Sometimes, I am a really awful person. Most of the time I am not, but when I “decide” to be awful, I go full-fledged awful person. One of those times was a few years ago when I was dealing with a friend who is extremely religious.

I am not religious. While there are religious people out there who are not about trying to shove their beliefs down my throat, too often I run across too many who want to do just that. Seems I am around those people a lot, including close family members. At times, it makes me wonder if they think they will “change” me by doing their evangelizing.

In any event, this friend would constantly send me religious books and books on how to get closer to God. I would love to have sold those books so they were not cluttering my small apartment, but she would many times get them inscribed by the author. The constant sending of books had and still has me fearful that Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ will show up at my doorstep on dvd one day. 

As can be expected, I was frustrated with getting the books and wasn’t quite sure how to get this friend to stop sending the books without hurting her feelings. So, one day close to the High Holy Days, she had written an email and I responded back about how I was looking forward to celebrating them with my friend “Ehren” and his family. She wrote back that he had a cool name and wanted to know more about it.

And this is how I went full-fledged awful person with a really good friend. I made up this elaborate story about how everyone just calls him Ehren, even though his name is Jason because his last name is Ehrenberg. And “Ehren” was originally from New York, but he has a bunch of family in the Chicago suburbs. And while the two of us had been “dating” for a while, we didn’t say we were because we didn’t want to discuss the whole when are we getting married or get into the whole conversation about who was converting, if at all.

Miraculously, the sending of the books stopped and I was no longer getting religious books. It made me wonder why I hadn’t come up with such a story earlier so I wouldn’t have enough books to start my own religious studies library. This all came up again recently because I got an email last week with some religious stuff in it about a book to read. And I wondered if it would start again. I was telling another friend about how I seem to be around a lot of religious people at times as well as how conversations with my grandmother end with her saying “don’t forget to pray.” That always amuses me but I let it go because she’s my grandmother and old. My friend said that her uncle will say something to her along the lines of god likes to talk to strangers. She also is not religious.

I still wonder if the movie will show up at my door and I do wonder if I am going to start getting books again. Hopefully I won’t because I’m not sure another boyfriend story and fears of saying we’re dating will suffice this time. Although, I am pretty sure I can make it even more ridiculous so that people will stop trying to get me to believe what they do about religion.


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