Thursday, January 6, 2011

Contacted. Also, /facepalm

I'd like to say I was strong and bitchy (without being bitchy) today to a well-meaning church member, but I was not. I'll probably spend the rest of the night or so kicking myself in the ass. Please tell me I'm not alone.

For the most part--and to my extreme privilege--the LDS church does not bother me. This is a mix of a fantastic friend in what would be my ward who tells everyone to back off, impossibly good in-laws who only fit in comments here and there, and the fact that our anti-social lifestyles in the church make it pretty hard for anyone to give a shit. Even though most people around here know Eric.

But, y'know, my visiting teachers (VTs) found me via facebook and friended me. At the time I didn't know who they were, other than their names or the names of their husbands were familiar to me. I figured "whatever" at the time, after doing some thinking. I mean, should I have friended them? I just did. I figured they added me because I was a mutual friend of whoever.

This seems pathetic of me, just adding whoever. I assure you it is not serial. If some random asks to be my friend, I ignore it completely.

Anyway, so VT emails me today. This is our second communication. Some months ago she mailed me the Relief Society newsletter. Only the newsletter. I thought it was cute and funny. She did her duty. I wondered if she was afraid of me like I used to be afraid of inactive members. She's young (~20), newly married, etc. And inactives, as you all know, are offended and hate the church (ie: its members, because there is no separation)

The email today was pretty short and to the point. Subject: Please reply (that tugged at my heart strings. She thought I wouldn't reply.) "I know I don't know you, but I'm your VT from [redacted] ward. Are you still on X street, because we have another address for Y street. If you're on Y street, you're probably in a different ward. Just let me know."

I didn't know what to say. "Please reply" was...well. I don't know. It made me feel sorry for her. I may curse and be all liberal and stuff, and I may occasionally slip and say something bad about the church (i generally don't out of respect for the members on my list), but I'm not scary. I'm actually really very nice. Sometimes too nice.

But, you know, she wanted my address.

Scratch that, the bishop wanted my address. Or the ward secretary. Whoever.

I don't like this about the church. They want to know where you live so, if the ambitious sort comes around and "feels the spirit" they can come after you and hound you and get your tithing money back (is that cynical of me? it's true, if only partly). I'd rather they didn't know. What does it matter?

But I was lame. Please reply and all. I could've just said "I really don't want to give out that information," but I didn't. My reply was short and to the point too. "We still live at X. We moved here from Y."

I feel that was a dumb thing to do, like I'm still allowing them in my home to some degree. What would you have done? Has this sort of thing happened to you?


  1. When I was inactive I received a similar communication from a transparently fake-friendly home teacher. I usually had empathy for the poor saps who were just trying to fulfil their calling. But then one day I tried something different . . .

  2. On the other hand, they could have been trying to wash their hands of you by determining you had moved so they could move your records out of their ward.

  3. When my brother- and sister-in-law were on their way out of the Church, they were contacted like this after they moved to a new area. They gave their correct address (mostly because they were worried that someone would try to contact their parents), but they also said, straight-out, "We're struggling at the moment and would prefer not to be contacted." So you might try that, just sending another email that says, y'know, thanks for getting in touch with me but for now I need some space from the Church, please don't contact me again.

  4. MC: It almost seems like they are. I know I've a friend in the ward who is telling everyone to not bug us (seriously! i know!) and the email was a little weird, it ended with something like "because if you've moved you might be in a different ward"

    like i care? whatever.

    Chandelle: I don't know what I'd do if they came over. Probably invite them in and chat, but be straight forward when we talk. If they push the issue, I'd likely be a bit more...rude (and definitely get us on the DNC list) Whether or not I invite them in is totally dependent on a few things: what time they show up and the mood i'm in. If they call That would be different too. So far there's been nothing, so we'll see. It was just odd.