Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I Guess This Must Be A Bit Of A Pity Party

I really enjoy Facebook. It is really quite cool. I have been able to get back in touch with many friends. But the other side of the whole thing is being daily confronted with my former classmates from seminary.

I look at them and hear about their lives in their churches. I hear about their vacations and their new houses. And quite frankly, I get really pissed.

I have had another set back with a situation involving a church check that did not clear in time because the treasurer has a freaky control thing and feels the need to HAVE to mail my check to me. When the 1st or the 16th fall on Saturday, that means that it might take up to four days to get the check to clear. Well, you guessed it. I knew this was going to happen, and it did.

But if I did not have to leave the ELCA, I would probably still be in a congregation that could pay me enough so I could be paying my bills instead of putting them in forbearance. I could be doing church things instead of doing coffee things. I could pay to take the cat to the vet instead of trying to get her to crap on her own. (Don't ask.)

I enjoy keeping in touch with my friends, but I also hate it. It is like having salt continually rubbed into my wounds.


Urspo said...

I am sure you know it is a bad idea to compare yourself to others: one always comes up deficit.

Steve F. said...

I understand completely. About half my "friends" are former fellow seminarians, almost all younger by 15 years, and now almost all ordained and in churches. My experience is that half of them remind me of why I wanted to be a Lutheran minister - and half of them remind me how grateful I am to have had that particular cup pass from me. (And, of course, as I was curled up on the sofa with Big Bear watching "Warehouse 13," I was reminded of even more reasons why...)

But yes, it hurts. The only difference is that we both had to make choices - and in the end, at least part of them come under the category of either "What I Did For Love" or "I Am What I Am" (whichever show tune floats your boat!).

There was a man I knew in KC who was a smarmy salesman - completely surface, completely selfish, a guy who paid for girls to accompany him to parties and sales conventions (never took fewer than 2), who blew money on boats and cars and houses and pulled down a quarter-mill a year. He constantly irked the snot out of me - and my church friends constant yet unhelpful refrain of "Life isn't fair, but God is good!" got oh so terribly annoying. I got tired of hearing him debating on which Italian designer shoes would go with his new suit, or which color marble should go in the bathroom in the new condo. I started fantasizing that someone would steal his identity and he'd end up living in the back seat of an '84 Lincoln Town car behind the Piggly Wiggly or something.

I wanted to be happy for him - the same way I often want to be happy for my classmates. I'd just like a turn at the financial comfort cruise, rather on the downhill slope of the money roller-coaster.

No answers - just commiseration.

Lemuel said...

Reading your post and SteveF's reply, I can only add my commiseration. Perhaps it is one of the deeply hidden reasons why I "religiously" ;) avoid Facebook, etc.

Steve F said...

I came across this post reviewing some of your older postings, and I have a suggestion, which I have done on my own FB page.

I have used the "hide" button to hide their posts.

I have done this particularly with the "I am not going to stay in the ELCA with a bunch of hypocrites and infidels" people who are honked off over the CWA decision. I have also done this with the people who suffer from terminal-new-parent syndrome, and must celebrate every dump their new bundle-of-joy takes. I will "unhide" them in a couple years, but for now, "that dog won't hunt."

I simply don't need to know. Perhaps that will bring you a reduction of pain, if not relief. I know, a new job would help us both.