Today started with me doing something I hate to do: lie. Out of all the acts in the world, there’s really only two that I find generally reprehensible: lying and cursing. Both of which I try to minimize my exposure to.
Cursing I don’t do mainly because I have better words to use. I paid a lot for a college education, and I plan to get my money’s worth out of it. Lying I find distasteful because once you move out of your parents’ house, you have no reason to do it anymore. I’ve found brutal honesty works just fine in most situations. Similar to cancer, uncomfortable situations are best dealt with early, before they start to fester and grow.
Yet here I am, pondering whether to bare false witness. A few weeks ago my sister asked me if I would be my nephew’s godfather. This led to a flurry of texts to friends and associates; with me trying to figure out just what duties the job of “godfather” entails. I hear I had some growing up, though no one now knows who they are/were. I heard a godparent’s duties involved providing guidance; both spiritual and real.
This is an unusual request, as anyone reading my blog, or knowing me, will realize that I’m: admittedly anti-fun, anti-work, generally anti-family, and pro-hostility. Bearing down on my conscience was also the not inconsiderable fact that I have a chronic, dehabilitating disease that is slowly killing me, as well as my being allergic to serious relationships.
For comparison, another likely candidate, my brother, has a wife, a child, and a nephew that he adores. Prior to settling down (read: procreating), he was the neighborhood cat-man; housing four at one time, along with, occasionally, me.
I’m single, I have no pets, and all my “friends” are merely numbers that I send text messages to. I know they exist, they know they personally exist, but harbor doubts about the existence of others.
I’m also prone to talk about inappropriate subjects at every opportunity. Case in point: a few weeks ago we were training someone new at the Service Desk. I took this as a perfect time to recount, in vivid detail, my discovery the night before of the infamous “Brown Rainbow.”
“It’s an important find, a new, natural phenomena!,” I exclaimed. “Unfortunately, I failed to find its accompanying Brown Leprechaun or his pot of sticky, black gold.”
“Why is he telling us this?,” the new girl gasped.
“I don’t know, but this is what I have to deal with everyday,” her long-suffering trainer replied.
After much soul-searching, I informed my sister I would be her son’s godfather. Both his parents seem very career minded, and I figure it’s important he have someone in his life who values life and vitality. What good is money if you don’t have a crazy man living down the hall to make fun of? If you think baby-sitters are expensive, try pricing a jester!
This agreement came at a cost though, I had to sign some papers for the baptizing church. One which affirms that I’m a confirmed Christian, and a regular church-goer. Actually, in a strange concession to our modern, godless times, the church is willing to overlook the church-going part, as long as I promise to try harder in the future.
I figure I can pass this requirement from the sheer technicality that as long as I’m still alive, there’s always that slim chance I will lose my mind and start taking religion seriously. The other requirement, about the confirmation, I’m hopeless on. Here I had to lie.
It’s funny, you’d think with all my irrational, pent-up anger towards the church, that I’d have been happy to lie to them. But I wasn’t. Who am I to say what they should, or shouldn’t, take seriously? It was also this same rationale that caused me to lie in the end.
For if such a job is so important, shouldn’t it go to someone who will take it so seriously that they’ll ponder whether their own irreligiousness disqualifies them from it?