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Not feeling too bad today. Still annoyingly faint, still no sense of hunger, but not quite as badly detached from reality. No serious impact on my mood yet, but since returning to Raleigh, I haven't felt the need to collapse into a weeping heap, so overall, could be a lot worse.

Deb's parents and brother are coming to visit. It is a marker of how great a friend Deb is that she would allow me to stay with her during a stretch when her family is dropping in. It is a marker of the sardonic humor that the gods seem to be displaying lately that Deb's parents are Baptist missionaries.

"Are they gonna try and convert me?" I asked.

"Of course," said Deb, as if surprised I even had to ask.

"Ah."  I considered this. One does not belligerently proclaim one's skepticism in such cases--it'd be desperately rude to one's host to so disrupt the tenuous family harmony. Neither does one mention one's passing fondness for Ganesh to missionaries who worked in Thailand. "Okay, then I'm Catholic."

"You are not."

"I am so. I was baptized, I was just never confirmed."

"Eh, that'll work." (Oddly enough, claiming Catholicism does seem to work for me whenever people get the evangelical gleam. You become No Longer Their Problem. You're still going to hell, but a more respectable one.)

"And thank you for looking less goth than usual today," she added, eyeing me. (Because I am living out of a suitcase, my wardrobe at the moment consists of jeans and unrelieved black. And one brown t-shirt, which I was wearing.) "My mom's already going to say something about the tattoo..."

"Best investment I ever made." I swear, this thing starts more conversations. Not always conversations I wish to have, apparently, but still...

Wish me luck.

Here is a picture of the Sri Ganesha Temple in Nashville, TN where I live. They built the entire temple in India out of local materials, then disassembled it and shipped the entire building to Nashville, where they rebuilt it. I have gone to the yearly open house there on several occassions and found it to be quite beautiful.


Oh, Baptists are cake. (I know, was raised that way.) So few of them have the real stamina or nerve for fighting... just hang in there with a few well-placed weirdities and extremely shocking ideas, and they'll quickly retire to their corner to put all their efforts into prayer.

And who knows, the prayer might help somewhere. Dear God, please relieve the pain in Ursula's chest. And if anybody else brings her to your attention over the next few days, please bring my request to mind again.


Ugh, reminds me of my years at Grove City College, where I was a Catholic surrounded by evangelicals. Many of them were quite kind, but some assured me I was going to Hell because I worshipped Mary, among other things.

One important thing I learned from them: never convince yourself that you're going to Heaven and other people are going to Hell, it turns you into an extremely obnoxious person.

Effexor made me sweat. Like pour sweat. They ended up giving me prostate medication to reduce the sweating since that was a major side effect and since I lack a prostate wouldn't hurt me otherwise. It was after about a year of this when I finally decided that it was ridiculous to take one medication to counteract the aside effects of another.

It also killed my sex drive. I was never horny, ever. My husband had to remind me that he would like some sex every so often as it would never even cross my mind.

I'm going to have to second what someone said--being Catholic has never protected me from Baptists. I went to a non-denominational, Baptist-run camp as a child, and oooh, I remember it well. Usually pitying looks, and some people asking me why we prayed to Mary. (Still being a Christian and some ten years older, I'm inclined to ask the same thing, actually.) And the preacher took my book away because it has a dragon on it.

My mum's always trying to convert me to her church. It's annoying and very disconcerting, but it's hard to fault people who honestly honestly believe they're doing you the ultimate favor.


I find proselytizing without permission rude, so I used to fight back by trying to convert the offender to my point of view (agnosticism). Then I succeeded once, and realized that personal peace and security (even if accompanied by arrogance) is not a really nice thing to take away from someone else.

Now I just make up something absurd and try to convert them to that -- say, the Church of Lactose Intolerance, of which I am a proud member. If you try it, remember that only unflagging earnestness makes it successfully annoying.

Catholicism works, assuming her parents aren't like some of my Baptist family. I once overheard someone at a family gathering saying she had grown up believing being Catholic was the worst thing ever-when questioned later, I was informed that Catholic missionaries went to foreign countries and kidnapped, killed and/or ate pagan babies. (I really wish I were kidding, or at least that she was.)

Good luck. My strategy is to just be as nice as possible around missionary types. All cheerful and that. Mostly they love me, or they are offended by something I can't help and leave me to burn in my own private hell. n_n

are they perchance Southern Baptists? Cause if so, I have a good joke for them... "Why don't Southern Baptists have sex in the shower? They wouldn't want God to think they're dancing."

I like wearing black - hides so many stains and things. Glad you're feeling like normal may yet appear again in your life.

Mom's side = Southern Baptist. Dad's side = Devout Catholic (my Great Aunt was a nun. A NUN).

If they're not converting or witnessing they're not happy.