OMG! It’s Lara Croft!

Do you go to church?

No?  Well, you have fun rotting in hell.

No, I’m kidding.  I don’t think you’re going to rot in hell.

From what I understand it’s more of an instant incineration.  There really isn’t time to rot.

In an effort to avoid the toasty warmth of hell, we try to go to church.  Our attendance for a while now has been sketchy at best.  I can give you all kinds of reasons/excuses like illness, itchy eyes, bunions and an inappropriate wardrobe built entirely out of torn jeans and t-shirts that I’ve purchased from The Good One’s school, but it really just boils down to the fact that once my ass hits the couch with the Sunday newspaper in one hand and a cup of coffee in the other, I’m pretty much not moving for two hours.  Also, I say “ass” a lot.  I’m pretty sure they ask you if you swear when you walk through the doors of the church.

However, in light of my general horribleness and my penchant for saying the lesser of the swear words, Virginia Slims Man figured we’d better start attending more frequently so I’d at least have a fighting chance of avoiding becoming a human kabob.

Actually, a large part of the reason we’ve felt the need to attend more regularly is so that The Good One would grow up in a healthy church and hopefully avoid some of the religious issues we went through growing up. The Beast is rather apocalyptic-y, so we’re relying entirely on a miracle for his salvation.

(Kidding, Dad.)

I briefly mentioned my cult-ish upbringing.  And not to cause any upset to my parents, but I’m really not kidding.  No offense to you if you happen to be in a cult.  Of course, most of the time you don’t realize you’re in a cult until you get out of it, so you probably don’t even realize I’m talking about you.

Some things to look for if you’re unsure of whether or not your church is a cult:

  1. Your church tells you how to dress.
  2. Your church tells you how to wear your hair.
  3. Everyone in your church wears the same tennis shoes.
  4. Your church socials involve a coordinated drinking of Kool-Aid.

Look at me being all religiousy and helpful.  I bet saving someone from a cult would get me out of eternal damnation.  God might even let me continue calling my husband a “dumbass.”  We’ll see.

Really, there is a point to all of this. Let me see if I can get there.

Lately The Good One has been expressing his dislike for church.  VSM and I have tried to pin down if this is just an issue of his general disdain for anything that causes him to leave the house or if there is something about our specific church that he doesn’t like.  Based upon what he’s told us, The Good One does not enjoy singing and dancing, and the vast majority of the kids’ church service is spent singing lots of songs, dancing and playing air guitars. The Good One would much rather be in a small group with kids his age just learning.

So VSM and I have been giving The Good One lots of very parent-y lectures about seeing the positive and focusing on the things he enjoys to see if maybe he’ll start to enjoy the singing part a bit more.

Then we went to church this Sunday and I was smacked in the face with my hypocrisy.  You see, I really don’t like the singing part of church either.  Now, my least favorite part of church is when they say, “Stand up and say hello to someone next to you.”  You know what people insist on doing when they say hello?  They insist on shaking hands.  And all I see when someone approaches me with arm outstretched is a giant Ebola stick.  So after I shake hands with all of these people, I have to get my hand sanitizer out of my purse and destroy all of their diseases without them noticing. Just once I wish the minister would say, “Stand up and, without touching them, greet someone next to you.”

But my second least favorite part of church is the singing.  Now, there are some songs I love to sing, but I don’t really like to sing in public.  My singing voice is horrible.  Sometimes, if I’ve put liquor in my coffee, I sing at breakfast time, and even The Beast knows something doesn’t sound right and tells me to stop.  So when we’re at church, I don’t like to sing.

Now, I know some of you are thinking, God doesn’t care what you sound like.  Well, one, you’re assuming that.  He may very well be putting His fingers in His ears every time I open my mouth.  And, two, even if God doesn’t care what I sound like, the people sitting around me do care.  You know how I know they care?  Because when someone sitting around me sounds like a cat being declawed, I care.

So the whole time the church spends singing, I spend thinking all kinds of deep thoughts.  These are the thoughts that ran through my head this Sunday:  What would I do if a gunman came barreling through the church doors right now?  Why does my fantasy life always include a gunman barreling through a door?  Why is that man up there wringing his hands like he’s a serial killer?  Is this man next to me trying to sit on my lap?  God, I hate this song.  I bet that person up there who is raising their hands is just doing it for attention.  I’d like to learn how to play the drums.  Why does that woman’s hair look like a ramp for a teeny-tiny bike?

Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis?  Well, every Sunday morning that I’m at church, I’m the Patient.

I’m not proud of these thoughts, but they are the actual thoughts I had this Sunday because I wrote them down on a church bulletin so I wouldn’t forget them.

See, here I was harping on The Good One for expressing his dislike for a portion of the church service, when in reality I don’t like the exact same thing.  The only difference is that he was honest enough to say he didn’t like it.  I just pretend to like it and then spend the entire singing portion of church daydreaming about whether or not I’d be Lara Croft in a hostage situation.

The point of my story is that I’m a big giant hypocrite.

So I’m no longer trying to force The Good One to enjoy singing.

I have taught him how he can make time fly by imagining what he’d do if Darth Vader busted into the church with a light saber.

And that, my friends, is why I’m going to end up a human charcoal briquette.

Edited to add:  Speaking of Lara Croft, Angie really needs to eat a few sandwiches.  Or maybe even just a tub of lard.  She looks like she could actually stab someone with her knee.  Yes, I realize I’m just jealous because I have disproportionately fatty knees.  Shut up.  It’s a thing.

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15 thoughts on “OMG! It’s Lara Croft!

  1. My children tell me how boring church is. Which, yes, they are 7 and 5 (the 1-year-old doesn’t care as long as I don’t restrain his wandering in the nursery) and church IS boring when you’re 7 and 5. I tell them to sit still and read a book and try not to bogart their little brother’s goldfish crackers. Church isn’t a movie theater with snacks. Unless you’re under the age of 3.

  2. I don’t like the greeting part either. We never did it in my church growing up, so it feels weird to me. I just have a hard time getting the “peace be with you” line out of my mouth – it’s so unnatural. They should let me say something that is more comfortable and familiar to me. Like “Where’s the bar?” or “Don’t think that coming here on Sundays makes you less of an asshole, asshole!” Whenever I attend a church where they do it, I always try to manage to have a coughing fit, or drop my program, or fall down, or pretend to die so I can get out of it, but those people will WAIT FOR YOU TO STOP DYING and force it on you!

  3. Wow, my background is similar to yours. Well, not as intense. My mom is SUPER catholic and when I grew up I thought everyone was just as religious as we were. Then I lapsed majorly and now I only go to church when I’m visiting my parents for the weekend. And I fantasize about other things the whole time. And I can’t (so I don’t) sing. AND I hate the hand shake eye contact thing, but that’s less about germs and more about human interaction. So what I’m saying is, I agree. Totes.

  4. While I do like the singing at church even if I mostly suck at it, I’ve TOTALLY had the same “what would I do if a gunman entered the church right now” scenario play through my head. More than once. Someone has to be prepared, I figure.

  5. I have to admit that I don’t particularly like the forced greeting, especially when the person in front of me just coughed or sneezed in his hand. We don’t do it in our church because we only have about 24 members and we know everyone and their favorite Kool Aid flavor …. just kidding.

    Regarding the music, meditate on the words if you don’t like the melody. Also start praying because I will really be bummed out if I’m in heaven and you are a “human charcoal briquette.”

    • Yes, fortunately God forgives my insane thoughts. I still plan to be in heaven. I just think He’s going to have to forgive A LOT!

  6. No lie…when we moved and had to look for a new church, one of my requirements is that we don’t have to greet the people beside us. I despise that.

    And hope The Big Guy is very forgiving…or dad may be in heaven all alone. 😉

  7. This cracks me up. I know a lot of people don’t like the handshaking/greeting thing. I don’t either. I get to sneak out and take my daughter to her class so I get to miss it but even Tim Hawkins (a hilarious comic) has a bit about the shaking hands thing. We need to unite at our respective churches and boycott the handshaking/greeting thing! I’ll start printing up the petitions…be back later! 🙂

  8. So glad to know how many of us despise the passing of the peace/greeting/germ spreading portion of the service. I sometimes walk to the bathroom and come back when I think they are finished. UGH.

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