Monday, September 17, 2007

Poly what?

Touche, Malathion Man. I also have a funny (although not ha ha) church story to tell. L came with me to church last Sunday, where I fulfilled my volunteer duties as a greeter. There is a point in the service, after the kids go to RE, that people can share their joys and sorrows. My English heritage comes through load and clear during this point in the service, since people take it as license to divulge personal secrets, rants or bizarre tales. My heritage says, "Stiff upper lip! Deny problems! Tamp feelings down deeply!" The minister takes the microphone to whomever raises their hand during this time, like Phil Donahue used to do on his show.

What we heard last Sunday was in my opinion at the least inappropriate, but also really challenging to me as someone who feels liberal and tries to accept all people. One gentleman raised his hand, and said he had a sorrow to share, and then a joy. His sorrow was that on a recent work trip he went to a conference and a scientist there claimed that we have 200 years left due to global warming, but that was one scientist's opinion. The joy he had, was that he had attended a polyamoury conference.

In my head I thought about what I believed were the origins of the word. Poly=multiple, amoury=love? WHAT? I covered my mouth to suppress nervous laughter and disbelief. He went on to say that he knew due to failed relationships in the past that he wasn't made for a monogamous lifestyle, and polyamoury encouraged him and made him feel that he was not alone. He went on a bit more, basically coming out to the congregation. Whoa. This is an interesting explanation of polyamoury.

When L and I left the church I had time to process and I said this: "Isn't it nice that we have labels for everything that we encounter in life nowadays. If we are unfaithful to our wife, husband, boyfriend or girlfriend, well that's okay. We're polyamourous you see. Nothing wrong with that. It's not my fault. I'm not responsible for my actions. I was made this way." I told L that he should forgive his ex-wife, since clearly she suffers from polyamoury. We thought of other clever excuses for bad behavior. "Sorry officer, I didn't steal that. I have kleptomania. I burned down your house? Oops, sorry, just the pyromania leaking out."

All joking aside, I know no one is perfect. I double dipped once, dating two people at the same time. I put an end to it before anyone got hurt. I even was faced with my feelings for someone else when I was married before. It happens. But I can own up to that. I'm not sure if I can accept that the reason why some relationships fail is because humans were not meant to to monogamous. I'm not sure what humans are good at. We've crapped up the planet with pollution, killed others, killed animals, killed ourselves even.

I am a fairly private person. I am an open minded person. I go to church to find peace. I found my way to my church via my life experience, and my need to question certain things. I go to church to care for others too. I just don't feel that some journeys need to be shared. L said it best, and I'll paraphrase a quote he shared with me by the former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau. "What goes on in the congregation's bedroom, stays in the congregation's bedroom."


Patty O said...

Yeah, people find all sorts of excuses for their behavior. Haha, why is O.J. Simpson coming to mind all of a sudden?

Patty O said...

Well, it's not as bad as the Manchester Library. The Manchester Library is dark, dirty, and filled with bums in the wintertime.

Patty O said...

Haha, yes. Some people are calling it Manch-Angeles now though.

Patty O said...

It's far from crummy now. Concord, Manchester, and Nashua have all been on the rise for at least the past six or seven years.

Malathionman said...

"I just don't feel that some journeys need to be shared."

I can't agree with you more. I do think you can share everything with God, you might as well, but that doesn't mean sharing everything with your congregation.