Jan. 3rd, 2015

ceebeegee: (Red Heather)
Sorry I haven't updated in so long--my work network decided to block blogging sites so I can update there now, which is where I usually had the leisure. SIGH.

Anyway, so today after classes I had picked up a Meetup soccer game with a group with whom I've played before. But not in a while--I think the last time I played with them was sometime last spring. Between classes and my league team, just haven't had the time (and frankly, until mid-November or so, didn't really have the discretionary income. But now things are much better financially).

So the game was down in the Bowery at one of the worst fields in the city, cement covered with a thin coating of turk with big patches in place. But whatever, it was great just playing. However it had started to snow about an hour before the game, and the snow, alternating with freezing rain, continued throughout the whole game. So--challenging, cold, but fun. We ended up playing full field and I acquitted myself fairly decently. No goals (I was really inhibited under those conditions--I'm terrified of getting hurt again) so my touches weren't that great but neither were anyone else's. I did have several solid, pretty assists so I was happy--one of my assists had like five guys, including several on the other team, complimenting me. I'll take it :)

Afterward we all went to a nearby bar to quaff beers. I had an awesome time shooting the breeze with a bunch of guys, about "where are you from" and "you're a SOCCER COACH, that's awesome!" and Peruvian cuisine and whatnot. One of the guys even asked me if I wanted to go dancing with him (I'd been talking about my club days in DC--oh the memories!--and how much I loved dancing) and another at one point said to the group about me "she's beautiful, she's intelligent, she's got good soccer skills..." and then another guy said something to him in Spanish which made the guys smile. Anyw, lots of fun. Now here's where it got--annoying. There's a girl who's attached to this group--she's listed in the meetup as "assistant organizer" and I've seen her at pretty much all the games. I'm not sure how she got attached because she's not a good soccer player, but you know, sometimes you just like hanging out with a group. That's fine. What's weird is how...hostile she always seems to be toward me and, as far as I can recall, other women who've shown up for these games. (There aren't many, I'm one of the few. In fact today there were only two of us amongst 18 guys.) She's always been cold, unfriendly and as I realized this, I just gave her a wide berth. Today we get to the bar and she's already there--she left halfway through the game because of the weather. We sit down and there's a menu in front of her. After a few minutes I ask her if she's still looking at the menu (because I'm hungry and would like to look it over). Remember, she's already been there at least 20 minutes, with a menu. She says to me curtly "yes. I am." Okay, whatever--you could've been friendlier about that but I'm not going to go out of my way to take offense.

But a little while later the guys and I are talking about religion--most of them (being South American) are Roman Catholic and we start discussing the difference between Roman Catholicism and Episcopalianism. I start saying "well, the main difference is political--we do not follow the Pope, we're part of a different power structure and have our own head.. But the structure of the mass is essentially the same and we have very similar styles..." She cuts me off "they're not similar, we don't talk about the Virgin Mary at all."

Okay, an academic aside here. Not having the Hail Mary as part of your Mass vs. "not talking about the Virgin Mary" are two different things. For one thing, I don't think the Catholics say Hail Marys during the Mass, I think that's a private--albeit very common--prayer, said as a penance after confession. Second, we DO "talk about Mary" in other ways. She shows up frequently in the Gospels, and the Magnificat--Mary's response to the Annunciation ("My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior....")--has been set to music many, many times in the Anglican tradition. I could sing a whole setting to you right now that I learned as a child, I remember it so well. For that matter, the Hail Mary has also been set to music many times in the Anglican tradition, the Bach/Gounod setting being one of the most well-known. Mary is certainly not ignored in the Episcopal church, although she is given more prominence within the Catholic church.

Anyway. I responded "what? Yes, we do--some parishes do at any rate." She took umbrage at this and started "I'm a lifelong confirmed Episcopalian--" Me: "As am I." "And I'm telling you we don't talk about the Virgin Mary!" I paused and said carefully "Well, it sounds like your parish does not. But Episcopal styles of worship vary greatly across the US--some are low church and some are high church, it's not as uniform as Roman Catholic services are. Very high church parishes often DO talk about Mary more because those types of parishes prefer the Catholic style even if they don't want to be part of the Catholic structure--" She got REALLY annoyed at this and kept trying to impress me with her "lifelong Episcopal" street cred. I got so annoyed, I was tempted to say "Yes, and my step-grandfather was an Episcopal priest who founded St. Andrew's school in Boca Raton. And my cousin was the Dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, who also baptized me--AT the Cathedral. You want pictures?" Luckily I resisted that urge because argument by authority is weak. You're not right because you have a degree in a subject or because of your personal background--you're right because your argument makes sense or your facts are correct.

It just...really pissed me off, I have to say. It was so pointlessly antagonistic. First, her jumping in to correct me like that, then to try to shut me up by citing her "lifelong" status. Stow it, girl. You have no idea who you're talking to, and you're inarticulate. Because I thought about it and a big part of the problem (besides her rudeness) was her wording--"we don't talk about the Virgin Mary at all." She should've said "we tend not to have the Marian emphasis that Roman Catholic churches do, although that varies by parish and region." THAT would've been nuanced, would've opened up the conversation in a new direction, would've been respectful.

So, because I was SO annoyed, I started explaining to the rest of the table what I just said above in my little academic aside. I talked about the Magnificat, about low church versus high church, about the similarities between RC masses and Episcopal masses [certain prayers MUST be said or sung, in a certain order--the Kyrie, Gloria Patri, the Agnus Dei, the Sanctus/Benedictus, etc.--if you've ever seen Agnes of God, they sprinkle the prayers throughout the script in the proper order]--plus you have the sacrament of Communion (with the elevation of the host), the lighting of the candles--in order for it to be a proper mass, both churches have these structural similarities. THEN I started talking about the difference between transubstantiation (Catholics believe during the elevation of the host an actual, literal miracle happens--the bread is turned into the flesh of Christ) whereas Episcopalians believe something happens, Christ's presence is in the Host, we're just not sure exactly how.

THEN I talked about St. Mary's in Times Square, the church I used to attend, which is ridiculously high church. I was explaining how during the Adoration of the Cross you actually kiss it, which is so Catholic I felt uncomfortable. I mean, I'm pretty high church but the next step after that is kissing the Pope's ring! I said how they frequently featured Marian tradition within their services.

So basically I opened up the floodgates and vomited all this onto the table and directed it all to the guys with a sweet Southern smile on my face. And mission accomplished because it SHUT HER THE FUCK UP. There was nothing she could say to that, I too obviously knew my stuff. And I hope she felt stupid and I don't feel bad. If she hadn't been so obnoxious and rude I probably would've made it more of a conversation as opposed to an impromptu lecture but...ugh, I was just so annoyed!

And what it really comes down to is territoriality and...well, I'm going to come right out and say it, only because at my age I've seen this enough times that modesty be damned. She's jealous. She's not a good soccer player, she's not attractive and a lot of these guys were being friendly to me. She could've been cool--most of these soccer groups are super cool--but no, she had to try to make me feel unwelcome, like I was intruding. And honey, that will backfire. I know exactly how to treat women like you. I become even nicer, smile even more, ignore your rudeness and chat the guys up even more. (THEY were friendly as hell to me--THEY were nice.) Women like that absolutely HATE it when you refuse to play on their terms, because it makes them look petty. Kill 'em with kindness, that's the Southern way. Honey, you've just triggered the heat-seeking missiles ;)

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