Early on, I heard Eileen S. recommend to someone that they watch the 22-minute (pro-) Creation Museum video that her husband was showing in the other room. I had the twin sensations of wanting to throw up and feeling like my head was going to implode.
One of the new guys (David the younger) kept saying "Happy Holidays" to customers, which threw me every time, because UCN post-schism* is a conservative evangelical church of the sort that thinks that's part of the War on Christmas or whatever. Eileen told him that she doesn't say "Happy Holidays" to ANYONE, and when salespeople say "Happy Holidays" to her, she says that if every Christian stopped shopping they [the retailers] wouldn't have much of a holiday season.
* The church I grew up in was an apolitical Protestant church with a Baptist/Congregational sort of polity structure but no particular denominational affiliation. When I was in high school, we had an influx of young (like age 30-ish) folks with a lot of energy and a very conservative evangelical slant. They basically took over the church, and Pastor Bill (who has been the pastor there since I was 9 years old) let them. A whole lot of people (the older people who were the church for me) left (as much because of the way the changes were steamrolled as because of the nature of the changes), and I stopped considering United "my" church. Ironically, most (all?) of those first wave people have since left over other debacles. (I remember Eileen's husband Jim -- who's a geologist or something -- talking about scientific arguments for Creationism in Adult Ed or something, so they must have pre-dated the schism, because one of the influx people became the Young Adult Minister and so I stopped going to Adult Ed once there was an actual Young Adult program.)
I chimed in (yes, I know that was obviously a mistake) that I didn't think buying things for people was exactly in the spirit of Christmas. (As soon as it was out of my mouth I realized it sounded wrong, because of course generosity to others is in the Christmas spirit whereas what I'd meant was that the focus on spending money on material goods misses the point of Christmas.) She said something in response, and I think she hadn't heard me quite correctly. I responded that I think secular Christmas and religious Christmas are very different, so I don't have a problem with people wishing me a Happy Holidays because when salespeople wish me a "Merry Christmas" I think, "Your Christmas is not my Christmas."
She was on her way out, and we didn't really go any further with that, but she recommended that I check out the Creation Museum video showing in the other room.
Eileen: "I think you'll really like it."
me: "I think I really won't."
Eileen: "Maybe you're not a creationist."
me: "Yeah, I'm not."
Eileen: "Well, I think the Bible is."
I am very much an Englightenment kind of girl who wants/needs her Bible to be literally factually true, but I find myself channeling Marcus Borg and thinking, "not only do I not believe in the story of Creation the same way you do [and hi, there are two Creation stories, so where exactly is the line that demarcates which Bible stories we have to accept as literally true?] but why does this even matter? Where is the Good News here?" (I'm reading Borg and Crossan's The First Christmas right now, and one thing that really struck me was Borg's emphasis on "what does this MEAN?" rather than on whether something was literally factually true or not, and while in other books he has used language like "history metaphorized," here he brought up the idea of parables -- that if someone tried to insist to you that there literally was or was not a Samaritan who helped a wounded guy by the side of the road you would be like, "But you are totally missing the point!")
A few minutes later, around 10:15, my mom came down. I hugged her a lot.
My mom came down again around 11:30 to get my grandma (and me) for lunch.
Over lunch, I said to my mom, "On the plus side, nobody has asked me if I've lost weight." [I decided years ago -- like early in my college career -- that when people see you looking happy etc., they think, "you look good," and the only/dominant framework they have in which to understand that is "You've lost weight." I, of course, find this problematic on a whole number of levels.] My mother said, as she had at Thanksgiving, that she thinks that regardless of whether I'm actually skinnier, people are likely to think I have because I'm more toned (because I work out); I can accept this interpretation.
Downstairs, one of the customers was Mary K. (one of the sweet old ladies from the library) and we chatted a bit and I wanted to say, "How's the library? I haven't really been back to visit since Terry doesn't work there anymore," but I didn't have opportunity to.
When Deb was asking me what I'd been up to, I told her various true and important things, and I wanted to say, "and I've been going to lots of radical queer progressive church" but I didn't have opportunity to.
sweet_adelheid: I saw The Color of Water and thought of you and picked it up.
fox1013: I picked up The Snowy Day because it made me think of you.
I also picked up Inkheart just because.
I came home via the grocery store at Porter Square, and around the Powder House Rotary, I was praying, "I pray for grace and wisdom to offer the love and support necessary even when I am feeling rage and bitterness," [not re: UCN, ftr] when I noticed there was snow on my hoodie.
My new camera arrived. It is so small.
Housemate: "I'm going over to Rachel's. I would invite you for the dinner, but Ricky's making beef, so ... not so much your thing."
And I still haven't finished writing my sermon for tomorrow.