“Fuck you and the horse you rode in on.” As Julie slammed her apartment door behind her, she was stunned that those words had flown out of her mouth. Then she laughed. It was about time she started to respond to the crap that was being dished out with some good old anger.
For three years, now, she’d been trying to fit in at her local church. At this point, she wasn’t even sure why anymore. Somewhere she had grabbed on to the idea that it would be good for her to be around people who went to church and could be a good example to her and provide some kind of stability in her life.
She had sat quietly through the remonstrations about whether or not women should be allowed to wear pants to church. Allowed? Because somehow we need permission for something so foolish. She had not spoken up when the issue of the day became eyeliner. Yep, eyeliner. Lipstick was okay but eye makeup somehow told the world you were a slut. Well, of course, they didn’t use that word, but the meaning was there. Julie had decided that if God had nothing more to worry about than whether or not she wore eye make-up to church, the world was in serious trouble.
But what had got her fighting mad, today, was the pat on the head and the “God has a plan for your life” comments. Well, of course she believed there was a plan. But seriously, when she is hurting, maybe, just maybe, she needs a helping hand rather than a pat on the head.
She should have known better than to talk, in Bible Study of all places, about the stuff that was going on in her life – how her boyfriend had dumped her when she refused to go to a wild party with him, how her boss had let her know that they likely wouldn’t keep her on once her three months was up, how her Mother had phoned, wanting to borrow money, again. Money that Julie knew would just be spent on more booze while she scrounged her coin jar for bus money to get to work the rest of the week.
Instead of sympathy, all she got were shocked looks. You know, the “what kind of person has a drunk for a mother” looks. “We’ll pray for you” they said. Not that Julie has anything against people praying for her but “I’m sure we can find someone who would want to hire you” or “I know someone who has a room for rent” or even “Wow, Julie you’ve had a really tough week” would have soothed her soul a little better than “we’ll pray for you”.
As she busied herself fixing supper, she began to calm down and reminded herself that it really is not other people’s responsibility to live up to her expectations of them. And then she smiled, and reminded herself that nor is it her responsibility to live up to other people’s expectations. She would figure this out, somehow. And not only that, she would find a group of people to spend time with who would give her a hug when she needed it rather than a pat on the head.