Sunday, July 09, 2006

Dark clouds

Today, I very narrowly avoided another meltdown. This afternoon we attended Nephew #1's baptism.

First off, the whole idea of the baptism irked me, and would have done so without my being IF.
Why do people who never go to church, and haven't even bothered to get married, baptise their kid? Because it's tradition? Because they're going to raise their child as a practicing Christian? I doubt it.
For the record, it also irks me when otherwise non-practicing Christians get married in church with full pomp.
Though I must say this is very, very commonplace in my corner of the world. People only go to church for baptisms, confirmations, weddings and funerals.

Sitting throuhg the baptism service was excruciating. Nephew #2 was there too. Of course I would want to be able to let go of my feelings of jealousy, bitternes, anger and sadness for half a day, and just be happy for them. But that's all fine and dandy in theory, but how does one do this in practice? It took me every ounce of self-control I could muster (and all the relaxation techniques I learnt) not to bolt or burst into tears. I came close a couple of times, but managed to hold it in. I really, really didn't want to become the center of attention on their big day. I was very relieved the service ended half an hour later and I could get out for some fresh air.

Of course, that was not the end. Next came hours of slow torture, I mean a garden party with mediocre food, weak coffee and no booze (not for me at least) with two adorable infants at the center of everyone's attention. And I couldn't even manage to plaster a fake smile on my face. I just couldn't. Not my finest hour.

I feel so wretched right now, that I really would prefer never to see them again, or at least not until we have a kid of our own, say a bouncy 5-year old. It's an awful thing to say, because they're not at fault, but then am I? I'm not beating myself up about it. Because you know what, my in-laws are welcome to walk a mile in my shoes any time.

IF is the pits.

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16 Comments:

At 09 July, 2006 22:44, Anonymous Manuela said...

GAH! You're a better woman than I... I don't think I could even have gone!

Sorry the clouds are encroaching... I know them so well.

 
At 10 July, 2006 00:48, Blogger ms. c said...

Sorry about the rough day. It really sucks, and your feelings are completely valid. We here all understand and go through this all the time.

 
At 10 July, 2006 00:50, Anonymous Meri-ann said...

I agree with Manuela, you really are to be applauded for actually enduring such torture. I find it incredible how we put ourselves in these incredibly agonising positions for the sake of others- whereas those we do it for have no concept of what it's like to live in our shoes for just a minute....

 
At 10 July, 2006 01:09, Blogger Mary Ellen and Steve said...

I am sorry that you had a tough day. You are a better woman that I. I probably would have sent my regrets. Please know that we understand and are here for you. Hugs.

 
At 10 July, 2006 02:06, Blogger Chee Chee said...

I know just how you feel. I just bailed on my best friend's baby's first birthday party. I just couldn't muster the emotional energy to do it.

Hang in there. Hopefully, things will look up for you soon.

 
At 10 July, 2006 03:15, Blogger My Reality said...

You are right, IF is the pits. I commend you on making it through it without the tears. You did better than I would have.

 
At 10 July, 2006 04:28, Anonymous Paige said...

Oh, what a crappy day. Sorry you had to go through that. I would probably have made up an excuse to get out of it so you are a better person than I am! You are completely entitled to your feelings.

All together now: IF sucks!

 
At 10 July, 2006 04:30, Blogger Liz said...

I commend you for going...very brave and strong.

 
At 10 July, 2006 04:44, Blogger Just another Jenny said...

IF is the pits. We have a never ending stream of batisms with my hubbie's catholic portugese family.

 
At 10 July, 2006 05:02, Blogger ellie said...

Seems like when it rains it pours doesn't it? I'd have skipped it with a sudden headache- lately I find babies and pregnant ladies everywhere I go. It's like every time I step outside I practically walk into one. How can there be so many in my little town- it's like it is a convention or something.

 
At 10 July, 2006 06:12, Blogger S said...

Sorry that today was so shitty for you. I agree with you, btw-I can never understand why people who aren't practicing any kind of religion would go and christen/baptise their kids when they have no intention to take them regularly to church or raise them in their faith. I think that it's more a cultural thing or it's what's expected of them, rather than a religious statement. And, that irks me for some reason-it's almost hypocritical. Not that I'm a "holy roller" or anything, but I'm a firm believer of practicing what you preach, regardless of whether you raise a child with a religious affiliation or not. Just be consistent, really.

I've also been through the Baby Occasions From Hell, and many times I've bailed on things, except when I haven't any choice but to go (close family), and it truly sucks...I imagine that it's my idea of hell, a la Dante's Inferno-having to constantly sit through endless showers, kid's parties, and baptisms. It's enough to drive you insane sometimes.

The fact that you not only went, but made it through the day without a meltdown just shows your strength and courage. Hang in there.

 
At 10 July, 2006 06:53, Blogger soralis said...

I wouldn't even have gone if I was you, so I think you are very much entitled to your feelings.

Sending a big hug your way.

Take care

 
At 10 July, 2006 10:06, Blogger katty said...

I remember one of my two best friends describing the birth of her child to me over the phone. I think she thought I was a brilliant listener, because I didn't interrupt her once. But that was because I had tears streaming down my face.
It's an endurance; well done for getting through it.

 
At 11 July, 2006 04:36, Blogger Mony said...

Lady, I hear the thunder from here. I'm sure there's not one reader who is unfamiliar with your feelings.
Is there ever a fine hour with IF?

No need to honey glaze the awfulness here.

 
At 11 July, 2006 14:27, Blogger Shazz said...

Hope your feeling a little better, big hugs.

 
At 11 July, 2006 19:11, Anonymous Kath said...

I'm so sorry, Lut -- that must have been so hard. Baptisms are so loaded, it's amazing we make it through at all.

And I agree with you on your perception of hypocrisy when it comes to baptisms and weddings... but what can you do? Those are some of the only rites of passage that our culture recognizes, and there's a deep need to mark the big rituals (births, marriages, deaths) in an appropriately solemn way. So back to the Christian traditions we go, in ritual if not in conviction...

 

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