By now, most of you have probably gotten a reasonable idea of my religious views, as weird and warped as they may be. So you know that I'm high five for God, but that my Christian tendencies pretty much end there, abruptly, and basically smack-dab into a very thick brick wall.
This has created a bit of an etiquette conundrum, which sucks, because I am nothing if not polite. No, seriously. I am. Quit laughing.
You see, apparently, there are a lot of people out there who want to pray for me. Maybe it's because they have heard one of my swearing tirades, or learned of my interest in a lesbian tryst with Salma Hayek. It COULD be my threats to have my Mom put in a "home" against her consent (the cheaper and sketchier the "home," the better) or my refusal to play anything with my children that doesn't involve Mommy having vodka as part of the game. I really don't know, and frankly, the possibilities are so endless that I'd never figure it out anyway, so it's not important. What IS important here is that, being a good, sweet, Southern Girl who was brought up with impeccable manners, I do not know how to respond when someone says, "I'm praying for you." Especially if I don't know why the hell they are praying for me in the first place.
When Dad died and people told me they were praying for me, I was like, "Oh, cool. Thanks." I "got" it, you know? If something bad has happened and someone wants to "hold me up" (to this day, I still haven't figured out why people like to phrase it that way, and the mental image actually causes me undue stress, just so you know) then, AWESOME. More power to you, yo--it's not like I think it's going to hurt anything. I mean, God might not listen to me (otherwise I would have gotten that horse I wanted to badly when I was 11), but for all I know YOU might have a direct line to His Holiness. But when someone just randomly, on a Wednesday when nobody is sick or nothing unusual seems to be going on, says, "I'm praying for you" IT FREAKS ME OUT. Yes, it does.
Which leads me to wonder how in the hell I'm supposed to respond when someone does that, because I just don't feel like "thank you" is appropriate in this case.
From various experiences over the past two years, I have learned a few ways NOT to respond when someone informs you that you are smack at the top of their Party Line With Jesus. For example, when one of the vague Mommy acquaintances I made in Suffolk told me last week that she was praying for me and I replied, "Good luck with that, " she did not take it well. (So much for that relationship, not that I'm losing any sleep over being unfriended by someone who gardens regularly while wearing a sweater vest and pearls.) Likewise, "No thanks, I'm good, " doesn't seem to be appreciated, nor does, "Well, that's great and all, but I'd rather you offered to babysit my kids."
Recently I saw on my Mom's FB page where some dude I don't know asked her how I was and told her he was praying for me. Did I mention THIS FREAKS ME OUT? Granted it actually kind of makes sense that somebody who was a friend of Mom's would say this, as Mom spends an inordinate amount of time praying for my eternal soul (rightfully so, as we are all convinced that not only am I going to Hell, I will likely take over Hell when I get there and rule it with an iron fist). Even so, what does somebody SAY to that? Being the hateful bitch I am, it feels a bit offensive. And as many people can tell you, offending me is a bad idea, as it frequently ends in assault and battery (and I'm scrappy, people).
So next time you're feeling all holy and shit and decide to pray for me, I say go for it. But I'd rather you didn't tell me. And if you do, I apologize in advance for anything unacceptable with which I may reply. It's awkward for me, and during awkward times, I tend to say very random things. On the bright side, that would give you a valid reason to pray for me. Damn straight. Amen.