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Visiting Popsicles

I had mentioned several months ago that my church’s Spanish congregation had been dissolved in this particular town i am in.

Today we formally began to meet here, although for now it is only to visit those who were previously interested.

We are sent off in pairs but when there is an odd number of us, i get assigned to my husband and his pair.
I’m a third wheel of sorts.
Or the other brother is.
Depends on how you look at it.

I wait in the car while my husband and the third wheel visit a man who invites them to sit and chat.

Earlier, this elderly brother accompanying us complained that we’re just visiting popsicles, since most in this area are apathetic toward biblical topics.
He himself reasoned that we must still preach.
“So where are we going?” he asked.
My husband directed him toward said Popsicles.

This is the third home we visit.
I see my husband greet the man of the house like an old friend, though they’ve never met.
He takes personal interest in every word the man says.
After a couple minutes, the edges of the Popsicle-Man have melted and they are invited to sit.


I had gotten out of the car while writing the above introduction because of the heat.
My husband saw me leave and texted me to come join them.

They were speaking with a Catholic counselor (not sure what his formal title is).
The man was seemingly polite but he got agitated when i read him a text from his Bible.
He said i was showing-off and i had failed his psychological test.
I said i wasn’t sharing anything of my own but that it was out of his own Bible i had read the text.
He called me a show-off again and i perceived that he was not accustomed to a woman teaching him.
My husband told him we do not visit people to psycho-analyze them and God doesn’t test anyone, for it would be unkind of him to do so.
The man said, “One needs to be very humble to talk about these things.”
I assume he was saying that in regards to himself, since we all know i am as humble as they come.
I restrained from adding carbon to the fire and tried to shut up.
The man said he’s seen some from our church drinking a beer, and the elderly brother told him the Bible does not condemn drinking moderately.

That reminded me it was almost lunchtime, so on that note we left.


My husband said he was not satisfied with the way the conversation went.
I wonder if i made things worse when i joined them.
Probably.
But i tried not to dominate the conversation.
The man was criticizing us for preaching to the population at large, while saying he focuses on alcoholics and drug addicts- “those who really need it.”
I praised him for helping “those who really need it” before asking him for permission to use his Bible.
The text i read him lists nine sins that prevent people from inheriting God’s kingdom, not just one or two.
And i reiterated that some of our members had participated in those sins before becoming Christians, so it’s not like we’re not helping anyone.
He said he carries the Bible with him but doesn’t go around using it.
“That would be showing off.”

We meet different people everyday and i’ve been doing this for quite some time.
First time ever someone tells me i’m showing off.
I don’t think handling a Bible well is showing off, much like i don’t think people who are not familiar with the Bible are ignorant.

“I’m a nobody,” i had replied, “what could i possibly share as far as wisdom? All i can give comes from God’s knowledge, not mine.”

But when he told me again that i was showing off, i decided, again, to shut up.

It is not uncommon for our visits to leave a bitter taste in our mouths.
My husband’s demeanor throughout never seizes to impress me.
The way he discreetly but very effectively teaches about God leaves me in awe, like when he explained that God doesn’t test anyone.
This was, of course, in response to the man telling me i had failed his psychological test.

The same thing happens when i accompany my mother in the ministry.
Her calm demeanor when people are being flat out rude is just beyond me.
And her compassion tape runs three times longer than mine.

I am the opposite.
Sometimes i wonder if i do more harm than good.
I may not talk back but my personality can be somewhat transparent.
It’s easy for people to tell when they’ve exhausted my patience.
Especially if they follow me on Twitter.
As a minister, i am most effective with people who have low self-esteem.
Awesome people, like me.
Patience is not my thing.

The man asked me twice if i would go give a 3-hour sermon at his church and i replied that men head the congregation under Christ, not women, but that i minister by giving home Bible studies.

His wife had passed by twice without acknowledging our presence in any way.
It is not difficult to be Christian.
What God asks of us is straightforward and doable.
Yet, it is very difficult for me to be a minister’s wife.
It is very difficult to dominate my own wants and passions and subject them to the priorities of an imperfect human.
A Christian shepherd should always have serving God as his priority, and a large part of that is serving the congregation.
My husband does an amazing job at that but our own shortcomings can create frictions at home.

It is very difficult to not walk out and look for someone who makes me his priority instead of a large group of people.
It seemed unrealistic of me to maintain “platonic” friendships with guys who subtly or openly hit on me from time to time.
Almost half of the married friends i had ten years ago have ended up getting cheated on, having affairs or getting divorced.
I’m not so different.
I’m only human.
Close guy friends who never hit on me have come to ignore me all together.
So i cut off the ones that were left last November.
(I’m referring to local men i was friends with over several years, not people who live far away and i occasionally talk to online).

It is easy to get lost in my husband’s shadow.
For instance, a sister who has been in our congregation since January was surprised a couple weeks ago when i told her i worked.
“I thought only your husband worked,” she said.
Which would make perfect sense… if i was ill, had a baby or a zoo… or living off a rich uncle’s inheritance…
Anyway, what i’m trying to convey is that as a minister’s wife, much of my role in the congregation, which is also hard work, goes unnoticed and i just have to bite the bullet.
Or perhaps she thought i am so supportive, she just assumed i had all the time in the world.
?
My husband, who is a minister in two capacities, both in the preaching work and within the congregation, sometimes forgets to acknowledge my relevance.
Then i have to remind him that i exist and i need him around too.
He usually takes to it but sometimes he puts up a fight.
(That’s when i try to kick him.)

It is not easy being a minister’s wife.

I would recommend a life of self-sacrifice and social service to hardly anyone.
But when i look back at what i wanted from life when i was a teenager, i know this is it.
This is what i wanted.
This is what i got.
But there are people out there who make it worthwhile.
Now and then i’ll meet someone who reminds me of me, and they just melt my own popsicle heart away.

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Ye Ol’ Blog Post

Life Updates:
I have glue dots on my teeth.
I look Frankensteinesque.
I’ve resolved not to smile til my orthodontist takes them off.

Speaking of smiles, my general dentist wants to hire me.
Her practice is five minutes away from my new home.
For anyone not familiar with my life, that’s 5 minutes vs the 55 minutes of my current work commute.
That’s when I drive my own car instead of taking the bus.
That would give me between 8-10 hours per week to do what normal people do.
Cook.
Shower.
Sleep.
Read.
Socialize.
Haha! Just kidding.
Not socialize.
I’m not ready for that.
Whew.

I’m obviously getting overly excited by the possibilities.

Yes, she is the same dentist in whose chair I broke out crying that time I was arguing with my escrow loan broker over text messages.
If I had known she was going to offer me a job, I would have made a bigger scene.
Wailed even.

So, not my dream job; I’d just handle scheduling and calls while my friend concentrates on billing.
None of this customer service order processing silly stuff I have to do where I’m at now.
My dentist is a normal dentist though, with a decently sized staff.
Here it’s just the doctor’s assistant, (whose job I took), my assistant, (who’s no longer my friend), and myself.
My manager, as we will remember, is never to be seen, and the doctor here goes on lecture tours about every 5 weeks.
Not only that, Tuesdays and Thursdays they work out of another office, and no one comes Friday mornings but me.
As a result, I am highly self-supervised.
(And damn good at it).

Still, as I am not generally recognized as a strong authority figure, there can be issues.
Last week they were out of town and my assistant brought her sister, who also works in the dental field,  over to show her the office.
I snapped at her when she started explaining our production methods.
Our other coworker, the dental assistant, thinks I overreacted.
I think it was very unprofessional of my assistant to bring her sister to our packing area.

Yesterday, her sister confronted me at church and told me I’d hurt her feelings.
Boo-hoo.
She said I shouldn’t apply the rules to everyone.
Oh please forgive me, why was I such an ethical employee…

…You can understand why my assistant is no longer my friend.
But eh who needs friends.
I’ve got cats.
And a husband who tries really hard to please me even though he doesn’t always understand how I feel.
Or why I yell.
Parents who…
Well they have a great sense of humor.
And a few real friends who know better than to make me choose between them and my means of living.

I have to go to the new office and work two days to see if my new boss and I will fit each other.
I already got my assistant to cover me here but I don’t know whether or not to tell my manager yet.
If I tell her, it’ll have to be tomorrow.
Friday, right before I leave.
Ruin her weekend just like she ruins Mondays.

The truth is, when I asked for a raise, she said she didn’t think I was worth more and that there were a ton of people who can do just what I do.
Ha!
Who could possibly multitask between two separate businesses and blog at the same time?
Sometimes even while eating and still catching not just my own mistakes, but those of others?

Maybe it’s time to move on.
Besides, my stalker hasn’t called in two weeks.
If he can do it, so can I.

image
I probably won't be able to do this at my next job.

Today On The Bus

Welcome to my new blog section titled, “Today On The Bus,” where you can get a first hand in depth view second hand general overview of what the Ventura public transit system is really like in this quaint metropoli.

Today’s story consists of two and a half characters: the Mademoiselle, the Gentleman, and the Chauffeur (the Chauffeur is more of an extra, although he plays a vital role in the scenery.)

Ok, ok let’s get started.

Today on the bus, Mademoiselle Passenger was having trouble getting the wrinkled dollar bills into the ticket machine.
(Not that the machine actually gives one a ticket… We just don’t know what else to call it.)
(Let’s call it Dollar-Gobbler for the sake of this story).

Mademoiselle Passenger was having trouble getting the wrinkled dollar bills into the Dollar-Gobbler.
She must admit she’s been a bit apprehensive of it since the city replaced the old machines.
She liked the old Dollar-Gobblers way better.
These new ones seem to try to eat her fingers.
The old ones were often broken and she could ride the bus for free.
But with the latest high-tech Dollar-Gobblers installed, she has no choice but to pay.
I suppose she could drive her car to work but then she wouldn’t have time to read.

Anyway, the new Dollar-Gobbler made a horrifying screeching sound as it refused to gobble her third dollar bill and took a nibble at her index finger.
Mademoiselle Passenger blushed and apologized to the people in the long line behind her.
Monsieur Gentleman lifted his backpack from the seat next to his as she walked down the aisle.
She accepted the invitation with a humble smile, mumbling the obvious, “May I sit here?” as the handsome gentleman nodded.

Now, Mademoiselle Passenger doesn’t generally sit next to men, but the female bus partners were taken, and this was the cleanest looking male.

She thought about making chit chat but hadn’t had time to use her mouthwash that morning.
So she read while he scrolled down his phone screen and now and then scribbled on a tiny notebook.
In such circumstances, half an hour went by.

Mademoiselle Passenger was self conscious about her face, having not had time to do her makeup that morning.
She wondered why she cared.
Just because Monsieur Gentleman was handsome in no way meant she had any chance with him, even if she’d had makeup on.
Then she felt warmness all along her left arm.
What’s this?
Monsieur Gentleman was leaning on her.
She thought about leaning back but then remembered the mouthwash.
Hm.
Strange feeling that someone of the opposite sex actually wants to be physically close to you.
She let the moment live itself out.
Five or ten minutes went by when Monsieur Gentleman seemed to have realized his posture wasn’t entirely appropriate and he sat up straight.
(Either that or he also took note of the mouthwash).

(Enter Chauffeur).
“Smart n Final. Smart n Final, get ready!” announced the chauffeur in a sing-song voice, 20 minutes later, as the bus slowed down.

“Excuse me,” said Monsieur Gentleman, “This is my stop.”

Mademoiselle Passenger bent sideways on her seat and smiled ever so politely as she was too lazy to get up to let him through.

Will these two passengers ever meet again?
Will Mademoiselle Passenger learn to manage her time better and use the mouthwash?
Or will it not make a difference because she is moving and will no longer ride this bus?
Tune in next week for another exciting semi-exciting interesting saga of “Today On The Bus.”

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Things you see from the bus.

Boring Blog Post #2,348

I haven’t written anything in a few days so I have to warm up.
“Do Re Mi Fa…”
Does other bloggers’ autocorrect also delete entire phrases from posts they’re working on or is that just on my phone?
It’s like it’s telling me: stop being silly and get to work.
But I’m telecommuting half this week… Or at least I was supposed to be.
What’s actually happened and which no one could have foreseen so of course no one is to blame is that I’ve spent the week lying around playing with my cats, leaving my work project for the weekend, which will culminate in an exciting action-packed Sunday all-nighter, since my deadline is Monday morning.
I love work deadlines.
They’re so much more fun than 9-5.
My manager sent me an email earlier this week saying I gots to finish the project cause she can’t afford to keep paying my assistant.
Which sucks cause my assistant is my friend.
Or was my friend.
Before I started telling her what to do.
Well you can be a supervisor or you can be a friend but you can’t be both at the same time.
Today I’m going to show her the email so she doesn’t think I wanted her to leave.
In any case, I did have that interview at the art store, which may or may not have gone well.
We’ll see.

Oh yeah! We’re supposed to close escrow today but let’s see what other pleasant surprises the underwriter or broker have in store for us…

within you is an elephant
I’ve also invested time into testing out alternate endings on personality quizzes.

What do you do Wednesday night?

I sit alone here dunking Trader Joe’s Chocolate Coated Chocolate Chip Dunkers cookies into my orange juice.
Typically I would be complaining about my day to my husband while he cooks me dinner, but apparently someone at church did something stupid cause he called me and said he has to stay there til who knows when.

He is more understanding than I am.
I don’t see why his life just can’t revolve around me the way mine revolves around him.
There he must go trying to save the world again.
Or a lost soul.
What about me?
I tried Facebook but no one’s even on it.
Maybe cause I blocked half my friends.
They were kinda boring.
Twitter’s pretty slow today too.
I guess people just have kids and then they have to put them to bed on Wednesdays.
???
Glad that’s not me.
Nope.
I prefer the cookies.
Kids are probably not edible.

Last night I had this fantastic dream that I bioengineered a microorganism that feeds off of the dead or ill part of a plant, disintegrating it, so the rest of the plant survives.
I was so cool.
Why can’t I be like that in real life?
Cool n stuff.
Smart too.

And why do I always fall for guys that are way outta my league?
(Husband included).
Why couldn’t I just have fallen in love with someone ugly?
Then he wouldn’t be popular or successful and we could actually spend time together.
Sure, he’d have to wear a mask, but he could take it off in the dark.

Oh great now I’ve gotten cookie crumbs all over the bed.
At least they’re not baby crumbs.

Career Choices

This is why I'm not an architect.
This is why I’m not an architect.
And this is why my friend Reyna is not a photographer.
And this is why my friend Reyna is not a photographer.