant. I’m not too knowledgeable about sushi, so we wanted to know what was good. She just said, “I dunno. It’s my first night.” Fine. I understand being new. But then she just stood there and stared at us. I would expect something a little better, like, “let me go ask around and bring you our menu with all the pictures on it.” But no. She just stood there and stared until we just picked something that wasn’t really what we wanted. Bleh.

The “Dried up and disappearing” waiter: Thirsty! I was so thirsty through this whole meal at Olive Garden. We got one cup of water. The waiter never filled them up again! When we wanted to order, we couldn’t see him or find him anywhere, when we wanted our check, same thing… and we wanted to get out of there because we were all so thirsty! We noticed that another table was set already with glasses of water and we ended up just taking them at the end while we were waiting for the waiter to return the credit card. Lame.

The “I have no friends so the people I wait on have to be my friends!” waiter: Ok, look, it’s nice to be personable, but I don’t want to hear about your whole freakin’ life history! This waiter at Outback Steakhouse spent five minutes at the table every time she came back! We were trying to talk to the people we came with, but it was hard because we felt like our waiter was eavesdropping the whole time and trying to get in on the conversation. I wanted to EAT the steak while it was hot. Alas, she stood there talking so long that I could never really get a bite–and when she finally left us alone for a minute, it was cold :(. How depressing. Then she made us feel all guilty about not getting dessert… like, she wouldn’t let it go until we just got up and left… That didn’t really make me want to go back…

The “ok” waiters: Just what you expect, nothing exceptional.

And then, there’s the “Snow” waiter: Not named for anyone in particular, mind you :). I’ve only had two waiters of this kind in all my eating out experience. The first was at Chili’s and the second was at Elephant Bar. This waiter knows what food to recommend–even how to improve upon the menu with substitutions, tops off water glasses or brings more fountain drinks at the right time, doesn’t stay too long at the table, and can get your check ready in two minutes flat. This waiter brings you more complimentary appetizers just as you’re getting your doggie bag ready to go…and they can find you the correct size doggie bag, even if you need a little cup to take the Awesome Blossom dipping sauce home in. You know you had a waiter like this when you don’t really want to leave the restaurant, it starts to feel like home–with your own butler. You’re satisfied. You’re happy. You actually want dessert even though it’s six bucks for a slice of cake. That’s the waiter that should be everywhere.

It has been said of old that the difference between Danielle Koberstein and a canoe is that a canoe might tip. But even I, Miss Cheap-o, will tip for a “Snow” waiter.