Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Godsmacked at the Safeway

I left the kids in Hubbie's capable hands for the peace and quiet of the grocery store. We were out of milk, and I thought a quick trip while the kids had their bath would be a great time saver.

I was doing pretty well. Being efficient. Getting everything on the list. Until I decided I needed balsamic vinegar.

I finally found the correct aisle. Stood back to look for the right bottle. When a girl approached me.

She stood right between me and that vinegar.

I had seen her earlier in a different aisle. I remember that she looked directly at me. Like she knew me. Like she looked through me. Being new here in town I wondered if I had met her at the preschool or somewhere, but she didn't say anything.

Until now.

She said she wanted to ask me a question.

Oh shit. Here we go.

She started asking me questions about God. And I was all ready to tell her that I wasn't interested. Then she started in with the woman thing.

About the female aspect of God. About God being made in the likeness of man and woman.

Listening to her speak, I was freaked out to realize that I agreed with a lot of what she was saying.

But all I wanted was my goddamned balsamic vinegar.

Then she pulled her bible out of her purse.

I hate feeling like I have been stalked. Hunted. And that was how I felt. Cornered.

She thumbed to a couple of passages while I politely nodded. I told her I did not disagree with anything she was saying (read: Please leave me alone now. I am too hungry to be at the grocery store and my kids are waiting for their Jelly Bellys).

She wanted my contact info. I told her to give me hers. She and her friend (who had conveniently joined us) finally let me go. I grabbed my vinegar, paid and high-tailed it out to my car.

Except that I was reeling. I have never been approached by a Christian sect that proclaimed anything positive about women. Ever.

And it made me sad that this encounter at Safeway left me feeling such loss. That I felt so empty and acutely aware of the need for a positive spiritual feminine aspect to my faith.

I don't know what about me or my demeanor caused this chick to pick me out. I didn't realize I was wearing my gullible hat today. In a sense, I'm kind of glad she did approach me. As my daughter gets older I will have to help guide her through this world of religious zealots.

Mommy? Why is that man holding a bible and pointing at us and calling us whores? Because god loves us, sweetheart.

How do I teach my daughter to love and be good to others when the majority of world religions rate her second class because she has a uterus?

We should have been born Navajo.


RiverPoet said...

What a strange encounter. I wonder what sect they were from and why they decided to become the Hare Krishnas of the Safeway?

I know what you mean about the female aspect of Christianity. It really bothers me, too. I've heard the name Beth Moore a lot, so I went surfing to see what I could find out about her. Turns out she catches a lot of flak from mainstream Christians who oppose her teaching to men (and they throw Scripture at her to "prove" their point). The whole think pissed me off. She said that she can't help it if men want to attend her teachings and that she isn't going to turn them away. Good for her!

But yeah, we're second-class citizens with most religions. I can understand why most of my friends have left the church and others have become Wiccan.

Peace - D

Anonymous said...

Female Quakers are not second-class citizens. I must admit I can't think of any other mainstream Christian church that thinks that way though. Interesting.

I would have been extremely resentful of being buttonholed in Safeway, and I'm willing to bet the management didn't know she was proselytising in their store.

Coal Miner's Granddaughter said...

I can't stand getting the "Jesus Talk" when I haven't asked for it. Grrrr. But the pointing out of the feminine aspect of God? Definitely weird. And new. And nice. Just needed to be done differently.


Mouthy Girl said...

You are to NEVER go to the store for balsamic ever again. I shall ship it to you.

I HATE it when anyone EVER approaches me in an attempt to engage me in a conversation of ANY kind even remotely related to religion. Hate it.

I've had to be hateful more than once in order to get people to leave me the hell alone.

Mouthy Girl said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Not Afraid to Use It said...

@RiverPoet: We have SO much to talk about the next time we get together. Hurry home!

@Jay: Good point about Quakers. And I'll bet you are right about management, too.

@CMGD: I had a friend in Tahoe that I used to talk to about feminine spirituality all the time. I think that was why it hit me so hard--missing those talks with my friend. And I agree, having a discussion is much different than feeling manipulated. Ugh.

@Buddha_Girl: I will let you know the next time I need a bottle. At the rate we used it tonight, it could be soon. ;)

A Free Man said...

That is a random encounter! I agree with you, and one of the countless reasons I stay away from most of the old school religions is the misogyny that goes along with them.

CMGD's right, though - wrong approach.

krysta said...

i'm not sure i how i feel about that. it's better than what happened to me at target!