10 December 2007

Waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Background: Husband is Mormon, his fellow congregants know I'm pagan--or at least some of them do. We have been receiving assistance from them the last month and a half since I had lost my job (and was on the hunt for another one).

Now that that is out of the way: Yesterday the president of the Elder's Quorum showed up at our door with a metric assload of food--I am not kidding. Cereal, canned goods of various kinds, juices, and so forth. It was a lot, and it was a holiday gift to us.

Now, I am not an ungrateful person--I fully recognize that without their help we more than likely would not have made it through the last month, and I really am grateful. But I'm also a wary person, and I know that a gift given requires a gift in return. I keep wondering when the other shoe will drop and requests for the return gift go from "tithe and attend Sacrament" (which I make sure he does anyway, as a matter of course) to "oh yeah, and your wife's gotta come too" and thence "When's your wife going to join the Church?"

Of course I'm wary. I'm always wary, especially because for a while after my husband and I got married (we were living in another state at the time), members of his Church kept badgering him to either get me to convert or to leave me for some nice Mormon girl, and treated me with no small amount of disdain. He was offered a free ride to Ricks College, with the clear (yet unspoken) proviso that he would be given that if he was the only one who moved out to Idaho. Even after he moved down here, somebody kept putting him on the singles list for his local ward even though I kept telling the person who'd call (to let him know about singles events) that I was his wife, that we'd been married for some years already, and would they please remove his name from the list?

It's been a rocky road between me and the LDS. When I accepted an invite from the Bishop to attend Thanksgiving at his house while my husband was out of town, I was quick to leave the room and go offer to help with the washing-up when the talk in the dining room turned to religion--because as the only non-Mormon in the house, it was only a matter of time before somebody said "So AQ, what's your religion?" Sure, I could have dropped the Creed of the North on them as my "testimony"--but that would have been very unwise, as I knew what would happen had I said something: all the "you need to leave her" crap would have started up again. Not from the Bishop (who knows I'm heathen), but definitely from some of the other members. So I took the advice of the Havamal, and kept my mouth shut.

And I'm still waiting for that damned shoe to drop.

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