After piddling around with a few blog topics and coming up short, I asked my husband Sam for some input.
“Gimme a topic. For the blog. To write about,” I said while we watched The Walking Dead.
“How about how much you hate preachers?” he suggested.
I rolled my eyes. “I don’t hate preachers.”
“Yeah, but you know how you are around them. Antique furniture and midgets.”
No, we don’t sit around using terms that are offensive to people in our spare time. Not usually, anyway, although the presidential primaries have certainly prompted a few colorful words directed towards supporters of certain candidates, particularly in my state of SC and at certain women who think you should only vote for those with va-jay-jays.
Back on topic, now. That phrase comes from the movie Sling Blade. Have you seen it yet? If not, you should. It’s super good. (A movie critic, I’m not.) On the first viewing, it’ll probably break your heart, and then on subsequent viewings, you’ll probably pick up on all of the dark humor and you’ll piss your pants laughing. (Or maybe not because you aren’t a terrible person like Sam and I.)
There is a scene in the movie where the asshole boyfriend Doyle Hargraves (played by Dwight Yoakam) complains about his girlfriend allowing the intellectually disabled Karl Childers (played by Billy Bob Thorton) to stay in her home. After protesting his girlfriend’s decision, Doyle explains that he can’t be around Karl. He says that with people like Karl, he’d be “Just like I am with antique furniture and midgets. You know that, I can’t so much as drink a damn glass of water around a midget or a piece of antique furniture.”
That’s how I am around preachers.
I am anxious as hell around preachers, and I typically go out of my way to avoid them. Not so easy when there is one church per 100 people in your county. (Okay, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but I pass about a dozen churches on the way to get Little Man from school, so there are a lot.) With some of the fire and brimstone preachers around here damning people to hell for their musical tastes, dressing up for Halloween, or going to the movies, I get nervous and clam up around them. Now I’ll say that I know all pastors and church people aren’t all condemning and shit, and even the pastor at our former church was a great down to earth person (who I still couldn’t get comfortable around), but still, anxiety. It doesn’t always have a rhyme or reason.
To give an example of my preacher phobia, at Little Man’s former school, we lived so close that we were able to walk to pick him up. A few other parents were also “walkers” (the school’s label, which I thought was hilarious as a TWD fan), so on the days where my anxiety didn’t have me walking to the opposite end of the pick up area to avoid people, I’d make a little small talk.
One couple seemed particularly nice, intelligent, and very funny, and I eventually took a liking to them. “I wonder what they do that they’re both available to pick up their kids in the afternoons?” I commented to Sam one day.
“Oh, they’re both preachers,” Sam said.
I laughed and rolled my eyes at him. “Whatever.”
Sam laughed too. “Well, both of them are preachers.”
“No they aren’t. They seem cool.”
“Preachers can be cool,” Sam replied.
“You’re full of shit. They aren’t preachers. I think I’d know.”
Sam laughed again. “Is this like gaydar, only you’re able to pick up on people who are preachers? Seriously, they are preachers. We met the wife at Trunk-Or-Treat last year and she introduced herself as the pastor. How do you not remember that? And the husband gave a sermon at a thing I went to when I was in the choir. They are both preachers. Now you’re going to be weird around them, aren’t you?”
I was silent. Two pastors in one family? Sweet baby Jesus.
Sam made a point to tag along when I walked to pick up Little Man the next day because he wanted to see if I would act uncomfortable. I was, so I did. Soon thereafter, Sam started picking up Little Man by himself most days. I blamed pregnancy, which is a good excuse to get out of almost anything. (As is having a baby.)
So, there you have it, a post about my
hatred for preachers anxiety around preachers. Now, no one disclose that you’re a pastor or I’ll act weird around you via blogging. 😉 I’m kidding, of course.
If anyone is wondering about the title, my husband heard a man tell a preacher that once. The preacher wasn’t, in fact, starting any preacher stuff, but the man, who likely had his own hang-ups, preempted that.