So We’ve Had a Little Problem . . .
. . . at church with certain youth stealing food from the church kitchen. Generally, there is no food in the kitchen unless it has been brought as refreshments for a particular activity. The rule is there is never to be food left in the kitchen. You bring it, you serve it, you take out the trash and take home the leftovers when you go home (in theory, anyway – our congregation isn’t much on following church policy, and once I found months-old frozen breast milk in the freezer, and many times I’ve found left-over take-out). Therefore, if there is food in the kitchen, it is there (or should only be there) for a specific purpose. Yet some of the youth seem to think that if it’s in the kitchen, it’s free game (yet they never partook of that breast milk . . . ). I don’t understand this concept since my kids know that even the food in their own kitchen at home isn’t free game – they must ask first (within reason, of course).
Anyway, a while ago I was in charge of refreshments for something, so I made some signs which I put on the counter next to said refreshments, and when the activity was over I took the signs home. Recently I took one back to the church for another refreshment-including shindig, but I forgot to take the sign home. I don’t know who hung it on the fridge after that, but somebody did:
I never intended for any of the signs to go on the refrigerator, but I did think they were a humorous way to deal with a not humorous situation (sorry, but stealing, even if it’s stealing cookies, isn’t funny to me – actually, it is one of God’s Top Ten Thou Shalt Not’s, so when it happens at church I really want to punch some parent in the face for doing such a craptastic parenting job, but that’s just me being merciless and judgmental, which we all know I am).
Other people, to whom I showed the sign before I put it by the last round of goodies, also thought it was rather hilarious (or at least funny), so I was a little surprised when A~ came home from her Wednesday night activity with the Tale of Youth Leaders Openly Bashing My Sign.
Yes, two lovely, Christian women who are in charge of leading, guiding, and setting an example of Christ-like behaviors for our female youth (including, but not limited to, two of my daughters) stood in the kitchen with some of said youth (including, but not limited two, one of my daughters) telling them how mean-spirited and inappropriate the sign is, how they couldn’t believe anyone would make such a thing, and how they thought maybe they should make a sign telling people to be nice.
Really? Because you’re being such shining examples of nice?
My daughter stood there, listening to their pious vitriol, all a-squirm in the knowledge that: a. her own mother made the sign, and b. she, herself, found it funny. While she was probably the only one a-squirming, at least one other girl also knew who made the sinful sign and, she, of course, shared with the whole room. Then the “leaders” took the sign down and said they would just put it on top of the fridge so no one could accuse them of stealing it.
*SNORT* See? The sign worked! It discouraged thievery!
I’m not bothered by the fact that these two women don’t approve of my sign. Not everybody shares my sense of humor, and am just glad that I’m not going through life with such a squinched-up, dried-out, non-existent one (sense of humor, that is). What bothers me is that they would be critical and judgmental about it in front of the girls, not knowing who made it and/or if they were insulting one of the girls’ own parents (which, of course, they were). Even if they did know who made it, and even if they did know they weren’t criticizing a parent of someone present, lovely example they set, don’t you think?
In the interest of not being a hypocrite, I must insert here: I, too, can be good at mean. I know that. I’m not proud of it. But I also pretty much keep a lid on it unless I’m blogging for an audience who doesn’t know who I’m talking about, or I’m discussing irritating people with my husband. I don’t stand in front of a group of youth and unleash the monster within, you know? God help us all if I did.
What really burns my biscuits, chaps my hide, and blisters my bottom about this whole incident is that one of these lovely Christian women is the same one who, a few months back, pulled me aside at church to tell me that I am endangering the eternal salvation of at least one of my children because I am so merciless and judgmental.
Yeah. I’m judgmental, but she’s the one standing there like she’s on a mission from God, telling me I’m judgmental and my kids might, basically, go to hell because of it. She didn’t appreciate me pointing out her little intellectual and spiritual disconnect.
Now that I’ve come to the awful realization that I’m probably going to have to keep dealing with this woman until one of us kicks off (we’ve had several other less-that-pleasant interactions) (none of which I’ve initiated, and also none of which I’ve backed down from) (yay me!), I’m trying to figure out the best way to kill her with kindness, as they say. I mean, not really kill her, obviously. I don’t want to do that. But I need to do something, and punching her in the face for being a harpy and mortifying my daughter, cathartic though it may be, is not the best solution.
Kindness. Tewt the Newt is standing by to take your suggestions.