Sunday, February 3, 2013

(Took a Ring Off It) Part II: Cinematic and Dramatic

So, we come to June of last year.  It continued to bother me that I still had this symbol that no longer meant anything to me, and that it was an everyday part of my life...putting it on, taking it off.  I'd worn this ring for some months after disposing of other religious stuff I didn't want (we doesn't wants it, Precious) anymore, and it bothered me enough to be finally rid of the thing.

Part of the reason that I'd tarried in tossing it was that I didn't want it to be some big moment, some planned ceremony-ish thing that would make me feel silly later.  My life of faith was so, so full of times like that--either corporate occasions of manufactured drama or ones that I'd fabricated myself in devotional life.  I can't state enough how seriously I took my belief.  It wasn't something that I put on the shelf as many seem to be able to do.  If I could've done that--not taken it seriously--I would be able to wear rings with Hebrew writing on them and not know or care what it means, and talk about how amazing the Bible is and never read it, but read all 4,100 pages of Harry Potter, or indeed all 1,200-ish pages of The Lord of the Rings.  I could've had a cross on the wall and felt only warm, fuzzy feelings about it.  I could've blissfully waded through the foggy illusion that the current U.S. blend of Christianity, Republican politics and American patriotism is the real version of the faith, and not bothered much with history and culture.  I could've ignored how vastly different I am from the first Christians, simply due to the fact that I have seen pictures of the planet upon which I live, and if they could be shown such a thing they wouldn't be able to comprehend it.

So, enough already.  I had to get rid of this ring, but I didn't really want to plan anything about it and have it become some big thing. 

I was driving along an interstate at that hour or so between day and night--I think in the movie industry they call it "magic time," because it's a really difficult time to film.  You have to work fast or the light changes too quickly, but when you can capture it, a scene can look particularly beautiful.  The scene in Titanic wherein Kate and Leo kiss (and "fly" in cruciform, actually) on the prow of the ship is a good example.  So, the nice glow in the sky had me feeling all mushy and Titanic-y, I was driving fast in the beginning of summer--it was already a good moment, but I wasn't thinking of having a ring toss.  I started to slow down and curve into an exit, and I didn't know it yet, but the tune on the radio tightened up the catapult.  I hadn't been paying much attention to what was playing, Katy Perry's Not Like the Movies, but my ears perked up at the phrase...Cinematic and Dramatic...

Boom!  That was it!  I checked the rearview mirror (I didn't want some poor shmuck to have an unknown object PING! off of his windshield and pee his pants over my dumb antics), pulled it off and chucked it, and I mean it happened fast--look, pull, chuck.  Lookpullchuck.  Cinematic and Dramatic.

I laughed so hard and so loud, cackling, as I said before, with my head back and eyes closed for as long as you can do that whilst negotiating a curve.  I laughed, because it looked so funny.  My ring flung out, shrinking as it flew, and I only saw it for a bit because of it spinning toward the tall grass at the side of the exit, and me curving around.  It was on me, and then it was gone.  Yes.

My efforts to make a moment meaningless were slightly wrecked.  Not Like the Movies is a break-up song.  There are lyrics in it about a ring...

He put it on me, I put it on,
Like there was nothing wrong.
It didn't fit, it wasn't right.
Wasn't just the size.

It's sung by Katy Perry, who used to be Katy Hudson, who used to sing Christian music, who had posters and CDs that I put up on a shelf display when I worked at a Christian book store. 

The ring is somewhere off of that exit, I guess.  Close to the Girlie bar and the McDonald's.

They say breaking up is hard to do.  It wasn't for me.  I've never cried about this.  It's just reality for me.  If this is all disturbing for anyone, that's ok.  I get it.  If he (she, it, they) means something big for you, I understand, because he meant something to me, too. 

It's not him.  It's me.


  1. "Mushy and Titanic-y"? For me, it's Titanic-y always connects with Nauseated (when it comes to the move). Sorry! But, I love your story. And I had no idea Katy Perry used to be Katy Hudson and sang Christian music!

    1. Mitch, I think we've all suffered James Cameron-induced nausea at some point! Yes, indeed, Katy was a teenager when she put out a Christian music CD (her parents are pastors), and later when she moved to California to do pop music, she changed to her mother's maiden name to avoid confusion with the actress Kate Hudson.

      Should a woman who is pushing 40 know this much about Katy Perry? Wait...don't answer... :)

  2. "I can't state enough how seriously I took my belief. It wasn't something that I put on the shelf as many seem to be able to do."

    In my experience, it is precisely the folks who take their religion most seriously who are most likely to leave it. Irony, eh?

    1. That's so true, Paul. I've seen it happen over and over.

  3. "I could've blissfully waded through the foggy illusion that the current U.S. blend of Christianity, Republican politics and American patriotism is the real version of the faith, and not bothered much with history and culture."

    But who would want to? You value truth and authenticity too much to live like that.

    I wonder if anyone found the ring by the roadside. Who knows? There might be a McDonalds burger-flipper or a retired girlie dancer with an unusual ring now.

    1. True, Ahab, I wouldn't want to live that way. I would never want to go back.

      In the part of my brain that still houses zillions of cartoons from childhood, my wish is that some little critter found the ring and incorporated it into her little cute critter house. You know, like it's a picture frame, or a hand towel ring in a little mouse bathroom. :)


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