Its crossing my mind not to return to the pool area. (see last entry for the metaphor here)
I know that’s not the solution. And I know it won’t help anything long term. But I have to admit the thought is getting a pretty good grip.
I’ve already pretty much decided on not going to the prayer meeting.
However, this comes a particularly bad timing, as next week is when they have decided to do a visitors day and press from people to bring new people in, cutting the service shorter to serve ice cream.
Have I mentioned enough yet that I’m a introvert? These things are only a bit lower on the nightmare scale anyway. Extra emphasis on being nice to the visitors that always ends up hitting those of us intorverts with well meaning conversations turned awkward involving phrases like “oh, about 2 years now.. joined last fall and we’d been coming for about 9 months at that point…”. You think the forced handshake conversations with people that don’t really want to know you but are forced to talk to you are bad enough, then you get to try and sustain that for long enough to get through the whole event. The small groups aren’t at one a joining spot right now I don’t think, but there may still be a few random conversations like the ones that occur when you are too early, of this thinly veiled get to know you with shallow polite questions that eventually evaporates abruptly into a sales pitch for their particular group all the while coming off as so christian-mask-ish as to bring thoughts of jehovahs witnesses to mind.
But with the possibility, or even maybe likelihood of the abrupt verbal prayer spell getting tossed in again?
My first plan of strategy here would be to plan a bathroom break to cover the handshake time and then leave when released to ice cream. For that matter, I just about made a run for the bathroom during today’s round… which might have been rather obvious timing given that I’d been sitting right along the main center aisle and only about 3 rows back. However, I have a child. Word of things like ice cream gets around, and no matter how many buckets of the stuff are in grandma’s freezer or purchased from the musical truck, its going to be a decision of which nightmare is worse.
Maybe visitors day should be the day we make a habit of visiting another church it passes over, to return next week to maybe some new additions, but probably the same old pattern of having a few people with whom natural conversations of interest grow, and a whole lot of passing fluff that floats on its substance-free way.
And what strikes me as ironic is that the trauma caused was probably meant to fix exactly that.
But ice cream socials do not fix fluff-spewing masks.
The prayer attempt probably is a better step in the right direction… adding in substance to try to weight down the fluff… but the fact remains its still coming out of a mask.
More ironic, the small groups were probably a good attempt to break masks.. even as the impression I’ve gotten in the name of information about the groups from various people has seemed even more happy friendly christian mask than ever before. (see my leave it to beaver grumblings about some blogs lacking a reality to their life…. these people were probably those authors)
Though maybe the most ironic is that the pastor is one that seems to usually have a pretty good grip on reality.
Ok… ‘ats enough of the cynic for now.. but unfortunately I’m sure most of you know exactly what I mean.
That foot deep kiddie pool over there… its looking mighty tempting.