Tag Archives: patience

The REAL serpent in the garden


 

C'mon, you know you want to.

C'mon, you know you want to.

So the holidays are (sort of) over, and my 12-year-old and I are the only ones up and around, clunking about, kicking around holiday debris, enjoying some quality(?) time together, here, on this Saturday morning, around 10-ish, after Christmas.

 

I’m losing a little bit of patience, however, because I kind of thought we were past the baby-talk stage. Never did I talk to my kids in baby talk. I wanted them to learn to actually say “bottle,” not “bah-bah,” so that’s what I would say to them.

Therefore, they learned to speak, not babble, except for my youngest, who persisted in calling her older sister “Bluh-luh” for the longest time – a sound which doesn’t remotely resemble her true name, which begins with a vowel. Still, it helped – and I felt far less like a fool as I chatted endlessly and hopefully at strollers with belted-in droolers. Yeah, I’m really not a baby person. I just had them, and as I tell them both, I like them better and better the older they get.

I take my duty seriously, though, to teach them. Them, at least – not the whole world. The rest of the world, I simply catalog as stupid, smart or somewhere in between, and I tolerate both with equanimity and relative good humor. The stupid make good fodder for this blog. The smart entertain and teach me – though as I often remind my kids, anyone, however stupid, can teach you something.

Today, however, I felt obligated to teach my 12-year-old.

“Mom, where does ‘I’m not my brother’s keeper’ come from?”

Aghast at my own failing to instill any kind of background in the study of religion, however comparative, I was momentarily speechless. Doesn’t EVERYONE know that? Doesn’t everyone somehow assimilate the story of Cain and Abel?

Apparently not.

Having yanked the poor child out of religious education after she attempted to throw herself from a moving car, rather than endure the misery of Roman Catholic Confession, I realized my child was suffering from large gaps in her education.

“Honey, I’ll tell you what one of my favorite professors in college told me. No educated person has NOT read the entire Bible.”

“WHAT?” she gasped. “The whole THING?”

“Not at a single sitting, goof,” I laughed. “But fear not. It’s just a clump of small books, strung together. You don’t even have to read it in order.”

“Moooom…”

I turned stern. “It’s shorter than ‘Twilight.’ ”  Then I softened. “Come on. I’ll read some to you.”

We read the story of Cain and Abel, and then, for background, we started on the Creation story, which led to some trouble before I even cracked the first “Let there be light.”

I began to mutter something about “Creationists” equaling “lunatics,” forgetting completely that I was talking to someone I’d indoctrinated to have tolerance for all beliefs.

My lack of kindness for folks who ignore the colossal body of fossil records and massive scientific evidence in favor of a version of an earth being created that has trees springing up “bing-bing-bing” in a day really pissed her off.

That is, until I started reading it.

“Wait, Mom – a dome? God created the sky as a dome? So, what is that saying about the earth?”

“That it’s FLAT, honey.”

“So, how big is it supposed to be? And what’s beyond the dome?”

I pointed to the first paragraph. “The abyss, honey.”

We went on.

“A basin? Wait, Mom – the sea is a basin? Like a big bowl?”

I nodded.

“Wait, Mom – sea monsters?”

I nodded.

“Wait, Mom – Adam named all the animals? What, in English?”

“Well, no, wait, I don’t know. Maybe Aramaic.”

“What’s Aramaic?”

“An ancient language.”

She did get excited when the geography part started – when the river in Eden is described, and the Tigris and Euphrates are named. (She’s good at geography.)

The temptation of Eve, however, was unsettling. You see, a lot of misconceptions abound regarding that little tale – but if you read the book, as we did this morning, you learn a lot about who the snake really is.

Sure, it’s Eve who does the talking with the serpent – but it says right there in the book, Adam is with her the whole time. Does he speak up? Say anything like: “Eve – babe – is this really the best idea? Didn’t God say cheese it on that tree?” Does Adam step in front of her and say, “No thanks, leave my wife alone?”

No. The wuss does nothing except grab the apple and munch when it’s his turn.

It gets worse. When God, like an angry dad, comes strolling through the garden, where Adam and Eve are hiding behind a plant (literally), and says: “Hey! You kids, get out here. Who told you that you were naked?”

(At which point my daughter inserted: “Our EYES.”)

Adam, the rat, the snitch, the stoolie, the coward, puts his weak-ass little hand on his wife’s back and shoves her right under the bus. “SHE did it. She ate the apple, and SHE gave it to ME.”

So the Old Testament God, who is, if you notice, a rather moody thing, short-tempered and VERY big on vengeance, doles out THIS punishment:

You: woman – childbirth is going to SUCK.

You: man – no more plucking from the trees. Now you have to sweat and farm.

You: serpent – crawl on your belly, and everyone is going to hate you.

And He locks up the garden of Eden – because there’s one tree left He wants to make sure NOBODY gets a hold of: the Tree of Life. Eat that, and you’ll live forever.

God puts a revolving fiery sword and a band of cherubim at the gate. Nice. Keep in mind, when you hear cherubim, don’t think sweet little cherubs. Every single time an angel appears in sacred texts, the first thing they say isn’t what you see on the Lifetime Channel: “Hey, let me solve your problems.”

It’s: “Be not afraid.”

You think Twilight vampires are scary, exciting reading? Try the Bible. Whether you’re a believer or not, it’s a real page turner, that’s for sure.

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Little Patience with Loser from Liverpool.


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Liverpool Football Club logoFirst of all, this is what started the fight. PLEASE tell me you find this funny.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4s2O9zTdjTg

My daughters and I sure do. This is Peter, falling into the snow.

If you knew how graceful Peter actually is – and how this pratfall is actually intentional, you’d laugh even harder.

NOW:

My daughter has a YouTube account. She is twelve years old. She has a digital camera that shoots 10-minute YouTube vids. What’s the harm? After all, she found the Charlie the Unicorn videos for me on YouTube, and that alone was worth letting her have the account.

So this jerk comments on the video:

Stephen Gerrard in a Superman uniform“it was kinda gay but yet i couldn’t turn away from the screen…i watched it like 5 times…i don’t know why!?!?”

HER: he fell on his face, that’s funny and how is that gay?

HIM: you don’t understand because your american!!!!

HER: and u r…?

HIM: english!
i wud lyk it if u didnt reply cus evry time i clik on dis page i hear ur laf!
it goes thru me!
ewe!

ME (enraged mother – unbeknownst to HIM – and, incidentally, someone who has BEEN to England, and who has ABSOLUTELY nothing against England OR against FOOTBALL):
I thought the UK was into that slapstick kind of humor. After all, aren’t you lot the ones who keep Rowan Atkinson making movies? (shudder.)

I could go on with more UK “humor” – which sometimes IS quite funny – but I’d’ve thought this one would go over quite big, really.

I mean, how many “Arse:nal” jokes are out there, polluting the world, anyway?”

(But sorry, you’ll never hear me shout “Manchester United.” I’m Arsenal, all the way.)

HIM: Uk humor as you call it is better than being american and laughing at the word pudding thank you very much!

So go get a life!

I messaged him back, explaining I was the girl’s mother, that Liverpool wasn’t far, didn’t he get tired of sounding like the Beatles, (I think I also said something about Lennon being a poser – yes, I definitely think I said that – because, well, it’s totally true), and that the Beatles statues festooning the city weren’t too heavy for me to pick up and throw at anyone hassling my kid.

He wrote back something unimaginative and misspelled – kind of getting hysterical about me insulting Liverpool – he’s a Liverpool Football fanatic – I can picture him, lonely, twitchy and high-strung, downing Guinness after Guinness, wishing desperately that some girl (or boy) would please, please, come talk to him, or that he could manage to say something appropriate just this once, instead of the stupid angry shit that always seems to come out of his mouth, poor sod.

So I gently tried to explain that I didn’t insult his beloved hometown – what I DID insult were (1) The Beatles, which of course are long overdue for some bitch-slapping, and (2) his own insults, and I even gave him some friendly suggestions (wasn’t that nice of me?)

“F’r’instance, here are just two examples of what you might have said:

“Is that your laugh, or were you suddenly attacked from behind?”

“Good Lord, I thought Beatles music was the worst sound on earth until I heard that laugh in your vid.” (Yeh, yeh, I know you lot have statues and all that worshippy bit in Liverpool. I still think Lennon was a poser, and McCartney was a pop-machine.)”

He wasn’t very grateful, though, for my Cyrano-style response.

So I finally lost patience and blocked him as a user.

After all, trading insults can be a lot of fun – if someone has even the smallest amount of intelligence, or wit. But just receiving “nyah, nyah, stupid! American!” gets old fast.

I went to his page. All the comments – all 378 of them – were from like, one or two people. I started to feel really sorry for the poor, sensitive wretch. Nobody really likes him, it seems, not even his other loser friends.

So it was just a sad little contact. Even my own kid outwitted him, really. Which is probably what peeved him in the first place.

Loser from Liverpool. I’m sure it’s a nice little place, although the Beatles were sure delighted to shake the dust of that place from their sandals as quickly as they could. You didn’t see any of them racing home to build their mansions there, did you?

“Ah, home again, Ringo.”

Didn’t think so.

Maybe all the statues made them feel weird.

I know at least one weirdo there. Well, I feel as if I know him. Ick. Or, as he would write: “ewe.”

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