Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Too Old to Fake It

As a young woman I cared about the feelings of others to such a degree that I lied to them. At the time I thought that putting on the cheery face and telling people what they wanted to hear would make life better for us all.

Yep. I was a dumbass. I had more energy then. I haven't become wiser. I'm just too tired for that nonsense. The way I figure it now, if you want lies - watch TV. I'm just not up for the cost of faking it anymore.

Some recent examples.

1) $94 for Thai food that tasted like crap for a family of 5. When I was younger I would have concentrated on the fact that the mangoes were perfectly ripe and delicious and the service was friendly. Now I feel like I'm willing to pay for the mangoes and you nice people owe me about $80.

2) I forget a LOT of information these days. Some doesn't matter. Some matters a LOT. I just don't seem to be able to forget the inane crap and keep the significant tier things like: What was the first day of my last period and was it in the past twelve months? What did my mother and I agree on for childcare today? Have I taken any of my very significant medicine for rheumatoid arthritis... this week?

A younger me would either remember these things or pretend like she did. This pudgy, tired, gray-covered-in-copper version of me says, "How the hell should I know?" And I say it aloud.

3) Speaking of pudgy... I ate frosting last night. Straight out of the plastic container. With my finger. While I am on a diet. It wasn't even the homemade good stuff. And I did it while watching "Urban Cowboy" at 2AM.

In the past I would keep this sort of thing to myself. Today I feel like it is the most noteworthy act I performed this week. And for the record: don't eat Pillsbury choco frosting when you really want Betty Crocker rainbow chip frosting. I would have watched a nature show on the fauna of Alaska and written the next chapter of the great American novella if only I'd had the right frosting.

4) I was talking to unmarried people my age recently and one brought up the topic of faking orgasms.

YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME. I don't care how old you are... you are too old to fake an orgasm.

What is the point of that? If you just want to make someone feel good about themselves, keep your clothes on and tell them how great they are. But sex? Sex is not a time for lies, pretend or embellishing the truth. Not when you are young, dumb, and spry. Not when you are old and tired. Just plain NO.

Because pregnancies, STDs, and heartbreak? They don't pretend that they are something they're not.

It doesn't take a Phi Beta Kappa key to find the right spot combinations on someone you like well enough to get naked with. After all the ethical, moral, religious, cultural, practical, and hotness decision making is done - if you are going to have sex, it should be a pleasant experience for all involved. Or is that just some crazy bias I got from the frosting?

5) I want something new out of worship. (How do you like that topic leap? Told you I wasn't about lying for your sake.)

I want something BRAND new out of worship. I want something in the Isaiah sense of, "I am doing a brand new thing" out of worship.

I have been making the rounds the past two years. I've tried Unitarian Universalist as congregant vs. leader, Reform Jewish, Liberal Presbyterian, Church of the Brethren, Society of Friends, Episcopal reflection, Buddhist social activism, suicide loss survivor support, and Black Baptist... but I am not finding what I am looking for. And unlike most spiritual seekers - I know what it is I am looking for.

When I was younger I would pull some punches here. I'm too old to fake it now. If I can't find the worship I want, I am going to make the worship I want. So, in the words of Michael Jackson, "If you wanna' be startin' somethin', you got to be startin' somethin'.'"

I've found a buddy I'm coaxing into helping me. This buddy has some super-spidey-sense skills and appears to be uncompromised by immune system problems. We've agreed that we just want to try ministry without restraint. If only for a season, if it is only the two of us on a rock in the James... it doesn't matter. We're going to try something new.

When I was younger I would say at this point, "This endeavor is for all who..." blah blah blah. Or "You'll like this if..." yadda yadda. But this is not about everyone else. This is about having to do something because I can no longer not do it.

This is ultimately not a selfish venture because I believe that there are others who would like to try a brand new thing, as well. But I am not going to lie to you. I just want to feel what it is like to be unfettered, if only briefly. To go with my gut, even if it is only short-term. To build something I believe in just because I believe in it.

And that's where I've been for the past two weeks - planning a brand new thing. I won’t lie to you.

And yes, your wrinkles make you look older and I like you better that way. Smooth faces are for kids. And as we know, you don't want to be a kid forever. You'll spend too much on Thai food and have a crummy sex life.


Nan said...

Can't wait to see/hear what this BRAND new thing is!!!!!! said...

How exciting! I agree that we need some fresh ideas in ministry. After reading this post, I feel I can share something with you & not fear that your will recoil in disgust. I believe that everything comes down to marketing. If you want to build church membership, you need to get people involved. To get people involved, you need to supply them with what they are looking for. I have been looking for a church whose demographics include a large group of people like me: retired, single, & active. I was actually bold enough to say to several churches that my decision for joining a church will be based on that & I would even be willing to organize the social part if they have members that fit that criteria. I got the "recoil" reaction. When will they realize that people can have a relationship with God ANYWHERE, so if their congregation numbers are lagging, they need to start doing innovative things to attract people who will be involved and thus be more likely to support the church financially as long-time members and worshippers. Whew! You touched a sore spot!

Elaine said...

Send me an invitation when you decide when and what rock you're going to be on.

Brian in VA said...

Wait! What? Some women fake orgasms?????

SweetEddie said...

Gee, I'm so glad no one ever faked it with me. They always said it was me, I just knew what they needed. That's what they said, and people never lie, and it never snows in Alaska, and... Oh, about this new religious/spiritual experience thingie. Sort of reminds me of "Bokonanism" in Kurt Vonnegut's "Cat's Cradle."

Phoebe said...

Why is Thai food always over-priced, anyways?
So, what are you looking for? What are you going to do? I might be game, but I guess I'm also one of those who doesn't really know what she's looking for.

ogre said...

"ministry without restraint"

I love this phrase--and the vision it contains. I'm ferreting it away to remember, to carry with me as I do ministry.

Without restraint. After all, anything worth doing is worth doing to excess.