Friday, April 30, 2010

Since we’ve moved in here, we have had a lot of visits from the local Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. I am thrilled, mainly because I don’t even have to leave the house to have stimulating conversation with another adult, but also because it is letting me work on my people skills a bit without really putting myself out there too much. You see, I have always been bad at making friends, much less good conversation. In my childhood we moved more times than I have fingers, changing schools every few months to every few years. I never really had a chance to see what a great childhood friendship could be like, because we never stuck around in one place long enough. (Mom, if you are reading this, I already forgave you that a long time ago. I love you!) Then I moved out and went to college. I actually stuck in the same place for 4 years straight, but I found out something about myself in those four long years: I didn’t know how to make a friendship that would last. I hung out and lived with transients – you know, the transfers and foreign exchange people. I was drawn to people whom I knew I would be parting with at the end of the year. And then I never really kept in touch with any of them, because that was my pattern all my life. Friends were my flowers: beautiful just after you pick them, great to have around for a short time, but I always knew I would have to throw them out and move on after the bloom withered.

I am hoping to stick around in this area indefinitely, and I would really like to have some friends. Not just the hey-how-are-ya every once in a while friends, but the kind of people who I can confide in, trust with my feelings, build up great memories with. I only have one best friend now, and I know I’ll never lose her, but she still lives over an hour away so I don’t get to see her all that often. She and I have definitely had our ups and downs, and if you asked me how we got to be such good friends I would have to say that hardcore determination played a good part in that one. Plus, she’s the kind of gal that I can not talk to for months, but as soon as I call her up out of the blue it’s like we are carrying on a conversation from yesterday. I think now she’s stuck with me for life, but that doesn’t mean I’m off the market for another pal.

So, anyways, I’ve met three women from this church so far. They all seem genuinely kind and considerate, and I’m sure I could easily strike up a friendship with all of them. But… there’s a little part of me that thinks they’re a bunch of loonies with an agenda. I know, that sounds terribly spiteful and mean, but I can’t help it. I wish I could say that your beliefs are fine, just don’t push them on me, but in the back of my head I’m wondering if they are just being nice to me to try converting me. I’m always suspicious of that. Then there’s the fact that if you honestly think the world is 6000 years old and worship an immaculately conceived spawn of a deity and talk to your invisible god friend all the time… I honestly question your mental capabilities and capacity. I want to tell them that they are so wrong, shove books and science journals into their open arms and tell them to read themselves into the 21st century. I’m sure they probably feel the same way about me, only with a 2000 year old book of “true” fairy tales.

I’m in a quandary. To befriend them, or to argue religion? To try my people skills, or to hone my evolutionary arguments? It’s sooooo tempting to take the latter, because I honestly doubt my friend-making skills. But then, if I do make friends with them, wouldn’t I be a bad friend for thinking they are basically as smart as a rock? Ack. I should just become a hermit. Much easier.

Why don’t atheists go door to door spreading their good cheer? Gosh, that would make my life so much easier. If anyone wants some great god-free conversation, please don’t hesitate to proselytize at my door! We can talk chickens. We can talk kiddos. We can talk gardening. We can talk alternative energy. We can talk guns. We can talk woodworking. I would love to have a friend who wasn’t worried about my hell-bound soul.


Saturday, May 01, 2010

I miss the internet. I sometimes feel like I have lost a limb when I realize that I can’t just hop on Google and run a recipe search or check in on a friendly forum filled with people who can empathize with me. I miss being able to shop online, because it’s so much more expensive shopping in the real world. I miss the forums I used to frequent, and the online personalities that I used to message back and forth with. The internet is a very powerful tool, and there are times when I could definitely use it to my advantage. It’s very nice to think that I am missing out on all of the addictive online games that only detract from my day. Don’t get me wrong, I know there are pitfalls to having internet in the home. I’ve fallen into a few of them myself. (Farmville, anyone?) But there is good, too. Like Craig’s List. And SimplyLivingSmart. And search engines. Ah, internet, I hope to someday invite you into my home again. Until then…