My Fresh Hell
Life in Scribbletown.

Where I Piss Off the Christians

2006-06-02
Okay, I’m going to bitch. And in doing so, I may inadvertently offend some of my church-going friends. I do not mean to do so, but I am who I am and my lack of beliefs are mine and reflect nothing more than that.

Here goes. Back in March, my sister and I ventured up to IKEA (aka my version of shopping heaven). We bought stuff. Lots of stuff (at least, as always happens, I buy an enormous shitload of excellent stuff and my sister restrains herself and buys pretty much just 100 wooden clothes hangers.).

One of the excellent things I bought was this. If you’re looking at a turtle, click the “color” tab for “hedgehog.” Adorable, isn’t it? I bought it for Red’s birthday.

Yeah, well. The idea is that it’s a blow-up foot stool (geez, I hope nobody googles that for nefarious reasons). It’s supposed to come with a big bag that is blown up via a hair dryer and inserted into the furry hedgehog covering. I say “supposed to” because when I finally got around to opening it up the other night, I discovered that while there was indeed a cute furry hedgehog covering (which you can plainly see because it’s wrapped in clear plastic), there was no inflatable bag with it. To say I was miffed, would be putting it mildly.

So, with every intention of calling IKEA and screaming at someone to send me the bag post haste, I first went on their incredibly stupid and unhelpful website. First, the item is no longer in stock. Second, they suggest that if you’re missing a part, just trek on over to the store with the receipt and they’ll gladly hand it over.

Problem is, IKEA is 1.5 hours away from me. Second problem, I think I threw away the receipt some time ago.

What is a disgruntled customer to do, you ask? I decided to just fill the damn thing with batting, like what’s used to make a quilt with. Which might actually be better, safer and more comfortable. I am a genius, thank you.

So, I went to the Micha3ls arts and crafts store website to make sure that was something they stocked before I trekked over there during my lunch hour. On the craft store’s site, I was smacked in the face by: IDEAS FOR VACATION BIBLE SCHOOL.

Oh. My. God. You should go there now and see for yourself.

There are no three more frightening words to me than Vacation Bible School. The phrase just sends shivers down my spine. Not only is there the unfairness of spending your summer vacation at church but my one experience with it was the first of many nails in the coffin of my belief in God, if I ever had any to begin with.

Some of you (especially my sister, to whom I apologize for boring at this point) might have heard this story before but I once had to accompany a friend (the Hermit – I’ve written a bit about her before; she’s an artist) to First Baptist one summer because, for some unknown reason, her parents signed her up for a session of VBS. She was a “troublemaker” during our childhood, a ringleader that always got the rest of us in trouble for her hijinks. I think her parents worried for the person teaching the class and the other students because I was asked to go with her. I suppose it was believed that I had some calming influence on her, like a drug, which is a joke and shows how much our parents knew about anything, but I agreed because I would have been otherwise bored during the day without the Hermit to play with while she was in VBS prison. Might as well be where she was. Might be interesting. I didn’t have any prior experience with such a thing. Sigh.

So at some point early on, the minister/pastor/teacher man asked us all – this might have even been the first day, I don’t remember – what we wanted to be when we grew up.

I spouted out a long list of possible occupations, much like Dusty does these days.

The man listened to this with a condescending thin-lipped smile and, barely containing his evil glee, informed me that, “God has already chosen your path for you.”

Excuse me? ExCUSE me? Then, perhaps you can tell me the point of the question, sir? Was it a trick question, like so many church questions are? Why are you messing with my mind? Why, more importantly, are you LYING to me? All I hear from my parents and teachers, and the general secular world at large is that I can be whatever I want to be. I control my own destiny. I have will power and a brain and I need to use them to craft my future. I felt trapped. Tricked.

So, please, PLEASE, don’t tell me I should just passively float through my days waiting for Big Daddy in the Sky to reveal my future to me. Does God equal the Magic 8 Ball?

Just don’t start with me. Because I might hit you.

Oh, and next time you go to IKEA? Make sure you’ve got all your parts. You’re welcome.

And have a good weekend, too. Dusty’s preschool graduation is this afternoon. I’ll be sure to tell you all about it next week. It’s a proud, proud day in FreshHell Land!

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2:08 p.m. ::
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