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Friday, February 24, 2006

"Want me to get naked and start the Revolution?"

I'll take that as a maybe.

. . . . . . . . . . .

The in-laws are coming in today for the weekend. Mrs. Misery is freaking out, as she always does, when anything happens involving her parents. I am not quite sure she's yet bought into that idea of the unqualified love of a parent, because she constantly feels as if she has to impress them.

Or is my unwillingness to worry about what my parents think a sign of disrespect?

Often times, though, Mrs. Misery says she is jealous of me. She feels this way -- she admits -- because she believes they love me more. Why do they love me more? While the answer is, they absolutely don't, she believes it is because I am in law school.

They are proud of me, and very very supportive.

But, it isn't because of me. It is because of her.

They are proud of me, and supportive of me -- I am sure -- because they love her so much and have realized I will be able to take care of their daughter very well.

When we decided to get married, I had gone back to school to finally finish the last year of my undergrad. She knew I was letting nothing stop me from going to law school. She told them this.

They freaked. Being very traditional, her parents initially had a huge problem with the idea of her working while I went to school.

It is the man's job to support his wife, right? Even if she works, he'd better do more working than her, I suppose.

I am not sure what changed their mind. Perhaps it was the scholarship. Or my grades. Or just getting to know me. Or, perhaps, they finally realized the pay-off of her working to produce a lawyer.

Before we got married, Mrs. Misery had lost a job and was taking CNA courses and, while doing so, she went to work with a Temp agency that placed her in a high school cafeteria. While it was extremely low-paying, Mrs. Misery loved the work and had fun there. (I never knew there was such a party going on in school behind where you pick up your lunch trays.)

One day the soon-to-be Mrs. Misery was talking to her mom and told her how much she enjoyed the job and wished, but for the low pay, she could work there longer. (One great, great thing about Mrs. Misery is she is not a "status person" and loves life for life and is not particularly worried about, well, status. Hmm, though, I can even now see that change somewhat, as I get closer to graduation.)

But, anyway, she tells her mom she loves this job. And her mother stroked her hair and said,

"But, [Mrs. Misery], you are going to be a Lawyer's Wife. And Lawyer's Wives just do not work in school cafeterias."

Can you picture Mother-in-Law Misery, who is a thin, relatively tall, and fairly attractive brunette woman in her mid '40s, with a slight southern drawl, and a hint of pride in her voice, saying this every-so lovingly to her daughter?

I think it is cute. Oh, and by the way -- Mrs. Misery wants to be a teacher, which I think is one of the most noble professions a person can undertake.

Needless to say, they've been big supporters -- both morally and financially. Fortunately, financially.

What is really interesting about this weekend?

Her father is a Southern Baptist preacher. I am a member, and was a minister, in the churches of Christ. So is Mrs. Misery now.

Now if you are not a student of Southern religious affairs, allow me to explain:

No two "denominations" are actually more similar than Southern Baptists and the churches of Christ. There are always the Methodists hanging around, but the two churches in any small Southern town most competitive with each other will probably be the church of Christ and the First Baptist church.

Why? Because they are so similar -- except for a couple key points, these being the necessity of baptism, acappella music, and once saved-always saved theology.

But these differences are enough to cause huge problems. Like, for instance, with my and Mrs. Misery's nuptuals. At the time her father was only assistant preacher, and the head pastor did not for one moment like the idea of Mrs. Misery marrying a "church of Christ man." Incredibly, for a man who preaches "once saved-always saved," he hinted she and our kids might not make it to heaven.

The wedding was at her parent's church. The reception at what had become ours. A few of her parent's congregation would not come to the reception because of this.

To be fair to her father, he left that church shortly before the wedding and became the head preacher at another. He never agreed with the stance taken by this other guy. (Another interesting sidenote: his new church was struck with lightening and burned to the ground on our wedding day).

But, while we regularly attend his Baptist church every time we return home, her parents have never once been to a church of Christ service. This Sunday they will. This should be interesting.


Blogger Christine said...

I'll come and check back ... see how they liked it. Best singing on the planet!


2/24/2006 11:32 AM  
Blogger Moonlighting in Misery said...

Definitely the best. In fact, it is the singing I love most -- both listening and joining in -- just to close my eyes and enjoy it. That gives me the biggest boost.

Yes, definitely the best. Though this is without any help from me, I assure you.

(I once interviewed for a preaching position in a small church where I would have to lead singing, too. I never even received a rejection phone call, and I guarantee you it had nothing to do w/ the preaching.)

2/24/2006 12:00 PM  

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