Someone mentioned to me once a thing about stress points. How, like, a change in school was worth twenty something stress points, losing your job was a few points shy of fifty, etc. etc. And then they mentioned how the Christmas holiday just happening- not even any of the extra stress people specifically have to deal with their own families, or their own jobs, or anything else, just the holiday itself coming and going- is worth twelve points. The holiday merely existing is worth almost a fourth of losing your job. Nice.
Woke up- not super early, but still earlier than usual today because- surprise surprise, my dad showed up to open presents with us! The whole time he was here, I was terribly twitchy and worried that the house smelled like Roger, then worried that the house was dirty, then worried that all my worrying was showing and making everyone else worry- just the general panic I have when strange people are in the house. It's the first time he's opened presents with us on Christmas morning since I was twelve, so I was suitably awkward. Nobody else seemed to notice, though, so that was cool. My brother's not here with us-he went to my adoptive aunty and uncle's house, so it's just me and my sister and mother.
(I got chocolate, some watercolors, a gift card to Barnes and Nobles, and a MLP toy. SCORE.)
The reason we had to do this kind of early was because I still went to work today- it IS Sunday, after all. But in the end I was a little TOO early and wound up physically going to service for the first time in ages. My little sister went with me.
My sister has been really WEIRD lately. She's super paranoid about her immortal soul. Not the normal, background guilt that most religious people I know have, but outright terror. See, somewhere in the past week or two, she had a religious question. She looked it up on line. If you know ANYTHING about Christianity and the internet, you know that among the few honest, genuinely sincere, helpful places, there are a GAZILLION "OMG GAYS ARE EVIL" "GOD HATES YOU" "WOMEN ARE CATTLE" "OBAMA IS THE ANTICHRIST" "HARRY POTTER IS EVIL" ones out there. And so she's been paranoid and twitchy ever since.
She asked me if she's going to hell for liking My Little Pony, Friendship is Magic because Twilight Sparkle is a unicorn and uses magic.
She asked me if women are allowed to speak in church, because someone on the internet said that in Timothy it says that women aren't allowed to speak in church.
IT'S DRIVING ME FUCKING BATTY. Me and my mother have tried to calm her down. It's no use, she believes the random inane ramblings of the internet more than she believes us.
The girl didn't even know there was more than one fucking branch of Christianity. She was SHOCKED and HORRIFIED when I started listing off the major ones I could think of off the top of my head. I told her that,
Zeph: You know trees? Their roots? How there's the big old main roots, then the smaller big ones off those, and the middle middley sized ones off those? And the smaller middle,and the larger small, and the middley small, and the regular small, and then finally down the the teeny-tiny ones that are more like string than roots?
Her: Yeah. . .
Zeph: That's our religion. And it's not even the most complicated one out there.
I swear to God, it scares me how willfully ignorant she is about the world around her. She knows nothing about politics, geography, history, and now religion. I fear for her future.
So for all of service today, she had her mouth snapped shut. She would not talk while we were on church grounds, no matter how much I tried to tell her it was okay.
Zeph: , Dude, we have female pastors here! Look, she's leading worship right now! It's okay.
After service, my mom was supposed to come and pick her up, then I could go to work. So we waited. And waited. And waited. Then, about 45 minutes later, I get a call from my mom, complaining that since we weren't there, my sister had to walk home.
I. Flipped. My. Shit.
Zeph: What do you mean, we were out here waiting for you the whole time! We're in front of the giant statue in front of the main sanctuary!
Zephmom: I was in front of the coffeeshop! I waited there for fifteen minutes for you, and you never showed up! She's walking home.
Zeph: You're making her walk home because you were too damned lazy to take a two minute drive by around the front of the church? She doesn't know how to walk home! She's never walked home from here before! She looks like she's about to fucking cry! She's been mopey and weird all morning, and she still thinks she's not allowed to talk despite the fact that everyone else here is talking, and you're not going to pick her up because you didn't think to actually LOOK for your youngest daughter?!
She hung up on me. For the next ten minutes we exchanged angry texts, with my sister STILL not talking to me. I was getting pretty fucking pissed off. Mom didn't even call to ask where we were because she'd forgotten her cellphone.
I was pissed. I don't think I've ever been this physically angry in my life. I was ready to start punching out pastors, I was so mad. As far as she knew, she was supposed to meet us in front of the coffeeshop. So as far as she knew, we weren't there. Meaning something horrible could have happened. My sister could've fallen down the stairs to the upper floors of the main sanctuary and broken her leg, or gotten food poisoning from the communion wafers, or something and all my mother cared about was, "It was inconvenient for me to wait any longer. Looking for you was out of the question."
After half a dozen angry texts from both sides, she finally agreed to pick up my sister, though she assured me that I would be walking home. Fine with me. . . until I stepped into the coffeeshop and immediately felt guilty. See, I'm not one of those people who bad talks their mother. My sister actually is, and I know a lot of girls who are, but I've always been the respectful one in the house. So when I actually called her a 'jerk' in one text, I felt incredibly guilty. I swear, I wanted to start crying, I felt so bad. So I sent her an apology once my sister had been picked up.
I may be thoroughly fucked in the head.
Work was brisk and pleasant, and oh my God I love my job. Love love love. My coworker, Ray, got me a present. A nifty candle and some lotion. And everybody stayed late to help me clean up so instead of hanging two-three hours behind like normal, I was done in an hour and a half.
The people I work with are so cool.
I accidentally let slip to a coworker that I'd gotten in an argument with my mom. And by 'accidentally', I mean 'I was still feeling guilty and had to tell someone'. Later, I mentioned to someone else how I was walking home. The first coworker overheard me. Said coworker is also my boss's granddaughter and one of the nicest people in the world.
About an hour in to clean up, when I'm by myself in the coffee shop, she called in on the coffee shop phone and said, "Hi. My grandma wants you to know that if you call her once you're done in there, she'll give you a ride home."
I politely declined but thanked her profusely. "I like to walk. It's really not that far."
My boss is so nice.
After clean up and packing all my stuff and leaving and stuff, about a quarter mile away from the church, I get a text from my mom.
"Are you done?"
"U want a ride?"
". . . Yeah."
So she did pick me up. We don't talk about things like fights in stuff in out family. They happen, and we bitch about them, and then we pretend it never happened. It's the closest thing to forgiveness we have.
By the time we got home, the turkey and stuffing and green bean casserole and stuff was done, so we all piled on our plates and went our respective ways. Now I'm pretty sure mom's a little tipsy and my sister's napping and/or watching TV in her room, probably still having that existential crisis.
I got a call from my dad. My grandma is in the hospital. She has really bad circulation in her foot- for a while, they were afraid they'd have to amputate. He says she's better now, but still in the hospital. I'm trying very hard not to think about it.
So, all in all, this has actually been a pretty good Christmas. At least this time the fighting was only over the phone.