About Fruitcakes and Religion!

fruitcake

Every year during the Holiday season we get fruitcakes from our neighbors. We smile politely and hand out a tin box of cookies in exchange -always thinking they got the better deal. The fruitcakes end up in our fridge. It’s like during a rainy summer when you end up with too many zucchinis in your garden -all football size and bigger- and you try to come up with a solution to get rid of them.

Years ago I found the perfect recipe for the use of too many zucchinis. You drive to a grocery store with a large parking lot. There you try to find an unlocked car, and when you do, open the door, put all the zucchinis in, and drive away as fast as you can. Genius!

 

fruitcake2

I am still searching for a solution to put the fruitcake to good use, yet I  haven’t found one. Perhaps honesty would be a good way to go. Just politely declining the well-meant gift. But what if they ask us what we did with all the previous poor fruit cakes who were baked with love and care, just to find themself unloved and neglected in our fridge?

It’s the same dilemma every year. Will my husband take the fruitcakes with him to work and leave it in the breakroom for anybody to take? Or will I give it to my most disliked customers and students? (Yes, I do have customer and students I am not particularly fond of, what can I say? I am human.)

We live at a time when we are brutally honest and very outspoken online, yet it is still impolite, even rude to tell someone the truth about their fruitcake, which they bake today just the way their ancestors did 185 years ago -give or take. I assume the fruits they use to bake the cake are that old as well.

We are not supposed to be honest when someone gives us a gift. It’s the thought that counts and I get it. But the thought will make me throw food away, which others might want -or need. Perhaps driving around and giving the fruitcake to homeless people would be a good idea -but then wouldn’t it be like punishing them for being in-between homes? They deserve better!

The Least Talked About Enemy of Personal Growth

You shall not lie! Yet we do, we are even asked to do so. Call it etiquette, common courtesy, right behavior. We are surrounded by bull manure. (Trying really hard here not to say Bullshit, did you notice?)

You don’t tell your co-worker that she looks hideous in her new dress. No, you use shallow words like NICE and CUTE, and you snicker when she walks away with her butt wiggling, because, yes, this dress makes you look fat.

The truth will set you free! No, it doesn’t. 

Any of my neighbors could easily observe that we are not religious -in the way we are suppose to be religious in their eyes. I have a Buddha in my yard, a zen calendar in my workroom. We don’t go to church and I send out goofy cards with Santa Claus for Christams. We don’t celebrate Easter. Ergo = We might not be practicing any kind of organized religion. Yet, we get confronted with it all the time.

Whenever something bad happens to us, people send us prayers, which we gratefully accept. They mean well. After all, prayers are good thoughts and well wishes send into the universe.

fruitcake3

 

When my husband had bypass surgery, they all expressed their feelings pretty much in the same way. THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS! That’s standard procedure in this country every time something bad happens. I know how they feel. I have been there numerous times. There is nothing you can do, other than think of the person who is going through a rough patch in life.

I appreciate the time people spend thinking about us. Prayers, good thoughts, heeling wishes. Sometimes you need all the help you can get.

But then it got out of hand. I got religious books and pamphlets. A neighbor I don’t know too well even brought me a bible. “This is going to help you, dear, you need to read it now,” she said and I blew up my cheeks. (Never a good sign.)

I stood there not knowing what to say. There it was another fruitcake. Take it! Smile! Pretend you like the gift and don’t say anything that could bring you in trouble!

Sadly, I wasn’t’ in the mood to take another fruitcake in.

“I am not religious,” I heard myself say. “I am kind of a Buddhist,”  I added and I almost fainted -so did my neighbor. (WTH is kind of a Buddhist?) I had just rejected the bible. Surely, thunder and lightning would strike me right then and there -but it didn’t.

My neighbor looked at me in total disbelieve. “So you don’t want it,” she managed to say with a shaky voice and I found myself feeling very little right then and there.

The truth is I think the bible deserves to find a home with someone who would actually appreciate it. (Same goes for the fruitcake.)

Take it, a voice inside me said, but I didn’t. “Yes, I don’t want it,” I confirmed and I knew right then and there that lying would have been the right thing to do. Easier for sure.

Poseidon and his Trident (Poseidon (Neptune) Greek God - Art ...

The NEWS has spread, I can tell. Some of our older neighbors look at me funny ever since. Like they expect me to run around with a trident or drag a tail behind me. I puzzle them. None of me makes sense to them when I finally make the most sense.

Standing your ground has never been harder than it is today, in a shaky world full of lies.

Perhaps it was worth it and we won’t get a fruitcake this year?


PS. I know, I know. I should not write about religion. It’s like committing blogging suicide yet I can’t help it. So, you just got a virtual gold star put on your forehead if you made it all the way down here. Thanks for letting me be me. 🙂

 

 

13 thoughts on “About Fruitcakes and Religion!

  1. I was going to reply to your prior post with a similar thought that I’m expressing here. The First Amendment protects free speech and does not go any further than that other than the Supreme Court interpretation that it can’t be dangerous i.e. you can’t yell fire in a crowded theater. I personally gave up on being polite a long time ago. I feel free to express my opinion and cannot help how the other person receives it. Life is too short to try to continue to please other people, especially if you already don’t particularly care for them. Your true friends will accept you as you are and for what you think, even if they don’t agree with, including any advice you may give that you re expressing in their best interest. Again, we’re all entitled to our own opinion, including your freedom to express how you feel, what you believe, etc. to your “religious” neighbors who, within their own experiential limitations (many have never spent much time away from where they live now) are offering their beliefs and opinions based on what they know and believe is for your benefit.

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  2. This post made me chuckle! 😂 I love your witty sense of humour and I found it nice and easy to read. I was brought up in an evangelical Christian home and believe me there are a lot of ‘fruitcakes’ out there that believe THEIR way is the ONLY way. I’m ashamed to say that I did too once. 😢 Now I’m broadening my horizons and accepting that there is more than one route to spirituality and we should never ever force our beliefs on others. My philosophy now is to live and let live oh and to stop acting like a bloody fruitcake! Haha! 😂
    Hayley

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  3. Interesting words today. Definitely an etiquette thing – refusing the fruit cake could be awkward as they will definitely wonder what happened to the previous ones. Unless – you make up a good sounding excuse – how about, ‘I can’t eat dried fruit, it upsets my digestive tract?’ – but have this conversation one day along the way, not as it’s held out in front of you ready to take! Technically this would be lying, and naturally that’s not good in itself, but maybe it would be ok this time! Loved the idea of ‘donating’ excess zucchinis (courgettes where I come from) to someone’s car boot – made me chuckle. That’s one of the vegetables that just doesn’t freeze well so you can’t store excess in your freezer. I am sure you looked into zucchini cake (yum with chocolate!), zucchini chutney, roast zucchini in various guises, zucchini ribbons instead of pasta …. ok, maybe even I’d be fed up with zucchini in the end!

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  4. I love fruitcake! It should be rich, dark, moist and stashed with fruit and it would last forever (it should have brandy or whisky in it). Your line could be that sadly these days you can no longer comfortably digest her/his lovely fruitcake, so perhaps …… (insert biblical neighbour here) would really appreciate it? As you know, I am a committed atheist, too. I cannot imagine anyone here offering me a bible, but I would have no hesitation in saying thank you, but not for me. Anyway, somewhere among our hundreds of books there are at least two bibles, possibly more.

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  5. I am still stuck on the fruitcake.
    When you are given one,
    you know,
    you could regift it,
    years later,
    safely.
    But you won’t.
    for anyone who likes to eat,
    they,
    would just be offended.
    Everything you are saying,
    has the same ring of truth,
    like fruit cake.

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  6. Oh well done Bridget. I wish we were all as honest as this. My Dad, who was a Methodist Local preacher for over 75 years, always said there were more Christians outside the church than inside. There are so many bigots with a holier than thou attitude who have the most unchristian way of life and are totally uncaring of anyone but themselves.

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