Jun 6, 2006

The Post that May Offend

She called strictly in a social capacity and we gabbed for some time. Considering the age difference, we had lots to talk about; she’s a writer of children’s books looking for an illustrator, she lives in an underground home, her kids don’t appreciate the antiques she so adores, she fell and hurt her back recently, I have allergies she had them. We had been talking for about an hour and I was thinking how cool this all was when she said she knew how I could get rid of my allergies. I told her to lay it on me she told me how she wrestled with Satan and defeated him one afternoon in her car while driving down a dirt road. There was much crying out and yelling things like “I rebuke you! In the name of... (Insert all kinds of religious text here)”…

The woman, whom I had barely met, whom I was making friends with on the phone, just casually mentioned that she duked it out with Satan one afternoon and now her allergies were gone and that she highly recommends it. I was stunned. I’m never sure what to say when someone announces the super natural like they are reading a grocery list. There was no preface, no “You may not believe this but I swear it’s totally true…”

Now, I want you bloggies to understand that I respect a large variety of religions and beliefs, being a democrat, raised by hippies – there is no other way, but I just about choked on my coffee that afternoon. What does one say? “Well, good for you.” Is what awkwardly fell out of my mouth. I still like her and will talk with her again for sure, but now I have an idea about where she’s coming from. I suppose if I had wrestled with such a formidable opponent I might want to casually brag about it too, but I can’t help but want to keep my most obscure beliefs in my pocket until asked about them and you will get a little speech about the relativity of Truth and Religion before I show them to you. My point? I will be relying on Allegra this allergy season.

14 comments:

Mrs. Ca said...

It's always weird and slightly uncomfortable when people bust out the religion - especially when what they talk about is so, um, out there. I think your response was perfect.

Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual said...

AHAHAHAH! I ahve so been there, done that! I was contacted by a woman who had written a book and needed an editor ... she seemed normal via email but then, then came the phone conversation to end all phone conversations. She, too, told me of her battle with Satan in beating a disease. And I sat there on the phone, with my jaw hanging open, muttering a lot of "uh huhs."
After that, I came up with an obscene amout for editing services as so to scare her away ... it worked. Wrong? Maybe, but there was no way I could work with a woman who occasionally would speak in tongues.
Hey - do you illustrate kids books?

Jenny said...

I'd like to illustrate kid's books. That was going to be my plan when I decided to stayed home with the baby.

Do you have a book in need of illustrations?

Irreverent Antisocial Intellectual said...

I have an idea for a line of kid's books but need an illustrator before I pitch it to a publisher. Email me at i_a_i@writeme.com

Java Junkie said...

I've actually had an experience even worse. It was with a friend I had known and been pretty close with for 10 years (hell, they even named their youngest daughter after me.)

One day while visiting them they mentioned that he was training to become a certified hypnotherapist. Cool, I thought. I do believe that the mind is a lot more powerful over our bodies than we give it credit for. Men and women, through meditation alone, have stopped bleeding and pierced their bodies with long metal needles, have warded off blisters from walking over fiery hot coals, etc. Think about the benefits if you were to actually put that kind of control to some good instead of just trying to prove it could be done. I digress.

Shortly after the conversation began he explains that he's been helping his wife with something like "spirit attachment release" although I'm positive that's not the name. Essentially, though, they believed that every ache and pain and sneeze and cough was actually a "bad spirit" that had attached itself to that particular part of your body and it needed to be exercised (for lack of a better depiction) through hypnosis. All I could do was sit there, smile and nod and act interested. How awkward would it have been to bust out laughing and then have to spend the rest of the week (they lived hours away so I was on a week long visit) telling them that I thought they were loony?

I just try to remember my Grandpa's favorite saying... "Welp... Takes all kinds I guess."

Jo said...

Very appropriate post, considering the date today. I have no idea what I would have said. How bizarre. Not so much that she believes it, but that she was so casual about it. You would think it would have been a bigger deal.. but who am I to say??

Jenny said...

Sure, the power of mind over body is tremendous. Just read:
bombadee.blogspot.com/2006/02/end-of-romance.html (and know I was on the placebo).

Jo - you are so right, that's what threw me off. I'll be first in line to hear about miraculouse happenings and I have a few stories to tell too, but it's not something I'm going to casually tell the person sitting next to me on the bus. Yikes!

TaterTot said...

I started to type my comments to your post, but it got so long I decided to post (for the second time in ONE day) on my blog instead.

I don't share that story often, because it pisses me off and gets my undies in a bunch, but I had religion on my mind after reading.

Nancy said...

I think that's what would have thrown me off (what you mentioned in your comment to Jo above) -- that she seemed fairly straightforward about everything else, and suddenly threw in the "fight with Satan" thing like it was an everyday event. I don't want to question her sanity, but it does sort of make you wonder what kind of reality she's living in.

It's strange, though, because if she said she'd had a conversation with God about it - I would have thought it was surprising (as a way of beating allergies) but not off the deep end. The struggle with Satan just seems more... out there.

Jenny said...

That's a really good point. Why are we more accepting of people talking with God? Although, I may have the same trepidation had she said God spoke to her and I don’t mean like getting a sign from God like the clouds part and a ray of sun shone down on a flower, I mean like how would you feel if someone said God spoke to them with a voice… and told them things…

Would I have told Joan of Arc “Um, how nice” and rolled my eyes?

Jenny said...

I suppose it depends on if Joan was a good friend or if I was just chatting with her on the phone for the first time.

Erin-erin-bo-berin said...

Um...Okay. In Texas, we say "It's not braggin' if you actually DID it." Whether she did it or not, I'm not one to say. I'm for the Allegra myself.

Jenny said...

"It's not braggin' if you actually DID it." That's excellent. It needs to be the tagline at the top of a blog.

cameo said...

i'm mentally turning and running away - far far away.
i'm all for religious freedom - actually i lied. i'm really for freedom from religion. and i hope if that pisses anyone off, they don't feel the need to save me. i'm doing great. really.
hope future conversations are less awkward.