Just got home from Target. If you ever want to punish me for something (a judgmental attitude toward Romance novels; a poorly-made batch of carrot soup; recommending that you watch BBC Comedies) just send me to Target a week and a half before Christmas.
There is a reason I’m a quasi-shut in. It isn’t because I’m crazy. It’s because I am among the sanest misanthropes you’ll ever meet. And also because I don’t want to go to jail for gutting a woman who stands an arm’s-length away from the cart she has parked diagonally so that nobody can get past her at all. I just want Play-Doh. I have no plans to assassinate the Pope.
Yesterday on Twitter Aunt B. told everyone that if they don’t want people calling Easter “the Day Of The Zombie” that they shouldn’t mock the Mayan religion. All true. I’m not a fan of mocking anyone’s religion. But I don’t think that my religious courtesy is going to keep people from calling Easter Zombie Jesus day. People would rather look clever and whistle past the graveyard than be respectful of those they perceive to be tyrants. I try to make my peace with it. Hearing people call Jesus a Zombie is far less horrifying than being fed to lions for their amusement. At the same time, though, sometimes some of the people I meet make me wish I could just become Jesus Jerky for a few big cats and get it over with. Being chewed and digested only lasts a little bit. Couple days at most. Being mocked and scorned is a lifetime hobby only slightly less pleasant than flossing.
I know that people don’t keep the Christ in Christmas and I don’t really care all that much. Nothing about women fighting over talking dolls in the toy aisle says “Jesus was born on this day.” That’s kind of the problem with synchretism. As much as we try to remake the festivals of other religions into the Born Again version, they are still things that belong equally to non-Christians. I kind of personally get offended when people talk about Keeping Christ in Christmas because really they mean “Forcefully grafting Christ onto Yule.” Which, you know, I’m fine with celebrating Christ at the Winter Solstice because I’m fine with celebrating Christ all the time. My life is a celebration of Christ. That I get out of bed any day is a celebration of Christ who strengthens me. But I can’t expect people to go all misty-eyed over Jesus if they don’t want to, any more than I can expect women who don’t know him to gaze adoringly at my husband.
Why am I babbling like this? Because that visit to Target is stuck in my head the way a strawberry seed gets caught in your gums and makes them bleed in tender pain. My mind is bleeding from all the acquisitive sorrow of shopping.