Thursday, July 28, 2011


I hate moving.  I did it about eighteen times in thirteen years, and developed an absolute abhorrence for packing and hauling boxes.  Hate, hate, hate.  That said, I think I'm moving.

I went looking for a house for a new program we're starting at church.  I found a great house, that is actually two flats.  The upstairs one is the perfect size for the program.  The downstairs one is, as it turns out, really great for me and my roommate.  I've toyed with the idea of moving, because my current apartment is roughly the size of a shoebox and is kind of falling apart.  But since I hate moving, I've kind of let it slide.

Well, I think I'm moving.  Pros: more space, better neighborhood, off-street parking, nicer apartment, big porch, closets.  Cons: moving, living downstairs from the people I'll be supervising.  I'm determined not to become the house mother.  It should be interesting.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Roadtrip Revelations

Have you ever had a revelation that you are completely screwed up?

This happened to me last night as I was driving home from a concert in NYC.  To be fair to myself, the revelation was not that I am totally screwed up in all aspects of my life.  Just one, really.  Maybe more...but those have yet to be revealed to me.  Anyway.  Two things happened during this trip that caused the revelation.

The first is that I was sitting at a table outside a taqueria in Soho, chowing down on the best taco I have ever had in my life.  Spit-grilled pork, in case you're curious.  I had my mouth full of drippy taco when this guy I sort of know walked by.  The reason I sort of know him is that a mutual friend tried to fix us up ages ago.  He's great.  We got along swimmingly.  But then scheduling proved to be a problem, and we both decided to just let it drop.  I ran into him again recently, and something sparked - even more than four years ago.  We made plans to get in touch with each other in August, when allegedly, both of our lives will become slightly less hectic (ha).  So you'd think that, when I see this person randomly walking down Bleecker St., and I am even more randomly (since he actually lives near there, and I do not) sitting there eating a taco, I would, you know, say something.  But I did not, because I could not imagine the indignity of shouting at him, or even worse, running down the street after him to get his attention.

Because I am always the paragon of dignity, right?

So, I let him pass by, and it's fine.  I'll see him again, or I won't, and life will go on.  But there's the thing that left me kicking myself later.  On most levels, I really am kind of laissez-faire about the whole thing, and float through life telling myself that it doesn't matter to me whether I am ever in a functional relationship.  But it kind of does, or at least it matters that I would be able to be in one if the right someone ever came along.  And the "what is meant to happen will happen" philosophy is great, until it possibly walks down the sidewalk in front of you and you just watch it go by because you're worried about...what?  Some stranger seeing you be slightly idiotic?  Whatever.  So, I was irritated at myself, not necessarily even over this particular person, but over my complete unwillingness to take any kind of risk when it comes to my own love life.

Then I went to this concert.  I know the band.  I have a complex relationship with one of the members of the band.  I have absolutely no hesitation when it comes to flirting shamelessly with him, asking him to do things for me, and generally demanding his attention.  The complex part of this is that he's completely unavailable.  Usually I don't find this to be a problem.  We just are how we are, and I enjoy that little happy rush I get when I see him, even if that's as far as it's ever going to go.

But I was thinking about this on the way home, and about how much I am willing to put myself on the line in various situations, and I realized that I really only put myself out there, and that I'm really only honest, with men who are in some way unavailable.  They have girlfriends or wives or live in other states or countries or are gay.  That's when I'm comfortable, because I know what the final result will be.  I'm willing to risk being honest with my feelings because it's not really a risk.  If the relationship doesn't go anywhere, it's not because they weren't interested in what I put out there; it's because they were unavailable to begin with.

I also don't have to worry about someone genuinely wanting to be part of my life, which might force me to change some things.  I like change in theory, I like it in church, and I really like it when it happens to other people.  But I have built my life very carefully, especially the part of it that involves not depending on anyone else to be there for me.  The idea of wanting someone else there, or God forbid needing them there, scares the crap out of me.  As I drove home from the concert - alone, as usual - I wondered if I am even capable of having someone around that much.  I have no idea; I've always kept my distance.

The irony of this is that I do a ton of weddings and spend a huge amount of time listening to people talk about their relationships and helping them work through issues.  I'm really good with other people's relationships.  Which of course makes me see all the more clearly how awful I am at my own.  I'm not really sure what to do about that, because it also involves all these other factors, like my ridiculous schedule and the lack of interesting prospects.  I guess for now I'll just be screwed up, but hey, at least I'm self-aware about it.            

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

On the Anniversary of My Ordination

Today marks eight years since my ordination.  Eight is sort of an in-between number, so the day will not be celebrated with a new tattoo or a trip to far-off lands or anything terribly exciting.  Appropriately, I am spending most of today working like a maniac.  Both of my colleagues are gone, so I'm preparing to preach and liturgize on Sunday and covering the pastoral visits, as well as coordinating volunteers for a summer lunch program, scrambling for details for our next mission trip, finding a house for our new long-term volunteer program, finalizing positions for said volunteer program, booking a church trip to Israel for fall of 2012, and doing all the other things that I usually do.  It's getting a little nuts around here.  Tonight I am going to play a gig at a local bar, if I don't fall over from exhaustion first.  It's a good anniversary.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

And then I went away for about a month

I had all the best intentions of blogging while I was away.  I mean, surely I would have interesting things to say while I was at General Synod for a week and then roaming around Europe for the next three weeks.  And sure enough, I did have interesting things to say.  What I didn't have was time or consistent internet access or the desire to spend my vacation blogging instead of actually vacationing.  So, time for a bit of catch-up.

General Synod.  This was about my tenth GS, and although I enjoy it, I might be getting a little blase about the whole thing.  By the time you've been there a few years, you come to understand that the schedule is crazy grueling, and that in order to survive, you have to determine for yourself how to make time so as to not go insane or fall onto the floor in a heap.  This year I was wearing multiple hats as a regular delegate, commission moderator, and member of a special advisory committee on church geekery (I mean, church order and governance), so I did a lot of multitasking to get everything done.  I also skipped things that I knew would irritate me or waste my time.

In case you are a future GS delegate thinking, "Wonderful, I can just skip the things that bore me!" stop right there.  Things that involve voting are never optional.  Reports that are part of the actual meeting are not optional.  Morning worship services in which God is referred to exclusively in antiquated, male language by a preacher who wants you to believe that he stands around acting like a tree on a regular basis - those are optional.  The "ecumenical" meal where people of our own denomination talk at great length about how great ecumenical relationships are while the only member of another denomination present nods politely - also optional.  I think I am going to write a guide to GS sometime, in all my spare time.

In the midst of all of this, I was also nominated for VP of the denomination.  The way this works is that you become VP for a year and then pretty much automatically become president.  I should not have been surprised to be nominated; I sort of thought I might be before I got there.  But when it happened, it was a little odd.  I was the only woman and a good twenty or thirty years younger than all the other nominees.  Anyhoo, I was not elected, which isn't such a bad thing.  I have a lot of years to get there if that's somewhere I'm headed.  More upsetting to me was that one of the other candidates didn't get it, as I thought he would be fabulous.  But the GS seems to try to balance itself, and this year we have a president who is female and eastern (i.e., suspected of liberalism, although she is not really a liberal at all), so clearly we needed to have a midwestern white man who could not possibly be less threatening to the status quo.  Nice guy, and I'm sure he'll be fine, but...sigh.

And this is where my multitasking and my tendency to opt out of certain events bites me in the derriere.  The people at the table behind me were apparently quite shocked that I was nominated, as I clearly "have no focus" and am "always late."  These descriptions were a mystery to me, until I realized that they had no way of knowing that my fairly constant flipping from one screen to another on my computer and dashing back and forth from the staff table to my own seat are usually legitimate GS-related stuff, or that I'm late because I have six other meetings to attend, or that I have the detailed daily schedule and have read the workbook so throughly that I'm quite aware of when I need to be paying 100% attention and when I can take a moment to deal with something else.

And now I am out of blogging time and must go to a meeting.  More on my month away later.