So, in one of my more charitable moments, I offered to drive a church parishioner to services one Sunday. I’m the organist, so I never miss a week and I actually drive past her Senior Citizen’s housing, so it’s no extra effort…until the crazy began. We’re not talking senile dementia.nope…good old fashion crazy (sorry for the politically incorrect attitude, but I don’t know her diagnoses…
.I don’t want to lie, but I don’t see any point in hurting her feelings or confronting her about her increasingly odd behavior…and she’s not a sweet person…she’s quite irascible and down right nasty… The problem is she will continue to attend services and I will no doubt have to continue limited contact with her…any suggestions?
There’s two schools of thought on the matter: old fashioned etiquette and modern sensitivity. Both work.
OFE does not require one to socially acknowledge anyone whose company one finds distasteful. MS seeks a path through life clear of negativity. OFE allows one to “cut them dead” (a quick nod, then break off eye contact, repeated wordlessly if needed. If they pester you, they are engaging in rudeness. Rudeness is NOT to be confronted if it can at all be ignored). MS requires one to be self-aware and have ones boundaries set: you still “cut them dead,” but while smiling and feeling no ill-will.
If she starts in on you, under either philosophy you are entitled to say “I’m sorry you feel that way. You’ll please excuse me now.”
Ack. You’re really in deep there, being that both of you are going to be attending service every week and as the organist you can’t skip OR hide!
I’ve been de-friending someone over the past year but it’s been fairly easy on my part. One, she got a boyfriend around the time I got bored of her so whatever hole I may have left in her brain was quickly filled by him. Two, I’m weird and if I don’t respond to messages or don’t show up at group events or whatever, it can just be attributed to me being weird.
The only hard part is that I really like her friends that she introduced me to, so I want to keep seeing them but I have to be sneaky to see them without her.
I would suggest taking the matter to the pastor or a deacon (depending on the size of the church) to let them know that you can’t drive her anymore but don’t want to just “dump” her on someone else because she is grating. See if they have any ideas.
How did she get to church before? Can you arrange that set-up for her again? Can you talk to the rector/pastor/whatever, and ask if he (or she) can find an alternate ride for the person, and then when you say “I’m sorry, but I won’t be able to provide you with a ride to church anymore,” you can add “Here is the number of someone who can. Have a nice day.” Then keep repeating the first part. If she complains that the new arrangement is unacceptable, you may say ONCE “Maybe the rector/pastor/priest/etc. can help you.” Then go back to repeating the first part.
You do not have to do this extra step, but it will help you with guilt, and may provide you with insight into what is happening. The rector (I’m just going with that word) can probably say things that will help you assuage your guilt further.
If none of this helps, you might have to share more. Does she not get boundaries, and think you guys are friends, and calls you at all hours? Does she now think you are her personal chauffeur, and asks you to stop five place on the way home, and carry all her stuff in for her? Does she keep giving you unwelcome gifts? Does she want to put a “Bachmann 2016” bumper sticker on your car? Did she pee in your car?
Sharing these things (or whatever the problem is) with the rector may clue the rector in to the fact that the woman has unmet needs, and maybe he can hook her up with either a senior day center, or an organization that helps people who can’t drive get their errands done. If those problems are taken care of, the next church ride has a better chance of being successful. If she is just batsh!t, and that’s why you don’t want her in your car anymore, maybe the place she lives needs to know this. Maybe she isn’t taking some medication she is supposed to be on, and may be skipping other meds too, like blood pressure or type 2 diabetes meds.
This probably won’t work for you, but moving from St. Paul to Dubuque to Sutter Creek, California to Berkeley, back to Sutter Creek, back to Berkeley, then Hayward, then Berkeley again, then back to St. Paul over a period of 3 1/2 years, worked pretty good for me.
You wise guys! I have never heard any jokes about my organ before!!. What’s better than roses on your piano? Tulips on my organ, etc,…ANYHOO… I didn’t realize this woman was not just an issue with me, she’s been doing similar things to other members as well. The rector is sitting down with her and will determine if she needs some psychological help or just a little convo…
Meh, my parents managed it. Then again, getting kicked out of the Catholic church was a whole lot easier in the 70’s . . .
OP, please describe the crazy, I’m not understanding the problem at all. What could be so bad that a few minutes in the car once a week is unbearable? Or is it just the timing, that you are walking in to worship grumpy every week?
I had a similar experience once with a semi-relative. (Same family, different branch.) She was very active in the reunion planning, and we all really appreciated her efforts. When I found out she lived less than 20 miles from me, and was taking the train home from a family event in NY, I offered her a ride. Holy Moses what a mistake! Cue three and a half hours of non-stop bigotry and foul-mouthing her neighbors. What a diatribe! And the only thread of logic I could find seemed to be her absolute horror that these people dared to carry around melatonin in their epidermis (epidermae? epidermises? I dunno, but they had only one each as far as I could tell.)
In any case, I never cared to speak with her again, and rides to the next few events were inexplicably inconvenient. My experience with her, and others like her, is that they quickly find new enablers, and forget all about the ones who separate. The alternative, after all, would be to consider the possibility that their behavior had been wrong in some way. . .
What kind of religion does not dictate what constitutes appropriate behavior from its followers?
If you can’t do what your deity has probably spelled out in some kind of scripture for you, maybe it’s time to rethink your beliefs.
I hadn’t thought about racism. Maybe the OP is Hispanic, or something, and the first thing the woman said was “This is a nice car-- I almost didn’t accept a ride, because so many 'Spics have those big wheels with the gaudy paint jobs, but everyone told me you had a normal car, so I took a chance, and you do play the organ so nice,” and it was downhill from there*.
I’m not aware of any religion which says “Thou shalt not spew racist BS.”
*I do not know that this happened-- it’s just an example of very bad behavior that I don’t think is a violation of any organized religion’s basic tenets.
It doesn’t have to be mentioned so specifically. Clearly it violates the Christian edict to love one’s neighbor as oneself, for example.
Anyway, I meant the organ player. I’ve never heard of an organ in a non-Christian church, so probably that’s the church in question. Would Jesus try to get out of driving this lady to church because she is crazy? That doesn’t sound like the guy everyone raves about at all. He’d probably give her a piggyback ride there if he was real. Of course maybe the organ-player is not a Christian and is just there to play the organ, in which case, surely another parishioner can be dispatched to do the Lord’s work of driving her.
IANAC, but people always tell me that god wants us to follow Jesus’ example of how to treat others and that whatever we do to the least of his brothers we do to him, so if you wouldn’t even give Jesus a ride to church, seems like you might as well skip it yourself.
Unless you’re just there to play the organ, I know it’s not like there are many other places to do that.