Sunday, April 01, 2012

Why People Don't Do What I Do

There are a million good reasons not to be me. I don't and never have done anything the easy way. I seem incapable of it. Take, for example, Winding River Gathering. We are gathering today at 2:30 and 4:00. That is a genius idea for people who, like me, do not like mornings. We are 100% funded by cover charges. That is an asinine idea for having any sense of security on the 6+ hours leading up to the event. If people do not show, future services are not a go.

Another example, why didn't I go to business school? Have you ever tried to get a job outside of ministry when you are a minister? The world thinks I'm a zealot, or cult leader, or evangelist. (Giggle.)They think that in my ministerial career I just showed up for two hours a week, read from the Bible, and spent the rest of the time ironing my robe. Ha! As if I ever ironed my robe. How do so few people know that ministers are marketers, HR specialists, volunteer coordinators, group dynamic specialists, crisis counselors, teachers, writers, public speakers, project managers, and major fundraisers? Sure, those weren't the jobs I signed on for under the title Minister, but those were the jobs I did.

Here's one - someone told me recently that my relational way of doing things is not only inefficient but keeps me connected to virtually countless people by my insistence that every connection matters. Uh huh. And? You mean it is not normal to make an effort to personally greet and inquire after the distant relations of every person you slightly know or who looks receptive to being known in a day? That just can't be true.

Oh, and science fiction. Let's not forget that I belonged to a science fiction book club for nearly two years when I find the genre to be predominantly sexist, war mongering, and hopelessly white. Exceptions? Of course, and we read as many as we could find but it was exhausting seeking out the sci fi novel that didn't have a white guy in uniform as its center. (And to think, men in uniform are so appealing to me in every day life. I'm not sure why it doesn't translate.) Then when we read the normal sci fi I would find myself livid and hampering the experience of my very kind, friendly, thoughtful, smart, white guy, neighbors and companions who invited me to that dance in the first place.

There is also something to be said about the sanity of you TV watchers. There is a ridiculous amount of time in a day to worry about things, ask after distant relatives of even more distant friends, and just plain fret and stew when you live alone half the time and do not watch television. My magazines are taking over the bed and Facebook has become predictably election year, recession, Monsanto, uranium mining depressing. I should be devoting my life to "Dr. Who."

There has to be an easier way. When I attend services they are either in Spanish, at an African American mega church, or at a Reform Jewish synagogue. The other attendees never understand why I would want to do that which I think is weird. If you like it, why can't I? An inordinate amount of my energy is spent dealing with the consternation of the other attendees. And we wonder why this world remains so segregated. On the other side of the tracks, I am the theist spiritual mentor to a significantly atheist gaggle of philosopher types.

I buy 80% of my wardrobe in thrift stores and consignment shops which takes forever, is fraught with surprises, and nothing ever matches. OK, when have I ever wanted anything to match? Good point. It does take a lot of time, though.

I am completely dependent on technology I can barely understand or manipulate and then I shoot for the stars in what I attempt to do with it. Oh the curses I have howled at my internet provider, phone, computer, and blog host.

I eat ice cream when I know my stomach can't eat ice cream. I walk in the rain when I know my hips can't walk in the rain. I try to write novels, and screenplays without a day of creative writing instruction (today is day 1 of Script Frenzy). I try to rebuild after hurricanes. I have taken on hula hooping and roller skating in the past two months. I plan to go to Soul Karaoke even though it scares me to the very heart of my follicles to get up and sing R&B in a room full of serious R&B singers. No matter the karaoke plans or cut - my hair stands up.

And in my spare time I remove wallpaper.

Truly, if I knew how to work in an office, wear Lilly Pulitzer, watch Mad Men, moisturize daily, and go to the gym wearing tennis shoes that match my eyeliner I would. First I'd learn how to put on eyeliner because I currently poke or scratch myself every time. Then moisturizer because that ends up in my eyes, too. My hobbies would be cleaning the house, working in the yard, and taking the kids to their practices, lessons, and games. My banking, charitable contributions, photo albums, and life goals would be neatly managed on my laptop with timely updates and upgrades. I would sing in a nice little church choir and I would read New York Times bestsellers without sneering. Truly.

Wait. No, I wouldn't. I couldn't. I'd make everyone miserable. The poor choir director alone. Nah. I'm stone cold crazy but I gave up on trying to change that part of me years ago. You may see me in Lilly Pulitzer some day, but I will have found it on eBay and it'll have some weird misprint across the butt that looks like Santorum.

Happy April Fool's! God knows I'm one.

1 comment:

Wendy Fisher's Music said...

I really loved this. Ministry seems like one of the really hard jobs. Hard in training, hard in internship, and hard in all the steps that come after. I'm a U.U. in Livermore CA, and I want you to know that I am really appreciative of ministers; you guys really are the trailblazers and the mentors that inspire me, coach me, and heal me the most.