Friday, July 11, 2008

The Great Church Job Firing

Well, now that we've thoroughly documented the M drama, let's move on to #2, shall we?

Yep, the Great Church Job Drama.

Well, as I've previously posted, there was a BIG upheaval at church last year. Our pastor (who was there when I was hired 11 years ago) received a job promotion-that of Vicar-General of the Archdiocese (for those of you who aren't Catholic, a VG is like the second in command to the Archbishop in whatever diocese you're in-read more about it here if you're interested) back in February of last year, and his replacement in our parish just happened to be the former Vicar-General. It became apparent that this guy was a total tool job-he rushed through the Mass, started talking more about money than faith, was less personable, and sent out a "survey" to the parishioners to see what needed to be changed. Now, the survey came back with the music ministry having a 86% approval rating from the parish, and, of course, there were a few negative comments listed (as there always will be in situations like these). Monsignor decided to listen to these negative comments and began instituting changes to the music ministry. He wanted the service quicker, music "simplified" (ie. more cheesy hymns and more "modern" things performed), and wanted the music director (my friend A) to "streamline" the program. Well, A is not a "streamline" kind of guy. He doesn't feel that the Mass has to be 45 minutes or less, that music is an integral part of the worship, used to enhance and bring home the message that the presider is trying to send to the congregation. He used to plan the music a year in advance, using the lectionary and making sure that the music corresponded to the readings (something not a lot of directors do, trust me), or with whatever Sunday was being celebrated. We used to get SO many responses from parishoners about how beautiful the music was, how it helped them to pray, that it gave them the courage to sing from the pews-hell, we even had a Jewish woman who would come to the choir mass every Sunday just to hear the music.

Well, A could only take so much, and back in October he gave his notice, with his last day being the week before Thanksgiving. He could see the writing on the wall, and he knew that if he stayed he probably wouldn't have his contract renewed in June. Some people left with him, but most of us stayed, to try to make a go of it. The assistant was named as Interim director, but it quickly became fairly obvious that this guy was in way over his head. He's also a "yes" man, so whatever Monsignor wanted, he started to get-starting with the cheesy hymns at Communion, and rushing through stuff. People stayed through Christmas, then started dropping off (Sean and G among them). We quickly went from almost 50 members to around 20.

Now, A is immensly talented-as both a musician and a conductor-and, realistically we knew that it would be hard FOR ANYONE to fill those shoes. But, you'd think that the Interim, who A hired (and who he worked with at the Archdiocese Cathedral), and who'd been with us for 8 years, would have AT LEAST payed attention, and would be competent. The only competency I saw was in his big organ pieces (pre-and postlude), but with anthems and hymns it sounded like he was throwing in an elbow on the keyboard. He also didn't rehearse on his own with the organ enough, because at our weekly rehearsals he would spend almost an hour going over the Sunday music, not for the choir's benefit, but so that he could play it on the organ (which he invariably couldn't and would then switch to the piano for the rest of the rehearsal). I can only describe his conducting skills as one who is slapping away a cloud of flies-there was no clear downbeat (or upbeat, for that matter), no cutoffs, no entrances. In other words, it was starting to look (and sound) like a hot, steaming pile of mess.

But, I didn't leave-I wanted to give him a fair chance-and, let's face it, A didn't have a job and I didn't want to part with the money. However, I wasn't sure how long musically whoring myself would last, because I felt myself getting sloppy and developing bad habits......and as a teacher, those things just wouldn't be acceptable. The Interim also covered up his inadequecy by lying about things (for example, if I questioned where the choir should cut off on a sound, he would start babbling about the "English" vs. "American" cutoff.......huh? WTF???). Of course, I would constantly question him, because he would say one thing, then do something totally different. And succeeded in confusing everyone, and pissing them off.

Now, why didn't anyone speak up (besides me), you wonder? Well, because, to be honest, Catholics aren't usually the type to speak out. We're usually guided by the parish and by the priests-it's not like the Episcopal or Lutheran faiths were there's a council made up of congregants and clergy. Even though a Catholic parish is supposed to be about the people, unfortunately there's a "sheep mentality"-just following the herd. And, this church wasn't about that-it wasn't a Mass Factory, where you got in, put your money in the bin, got Communion, and got out. But, it was slowly becoming that.

Well, at the end of the year it all came to a head. We were asked to sing a Mass celebrating a Cardinal's (who was the former Archbishop before he was elevated) 50th anniversary of his ordination, which was to be held at our parish. We had a month to rehearse, but of course the Interim didn't really prepare and subsequently, we were rushing at the last minute. The Interim, unbeknownst to the choir (with the exception of a select few-the other section leaders and others who kiss his butt), hired ringers-professional musicians-to sing the Mass. And, we didn't know until an hour before the Mass, when they all showed up for the warm-up and rehearsal.

People were pissed-I was pissed! Two of these ringers were in my section, and I was the section leader, and I had NO IDEA! People were coming up to me and questioning me, and I had nothing to say to them. So, after the Mass (which I cantored, btw), I spoke to the Interim privately and told him that people were upset over this (me included). I told him that I had no problem with ringers-I've even done it myself, but if he needed extra singers, then they should've come to a few rehearsals beforehand, not the day of. I told him that the choir volunteer their time every week for two hour rehearsals, and that it sent them the message that he didn't trust them or their abilities, and it just causes bad feelings, and we couldn't afford to lose people.

I guess he didn't like what I said, because two weeks later (a week after he was named full-time director) I was fired by Monsignor (with the director looking on), after singing two masses. After being there 11 years, being married there. Just like that.

Well, as you might guess, I didn't go quietly. I told both of them off in the sacristy-I called Monsignor ignorant and told him he was running the parish into the ground, and I called the director incompetent and sneaky. Then, I proceeded to send an email to the entire music ministry (two choirs) and told them EXACTLY what happened. There was NO WAY that these people were going to make it look like I walked away, or that it was my fault. I was going to call them out on the whole thing, and let them have to explain themselves.

Here's the email I sent (and I'm leaving in the names of the guilty to expose them for who they are):

Hello all:
This is just a note to let you all know that today, after the 12:30 Mass, unbeknownst to me, was my last day as OLS as cantor/section leader, after an 11 year tenure.
In other words, I've been fired (or, as I was told "we'd like today to be your last day"). Why, you ask? Well, in a nutshell, I was told by Msgr Emery (NOT Glenn, surprisingly, since he WAS my superior, but I suppose one must let someone else do one's dirty work) that I wasn't part of what the parish needs in order to make "positive" changes to the music ministry. When I pressed as to EXACTLY why, since I felt that in my time there I have gone above and beyond what was in my job description as a section leader and cantor, I was told that it was because I'm not a "team player", not because of my work ethic. In plain English, because I refused to let our "esteemed" new director get away with incompetence, I was asked to leave. (I was also told that, given my non-salaried status, the parish needs no cause to let people go, so BEWARE anyone who gets paid-you might be next!!)
Now, I'm going to relay EXACTLY what I said to both of them. I told them that, although according to the parish survey (which was unfair to begin with) there was an 80+% approval rating for Allen and the music ministry, he decided to listen to a minority of parishioners who wanted changes. Although, as pastor he has the right (although an uneducated "right", but I digress) to make whatever changes he felt necessary, the PASTOR is representive of the PEOPLE of his parish, and ideally if the parish was happy, it seemed to be a case of "if it isn't broken, why fix it". I also stated that, in the many times that Sean has been out sitting in the congregation since he left the choir, almost NOBODY sings. Of course, Msgr disagreed, so I asked him if HE was sitting out there every week to hear it (of course not!!)-he said, of course, that he is going by the "feedback" of whoever has his ear (probably the same "people" that wrote negative comments on the survey....although now I'm beginning to wonder if there are any actual "people" to begin with and it's simply a case of autocracy at work). I also told him that by making changes for the sake of change has UNDONE 11 YEARS of work that both Msgr. Doran and Allen Artz worked so very hard to achieve. Of course I was told that it was "my opinion", but many of you have expressed the same concerns. Look at the travesty of the Carol Sing dress rehearsal, when this man had THE NERVE to try to give us a "pep talk" that only resulted in insulting people and alienating the Canticum Novum singers. Haven't you noticed the slow slipping in of the Gather Hymns at Communion every Sunday? Remember him saying to the choirs back in December that these changes were going to happen "only at the 9:30 Mass" (which was ludicrous to begin with)-but that THE 11 AM CHOIR MASS WOULD NOT BE AFFECTED by the changes. That didn't last, did it? The writing was on the wall well before Allen's resignation-we, in trying to be charitable and to give someone the benefit of the doubt, let this happen to the parish. And, this is coming from a man who, according to Msgr. Doran, "chose" OLS because of the music and liturgy? Why, so he can rip it all apart? He very clearly cares NOTHING about the music OR the liturgy.
As for Glenn (who was actually "hired" much earlier than he wants you to believe, and I know that for a FACT since he told someone that directly back after Christmas-another case of subterfuge, perhaps?): I told him that if I was being fired simply because I challenged him, then it was extremely unfair. Since Glenn has taken over as Interim, there has only been communication between him and select section leaders and cantors, and I was apparently not "privileged" to be amongst them. Let's take June 1st travesty as an example. How many people knew ahead of time that there were "ringers" coming in to sing the Cardinal's Mass? Not many, I'm sure. I can say that I, as the soprano section leader, WAS NEVER INFORMED. Why should I? There were only two of them in my section! I was as surprised and upset as others (I know that a few of you spoke to me about it), and I spoke to Glenn about it after the Mass, when I told him that, although I had no problem with ringers, I DID have a problem bringing them in AN HOUR before the Mass, when there are people who VOLUNTARILY give up their time every week to come to rehearsal. Why not have the ringers come to the last rehearsals? I felt, (and yes, it's MY opinion, however since other people voiced it I guess I'm not the crazy one) that bringing in ringers is demoralizing and insulting to people who, again, VOLUNTEER THEIR TIME EVERY THURSDAY NIGHT to sit through rehearsals. Quite frankly, it's not a good way to build morale in a group that is in desperate need of it, considering everything that's happened this year. I was told that it was okay because "they're musicians". I guess that was my final nail in the coffin-because I, not only as an employee, but AS A FELLOW PARISHIONER, dared to question, and dared to voice, yet again, what others were saying. I also told Glenn that even when Allen was director there were times that I didn't agree with things, yet EVEN THEN I voiced what I felt. And, although what I said didn't necessarily influence his decisions, Allen never shot me down or treated me as if what I said was inconsequential or invalid, which Glenn did not only to me, but to others (unless they were the select few). If that is a by-product of his insecurity as a musician, then so be it. I also said that he does not know how to effectively communicate (which is obvious since I was kept in the dark about things), assumes that OLS choir is a paid group in that he blows through music and refuses to teach parts (since there are quite a few non-readers in the choir) and assumes that choir members can just go home and plunk parts out on the piano. THAT is why people have left, and why people will continue to leave-because it's clearly a step back. And, once you've had the best, it's awfully hard to go back.
Basically, what I have said has fallen onto deaf ears, since I was told that it was my opinion. I was also told by Glenn that he, as a paid singer for 8 years didn't agree with Allen at times, but didn't say anything as it wasn't his place. I guess that's because he was too busy talking during rehearsals to notice (which is probably why his music was never marked either when we asked questions). But Glenn, is that true of JUST ME, or do you allow the other section leaders to have input? Or, do you take into consideration only CERTAIN people's input (and we can list them here, for we ALL know who those people are)? Not very fair of you, is it?
We have all known since Emery's tenure that there was a possibility of this happening-a "dumbing down" of the music program at Sorrows. Now, it's a reality. Allen, as an accomplished musician, teacher and director could ONLY TAKE SO MUCH of the watering down of the music, so he left (regardless of whether or not you agree with how it was done, many of you DON'T KNOW what went on behind the scenes to lead up to his resignation, so it wasn't a decision that was made spontaneously). And now, with Glenn being hired full-time, Emery has exactly what he wants-a yes-man who will water it down to not only make the boss happy but to make it easier for himself (which we've also seen slowly happening-pulling out music that we could do in our sleep for totally new music nobody's seen before that we're supposed to "wing"). A music director who cannot effectively get what he wants from his choir, because he has NO IDEA how to bring it out in them-he won't (or can't) teach parts, his conducting skills are subpar, his playing (with the exception of his prelude and postlude) is unrehearsed. How many rehearsals did we have to go through a piece over and over again not for OUR benefit, but simply because Glenn couldn't play it due to not rehearsing it enough with the organ? And, how many excuses did we have to hear as to WHY he didn't, or couldn't rehearse it? You know, for someone who is getting paid the salary that Glenn is being paid, it's HIS JOB to know that music, just as it is the paid singers job to have notes learned for a piece once it's been introduced. And, it's obvious that the parish isn't getting their money's worth with Glenn.
How about how he's treated the children's choir? I'm sorry, but as AN EDUCATOR, I would never talk to children as he has done. Yes, they were unruly at times, but a lot of it was due to Glenn and how he spoke down to them, and treated them. Going down from 50+ children to 19 at the last mass they sang with us is proof enough of that, regardless of the stunt he pulled about making those two girls get up and apologize to the Parish Choir. Way to go, Glenn-what a good way to build embarrassing children.
It saddens me that, after 11 years at Sorrows, it has to come to this. At one time, I really felt as if Sorrows was my "second home" Sean and I were married at OLS, and felt as if we were in a community of people who were caring and compassionate, but that has, sadly, gone off into the horizon. The reason that I'm writing this to you is that I don't want anyone to either hear untruths or come back in September and think that I resigned VOLUNTARILY in any way. I don't want Emery or Glenn to mislead anyone into thinking that it was my decision to leave, since we already saw that Glenn can do that (i.e.. assuming that George resigned and hiring another cantor BEFORE even speaking to George about it). I'm NOT going by my own choice. Of course, I will no longer be calling Sorrows "my" parish. I can't call a place "mine" when they basically chew you up, use you, abuse you, then spit you out. I got a double slap in the face - as an employee, being fired is bad enough, but, as a parishioner, being told that your services are no longer needed is like saying that Sean and I are no longer welcome in the parish. And this is coming from a CHURCH, which is supposed to be a "faithful" and "charitable" place to worship? Then again, there has been no worship in that beautiful building since Msgr. Doran left last February. It's just been a case of "get in, get out, get it done quickly and get the collection in". We've all felt it. Some of you have even said it privately. I was just the one who vocalized it, openly. And I got punished for it.
Whether or not you decide to stay at Sorrows is, of course, your choice. But, know that there will probably be more changes in the horizon, and they more than likely won't be good ones, given Emery's track record. If you can deal with it, and still feel as if you're still worshipping (since isn't that why there is music at Mass? To enhance and supplement worship?), then I give you a lot of credit. I wish you all of the best that life has to offer you, and those of you who want stay in touch with Sean and I, will hopefully do so. But, I can no longer be a parishioner in a place that was once unique and has now become just like every other parish. As much as Emery likes to say that he is celebrating "diversity", what he's doing is conforming to mediocrity by taking away the richness of the music, which allowed me to worship in a way that I hadn't felt in years, and which was also what kept me there for as long as I did. Whether that means that I find another Catholic parish that will fill that need, or make my way to a faith that will be truly "of and for the people" is my own journey to begin.
Please pass this on to anyone of importance that I may have missed in this email.
Thank you,

Am I upset? Sure-for a long time, this was my second home. I loved singing there. I loved the sense of community I felt there, not to mention the quality of music we did there (which is NOT the norm in most churches). But, really, it hasn't been the same there for a long time, and it created stress in my life when I didn't need it. It, quite simply, wasn't worth the money. Sure, I can always get another singing job, but I think I'll take a nice loooong break first. As for where to go to church.....well, that's a bit harder to delve into. I think that my expectations of the Catholic Church are too high, but I'm not sure switching faiths is the answer either. I guess I'll have to slowly get my feet wet and go to other parishes and see what calls to me.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


Okay, so here's the down-low on what happened with M.....

Just a recap: M is (or was, I suppose) my best friend growing up. I've known her forever, and we were each other's MOH in our weddings, I'm her daughter's godmother, blah blah blah. You can read some backstory here, here, here, here and here. Oh, yeah, I forgot about this one.

So, to summarize, she's a bit of a Bridezilla. It's a second wedding (although her fiance's first), and they're inviting almost 300 people to the wedding, and doing it like it's the first time all over again. Which is okay (and not for me to judge, btw), but it's almost as if she's trying to forget that she already did the same thing ten years ago, albeit it with a shitheel.

Well, as MOH, my responsibility (according to that damn bridal etiquette) was to plan and host the bridal shower (that yes, she was still having, even though they both live together and have what they need). I was planning the shower with M's mother. The only thing that M wanted (or at least, what I was told) was to have the shower close to her home, so that carting gifts and such wouldn't be a pain in the butt, which I thought was fine. So, I picked a restaurant that was close (and I happened to know that she liked, since we'd eaten there numerous times), got a guest list from her mother (since the shower was supposed to be a suprise), who got it from Sexy J, and, with her mother's approval, put down the $200 deposit back in March.

Well, at the beginning of last month, I happened to call M's mother because I had a question about the invitiations (I was trying to do the invites myself to save some $$, plus I like to be a little creative), and I find out from her mother that there were going to be 20 extra people invited. Which the restaurant couldn't hold. Now, at the beginning, her mother and I went through the guest list we received and I was told who was invited and who wasn't (plus, Sexy J told me that anyone with the last names "Blah" and "Blee" should be invited). Her mother told me that it was only for family, and close friends, but NOT work people. Her mother also told me that it was a second shower, so it shouldn't be bit. Needless to say, this threw me for a loop.

So, she asked me if the restaurant would hold that many people, and of course I told her no. So, she said that M mentioned another place (which is MAJORLY expensive), and asked me if I could get my money back from the first place. Of course I was really pissed off, and I felt like I wasn't getting the full story, so I called Sexy J. I then get a SECOND story. He told me that M's mother let it slip where the shower was after M added the extra people to the guest list, and M said that she didn't want it there, she wanted it at the other place. So I told him that, as a SUPRISE SHOWER, she doesn't really get to choose where the shower is. He then said that he doesn't want to get involved, it's none of his business, blah blah blah. Then, getting pissed off, I called M.

She tells me the same story her mother does, but then I told her what her fiance said, and of course she changed her tune. She said that she didn't want the shower at the first place because it doesn't have parking (there are three parking lots within walking distance), and if they HAD VALET SERVICES, then it would be okay. Well, they didn't have valet, and I didn't think that parking was that big of a deal to say that we shouldn't have a shower there. I pointed out that the deposit was already put down (with her mother's okay) and it would've been nice to know that earlier. So, this was going back and forth for about three days-in the meantime, I called the restaurant about the refund AND called the other place-and then on Saturday, her mother called and asked about the deposit. I told her that the restaurant told me it was non-refundable, and she said that we would have it there, then-case closed. So, she calls M and tells her that.

M told her mother that if her bridal shower was to be there, she didn't want one at all. She'd do something on her own. Her mother called me back and told me that, and I lost it.

I told her mother that I had had it, I didn't want anything to do with the shower, or the wedding at that point. Then I called M and left a message on her voicemail, calling her a selfish, spoiled bitch and that she was lucky she was getting a second shower AT ALL, and that people were trying to do something nice for her and she was shitting all over it. I said I was through.

It was two years coming. I was at the end of my rope.

So, she called me back and we argued for about an hour. She told me that I didn't have to be in charge of the whole thing, and that "everyone else thinks you're running the show" and that I wasn't involving anyone (which wasn't true-her mother and I were planning the space, and everyone else was doing other things-how can people who don't live local to her know of any LOCAL PLACES). She kept going on and on about how people had to pay for parking, and that parking is hard to get sometimes, yet she kept asking about valet parking (although I did point out to her that it was a bit hypocritical to bitch about paying for parking in a public lot yet expecting people to pay out for valet). She said that OF COURSE she wanted me to be in her wedding, OF COURSE she wanted me to be her MOH, but OF COURSE she wanted what she wanted-it's her day, after all. So, she gave me the weekend to think it over, since she said that she didn't want me to make a decision based on being upset and angry.

So, I thought about it, and I felt upset, sure. I felt shit on, and I felt like I was being played (which I told her) and manipulated. But, I was wondering to myself if I overreacted, and lost control when I should have kept my head. Of course, she's my friend, and when friends argue, we say things in anger we don't always totally mean. So I was prepared to concede-NOT to the shower, but to say that you're my friend, it's your day........and I want to be a part of it.

Well, on Monday I went to her house, and we talked. She told me that she made some decisions:

1. She put Sexy J's sister in the wedding. She originally was in the wedding, but then pulled out after we went to look at the dresses, on the excuse that I "was running the show" (she didn't know that M and I had gone a few months ago to dress shop and found the one she wanted, so I was pulling out the dress and showing it to everyone, and I guess she didn't like it), but in actuality, it was because she was having issues with her brother. So, they apparently made up and she's now a bridesmaid.

2. I'm no longer MOH, but simply a bridesmaid. Her reasoning was twofold: one, because I hurt her feelings by telling her off, and two, because she felt that she put too much pressure on me, given everything I've been through this year (IVF letdown, my grandfather's passing, being elected to get grandma from Boston), and she felt that it was partially her fault.
She told me that she feels as if I've changed and that I'm so stressed out all of the time, and that the "old me" wouldn't have normally reacted the way that I did. She also said that it was more important for me to be her daughter's godmother that it was to be her MOH, ultimately.

She said that it would take "a long time" for her to get over what happened, and that her fiance doesn't feel as if I like him (which isn't true) and he's not overly fond of me right now (her exact words were: "Well, he really likes Sean, and stuff, but it's not like the four of us are going to hang out together right now, but if he saw you out in public he [J] isn't going to be nasty to you, but he isn't going to go out of his way either"-nice, right?).

So, there's the story. I'm pretty much out of a 30 year friendship and a deposit I can't get back. Great, huh?

Like I said, this has been brewing for a few years. Yes, I was wrong to lose control-I could've handled it better. But, ultimately this pretty much opened my eyes about her and our friendship. Since her seperation and divorce she's become more and more self absorbed, and has less and less to give to others. Maybe she's always been that way and I didn't realize it, or maybe it's a result of the divorce, I'm not sure. But, the fact is, our friendship changed about three years ago, and it's sad.

People think that I'm insane for even agreeing to still being a bridesmaid, but I have two reasons. Firstly, I already bought the damn dress, and it was expensive. Secondly, I refuse to take the blame for this whole thing (which I told M-I told her that I felt that I was being punished for losing control when this whole thing wasn't my fault, since I was doing it with her mother's approval. She told me that she wasn't punishing me-in fact, if she was punishing me she would've cut me out altogether), and by being in the wedding shows that I'm the bigger person. I was told that if I came back that it would be as if it were forgotten, nobody would mention it, and if someone did, then she'd "take care of it". However, if one person does, then I'm out of there.......and I don't care if it is the night before the wedding. My father seems to think that she's going to skip out of the friendship once the wedding's over, which is probably true. But, at least I know that I did my best, you know?

I feel as if she really didn't expect me to agree to being in the wedding, since she asked her fiance's sister to be in the wedding again....four months before wedding, mind you), so now she has to deal with it. Actually, she called me last night and left a message that the dresses were in (quickly said), and it was the first time in three weeks that she's called me, and of course, all she talked about was the same things: herself, the wedding, her kid, and her ex. She didn't ask me about my vacation, she didn't really ask me about anything (I offered of course-I told her about the church job, and she sort of reacted). Nothing has really changed, I guess. She's probably still pissed off, and that's fine. But, I'm not 8 years old anymore, and I refuse to beg and plead with her to still be my friend. Perhaps if she bothered to really ask how I'm doing, and actually listen, then maybe I'd be more upset about it. Yes, I've changed-I can see that, Sean can see that; but, given what I've been through, how could I be the same person? And, since she's not gone through IF (although she tried to compare herself to me, I shot that down right away and very firmly told her that we most certainly did not have that in common), how can she understand? Really, I don't expect her to understand, but I did expect her to be there as support, and not just to give me my shots. Hell, anyone could do that. Quite frankly, she was not there for me emotionally when I needed her. However, she's not the same person either. Of course, she wouldn't want to hear that, but it's true. Our experiences shape our frame of mind and our personalities, and she's not immune to that. I guess the difference is that she's allowed to be selfish and I'm not.

That's the thing about myself that I don't like-I always expect too much out of people. I expect them to treat me like I've treated them, and it usually doesn't work out that way. Maybe I'm too giving of a person, maybe I let people get away with too much, I'm not sure. I'm the type of person who will always go the extra mile for my friends, and will go out of my way to do something that they'll enjoy. I'm that dorky person who'd rather give gifts at Christmas rather than receive them-I like to watch people open gifts and see their enjoyment. Many times, it's not reciprocated. And, I don't do things because I expect it in return, but I do expect at least SOME thoughtfulness. Some respect, really. Perhaps I need a thicker skin, or perhaps I've learned my lesson finally-it's not worth it to be kind or to go out of your way. Not when you get shit on for it.

Oh, and the funniest thing about this whole thing? I got the shower invitation in the mail while I was away. It's a "surprise" (yeah, right) shower and it's going to be held at a restaurant that's about 50 minutes away from her house. So, how is that doing what the bride wants? It's so not my problem, because I decided I didn't want anything to do with the shower. Since I'm not getting my deposit back-why should I put out more money that I obviously don't have? Especially since I'm not working this summer at all now? I feel even more stupid that I turned down a summer job partly because of planning the shower and needing the time to do last minute things-stupid me, huh? I wonder if she would've done that for me.....probably not.

This morning's conversation really brought it home to me-it's not worth it. It seems that God is cutting the toxic parts out of my life, and, although I didn't really need the drama surrounding it, it's got to be for a reason, right?

There HAS to be a reason that everything is falling down around me. At least, I need to hope so.

Monday, July 07, 2008


Hi everyone...

I'm still here. There's been LOTS of drama going on since my last post, plus we finally went on vacation (just got back late Sunday night), so I've been a bad, bad blogger.

Here's a summary of my life since we've last spoke:

1. The shit hit the fan with M and her wedding. Her mother and I were planning her shower, her mother blabbed as to where it was, M didn't want it there and pitched a stink, and I lost it and said that I didn't want anything to do with it-the shower, the wedding, nada. I got into a huge fight with M, said lots of shit that's been pent up for years, and then, three days later, I was "demoted" as MOH and made "just a bridesmaid". We haven't spoken for about three weeks, and I'm not about to make the first call. More on that later....

2. On Father's Day, I lost my church job, after being there for 11 years. I was fired by the Pastor, with the new Music Director sitting there-actually, the MD let the pastor do the dirty work. The reason? Well, on June 1st we did a special Mass celebrating Cardinal McCarrick's 50th anniversary being ordained a priest. We all knew about this for 4-6 weeks, rearranged our plans, etc. Well, at the last minute, he brought in 5 "ringers" (that's professional musicians who come in and sing/play)-and they showed up an hour before the Mass. People were pissed off (me amongst them, since I didn't know about it beforehand and I was a section leader-go figure), I was pissed off, and after the Mass I spoke to the MD and told him that people were displeased. Personally I don't have a problem with ringers-hell, I've done it myself, but I do have a problem when they come in with no rehearsal time with the group. It sends a message to the group that the director doesn't trust their musicianship, it undermines and it causes bad feelings. Well, I guess he didn't like that I said something, because two weekends later, after I cantored two Masses, I was "spoken to". So, I'm out about $1300 this summer. Which really sucks since I didn't take a summer job this year due to planning M's shower.......more on this later, too.....

3. Sean and I just got home from a cruise to the southern Caribbean, and it was AWESOME. I really really needed the break, and I relaxed, ate LOTS of food (although I still fit into my clothes, so it's ain't ALL bad), and forgot about life for a week.

4. Oh, yeah-I'm still infertile. I'm due for AF on Friday, and started that yummy brown staining this morning. I'm still doing acu, and added herbs (tea and dong quai) this month. I really don't think that they worked, but perhaps my period won't be a horror show.

So, that's it for now. I'll post tomorrow about #1 first, since it's a doozy.....