When the Belt is too Tight! Surviving the Bible Belt
by, 04-03-2009 at 12:08 PM (4449 Views)
This post may not set well with some and for that I apologize in advance, however, with that said, this is My Blog, and I am going to vent.
For those of you that don't know, I live in the Bible Belt. That is, we have more than 15 Different churches in less than 10 square miles around us.
This year, like last, dh wanted to build picnic tables, benches, and adirondack chairs and sell them roadside. I, on the other hand, did not. People have this tendency to stop under the guise that they are interested in purchasing furniture, only to use the opportunity to drill you about your religious affiliations.
For example, less than an hour ago, I was working diligently on a new piece that will publish in the morning, fully immersed in the article,when my big lab started barking furiously.
Generally, this means someone has approached the house and he doesn't want them getting to close to mom without her knowing. So, I stop mid sentence, slip my sneakers on and find a couple sitting in a tiny hybrid car, inquiring about the 6 ft spruce picnic table that dh built a couple days ago.
The table, is on the lawn, complete with a sign that states the price/type of wood/ etc. I'm not a salesman. I don't do hard sells. It is what it is, you either want a picnic table, or you don't. The quality is clear, the price is clear, it's not really an item requiring extensive discussion.
He asks several questions, what kind of wood is it? Spruce. Is it pressure treated? No, it's currently natural and can be stained any color or treated with Thompsons Water seal. How many years should he expect it to last?
How many children do we have? What church do we attend? (To which I respond, Well, that's a loaded question). How many years have I been married? (I give no response at this point).
Ok, I was quite polite answering the first few questions. But let me just tell you, I do NOT appreciate people coming to My home, which is also my place of business to drill me about my family, my marriage and my spirituality! If and where I attend church is my business, and mine alone. What my families religious denomination is, is Personal and no ones business.
He then proceeds to tell me that his son is the Pastor of a New Church. So far, 38 minutes have passed. My dog is sitting at my feet, panting heavily in the sunshine, wanting to climb into the vehicle, it is quite clear that these folks have no real interest in the picnic table, they are simply recruiting more bodies to the church.
He then proceeds to tell me that this church is geared towards 30 Something families, and he believes that I fit that category based on my looks, and that "unchurchables" like myself would find some much needed spirituality in their lives. Yes, folks, he called us "Unchurchables", to which he explained, those with No Religion. (Excuse me? I didn't say I wasn't religious, I said, "that's a loaded question", in other words, "It's none of your damn business what we believe, it has nothing to do with the sale of a picnic table")
Ok... Now in my head I am counting to 10 to keep from losing my cool. I say, Well, if you decide you'd like a picnic table, please feel free to stop back and purchase one, but I have prior commitments and need to get back to them. I walk away from the vehicle, silently seething in fury at the unmitigated gall these people possess.
I understand that people feel strongly about their religious/spiritual beliefs, because quite frankly, I feel strongly about my own.
What I don't understand, is where does a person get the idea that it right or okay to shove those beliefs onto someone else?
What is in their heads to make them think they have the right to invade my home and my family and demand to know what my religion is, which church I attend, or to ask me personal questions about my children or marriage?!
So now, they've left, I'm aggravated as all hell, trying to focus on the work they interrupted in the first place.
Folks, as you can see, the belt is much too tight, and I am finding it increasingly difficult to be affable in these types of situations.