Saturday, December 31, 2011

My First Shunning

It was a beautiful, beautiful day today. Not too warm, not too cold, plenty of sunshine. I had lunch with my sister and my stepmonster at Cliff's--if you are ever in Grapevine, Texas, you need to have at least one meal at Cliff's. They are just that good.--and then my sister and I took off our own direction. I'd planned to see a movie, but it turned out she had already seen it. So we just meandered.

First we went to World Market, where I got a couple of nice glass beer steins and a couple of bottles of ale. Then we stopped at Half Price Books, also known as my home away from home. My sister hasn't yet read Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and after watching the movie she was ready to read it. Fortunately we found it there. Then we went to Barnes & Noble, also known as my second home away from home, and I got a vegan cookbook. And then it was off to Enchanted Forest, an awesome little metaphysical shop in East Fort Worth. Then I took my sister home and she gave me the AWESOMEST Christmas present: a blue Dalek coin bank. Isn't that awesome? She also gave me a large Sabrina the Teenage Witch poster that is going to get hung up in my closet tomorrow.

So on my way home I decided to stop at Ross and get an apron. I'd asked for one for Christmas (trust me--the Dalek coin bank was way cooler than an apron), and since I didn't get one I got my own. And I'd barely gotten into the store when I saw someone from church. Someone I really, really like. And she wouldn't look at me. So I went ahead past her and continued my shopping. Then I ran into her again in another part of the store, and made sure to look straight at her. She shifted around, looking one way and then another one as she determinedly pushed her cart past me. In other words, it's not that she didn't see me.

I texted my sister to tell her about it, and I have to say it really makes me sad. I've always loved this woman. I suppose I should have been expecting it, and perhaps from some other people, I would have. But not her.  Perhaps it was my sleeveless arms that offended her. I mean, I was wearing a sleeveless top.

But I know that she and her husband are amongst the elite in our ward, so that means there's no way she doesn't know I've left the church.  Obviously she finds that offensive.

And people think all apostates leave the church because we're offended. Don't make me laugh.


  1. Sorry that you had to experience that. On the other hand, maybe she knows something you haven't seemed to figure out re: how to behave as a married person or toward a married person - i.e., run from temptation. Sure it could have been handled more politely but seriously, your relationship IQ leaves a lot to be desired.

  2. Anonymous, what the holy heck are you talking about? In case you're wondering, I'm a woman. A straight woman. She used to be one of my friends. I wasn't coming onto her. I was just hoping to have a friendly little chat. You have no right to judge my relationship IQ. If you don't like what I have to say, please feel free not to stop by my blog anymore. Or at least leave me the link to your blog, so I can go and anonymously insult you.

  3. I'm thinking it was the naked arms. But if it wasn't you are definitely on your way to a secular lifestyle. I know you may be sad, but try and look at it as a type of success. Its like when an alcoholic stops drinking and has to find new, sober friends. Wishing you the best for the new year.

  4. Anonymous,
    What in the heck are you talking about??
    Get a life man.

  5. Terribly sad. Sorry you had that moment. It's just not right.

  6. Very frustrating!

    I actually think it is interesting how Mormonism almost completely turns it around... It's not that people leave because they are offended by someone else who is a member, it's that people who stay tend to be offended by people who choose to leave. Pretty ironic!

  7. How rude. I think Jono's analogy is perfect. You deserve better friends who respect your right to choose your own path and don't look down on you because you don't share their religious beliefs. Although there are active Mormons who can make good friends, it's slim pickin's in Zion.

    Such a shame that some believers feel so threatened by nonbelievers that it brings out the truly ugly in them.

  8. Your story reminded me of when I was TMB and acted "ugly" to a woman who had left the church. I saw her in the park a few months after it had gotten around that she and her husband had resigned. I wasn't trying to be a jerk or shun her, but I just didn't know what to say so I said nothing (sad, I know). I also worried that if she distained the church, maybe she also hated its members.
    As I found myself seeing beyond the black/white thinking and us vs. them mentality of the LDS church, I was shocked to realize how we as members are so separated from "the world" that we can't really relate to people who don't share our beliefs. Maybe this sad, un-christ-like woman from your experience was like I used to be and was just struck dumb about what she would/could say to you so she just shut down. Maybe some day she will find her way to where she can truly love everyone- the thing religion is supposed to help people understand!
    (Thanks for hearing my confession :)

  9. Thank y'all SO MUCH!!! I was so floored by the experience that I didn't stop to put myself in her shoes. Maybe she was so weirded out by the whole situation that she just didn't know what to do. I'm going to put it behind me and keep moving on.

  10. I left the church 24 years ago and still remember what a shock it was to be shunned by people I'd known most of my life... family included.

    Don't worry, the people who truly care about you will get over it and the rest you are better off without.