During a somewhat quiet day at work, one of my coworkers made it a point to bring up a topic in which I found myself eating crow. He politely reminded me that I had completely sworn off Facebook more than a year ago. (Yes, he was correct.) He then reminded me that he attempted - unsuccessfully I might add - to wager how long I would last away from it. It took him a couple of months to notice, but there I was, back in his friends list. Needless to say, I'm glad I didn't make that bet.
I furiously explained to him that as most connected people nowadays, much of my family frequently uses that website to keep in relatively close touch with one another (pardon the pun). I felt like I needed to get back there to stay in the familial loop. No dice. He wasn't buying my excuses.
I'm sure everyone can imagine the scene, as he enjoyed several minutes of gloating and teasing me with one, "I told you so," after another. I could take it because first, I knew I was caught. Second, I knew I deserved it. And yet, after putting up with all of his good-natured harassment, he did pose one question that I never expected.
"Hows your family handling your announcement?"
"Announcement?" I asked.
His face wore his frustration. "C'mon man," he said, "The atheism thing."
I have been openly atheist to most of my closest friends and some of my coworkers for years now, but for some reason I've always held back when it comes to my family. And before anyone condemns me, you should know that I'm just not the type to seek out family drama. I really don't think that it's constructive at all, and I certainly don't like making a scene at parties or reunions. Sure, I'll speak my mind when asked, but when dealing with family, I like to keep the conversation light. Plus, I would submit that most of my family simply assumed I was one of the fold, save for those that are truly close to me.
That is, until a couple of weeks ago. I decided to push back against some rather pointed advice, where I was told that I should keep my atheism hidden from some of my family members. Anyone that knows me realizes that advice like this never sits right with me at all, so I decided it was in my best interest to introduce my blog to everyone, including unsuspecting family, by submitting this post to my entire Facebook network. I then braced myself for a bit of a backlash. But the funny thing is... It never happened. I've not had anyone in my family approach me directly demanding that I explain myself. Okay, that's not completely accurate. I have had one person ask my wife if I was an atheist. My poor wife... Does anyone feel sorry for her yet?
Anyway, I suppose that by their silence, I can only assume that most of my family members suspected as much from me, and were not at all surprised by my post. Well, kudos to all of you for your understanding!
So here it is, thanks to anyone in my family that is consistently reading my blog. If you're out there and want to talk, just remember that I'm only a phone call away!