Monday, 21 June 2010

Identity theft

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.


Tom in Vegas said...

So sorry to hear about your recent health issues. Even sadder is the fact that, as you say, the doctors aren't taking your complaints very seriously. I think it has become a universal challenge, at least in those nations that are supposedly advanced medically and technologically, to find a decent physician who hasn't been consumed with apathy. Here in the U.S. I've encountered similar derelicts as well. Do keep us updated as to how well you are doing.

I've never experienced a sentiment that made me want to intentionally avoid the company of other Catholics. This is something entirely new to me. I've always enjoyed being in the company of other Catholics, as long they're not one of the Church-bashing type, or the ones that express dissent in front of non-Catholics. That really gets my blood boiling.

The man you encountered on the bus is neither a man or a gentleman.

Autumn said...

It made me laugh that you labelled this post "drivel"! You make a valid point.
Although perhaps not as deeply as you, I feel this sometimes too. It's telling that the person I connect with most in my Oblate group, and indeed have become very close friends with, is the only non-Catholic! There is a *gaggle* (for want of a better word) of older ladies who are decidedly post-VII, and want to change this, that and get rid of t'other. In other words, attepmt to make the Catholic Church as Protestant as possible. It drives me mad!! But neither am I a really *trad* trad alhtough my leanings are def. in that direction. It is hard to know where one "fits in" sometimes.

But, I do enjoy, on occasion, getting together with other Catholics. I can let nonsense talk go over my head and concentrate on the person underneath far better now than when I was younger, after all, others answer to God, not me.

I don't do *girly-girly* either, although I am decidedly feminine. There is, I think, a difference. Womankind is done as much disservice by the pink-fluffy-giggly brigade as it is by the militant feminists (if there's any of them left). There is a way of being a woman which is decidedly un-male, but dignified and gentle. I guess I strive to be one of those!

A lot of food for thought in your post, and sorry that you're feeling so rubbish otherwise.

Autumn xx

catholicconvert said...

I will always embrace the 'new you', but only in a very non-girly way.

We are so very alike in our non-girly ways, after all :-)

Robert B. Heath said...


I can somewhat relate to what you are saying here. I would not describe myself as a loner, though I am very attracted to the hermit's life. But I am frequently stunned by the attitudes and opinions of certain Catholics.

I don't like to argue, but I try to correct some of these wrong beliefs I encounter as gently as I can.

The thing that is odd, I think, is that there are just some "Catholic things" we really oughtn't have opinions about. The Church has taught some things rather definitively, and why is a Catholic holding an opinion that is at odds with that teaching?

Being a man, it might seem odd to say I relate to your aversion to "girly things" but speaking as a person who has managed to work at the same place for almost 5 years and has successfully kept a secret the fact that I have a birthday, I think I understand!

My wife has often said, "We should just make our own people," but the problem with that is that we HAVE made our own people, and they can be rather annoying in their own way. Just take a look at their bedrooms!

Rita said...

Dear All,

Thanks for your comments! Much appreciated, even if I haven't got the brain to reply properly.

Much love