Last week I was talking Beth’s candles up to a coworker who expressed a love for incense and candles. We were tucked away in an aisle, putting some inventory away. “How much are they?” she asked me. The jar candles (which is what we were talking about) are a bit pricey — but they are soy wax, not paraffin, and they’re hand-poured. They’ve got essential oils and glitter and they’re fixed and all that. I explained all that, but when I got to the “fixed and dressed” I sort of stumbled.
Now, I’m out. I’ve never really even seen the inside of any broom closet. I’ve been lucky enough to live in places where I didn’t really have to worry about that, and I’m a private enough of a person that no matter how out I am, I’m not really every going to be in your face out and obvious about it. The topic of my religion comes up a decent amount of time — I veil, and I veil for religious reasons, and generally when people ask you whether you veil for religious reasons and the answer is yes, the follow up question is some variety of “Are you X?” With coworkers, it doesn’t usually delve too far. Customers are a whole ‘nother kettle of fish. But, I’m out as pagan at my day job. I’m pretty out as devotee to Poseidon specifically at my day job. The rest? Varying degrees depending on the coworker, just because it generally does not come up.
So, before I launched into the “fixed and dressed” explanation, I hemmed and hawed a bit. I made some vague noise. I had, in my mind, as I always do, this awareness that what I say next might push people out of their comfort zones. I invariably frame my responses in a way that shows that I know that my beliefs are not exactly the norm. I’m apologetic. and conciliatory.
My coworker (who is a GAZILLION YEARS my junior) stopped what she was doing, looked at me, and demanded, “Why do you always do that?”
Talking this over with Himself yesterday, I was put on the spot again. Because, I do always do that. It’s not that I don’t take myself seriously, because I do. It’s not that I don’t take my devotion seriously, because I do. It’s not that I don’t think this is a valid life choice, because I flipping do. So, why do I always do that?
Sharing just to share, here. Near twenty years with Poseidon. Coming on eleven having been married. Still don’t have my shit together all the time. Despair not, oh ye fellow traveller. One need not have one’s shit together all the time, or ever, to walk one’s path.
“But one does need to stop apologizing for it.”