Holinesser Than Thou: My Ability to Offend Everyone

Look! There were nuns at Woodstock!

I’m not sure where my whole life went horribly wrong, but somehow I ended up living in Alabama and it was absolutely not on purpose. The craziest thing—aside from the wide variety of road kill (seriously, National Geographic should do a special)—is that my husband has so many family members, nay, kinfolks, that I still haven’t met them all in the seventeen years that we’ve been together.

At the last family reunion-slash-bridal-shower-slash-swap-meet we attended, I got to meet the Holiness side of the family. Those of you from this part of the country automatically knew what I was talking about, but those of you newcomers are picturing a papal procession. No, holiness is a catch-all term here in the South for anyone who looks like the Duggar family…long hair, no make-up, requisite denim skirt. I don’t have a clue what the men are supposed to be hatefully stereotyped with, I think they’re supposed to blend in with society so they can covertly spread their message to the masses. I could be wrong on that last part.

(IMPORTANT NOTE: I happen to know some very lovely, intelligent people who fall into the above category and since they read my blog I would like to take this opportunity to point out how non-weird and non-irritating they are. Thanks for reading, y’all! But these holiness relatives were not those people.)

These technicality relatives like to hide out at their compound so they don’t get corrupted by the backsliders they happen to be genetically linked to. They mean us. In my case, they’re not even genetically mine, they’re only legally linked to me, so they were fair game for the picnic that is my sense of humor.

THEM: And where do you go to church?

US (I mean, me): Why?

THEM: We would just like to know where you worship. (They can use the royal “we,” why can’t I?)

US: Worship? Worship what?

THEM: (sharp collective intake of breath)

US: I’m completely kidding! I knew what you meant. But why do you need to know where I worship while we’re in line for more potato salad?

THEM: We were just wondering if you’re our kind of people.

US: It’s a little late to worry about that. I’m already having sex with your cousin.

THEM: That’s not polite to talk about in a church.

US: We’re in the church gym, doesn’t that give me some wiggle room?

THEM: You must not go to church.

US: Fine. I’m Catholic.

THEM: (blank stare until finally one of the junior members of the gaggle spoke up) What’s that?

US: Oh, it’s this crazy offshoot religion where we have to dress a certain way and live away from society.

THEM: (pause, narrowing of the eyes) Like those Amish folks?

US: Yeah. Totally like those other people and not anyone we actually know.

THEM: But what do those Catholics actually believe?

US: Well, ya know. Stuff. Human sacrifice, baby eating, things like that. It’s kind of like Satanism.

THEM: (whispers behind hands) Isn’t Rick Santorum a Catholic?

US: WHY do people have to keep bringing that up?

THEM: Don’t y’all believe that abortion is a sin?

US: So is running a stop sign. Look it up.

THEM: Don’t y’all believe that the gays are gonna burn?

US: Don’t y’all believe in arranged child marriage and obliterating all references to evolution?

THEM: Pleasure to meet you.

Why do people always walk away from me backwards? Do I leave them feeling like they really shouldn’t give me a clean shot at their spines? Good…

37 thoughts on “Holinesser Than Thou: My Ability to Offend Everyone

  1. Hi Lorca, I just strolled over here from Adam’s blog. I’ so glad he pointed you out to me. This is a hilarious post, and one I can relate to, having married a guy from one of these mumu and sandle wearing cults. They are none too fond of me, since I bit his neck and turned him. But they are far too polite to come right out and tell us (me) we will now burn in Hell. I am sorely tempted to send them your link. But no. I already like you far too much to do that to you. 🙂

    • I wish I had the power to bite someone’s neck and turn them into something else. I would bite my husband’s neck and turn him into someone who drop his junk on the kitchen table every time he comes in the door. You’re so lucky!

  2. Now what IS it with the denim skirts? And I thought the only reason for hair that long was for whipping it in circles, tickling the cheeks of the men sitting right by the stage?

  3. Based on your side of that conversation I am convinced you are related to my husband. My mother asked him what his intentions with me were and he responded “Oh well, just to sacrifice her to Cthulhu.”

    Naturally, after finding that out I married him. Who could turn down a guy with such lofty ideals.

    We are both reading your blog now – because “you’re our kind of people.” even if you aren’t having sex with our cousin.

    • Thank you so much for wanting to read this stuff. I will say, under the right circumstances and for enough incentive, I am not unwilling to have sex with your cousin. Please include pertinent photos and vital information. Thank you.

  4. I totally feel for you, having been at the end of this convo many times with my French husband’s Catholic family. I seriously think YOUR relationship with GOD is Private and Personal. No one should be trying to find out how you relate to God, or what you do to be able to have that relationship.

    Obviously when someone asks personal questions as this, they should know that the questions are like a very sharp knife. And that most probably they will end up being stabbed by the other person’s curiosity as to why is it so important for them to know something so personal.

  5. I have some relatives I lovingly refer to as Nazi Baptists. Not that there’s anything WRONG with that. Some of my best friends have some friends who are distantly acquainted with some allegedly lovely Baptist people. My best-friend-husband used to be a Baptist, until I corrupted, er, converted him.

    No, really, I don’t care what religion a person does or does not have, as long as they don’t go trying to shove their beliefs, OR their non-beliefs, either one, down my throat. I, like 604linda who commented above, am a non-offensive Christian. That is, I hope I’m non-offensive…. I’m not sure if I used my deodorant today… (sniffing armpit) …anyway, MOST days I am non-offensive.

    • I’m the “God is Love” kind of Christian. If you are doing something so fucking wrong that God hates you, He will handle it without any help from me. HOWEVER, if I am ugly to someone who is gay or atheist or has had an abortion or drives an SUV, God will deal with me harshly. Amen.

      • DOUBLE AMEN!!

        I’m the: “God is. God is Love. Love is Kind. Love isn’t supposed to Hurt.” kind of Christian.

        Last May one of my NB relatives wrote a 62-page letter detailing every single thing that was ever “wrong” with me since the day I was born. Sent this letter of hate to me, AND sent copies to my aunt and my siblings. My dear precious brother asked the N.B. why she had written that letter. Her answer “I wrote down everything that Elaina has ever done wrong in her entire life, then at the end of the letter I told her that God will forgive her of all those things if she will only repent.”

        So, yeah. I’m with YOU, sister. Holinesser than thou, indeed!

          • Haha, GRUDGE? Ya THINK? You’ve got that right, she has sent me other long hateful letters in years past, her previous record being 50 big yellow legal-sized pages that she sent 28 years ago, when she got the news that I had a major publishing house interested in publishing my novel.

            I didn’t read this latest record-breaking non-fan letter, because my loving husband got the mail that day. Knowing the sordid history, when he saw the very thick, multi-stamped and taped together envelop with her return address, he knew it wasn’t likely to be good. I had previously given my hubby permission to read anything that may ever come in the mail from this person, so he hid the letter and waited until I was asleep that night to see if it was safe or not. He read just a small part of it, and then became enraged by what he calls “all the hate and jealousy.” Not wanting to throw it away in the house where I might find it, my 290 lb. couch potato hunk of burning love walked, at about 2 in the morning, all the way to the town dump, and there he ripped the pages to shreds and threw them all in different dumpsters. He was working off his rage! He never told me a word about the letter, not wanting to upset me. The next day, all he said was, “We need to get a shredder.” He didn’t tell me WHY.

            Then, my awesome aunt sent me an email with her classy and brilliant draft reply to that 62 page letter, wanting my approval/suggestions… she had no way of knowing that I had not gotten my copy of the letter, nor did my husband have any way of knowing that the poison-pen-person had sent copies to the whole family! That’s how I learned about the letter’s existance.

            One may well wonder what horrible thing(s) I have done that would cause a relative of mine to write 62 angry pages to me, and send copies to all of the family? Honestly, I don’t know what it is. I was born? I’m not stupid? I’m not ugly? I have the wrong religion? I stopped being her doormat and moved out of the country in 1976 when my then-husband got a job on an oil rig in the arctic circle? And, oh, yeah, my really BIG sin: I have been ignoring her for the past few years. Narcissists Really Hate That.

            SO, my beautiful brilliant aunt sent this person her classy brilliant put-down reply, with a PS saying GOOD NEWS!, my loving and protective hubby got the letter first and destroyed it, so I never read even one hateful word of it.

            As for horrible ME, I responded by doing two things: 1. I called her for the first time in about 6 years. She said Hello, and that was all she got to say. I told her what I should have told her, 30+ years ago, but was too kind-hearted to say, until now. For 9 minutes and 57 seconds, I told her, while my hubby sat and listened with a proud smile on his face.

            Since then, I’m back to doing my ignoring thing. Although not being classy like my lovely aunt, I put my fingers in my ears and go “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU LA LA LA LA LA LA LA!”

            You’ve got to have fun making fun of crazy people. Otherwise, their insanity might be catching. I don’t actually mind crazy people — we crazy folks can be a lot of fun. It’s HATEFULpeople that I refuse to allow in my life anymore.

            I prefer to make love, not war. If I have to make war, I do it against inanimate objects. Like, you know, those evil windmills.


  6. My southern-born husband’s family refers to me as “that Yankee” and they avoid contact at all times. I’m not exactly sad about this fact. It means I don’t have to go to the creepy family reunions (all held at some freaky roadside park/pavillion) where they auction off handmade Christmas ornaments and plastic flower arrangements after consuming all manner of fried pig products. Yeah…gotta love family.

  7. Yup, (don’t forget to drawl) I got me some kinfolk just like that – “hey, after church lets out, ya’ll wanna see my bug collection?”

    This post had me laughing my ass off, thank you for that!

    • I’m not from here and these aren’t my kinfolk. In fact, they creep me out more than a little bit. Like the twin girls in The Shining. Or almost all of the Duggars (the little ones aren’t really scary yet).

  8. This is going to keep me laughing all day. Please come talk to my mormon relatives then maybe they won’t try to pray me into their heaven. I have my own, thanks.

    • Pardon my ignorance, but isn’t Mormon heaven just running around on your own planet with just your husband and all of the sister wives? There’s an advertisement for boozing and whoring if I ever heard one. I’m not playing The Little Prince with my husband…I distinctly remember hearing, “Til death do you part.”

  9. I enjoy telling those people that I believe in a zombie Jew who exhorts people to eat his flesh and drink his blood before telepathically telling him that they love him in exchange for immortality just to see if they catch on.

  10. LOL…I come from a religious background, and identify. I’m a christian, but not affiliated with a church or denomination which seems to offend others, and starts a whole gamut of questions. Enjoyed your responses, way to go.

  11. LOL, being from a ‘religious’ background, I can identify. I am a christian, but not affiliated to a church or denomination.Can’t find one that’s not ‘holinesser than thou’, and that seems to offend. Get asked the same questions as you stated, but my answers aren’t as clever. Way to go, girl.

    • No, people pretty much have an internal clock that lets them know how much of me they can tolerate. Then they just start to slide away without taking their eyes off me!

  12. Well, I can’t show up at Bible study this morning at St C for fear someone will have read your blog and know that I know you……

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