Working as a temp, you get real reliant on that weekly check. So, when it doesn’t come for a week, say, due to quitting a Gig from Hell, your financial stability goes right in the toilet. I was never at risk of being kicked out of the Convent (remember, I just rent here, it’s not a ‘real convent’), but I was having to go without some luxuries. Such as paying my credit card bills or, you know, food.
This week I finally caught up, though, and celebrated with a drive to the grocery store for the aforementioned luxury, food. I also had to buy some shampoo, and spent a good ten minutes in the shampoo aisle looking at all the bottles, because ever since moving in a more Northerly and cold direction, my skin has been so confoundedly dry. I had very specific wants: I wanted a shampoo that would stop my scalp from having itchy, scaly patches (TMI? I can never tell), and I wanted one that didn’t smell like I’d dunked my head in hospital-grade antiseptics.
Someone had been helpful and turned around all the dandruff shampoos on the shelf, so I could read their ingredients and usage directions. Most all of them had directions along the lines of, “Work into hair and scalp. Rinse and repeat.” Then in big letters, so you knew they were serious, “FOR EXTERNAL USE ONLY. Avoid contact with eyes. If contact with eyes occurs, rinse thouroughly with water.”
I kind of laughed at those instructions. I mean, seriously, don’t they all sound kind of, you know, simple? Is there anyone who doesn’t know how to wash their hair? And then, of course, there’s the ridiculous part, ‘Avoid contact with eyes’. I’m in a shower, there’s water flying everywhere, my hair is above my eyes, in the Convent we obey the Law of Gravity. It’s going to happen, no matter what.
I got home and threw one of the new DVDs that had come via Netflix into the machine. It was one of my favorite movies, Saved! If you haven’t seen it, go ahead and rent it. Unless you’re easily offended, in which case, why are you reading my blog?
The basic plot is a fundamentalist Christian teenager named Mary at American Eagles Christian School who tries to fix her gay, also fundamentalist Christian boyfriend by having sex with him. So, of course, he gets shipped off to a reparative home, where they fix “the gays”, she spends all school year hiding her pregnancy, and her best friend goes from being the most popular, most perfect Christian (Hillary Faye, played by Mandy Moore), to being the smoking, drinking, Jewish school outcast named Cassandra. One of my favorite parts is when the Jewish character, to get Mary off alone with the love interest, tells Hillary Faye that she wants to convert. This, of course, has always been Hillary Faye’s goal, so she totally focuses on the task at hand, even complaining she doesn’t have all her materials. But! She does have her iPod, filled with God-centric music (their words, not mine), and makes Cassandra listen to an entire Elms CD.
At one point, Pastor Skip, the head of the school, says, “This is not a grey area. This is black and white. It is in the Bible!” My heart just broke at that moment. I love this movie because I’ve been there. Mea culpa, but I’ve been Hillary Faye. I’ve known that being a Christian means everything is perfect, that prayer works for everything (including getting bands to play at Prom), and my only goal in life was to make sure everyone was converted to my way of thinking. Because my way of thinking came directly from the Bible. And when you’re in that mindset, and things don’t go well, you just go back to the Bible and find the One True Answers™, or you find someone who’s written a book, or made a t-shirt, or sings a song about the Bible, and you follow that.
F.R.O.G., Fully Rely On God.
P.U.S.H., Pray Until Something Happens.
OMGWTFBBQ– Oh, wait, that’s something else.
The problem with the Bible is it’s like the directions on my dandruff shampoo. Most of the directions in the Bible seem simple, mindless, something that everyone should know. Do not kill, ayup, that means we must not support abortion. But then we get into the fact that none of these guidelines in the Bible live independently of one another, just like we, as humans, cannot live independently of one another. Do not kill, ayup, that means we must not support abortion, but does it mean we should create such a hostile environment in front of women’s health clinics that we chase people from going inside and don’t provide other services, such as free pre- and post-natal care, respite daycare, babysittng, flexible work schedules for single parents, a living wage so the single parent can clothe and feed themselves and their child, and sleep in a warm place? But instead, we see Christians cheering South Dakota’s banning of all abortions with absolutely no provisions for these children that will be born in seven to nine months.
I don’t have answers.
All I have are questions.
Lord God, HELP!