Posts Tagged ‘inlaws’

A Bit of Rambling On Faith and Family

May 13, 2010

One of the many differences between my husband’s family and my family is that Marcus’ folks are church people. SERIOUS church people. They attend church every Sunday (and possibly more frequently than that), pray before meals, listen to sermons in the car, have shelves of books in their house all about Jesus and being a good Christian couple, etc.

My parents believe in God, but except for a yearlong stint during my childhood, our family only attended church for Easter, Christmas, and funerals. I remember having to spend one Halloween weekend on a children’s Bible retreat (the timing was not coincidental, as the church we attended was one of the many who consider Halloween a time of evil) and I, being awkward and friendless, tried to do all I could to fit in. Which meant that once during a prayer, while all of the other kids were hollering and sobbing about Jesus, I sat and thought about my beloved dog Coco who had died a couple of years earlier until I was brought to tears as well (of course I pretended that it was about Jesus). It’s not that I didn’t believe in God (back then). I just didn’t believe in him so damn hard, especially not compared to those other kids.

Fast forward to the present. My parents don’t attend church ever, even for holidays, although they are still Christians. I’m an atheist, my brother is an agnostic, and my sister (who was raised in a different household from us) is a Christian but probably the Easter-Christmas type.

On the other hand, there’s my husband’s family. Marcus was raised in an evangelical household in which he was taught that Halloween is for devil worshipers and sadists, that homosexuality is a perversion, and that sex before marriage is an affront to God. You actually wouldn’t know just by speaking to his parents that they believe all these things; in fact, the only reason I know is because Marcus has told me about his childhood and, most recently, about the conversations that his father has with him when I’m not in the room.

While we were visiting the family last weekend, his mother and aunt were talking about a family friend who is apparently not a Christian or just not their kind of Christian (which, for them, there is little difference between the two). They were talking about how best to bring him around, and I couldn’t help but wonder as I sat there if they had ever had this discussion over me. They all know that I’m an atheist because (and this is gonna sound stupid, but it’s true) his mother saw it on my Facebook profile.

Eve is still very young, so the religious pressure has been very low. Right before she was born we received a story book about Abraham that went straight to Goodwill; when she was a few weeks old, the preacher who lives next door to my parents tried to convince us to attend his church, which we politely declined; and one of my coworkers asked me last week when Eve was going to have her Christening, to which I replied, “What’s a Christening?”

As she ages, though, I expect things to get stickier. Someday she’s going to ask why my parents lower their heads before every meal – something that I have no problem explaining to her, but I don’t know how well it’s gonna go over if she repeats my explanation to my folks. Someday she’s going to wonder if what someone told her was true: that we’re all going to hell because we don’t go to church or don’t believe in God. I won’t hesitate to tell her that there is no hell, but I’m afraid that my parents (or, more likely, my in-laws) are going to take her to the side when I’m not in the room and try to scare her into believing otherwise.

Most of the faith that I have ever had throughout my life was really just fear at its core. I was afraid to die, to go to hell, or to be the odd one out amongst a sea of believers. I wanted desperately to believe because there was something that I wanted to gain from believing. I don’t want that for Eve. If she ever chooses to believe some sort of faith system, so be it, but as long as I have anything to say about it, it’s not going to be because someone else frightened her into it.

Recipe of the Week: Roasted Garlic

May 5, 2010

Even though we knew we’d be spending the past weekend out of town, I was adamant about trying a new recipe for the week. We were staying with my sister-in-law after all, and I knew that she had a kitchen (a particularly roomy one at that, compared to our tiny space), so the show must go on!

Well…yeah. My SIL has a kitchen all right, and it’s got a fridge, stove/oven, toaster oven, and a microwave. She even had flatware and silverware. But that was about it. No roasting pans, cookie sheets, rolling pin, cutting board, ANYTHING. In other words, her kitchen was severely anemic, and while I’m sure I could have figured SOMETHING out that didn’t require us to buy new kitchen ware that would make what we had at home redundant, I didn’t want to get started on anything and have to pause mid-recipe because it called for something that I took for granted that she had.

So we decided to wait until we got back home, when we had little time and no energy to do it after all the driving and unpacking, and so I decided on something ridiculously simple just for the sake of saying that I had done anything at all.

And so, yeah. Roasted garlic. I cut the top off of a head of garlic, poured a little bit of olive oil on top, sprinkled it with salt and pepper, wrapped it in foil, and then stuck the packet in a 350 degree oven for 50 minutes.

The finished product was soft and tasted like, well, garlic. The book (Betty Crocker cookbook) had said that garlic develops a sweet flavor when roasted, but I didn’t notice anything like that. It just tasted like garlic. By itself it was unimpressive and kind of gross (I mean, it’s garlic! Not chocolate! Who just eats a clove of garlic? I’d much prefer a clove of chocolate!), but I bet it would be really yummy smooshed into something else, like butter for garlic butter (I don’t know if that’s how you make garlic butter, that’s just what came to mind).

I’ve got to think of something not quite so “meh” for this coming weekend’s recipe, preferably something that could be gifted to my mom. I’m open to suggestions!

Aaaand We’re Back!

May 3, 2010

Ugh. I hate the first Monday after a vacation. I’m usually very restless and daydreamy, still full of energy from my break. I find it difficult to concentrate on the work at hand, which seriously doesn’t make my work day any easier or shorter.

In any case, we’re back. We have successfully traveled with a young child, and everything was just fine. She spent most of the time in the car knocked out, and the 300+ mile drive didn’t even seem that long going up (and felt even shorter coming back!). The time with family was well spent, and a couple of things happened that have inspired me to write a couple of new posts in the next week or two, which is always a good thing.

I’d write more, but I’m surrounded by a pile of work that isn’t going to do itself any time soon. A more detailed family vacation update will be coming soon!

Finally, A Break

April 28, 2010

For the first time since the Snowpocalypse, I’ve got a couple of days scheduled off from work. We’re hitting the highway after I leave work to visit my husband’s family for the weekend (a six-hour drive away…ouch) and to celebrate my husband’s grandmother at her 80th birthday bash. The rest of his family will finally get to meet Eve (so far, only his parents have had the pleasure) and I will get to sleep in for 4 whole days in a row (well, as much as Eve will let me anyhow).

I’m not sure what the Internet situation is up there so I don’t know if I’ll be back before Monday. In the meantime I’ve scheduled a post for Thursday so I won’t be entirely gone. 🙂

Enjoy your weekend, friends. I certainly do intend to enjoy mine.