Happy Birthday to Me! Take a minute to celebrate to yourselves how much I so totally rock. Find some cake and eat it. Chug a beer or two…hmmm…I wish the Budweiser people would compose a song in my honor, similar to their "Real Men of Genius" or "Real American Heroes" songs. My parents and my sister and her husband and her baby are flying in today–this is just about the coolest present I can think of. I’m waiting for the rest of the people in my house to wake up and treat me like the freaking princess that I am. Any minute now…I think I’ll talk about politics and religion while I wait.
Contrary to popular belief, I don’t get all of my political information from Saturday Night Live–sometimes I watch 2 seconds of CNN to help me fall asleep. And I have to ask–is everyone seriously still talking about Barack Obama fist-bumping his wife? Because I saw that video, and I, myself, would be more worried about the fact that right after their "first pound", Barack turned around and slapped that ass in front of millions of people. Okay, maybe it was more like an ever-so-discreet love pat–but still. And what’s this talk about fist-bumping being a "black" thing? Am I the only one who remembers the very white Ricky Bobby’s "Shake and Bake"?
Went to church again Sunday and found out just how comfortable the ladies’ room was. About 10 minutes into the service, Merrick started crying. Caleb couldn’t calm him down, so Mommy took over–I changed him and then settled down in this sweet comfy chair to feed him. And as soon as I whipped off my bra, the grandma brigade came out of hiding. They were running in the door, popping out of stalls–isn’t there a commandment that says "Thou Shalt Not Touch a Breastfeeding Mother and Child"? I swear, I thought one of them was about to sit in my lap. A particularly intriguing member with orange skin and eggplant hair struck up a thrilling conversation: "I think it’s so sweet when mothers breastfeed their children." (Who? Me? Oh, no, I’m not breastfeeding. I’m just trying to cram my boob in his mouth so no one will hear him scream.) "Do you stay at home with him or do you leave him during the day?" (I leave him. I leave him all alone. But not because I go to work.) "It’s wonderful that you bring him to church. Children need to get to know the Lord early on in life." (Actually, it’s the other way around–I’m here because of him. And I’m pretty sure he won’t understand the concept of God until he’s at least 10. Or maybe 50.)
As I sat there sweetly breastfeeding my child and blatantly ignoring granny, whose hand was mere inches away from my bare boob, the church and I talked things out in my head:
ME: "I’m just not ready to commit yet. I mean, I like you and all, don’t get me wrong! You’re great. I just don’t think I’m ready to be tied down to one church in particular right now."
CH: "But look at what I’m giving you! A knowledgeable pastor, a friendly congregation, Sunday school classes for your girls…I even have a nursery for the little guy! Plus I dumped all this money into looking pretty and having all the latest technology for you. (sniff, sniff, tear.)
ME: "Hey don’t cry. It’s not you; it’s me."
CH: (Angrily) "You are so full of dog doo-doo."
ME: "Can’t you just say ‘shit’?"
CH: "No, I’m the church. And you shouldn’t say it either."
ME: "You mean I’d have to stop cussing?!"
CH: "Yes. Besides, don’t try and distract me. We both know what this is really about."
ME: "What are talking about?"
CH: "When are you going to get it through your head that I’M NOT HER?!"
ME: "Oh, please."
CH: "Seriously! You don’t like me because you’re worried I’ll turn out like that other country church–I’m not like that."
ME: "I know. Tell you what. Give me another shot. My family likes you, my friends like you. I just need more time, that’s all."
CH: (Sniffling) "Okay."
It’s true. There was a church, a Southern Baptist, Back-woods, po-dunk country church, that me and my ex-husband became heavily involved in about 10 years ago. I don’t bring it up much, because the truth is, I’d like to completely block out that entire 2-year period. I hate who I was at that time in my life. I hate what I looked like, I hate the things I said, I hate the things I did, I hate what I put up with. If I could go back in time and kick my own ass, I would. In a heartbeat. I’d hire thugs to help me give myself the beating of a lifetime. I was in a miserable excuse for a marriage, and all I could do was stinkin’ pray that it would get better. I got it into my head to tell my Catholic parents that they were going to hell in a handbasket. And worse, I even toyed with the idea of boycotting Disney, and that right there is just blasphemous to life in general.
What is it with me and church? Am I that scared of turning back into the snivelling country idiot I once was? Am I scared my kids will? Do I have to stop cussing? Wait, do I have to stop drinking? Will I ever be able to make it through a Sunday without feeling sick to my stomach? Will I ever be able to make it through a service without rolling my eyes? I’d try another church if I thought that was the answer to my problem. But it’s not. Well, bottom line is this: Caleb likes it. The girls like it. So, damnit, I’m going to keep going until I like it, too. Stranger things have happened. I might just see about those hired thugs…
And I’ll be breastfeeding in the car from now on.