This isn't a religious post, per se, but I've been playing relationship therapist a little more than I'd like lately. I need a frying pan with the words, "He's just not that into you," painted on it.
I haven't read the book. I didn't even know there was a movie. I don't think I need to add either of those to my lists, in fact. However, I think a lot of relationship drama can be explained with some form of "He's just not that into you."
Look at Ophelia and Hamlet, for example. "Get thee to a nunnery"? Oh, honey, he's just not that into you.
Every child of the 80s and 90s probably knows of Eponine's unrequited love for Marius in Les Misérables, giving all musical theater geek girls the sometimes-banned audition song, "On My Own." Eponine, stop whining; he's just not that into you.
Last night I watched the New York Metropolitan Opera's cinemacast production of Puccini's Turandot. Liu blatantly had a thing for Calaf, and he just wanted Turandot. Liu, sweetie, he's just not that into you.
The Girl from Ipanema is just not that into you, either.
My ex? Yeah, he's a commitment-phobic, hypochondriac loser with bad taste in music and who had outrageous expectations of dating a high-maintenance skinny bitch. If I ran into him today, I'd probably beat him into the ground and stab him with said skinny bitch's high heels.
He just wasn't that into me. And he can go suck on some big, moist, hairy, smelly donkey balls.
In each of these cases, there are disparate desires from the parties involved in the relationship, or non-relationship. What one party wants is not what the other party wants. Their goals are not the same. Their life trajectories are not the same. They’re not on the same page. Could they get onto the same page? Possibly; one can always try. However, if there's differential effort into getting onto the same page, then the one is just not that into the other.
So what do you do when it's clear that you're not on the same page and can't get on the same page? Just tell yourself, "These aren't the droids you're looking for. Move along."
I finally watched the movie Milk a couple days ago. It was amazing. I loved the performances and the clever use of period footage interspersed throughout the film. Now I have a much higher appreciation of my city and its counter-culture, avant-garde goodness. But I also realize that there are still nutjobs out there who use religion to justify their anti-gay bigotry. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.
So I’ve been pretty jazzed at a few recent news headlines:
The same evening we also watched a Futurama episode, "Hell is Other Robots" (season 1, episode 9). The title is a reference to the line "L'enfer, c'est les autres," from Huis-Clos, by Jean-Paul Sartre, a play where three characters are stuck in a one-room hell of each other's company forever.
In the episode, Bender develops an addiction to electricity. Religion provides him relief when he finds Robotology. His newly religious self is a drag to his friends, with an invitation to his interminable, un-air-conditioned baptism, and delaying his celebratory meal with a prayer of grace in binary. Fry and Leela plot to bring back the old Bender with some good ol'-fashioned debauchery in Atlantic City. Then Beelzebot captures Bender to take him to Robot Hell, also in New Jersey. Things go awry when Fry and Leela try to rescue Bender, and Bender ends up saving all three of them himself with the deux ex machina of robotic angel wings. As they fly off into the sunset, Bender resolves to be himself again, never to be all evil or all good. Leela agrees, with a little less evil than before.
So there we have it. Overbearing religious nutjobs are a major drag. Just be yourself, striving to be less evil.
I have a really pretty cross. Gold, tiny diamonds, thin gold chain. It’s not nearly as gaudy as it sounds from that materials list. I wore it a lot when I was in high school and most way through college. Somewhere along the line, though, I stopped wearing it. I don’t even remember why; it’s not like I stopped going to church. Maybe it was something as trivial as wanting to wear a different necklace to go with my earrings. I think I would have remembered if the reason had been more ideological in nature.
Now I’ve started to wonder why I’m not wearing my cross. Is it simply passive laziness? Or am I actively refusing to wear it and why? Is it because it doesn’t go with my earrings or my wedding ring? Or is something else bothering me?
I don’t wear my cross because I generally don’t live up to the expectations that most people have of cross-wearing Christians. I don’t want to come off as a nutjob Christian. However, maybe I should wear it to show that not all Christians are nutjobs.
Hardcore crazy Christians bother me. They’ve done so since college freshman orientation. I’m not the only one who is bothered by hardcore crazy Christians. This video (Bishop Alan via Episcopal Cafe) shows that although people nowadays have very positive views of Jesus, Christians bring up a lot of negative connotations.
I don’t want to be associated with nutjobs. I really don’t. I wouldn’t want someone to see my cross pendant and think, “homophobe, pedophilia supporter, Bible literalist, creationist, anti-science, anti-abortion, anti-divorce, anti-birth control, red state Republican, etc.” I am not like that at all.
Furthermore, I wouldn’t want some hardcore crazy Christian to see that cross and, knowing my views on social justice and science, then tell me I am a bad Christian. Judge not, lest ye be judged, douchebag.
Yeah, I’m bad at it. Have you seen the title of my blog? So I leave all of that in God’s hands. I leave a lot in God’s hands. My not wearing a cross takes the potential judgment away from other people and spares me their critical assumptions.
However, one could argue many points about why I should wear my cross. For one, I should be really thankful that I don’t live in, say, France, where there are stupid laws on outwardly religious symbols. If I worked at a French analog of my current job, it would be against the law for me to wear my little gold cross at work.
One could also say that I should wear my cross precisely because of my non-typical, personal theology of deist universalist of Catholic persuasion. Perhaps if more progressives like me were more visibly Christian (i.e., wore crosses), maybe we could open some dialogues and all be a little more happy-clappy and less afraid and judgmental of each other.
Nevertheless, my easy answer is that my cross doesn’t go with my everyday earrings.