Friday, July 24, 2009


I admit it. I was busted yesterday. Sybil and I were eating lunch talking about the day's happenings. Since we were seated with a view looking directly at the front door, we could see every one as they entered the restaurant.

A reasonably attractive, young woman walked in with her boyfriend/significant other. What was noticeable was that her top was low cut with a "V". Apparently, as we talked my eyes followed her to her seat. Sybil noticed this and made a comment. Now, I do not remember thinking unclean thoughts. I did remember thinking that she was reasonably attractive, with a shorter, goofy looking guy, and her hair was similar in cut to the restaurant owner's wife.

When Sybil made her comment, I, jokingly, remarked, "Yeah, but I'll be going home with you." Well, Sybil did not find that funny. She asked what I was thinking as the woman moved towards her seat, because I couldn't complete a sentence. At that time, I could not remember. I still thought it was no big deal (forgetting that EVERYTHING is a big deal to Sybil). Finally, I said something about the similarity of the hair. Sybil rolled her eyes. Then she said something about this being just like what happened before we were married. Yep, that's over 16 years ago.

The incident she is referring to is a meeting with an ex. It was not meant to be clandestine. Sybil and I were not that serious (I guess in my mind). It was in an extremely public place (we walked down a public street). For me the meeting was to try to get some closure (it's complicated). Anyway, that was event that was thrown into my face.

Now, I totally get her being unhappy with me ogling another woman. I understand her insecurity (well...kind of). It was stupid of me, but I admit it was an unconscious act. I don't get having something that happened a long time ago used to bash me over my head. Sigh. That's Sybil.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Drama, Redux

*WARNING* Long, possibly disorganized post.

I posted awhile ago about drama. I wrote how I thought it was mainly in the realm of women, but I have learned that men engage in it also but under a different name. I will say that Sybil seems to attract an inordinate amount of it. If she is not starting the drama, then she is still, somehow, in the middle of it.

One of the things I have not posted about is my relationship with my church, specifically its pastor. I'll call him CH. CH has been the pastor of my church for over two years. As an United Methodist, we tend to change pastors regularly. We were fairly regular attendees for a number of years at this church. We may not have gone EVERY Sunday, but we attended more often than not. This all changed last late Fall/Winter. CH's son, who kind of drifted from one thing to another, joined the Marines and was shipping out one Sunday afternoon. On that particular Sunday, CH spent most of the worship service tearing up and talking about his son leaving. He called people up to the altar to offer up prayer for his son. It was rather creepy; I felt like I was at a funeral. Also, it was rather narcissistic; he took most of the service not talking about God or Christianity but talking about his son. It's not like the church hadn't already had an event for his son the day before. It turned me off from going to worship service.

About this time my work became exceedingly hectic with Sybil and me working long hours in my office. With our kids having many activities, hectic work, and the above story, Sunday service became less important. We, essentially, quit going to service and would rarely go to Sunday school. We went from being regular attendees to rare attendees. Apparently, CH noticed this. Instead of calling us and asking what was wrong as a good leader (aka. shepherd) should, he asked, "Is Aphron and Sybil doing ok?" Insuating that we were on the skids. This floated around and got back to the youth. We heard about it and had to have a frank conversation with our children (Son#1 is/was in youth). So instead of trying to bring back a lost sheep, our shephard busily engaged in rumor mongering. That killed our desire to go to church. Add Son#2's baseball schedule in late Winter through Spring/early Summer, we stopped attending altogether.

Now, Sybil has been the chair of Christian Education for over 6 years. She has worked with 3 program directors and 2 pastors. Due to scheduling, she missed one meeting (I went as her proxy) and wasn't going to church. When Son #2's baseball finally ended, the first thing she did was to call the program director (PD) and work on scheduling a meeting and an agenda. PD informed Sybil that the committee was being dissolved and folded into another committee due to lack of attendence. Sybil was quite surprised because this was the first she had heard of this. If she hadn't called PD, she still would not know. Needless to say, Sybil was very disturbed by this, so she scheduled a meeting with CH. Apparently, she was last to find out. That's a funny thing, when one is the chairperson.

Sybil and myself met with CH 4 days ago to try and clear up the situation. Sybil was confused as what her role would be in the church. I expressed that I thought PD could have done a better job of communicating with Sybil about something this important. No sooner had I said it than PD barged in, uninvited, to our meeting. She became quite defensive, started attacking Sybil, and basically making a nuisance of herself. The whole time CH engaged in "naval gazing". He never said a word. I asked PD to excuse herself, which she promptly ignored. It was only that PD felt that she had exhausted herself that made her leave. Stunned silence ensued. We asked CH about why the door wasn't closed to which he replied that it was "against the law." Sybil had scheduled the meeting after hours, so the sudden appearance of PD was a shock. I tried to keep the conversation going and focus on the lack of communication our church as a whole has. Sybil expressed that she was quite shocked at what PD had done. She felt attacked. No sooner had she said this, when PD, again, barged in and started her attack on Sybil. Again, CH studied his naval. This was too much.

We never resolved what we had come to do. We had the issues I laid out above to discuss, but we never made it to those topics because of PD's attitude. I told CH that PD's behaviour was rude and unprofessional. I told CH that he needs to talk to PD and reign her in. Since there was to a committee meeting in two days, I asked CH to schedule a meeting with Sybil, PD, and himself to iron this situation. He agreed.

The next day Sybil appeared at the appointed meeting time. Only CH was attendance. He told her that PD would not be coming due to that situation being between PD and Sybil. He, instead, focused on Sybil's lack attendance and asked her to resign from her chair. Sybil, naturally, was surprised (who ever heard of a volunteer being fired). She thought the meeting was about PD's behaviour. Again, Sybil was ambushed and attacked. After talking with CH for nearly 45 minutes, she decided it was futile to continue the conversation and excused herself.

I'll try to shorten this long, meandering post. Sybil did attend the Christian education meeting. It was a productive meeting. She and PD had words after the meeting. Several people, including CH, stood outside the room to eavesdrop. CH got a good look at his naval. Since no one can win an arguement with Sybil, PD admitted her behaviour was out of bounds. The next day Sybil decided this BS wasn't worth it and resigned her chair.

This is why people have a negative view towards church and church goers. Righteousness is a grand thing. It, apparently, has a switch to be turned on and off at will. We are still grappling with these events and trying to decide our next course of action. Sybil wants me to let it go. That is out of character for her. It did take a toll (she lost a lot of sleep). I'm not sure what to do. I feel that I must confront CH and demand his apology to Sybil and myself. If none is forthcoming, I feel that my next course of action is drafting a letter to the District Superintendent, the Bishop, and the Staff/Parish relations committee. Sybil is adamant that I should let it go. I am so pissed off at CH. To top it off, I have two children that need baptizing, but I refuse to let this ungodly person do the honors. Sybil wants us to withdraw from going to service and focus on Sunday School. Right now, all I can do is go to God in prayer and hope the answer is forthcoming.