My Personal Jesus Dances to Rock N Roll
Monday, May 11, 2009

I'm not feeling well today.

Yesterday, Mother's Day, was an utter delight involving a trip to our beautiful azure beaches with the dearest of friends, drinking wine at the water's edge as we watched the sun dip into the horizon, flooding the sky with tawny orange and gold. My mom friend and I both agreed that the best part of the day was the fact that our children are no longer toddlers and babies, little sponges of need that don't give a rat's ass about Mother's Day.

As we sat in our beach chairs, sipping our wine, watching our now independent children frolic in the water without need of our assistance, I did tear up a little bit when it hit me, these Days of Three are coming to an end as college chugs closer and closer around that track.

But, I was maudlin for only for a minute. The sky was too perfect for sadness.

I sort of felt not right, yesterday, but the morning yoga workout, the blue water, the painted sky and the wine, all helped me ignore it.

I won't go into any TMI, but I've been in the bed for most of the day, at least when I'm not in the bathroom puking my guts out. Sorry. The awful part of that, is it ain't even the worst of the details. I'm just sayin.

But, as I alternated between the bed and the Porcelain God, I realized no one took the trash out this morning. It's part of the girls' chores, but do you think there would ever be a second in their whole life, they would voluntarily remember this? Pigs will fly, frogs will rain from the sky, before my kids offer to do anything involving work. Of this, I am convinced.

The anal part of my personalities that I despise wouldn't let the idea of garbage festering in the heat of my garage all week, die. So, being the only one here besides the dog and she sure ain't volunteering, I slunk out of bed and shuffled pitifully off to the garage.

We're country folk with a pretty good-sized chunk of land and with that comes long, long treks to the garbage pickup site. My much hated, Anal Personality will not allow the other personalities to put the garbage cans in the car, so off I hobbled, dragging the garbage cans with the dog gaily trotting in front of me, thinking we were out for some fun.

Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted the car coming down my front entrance and circling around my driveway. (We have two separate entrances to our property. I was hobbling down one of them and the car was driving down the other.)

In my pajamas, no bra, crazy, scary hair, smudged eyeliner from the night before and a heaving stomach, I was in no mood for company. I muttered under my breath as I narrowed my eyes at the car, "You've got to be f*#*g with me." (I like to cuss a lot when I'm sick. It seems to help.)

I pretended I didn't notice the car as I turned my back and went on my garbage pilgrimage. After depositing my cans and taking a moment to hunch over in the grass for a few dry heaves, I headed back to the house. I was relieved to see no car in sight. (Since we live far from the road, it seems our front entrance is an invitation to all the curious of the world. We get a few a week, who drive around our circular driveway, gawking at us or the house as if we were in the zoo.)

I figured they were just some gawkers, done with the zoo, back on the road.

As I dragged myself back to the house, eager for my plump mattress, the car suddenly reappeared at my side.

This just pissed me off.

A compact car crammed full of folks of various sexes and ages smiled out at me.

This pissed me off even more.

I had a nauseous feeling, worse than my stomach flu. I know that Jesus Loves You Smile. As a Catholic in the South, I find myself on the receiving end of that smile, more often than not.

A certain few of some of the more popular southern religions have made us fornicating, boozehounding Catholics, their mission. It's their job, they feel, to save us sinning Catholics from our own pagan souls.

We Catholics are the Pygmies of the Bible Belt.

I'm not sure why they've decided we need to be converted.

Perhaps, it's our dancing and drinking policies. We like both of those. They do not.

It could be our embracing of Halloween and Santa Claus. Things they believe are both evil. In my Book of Truth, I think their puritanical forbidden doctrine on childhood fun is evil. Robbing kids of Santa Claus and Trick or Treat, please!

It could even be the fact that we honor Mary the MOTHER of Jesus and give her a sacred, esteemed role in our religion, something that for some reason, they consider blasphemous. Honoring your mother. Hmmm, we are wicked creatures, indeed.

For whatever reason, they've decided that they need to commit Jihad on our religion in the way of home visits complete with pamphlets, forced "offers" to pray with us Catholic savages and invitations to visit their churches.

And they don't take "No" for an answer, until you politely close the door in their face. I've often had a pamphlet slid under the door as a last ditch effort.
We might be the pygmies, but they're the used car salesmen of the Bible Belt.

I think they feel the same way about the Jews, but since this IS the South, but not Miami, I'm pretty sure the only time a Jew comes to town is when my scrumptious buttercups Lena and Mallory and their parents are visiting.

The rest of the Jews are too afraid of our Confederate flags and bulls' testicles that hang from the back of every pickup.

The smilers rolled down their windows and the older lady driving the car gave me her best "Jesus Loves You and I'm about to cram His love down your throat" smile and asked me if I lived there.

I wanted to say, "No, I'm just the crazy-haired, braless, throwing up in the grass, non-Catholic servant." But, my polite personality took over and said, "Yes." Even though, I still continued to limp along, trying politely to get my non-interest across.

She then asked in her dangerously gentle voice if I went to church.

This pissed me off.

And my A Little Bit Not So Nice Personality slid into the driver's seat. I said, "Yes, I go to Church. I am a Christian and I'm very happy with my own religion. But, thank you anyway."

Then the deceptively sweet Used Car Saleswoman asked where I went to church.

I like seeing the "I've hit the Conversion Jackpot" look come over them when I tell them I'm Catholic.

The whole car lit up like a Christmas tree and hands filled with pamphlets popped out of every orifice of that car.

This caused me to blow fire out of my ears.

The, I'll Show You A Catholic Heathen, You Puritanical Used Car Salesman, personality came out then, the one that stays hidden far, far in the darkness of my soul.

I said, "If you haven't noticed, there are No Trespassing signs all over my property. They were put there because of you and your people. If you continue to talk to me about your personal Jesus that you seem to think I don't know, I will throw up on you and your car." And then my, Really, I Am Nice, personality, held her mouth over the bad girl and chirped, "Thank you. Have a Nice Day." As their Jesus smiles melted.

It took them a minute of shock, before they hauled their Used Car Salesman asses out of my driveway.

It made my nauseous day a little brighter.

I'm not saying my religion's perfect. Not by a long shot. In fact, I will confess out loud that I'm becoming more and more disappointed in my beautiful, ancient religion. Their shameful mishandling of the sexual abuse that has gone on for centuries rests heavy on my heart.

And I won't even start on their Bury Their Head in the Sand mentality over "abstinence is the only way until you’re married" program and their utter inability to evolve from the ancient days of dogma.

And now, their antiquated laws have caused a celebrated Catholic priest who has led many Christians to grace, to most likely leave his true calling. I’m not certain why the Catholic Church believes their ridiculous stance on celibacy makes men better priests. I think forbidding a man from his most primal, natural instinct is so unrealistic and just a plain, bad plan that needs some sane, modern-day rethinking. Show me a man who is settled and happy and reaching his potential and I'll show you a man who is gettin it on a regular basis.

In my Victoria's religion class the other day, the teacher informed the children that Catholics are only allowed to marry in a Catholic Church, not on a beach, or a park or even a shopping mall. (One of the kids' questions. Not mine. Not mine.)

My daughter, so very like me, raised her hand and asked, "Well, didn't God create the earth? Why is it so wrong to get married in the place God created for us instead of a church made by man? God didn't build the church, but He created the earth for us."

My girl.

The teacher had no answer for her, except for the answer I've heard most of my Catholic years, "Because it just is."

I've never been one for man-made laws, borne out of warped interpretations of God's word, no matter the religion.

My religion is not perfect. I'm not sure if I'll always stay with its teachings and practices. But, while I'm still here, I don't need someone else's religion telling me, my religion won't get me to Heaven. I think they should focus more on getting themselves to Heaven. I'm pretty sure, I'll be just fine, even with my drinking, dancing, swearing and just plain bad-ass vomiting self.

Next time, I'm answering the door in a Stevie Nick's number and announcing I'm a Wiccan. Oh, how I love to make the Jesus Salesmen squirm.

Today's DOOO ITTTT Download: Told you, I'm keeping that phrase for awhile. The talented, talented, and even more talented, Roseanne Cash's, "God is in the Roses." Yes, Roseanne is Johnny's daughter and she received every one of her father's genetic talented gifts, along with his eyes. This came off the album she wrote, "Black Cadillac," after losing that great man, her mother and her stepmother June all in a year's time. It's a spectacular album full of mourning and beauty, along with Johnny's recorded voice speaking to her from her childhood. Pretty cool.
This song is a beauty, "God is in the Roses and the Thorns." And God is in the Catholics and the Jews. He's in the blacks and whites. He's in my friends who want nothing more than to adopt the child they have raised for his 11 years of life. Fantastic, church-going parents with amazing careers who raise their son responsibly and with more love than most, but because they are gay women, the world has decided they have no rights. God is with them, too. God is in my beautiful azure beaches, in the smell of the lilacs and the rain. God is in the churches and sometimes, yes, He's in the shopping malls.
If I had a wish besides our health and happiness, I would only wish for religions and people of the world to reside in peace together, not bent on converting and forbidding and taking away rights and judging and terrorizing, all in the name of God. I'm pretty sure when God created us in all our differences and all our glory, it was to share His love and honor His world and all His creations. If only, we could do just that. I want the used car salesmen to go away. What would Jesus do? Folks. I'm pretty sure He wouldn't have pamphlets.

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