Our parish priest, many years ago, asked us where we’d been for our holidays and whether we’d enjoyed it. We told him we’d been to Spain and had enjoyed pottering round the interior of the country, well away from the tourist traps. He “hummed and haad” for a bit and finally said that he didn’t think he’d be going there for his holidays as it was full of Catholics.
I can sympathise more and more with this point of view. There have been times recently when I’ve been close to going on a guided day retreat and then decided against it, for very similar reasons. I simply didn’t want to be with other Catholics.
You see, I have a big problem here. I’m quite antisocial, a loaner by nature and rabidly dogmatic in opinion when confronted face to face. I feel I do not come across as a good advert for the faith amongst my own. If a Catholic starts talking about how the Church should change, or makes what I consider inappropriate jokes about the Holy Father, or uses the word “yet” with reference to womens’ ordination, I’m like a dog with a bone, and will not let go until they have tired of their stance (or backed off with acute embarrassment). Traddies get my goat too, cos they never speak, it is like I’m a bad smell in the room, they back off before I’ve had a chance to pucker my face into a semi-convincing smile.
Naturally, I’m sweetness and light with non Catholics (though I made an exception for the guy on the train this morning who was being very rude, and I told him so, to some Japanese tourists- actually I feel a bit bad about this, but he was out of order, and I did give him my seat to avoid the conflict escalating).
So, problem one; I can feel very uncomfortable amongst other Catholics.
Problem two. I can feel incredibly uncomfortable in the company of women. My place of work is planning an event of such stupendous girlyness, I’m convinced the oestrogen levels in the atmosphere will get significantly higher as a result. Girly things tend to be organised by women who think everyone so gendered will love such things. I’m reluctantly getting involved, but increasingly I’m finding myself wanting to scratch my midriff, pick my nose and grunt.
So, here I am, a Catholic woman who is not very good at being either all-embracingly Catholic or an enjoyer of femaley pastimes.
What am I then? Hmmm….probably a rather fragile, reluctant worker, grumpy relative, distant friend and all round sanctimonious pain in the butt.
None of this would matter much if it wasn’t for the state of my head. The low blood sugar may be beginning to have a permanent effect on my brain, getting the doctors to take this seriously is a problem. It is getting increasingly difficult to do things without getting confused, tired or agitated. My personality is changing, and there is nothing I can do about it. So, dear reader, if a future post seems out of character, it probably isn’t, it’s the new me.