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January 09, 2005
I'm cuckoo for contraband
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I have an acquaintance. She has three sons, two of whom are in Katie's school. She lives around the corner. She's the kind of person I'd be very close to.


She hadn't invited me to a bible study.

they're running "new" episodes of whose line on ABC family. Are they new, as in brand new and just out of the editing room, or are they just some that were left in someone's car and turned up while it was being detailed?

I don't like discussing religion. I steadfastly refuse to engage in discussion about my religion or anyone else's. I consider myself a Catholic. If you ask me, I will tell you that, but I will not utter another word on the subject. The only exception to this rule is if the person asking the questions is my priest or another church-authority-type person. It is simply not any of anyone else's business; nor is it any of mine which church someone else goes to or what he believes.

And the fact that this person has actively invited me to her church shindigs is the whole reason why I don't want to associate with her. She invited me over to lunch one day, and when I got there she asked me about it, and I told her my deal, and I said I probably wasn't interested in going to her church and tried to get the point across that I was uncomfortable with the whole thing, but she invited me again today.

And I wish I were a big enough person to be able to just say "no" without attaching something to it. I don't want to experience the discomfort and awkwardness of telling her "no", so I avoid her altogether. I feel really bad about that. I wish I could just turn her down and not feel guilty. And it's probably my fault anyway; I didn't tell her "I'm not going to your church and I don't want to talk about it anymore". I just said "I have a church and I go there". I should have been more explicit.

I guess I want to avoid the questions. I don't want to have to defend the whole infallibilty of the Pope thing when I have issues with it myself. I've been told to my face that I belong to a cult. I don't want to find myself in the position of having to explain why this can't possibly be true.

In my i-tunes shopping cart: "Train in Vain" by the Clash

So the whole last week has been pretty much wasted, dealing with everyone's colds. My good friend Mitchell sent me a bunch of Ratt and White Lion (among others) mp3's as a sort of get-well gift. I already had a few of them but they weren't the highest quality, so I was thrilled to upgrade. And for the rest of the day, I was the scary, skinny (yes, I was skinny once. Alert the media.) fifteen-year-old in the black rock t-shirt again. Thanks, Mitchell!

That reminds me of a stupid little giggle I had not too long ago: "Round and Round" by Ratt was playing on the supermarket muzak. That was a defining "I am SO old" moment for me. But I hadn't heard it in a while, so it kind of made me smile. And then I pictured Stephen Pearcy perusing the frozen desserts aisle at some store somewhere hearing his own song, wondering where all the naked 22-year-olds went.


Hey. Take it from me, the kind of guy who invites people to church shindigs: You will do yourself and your friend a favor by giving her a firm NO. Say you are interested in being her friend, but that you aren't interested in being involved in her church-related stuff, and you hope she can accept you that way.

By not saying NO, you're saying maybe, and I can tell you with a fair amount of certainty that she has only your best interests in mind. Please don't feel persecuted, okay?

Maybe you can compromise, or turn it into a joke, as I've done with certain friends of mine. Say, she can ask you to one thing every six months or so, but she should KNOW you're going to say no. Tell her you understand that the invitation is wide open anytime you want to accept it, but tell her that you don't plan to accept it. Something like that. Something like this DOESN'T have to ruin the potential friendship. I swear.

Posted by: Mitchell at January 18, 2005 09:58 PM

By the way: Don't you think Stephen Pearcy is an underrated singer? The guy had a unique voice and could do a few things with it. I really liked his singing. And Robbin Crosby (RIP) was an underrated guitar-player. It seems to me that the only people who really appreciated his guitar-playing were the guys in the other LA Sunset-Strip bands who said he was one of the best ever.

Ratt's downfall was the inability, beyond their first two albums, to write good songs. They had all the chops (plus the added coolness of being from San Diego!) but not enough of the hooks.

Posted by: Mitchell at January 18, 2005 10:02 PM

I think so, so many hair metal singers are underrated. Sebastian Bach? Marvelous voice. Rob Halford? Geoff Tate? Nobody gives metal singers any credit, but so many of them have incredible voices. Stephen, while not a potential lead in an opera, was certainly passable. And Robbin? He was the best.

Posted by: Jen at January 19, 2005 08:32 AM

Religion can be such a sticky subject, but I'm sure if you just said 'no' in a clear way, she would understand and you could still keep the friendship. But if she is of a denomination that forbids associations with those outside of the religion, then perhaps it's best not to bother at all...I mean, it just would seem strange if a person can't associate with someone else just because they don't worship at the same church. God loves everyone, right? :-)

Posted by: rowena at January 21, 2005 12:47 AM

Hi Scarlett,

Maybe you feel so "torn" because you should go. I would agree that she probably has your best interest at heart. I grew up Catholic as well (Star of the Sea and then St. Louis 79') and would today classify myself as a Christian. I do know that it is probably what she sees as her "responsibility" to invite you to what she considers to be the truth. I would agree, but if I were in her shoes would just be a friend and let my life be the example of Jesus, so that you might eventually ask.

Anyway, I hate to pry I just wanted to add my perspective. I found you off Hawaii Stories. I love reminiscing about my youth. I grew up in Kaimuki and then Hawaii Kai (Portlock). Most of my friends went to Kaiser and my father owned a mexican restaurant in Koko Marina called la Hacienda. We were definitely partiers (who wasn't back then). Anyway I found sobriety and God about 61/2 years ago and frankly my life has NEVER been better.

I appreciate your candor about your position and would simply be a friend and not preach to you if I we're the person you speak about.

You expressed that you liked her, so maybe you should tell her how you feel and hopefully she will back off with the invites and all.


Jeff Mathews

Posted by: Jeff at January 21, 2005 07:33 AM

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