Oh the horror internet! Truly. I felt 10 years old again tonight. I really hoped it wasn’t going to be as hideous as it was, alas, I was proven right. It -was- hideous. I have been very reluctant about this aspect of Siobhan’s enrolment ever since I read the letter. “Forming Faith Together” it said. “How bad can it be?” Oliver asked me, and I narrowed me eyes in reply to his question. How bad could it be? The name promises much awfulness. It just does. I picked the date the furtherest away, which just so happened to be today. I’m very glad I chose this day – the only evening offered, because it meant that Ollie had to come with me, although, I’m not sure that was such a good thing. I am so much worse with an audience you see.
I’m not sure if any of you will truly understand my pain at this sort of a venture – except my mother. I went to Catholic school you see. It did me no harm at all, in fact, I have very fond memories of Catholic school. Once I made friends anyway, the first year was hellish. But it was pretty good really, I learned good values…of course, I didn’t actually put any of them into practice, had sex and babies out of wedlock, thumbed my nose at tradition and refuse with a passion, to go to church. It’s not that I don’t appreciate religion mind you. I certainly do! It gives a lot of people a lot of hope. It makes them feel part of something and loved, and gives them a larger family within their own community. I think it’s great that people have faith. I just don’t. I don’t. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I spent a huge part of my University career learning about world religions and being very inspired and interested in them, but in the end, all that theory, all that learning and study and reading? It just makes you go “wow this is a great story!”
While I was growing up, mum and I attended church. I know I’ve talked about this before. About how every single time we went to church, we would burst into uncontrollable fits of the giggles, shake the pews and end up with aching stomachs and ribcages because we.could.not.stop! It was fun. It really was. But all it taught me was that, I’m not very good at taking things seriously, and that if everyone else -is- serious, that makes it even more hilarious. You can guess where I’m going right?
So we get there, and the place is full and the benches are arranged in a U shape, so everyone – as I had suspected, had to sit in “groups”. We’re looking around and there are no free benches. “There’s one!” Ollie points out. “I am NOT sitting right at the front.” I hissed in response and slunk around the back. Yeah, NO ONE was sitting in the front were they? The fuckers. “Fine!” I murmured and lead the four of us up to the front of the hall where there is a completely empty U. Ollie narrows his eyes at me and murmurs back “couldn’t you have picked the one behind us…with.people.in.it?” I’m perfectly happy in my empty U thanks very much, and said “go on then! You go first.” And he hunched his shoulders and glaregrinned at me. I know how to beat him. I do. So there we are, and another latecomer – we weren’t late, we were right on time…apparently that’s late, came in, just after Aleeya and I had squeezed ourselves on the same bench as Ollie and Siobhan.
I’m reading the handout they gave us, which said something about girls yearning to “do faith”..and I said “Siobhan, do you ever have a yearning to DO FAITH?” And I kid you not, my 12 year old daughter dropped to her knees on the ground and clasped her hands together and Ollie freaked out. It was so great! She totally deserved the massive bowl of icecream she consumed when she got home. OMG! Really. And then the head mistress begins to talk…it was terrifying, I could not figure out where she was, the massive speaker next to my head was not fun at all. Particularly not when she began to talk about students being able to have the knowledge to tell aliens about God. I couldn’t stop, internet. And Ollie started too, and we were shaking the entire bench while the other woman and her daughter tried hard not to notice the fact that we were pissing ourselves laughing.
I thought I was going to have to leave, and all I could think about was the fact that I was at the front of the room and EVERYONE WOULD SEE ME! That stopped me…momentarily. But I was ruined after that. Then we had to talk about faith in our houses and why we were sending our kids to this school and what church meant to us, and then…THEN! She started walking around the room with MICROPHONES! I think Ollie lost his dinner at the prospect of having to talk. I was totally going to get up and say “uhm, yeah! What they said.” But the other woman, who had obviously decided that we were not good Christians stood up and talked for herself. She was old enough to be our mother..and I couldn’t stop looking at her. Granted, her daughter was 16…but if I’m that weathered when Siobhan is 16, I might cry.
It took an entire hour before they let us have hot drinks and biscuits, and I can tell you now the both of us were not at all interested in their hot drinks and biscuits. I think we were the first people out that door and in our cars. But we weren’t the only ones, thank goodness. I just can’t be trusted. You can’t take me anywhere! If I’m not getting completely rottenly drunk, I’m wheezing with laughter over the faith and teachings of Catholicism.