I feel I should explain a bit about my behavior in certain situations:
- Rites of Passage
- Pagan Festivals
- Rituals in general
1) Rites of Passage
I hate these things. There's really no better way to put it. Births, marriages, deaths, graduations: they're meaningless to me. I can't stand it when I get invitations to such things, because then it means I have to show up, if I don't have prior engagements, or if I can't make a lame-ass excuse like "I live too far away" or "I'm broke".
I've been fortunate enough never to be invited to a christening, naming, or other birth-thing. This is mainly a function of not having a single friend get pregnant and carry all the way through to birth. If only all my friends were sterile. But that would be another topic.
I've been to four weddings that I remember in my entire life. Joann's was my first. It was pretty harmless, and a beautiful day, so I didn't mind too bad, and it was a new experience, which gave it loads of points. Karen and Rob's was next, and I went mainly because I could be with friends and could ignore most of the service, which was very nice.
My friend Kris got married recently, and I went to his service, but I skipped the reception. I went to that one because we really are good friends, but I didn't want to be around the reception. Then my Uncle Jim got married, and I went to that pretty much for one reason only: to get my girlfriend to meet my family. Most recently, my roommate got married, and I managed to avoid the entire ceremony and only show up for the free food
afterwards. This wasn't intentional (my demon car wouldn't start), but I liked that wedding best of all.
I haven't been to a birthday party in years. Probably since I was about 12. I don't care for them, and I don't hold them for myself. Of course, no one has offered me $20 in arcade tokens since I was about 12, either. Now that I think about it, $20 in tokens used to keep me busy all day; now I think it'd be about 30 minutes.
I've been to one funeral in my life. I don't really care for them, and they aren't for the corpse, anyway, but for the living. I don't usually see a reason to say "goodbye" to a corpse. Recently, one of the girls who worked with Tina died in a car accident, and I couldn't find any reason to go up to the funeral. Further back, the girl who gave me my first kiss died in a car accident, and I didn't go to that, either, even though I found out plenty in advance when the funeral would be. Didn't even send flowers.
I attended Tina's graduation because, well, she's my girlfriend. It would be terribly unseemly for me to miss that. But I skipped my brother's graduation, my mom's, and just about every one of my friend's graduations.
It's not so much that I can describe why I dislike these things, but I've skipped more than a few. I just don't feel like I need to be at them, usually, so I look at what's going on, and I try to find a way out of it. Any way out of it. Sometimes, I think it'd be better if I just wasn't invited to them. Then I'd have the ultimate excuse. I think I just feel really, really weird at them.
In general, when I don't show, it's not because I dislike the person/persons or disapprove of the union. I'd just rather be fishing. And I can't stand gutting fish. Talk about disgusting.
2) Pagan Festivals
I have this neat ability to find a single person and stick with them for full days or entire weekends. Often, this means I either ignore or avoid other people, though really not on purpose. This has started rumors about me in the past, but those I generally shrug off.
At Summerland this past year, I ended up hanging out with Skip for nearly the first full day, and didn't really give anyone else the time of day. I felt like I was probably offending people, but I really didn't care. I made my rounds, and made sure to see everyone for a little bit, but I didn't want to hang out. I'd been so stressed at work that I just wanted to do nothing. It was great to do so.
At Wellspring I spent most of one day with Sharon (remember those rumors I talked about?), and then I spent most of the next day with a few other people. I kind of float between sticking near person A or person B for a majority of the time, and then just saying "Hi" to persons C, D, E, F, and G. I'm not totally sure why I do that, but I do. I often wonder if it annoys the people I stick like glue to.
3) Rituals in general
It's been said that when I step forward to do a praise offering, the whole circle holds its breath. I see no reason to
dispel the moment of suspicion.
Instead, I'll mention that if I'm smiling my genuinely roguish grin in a ritual, I'm really enjoying myself. I might be interpreting something you consider a mistake as divinely inspired, of course, but if I'm laughing, I'm not laughing because it's funny, but because things that bring laughter are, in general, sacred acts. The fact that it's funny is simply icing on the cake.
I'd also just like to participate in a ritual sometime. You know, just stand there, do what I want to do, and receive the blessings. I have a feeling that a lot of SD's and GO's feel this way. Sometimes we just want to have everything taken out of our hands. Even when we go to major festivals, someone asks us to read a part or make an offering. This isn't a big deal to me; I love ritual. But sometimes I want to just stop and do nothing, every once in a great while.
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