Sunday, May 22, 2011

It's Doomsday, Doomsday, gotta get down on Doomsday. Everybody's looking forward to the Rapture.

When people ask me when I'm gonna start having kids, I point out that I don't want to start raising children in a world where people like Rebecca Black are running around loose and getting down without any supervision.

My husband and I went to church today for the first time in years, and it was the first Protestant Christian service I've ever attended (I was raised Catholic). I had this strange feeling that we were going to walk in and our skin would start to simmer and we'd be smited, even though I'm not exactly sure what "smited" means. I am a descendant of Mary Queen of Scots, the Catholic cousin of Elizabeth who failed to restore Catholicism to the United Kingdom and may or may not have killed some people. And my husband was born in Ireland where they're so Catholic that it's improper to slap a baby on its ass if it's born without crying, so instead they just tap you on the shoulder repeatedly until you start to show signs of being vaguely annoyed.

In any case, the service was interesting and I enjoyed it a lot. I was both relieved and disappointed that the pastor didn't prepare a sermon on that 5/21/11 End of the World thing, and wondered how many pastors DID. Now, I kind of want to get one of those "May 21, 2011: Judgement Day" shirts because now they're collector's items, like the Super Bowl memorabilia they make with the losing team's name on it. I guess everyone stockpiling groceries has amassed another twenty years of toilet paper and Chicken of the Sea. It's always touching when I see perishable people eating nonperishable meals. And thanks to you all, the canning industry has seen no plummet in its rates of unemployment during the recession.

The end of the world doesn't bother me because there isn't necessarily anything we can do about it. I would also be thinking selfishly for saying it would be any worse than what the earthquake victims in Japan experienced, or the farmers in the American South and Midwest whose homes are floating on the Mississippi or blowing in the wind. After all, some of them must feel like it's the end of the world, especially if their family and friends have lost something, too. In the same way, the end of times will only be the end of the world as we understand our relationships within a materialistic dimension. It would be on a bigger scale, but I didn't see any ad campaigns in Vicksburg, Louisiana. Nobody in Reading, Kansas was on the news talking about May 21, they were talking about losing all of their belongings on May 22nd. The world's not over, and we can smile. We act as if something other than tragedy can make us just as grateful to be alive.

Not everyone was laughing.