What a Non-Denominational Christian Has to Say About Fortune in the Modern World

I mean, it’s Sunday, so why not?

So this one isn’t going to have much of an intro, which I apologize for, but that’s because the title kind of explains all that needs to be said — and also because I finally don’t have any background story to explain that has sparked my want to write about this topic, either. I just thought it was a good idea, so I’m gonna do it.

P.S. – This is going to be an every Sunday kind of thing.

But before we officially begin, I just want to explain my religion real quick. For those who either don’t know or who are unsure, a “Non-Denominational Christian” is someone who practices general Christianity and the general love of God and Jesus Christ solely through the Bible (and also good priests) and without any of the semi-biased particulars (also known as rituals) of any of the denominations (which are simply branches, like Presbyterian or Catholic or Lutheran).

That was my own homemade definition, so hopefully it successfully cleared up any confusion. If not, though, well, Google it.

Another quick clarification: All that I’m about to say is made up entirely of my own personal opinions. Now, lots of people who practice my same religion probably share these, but that does not mean that we all feel this way. Sure, what I believe stems greatly from the way I was raised to see God, but it also stems partly from the other things I’ve experienced in life. So, you can group everyone in my religion together based on the opinions I am about to share with you if you’d like, but just keep in mind that I am only one person — only one voice out of the group, one voice who has entirely different experiences than everyone else alive and thus entirely different beliefs — which means that you are also allowed to refrain from said grouping.

Now let’s begin.

Making it Rain $$$$: Religion and Fortune

Okay. Fortune.

Well, even though it has always existed, I think the excess of it that we see so often these days is what makes it modern. And by excess, I’m not just talking about there being some people with an excess amount of wealth; as I just said, that’s always been the case — and always will be.

What I mean by “excess” is the specific amount of people who now have such wealth.

HOLD UP. What do you mean there’s a lot of people with wealth, Leah? You’re wrong, girl! It’s the few with the wealth, and they need to be stopped, need to be–

Shut up, and let’s count. Or at least attempt to.

I mean, I think we can all agree that it is physically impossible to count the number of “celebrities” with millions of dollars in Hollywood nowadays simply because there are just so many of them (hence why the word “celebrities” appears in quotation marks…think what you want about that). But even though impossible to count those with fame, it’s definitely way, way into the thousands. Way. At least.

But now put Hollywood aside and think of all the local celebrities who are basically just as rich. Now we’re talking about hundreds of thousands.

Now for the CEOs out there (most of who we’ve probably never even heard of) of both huge corporations and small business who are also making millions of dollars each year (again, whether they deserve it or not). Their numbers easily rival all the local, international, and global celebrities living in this country. Easily. Which means that we’re now probably in the millions.

So then we have all of our top doctors and lawyers and professional athletes and heirs and government officials who are, once again, also making more bank than most banks have themselves. Which puts us far into the millions.

And then, finally, we round it out with all of the “everyday” rich people — you know, the ones doing who-knows-what who are living in the beautiful, new, custom homes down the street who maybe don’t quite make a million dollars a year but who definitely are raking in six figures. And they definitely bring our count up to many millions. Many, many millions.

So yes, near-socialist, millions and millions and millions of people are currently making more money than they know what to do with, very unlike what you thought before.

Let me reiterate that for you: Millions and millions and millions.

Oh, but I forgot to mention that, right now, I’m only talking about my country, America.

And I’m also only talking about the people making six-figures and up. But we could definitely add to this all the people in this country making comfortable, middle-class wages (what I consider to be between $60,000 and $90,000 a year).

Which would take it to the hundreds of millions level.

Just in America.

Which means that we need to even out the playing field a little; add in all the other people in all the other countries who fit into the aforementioned categories based on the standards of their economies, and…

Now, I can’t do the exact math, for obvious reasons (I don’t got time for that), but I’m guessing that adding the rest of the world makes for a few billion, folks.

A few billion people worldwide make more money than their economy can allow them to know what to do with.

(So what was that about the few being the wealthy, again?)

And when it used to be only a handful (or a few handfuls) of people in each country making extreme amounts of money and everyone else earning wages that were way less than the rich but were also relatively similar to each other, I think you can easily see why I say that the “fortune” we see now solely belongs to the modern world.

But what do I think about it, from a religious standpoint?

I know that a lot of Christians, whether denominational or not, condemn wealth and fame and fortune and success, calling it sinful, but I don’t necessarily think it’s that. Granted, I feel like it can be sinful (as well as definitely lead to sin), but in and of itself, fortune is not sinful, and here’s why I say so:

Say you’ve worked hard your whole life and thus end up making a crap ton of money because of it. If that’s the case, then good for you! You deserve it, and I’m glad for you, proud of you, even. But that act of earning money is not a sin. It simply happened, simply was an effect of you living your life, and so it’s not wrong that you ended up that way.

I believe that fortune only becomes sinful for two reasons. The first is what you do with said money. Say you earned your money naturally — without specifically working just to get it — but then you let it get to you and thus start going around and buying everything you possibly can just because you can (a.k.a. three Lamborghinis, 18 Gucci bags, and a trillion-dollar home). Then that, to me, at least, is when your fortune becomes sinful. (It’s also sinful, though, if you spend your fortune on, well, sinful things, such as buying yourself a prostitute. But that’s a little obvious for this conversation, I think, so let’s jump back to blowing all of your money on the ridiculously expensive.)

The reason why I feel that buying everything and your mother is sinful is because of the rest of the world around us. Now, I realize that charity can only go so far and fix so many things, but when people are out there still dying of bad diarrhea caused by having to drink filthy water, it just seems incredibly selfish and idolatrous to spend all of your money on trivial things.

I don’t know. It just seems to me that if you have the means to help those who don’t, yet you choose not to, you’re committing a sin. Firstly, like I just said, it’s a bit idolatrous, toward both yourself and material things. But secondly — and most importantly — your not helping others often times only leads to said others’ premature deaths, specifically because those others in need are only in need because they’re in horrible, life-threatening situations. (Sorry, but we gotta face reality sometimes.)

So in my eyes, it’s sin all around!

Just help a brother out, gosh darn it!

The only other way I feel fortune can be sinful is if making money wasn’t simply a side effect of your hard work — a.k.a. you spent your whole life working hard only to make lots of money. So if you became rich not because you had a bigger plan in mind that coincidentally gave you wealth but rather because you love money (and didn’t want to be poor) and thus worked as hard as you could so as to have all the money possible, then your fortune is a sin. Why? Because it’s more idolatry. You worship money, which is why you worked so hard to get it. And so it’s a sin.

Look, life is all about motives. If you meant to do something, the story is always completely different than if you didn’t mean to do it. So if you meant to get money, it simply makes your fortune a little more…wrong, that’s all.


Yes, I just explained what I believe makes fortune sinful. However, know that I don’t mean that you’re never allowed to buy yourself nice things or never allowed to want to get rich; what is wrong is spending all of your money on crazy items or only wanting to get rich.

So if you want to be wealthy but also really don’t care either way if you actually achieve that, then you’re fine. Why? Because every person, deep down, wants to get wealthy. It’s just whether or not they let that wealth consume them and thus start worshiping it, working only to make money (and probably also hoarding all of their money because of it). Likewise, if you are wealthy and splurge on a nice Burberry coat or pair of Valentino bow flats every here and there in between giving/donations and grocery trips and house payments, then you’re fine once again. Why? Because everyone with sufficient means will splurge on something nice at least once in their lives (unless you’re an utter miser, of course). It’s just whether or not you let that want to splurge get the best of you and thus start worshiping it, buying tons of ridiculous things just because you can.

So the moral here is that fortune is okay. You just need to exercise moderation with it, that’s all. Acknowledge it, work with it, but at the end of the day, don’t let it affect you. Why? Because it doesn’t even really matter, anyway, that’s why.


A Letter to: James

Dear James,

There’s a million ways I could start this off, but since I want to be brief, I’ll just pick the simplest: Hi, there! I think I just heard a gunshot outside my home! Well, I guess that’s America for you!

Don’t worry, though; I’m okay, and I’m also sorry for that random interjection; I just tend to get carried away when writing, especially letters, so lots of tangents of that sort end up making their way in. But, I’m not gonna lie, I really don’t mind them; they make all this fluff and small talk seem a bit more real and intimate…which is why they never end up making their way back out! So, hopefully you like them, too, because they’re here to stay!

Okay, so enough with that. James, if you couldn’t already tell, I am writing you a letter. Sorry that it’s only on virtual paper and in virtual ink, but making a real one and physically mailing it to you just isn’t ideal, as much as I hate typed (and, uh, publicly posted) letters. They just seem so inconsiderate. But, like I said, due to both your situation and mine, this is most ideal, for you’d never see this if I hand-wrote and mailed it. At least this way, there’s a slight possibility you’ll stumble into it. Not that it matters either way; in all honesty, I’m only doing this for my own fun–and also because I care about you, but mostly just for my own selfish fun.

Aren’t I horrible??

Now where do I begin? Hmmm…I really don’t know! But I guess that’s what I get for waiting until late, late at night to do my writing. Well then, I should apologize, for this is probably going to suck and not make any sense at all because of that. So sorry. But hopefully, due to its suckiness, it will at least teach you to not procrastinate (or over-commit yourself), if nothing else.

So, I wrote the original version of this letter last August (which probably seems crazy, but since I’m a writer, it’s actually totally normal), and that was because you were someone I avidly admired and followed; not idolized, for that’s a sin, but admired, felt a connection to due to work ethic and talent. You were someone (other than God) who I looked to for inspiration and motivation. All in all, keeping up with your life in part drove me to keep up with mine.

But here’s the thing: That’s not why I was writing you the letter. That’s actually the furthest reason from why I was writing you the letter. Last year, I was writing to you simply because I, well, uh, at that time…hated you.


Okay, so I truthfully didn’t hate you; I’m actually completely incapable of hating anyone. But I was starting to dislike the way you were acting. Why? Well, I really don’t know. I think it may have had something to do with my general nerdiness. When I first stumbled upon you (way before your band ever made it big), you were kind of just like me: a huge English and reading and writing nerd who just wanted to live a happy life (or so that’s what I gathered). But as time moved on and your band slowly but surely became more and more famous, I saw something in you changing. It was very subtle at first, but after awhile, I began really noticing that you started portraying yourself as less and less of the nerd and more and more of the…cool, hot, talented jock-type? I don’t really know how to describe it, but that’s what it seemed to be. And I didn’t like it. I mean, how could I ever enjoy witnessing a fellow nerd suddenly try to show himself as someone like that? (No offense to anyone who really is like that, but, as fellow nerds know, it’s just a weird type of person to ever think about becoming.)

But I think it’s important to note that I thought it was all for show. Like, it seemed as if you thought you’d get more attention from the masses if you changed your image, and so you went ahead and did just that. And that’s what did it for me, what made me start “hating” you (which, again, really isn’t even hate at all). To me, based on the drastic changes in the content of your Twitter and Instagram (regarding both the actual feeds and the personal bios, as I’m sure you’re aware of), it seemed that you were almost saying that the old you wasn’t good enough — that people like me aren’t good enough — and that you’d rather be a completely different person in order to have fame.

I’m sure you can see why this would make me dislike you. Plain and simple, watching this shift in behavior made me believe you were fake, were doing what you were for all the wrong reasons, and, talent aside, that made you, in my mind, someone unworthy of my time (for lack of better, less pretentious-sounding words).

And so I (as funny as it may sound) really cut you out of my life. At that point, your band’s album had been released, you stopped uploading covers of songs (which are still my most favorite things ever, and I highly recommend you taking them up again), everything you posted on Twitter was either a comment for another fan or an update on the band’s success, everything you posted on Instagram was really only of your food or your face or your body (none of which really interest me, no offense), and so I just really had no personal connection left to you. And with me believing you were becoming a not so great lad, well, I just figured it would be best if I let you go. So I did, for months and months.

But, like with anyone who was once near and dear but has been let go due to various unforeseen circumstances, I still thought about you here and there and occasionally checked in on you to see how you were doing, for as much as I disliked you at the time, I still wondered whether or not you were okay. Like a concerned mother or sister, even though I didn’t like the way you were behaving, I still felt the need to stay and touch, to make sure you weren’t crossing the line too much. (As if I could do anything about it!)

So I guess this would be a good time for me to fully explain my “hating” thing; as I said before, like a concerned mother or sister, I always only dislike a behavior of a person, never the actual person himself, which is why I can never ever truly hate anybody. Even if I tell myself I hate someone, I really don’t; really, I’m just ticked off at something they’ve done.

Hopefully that all makes sense.

So now that that’s clarified, hopefully you’ll understand why (or at least think it less weird) that after a few months of wanting nothing to do with you (except for the occasional health check-in), I suddenly wanted to figure out why you even tried to change at all. I wanted to understand you better so that I could maybe begin liking you again, all of you, behaviors included. Why? Well, because I don’t like grudges/the general act of not liking someone, that’s why.

And so that’s what my letter way back in August was about: me figuring you out by “talking to you” — which was really only me talking to myself, I know, but it’s a heck of a lot better than sitting there doing nothing due to you not being there in the flesh to discuss your life/challenge my beliefs with, right? 


But how did it all go?

Well, I will be the first to admit that I will never figure you out, first of all  because I don’t know you, which means that anything I can ever know about you will never really make me know you, and second of all because, even if I did ever get to legitimately know you, no one can ever truly know one another, thanks be to deep, dark secrets and a lack of mind-reading capabilities . (And, as my old philosophy professor said in a lecture once, with much conviction, “believing that you can do so is a disease!” And, yes, he was referring to the aforementioned idea of fully getting to know people. I know, I know: What a jolly man was he!)

And so I can never make any accurate statements regarding who you are because I will never truly know you; only you will ever know the truth about yourself.

But still, I wrote that letter to you in August. Still, I “held a conversation” with you in my head, and from it, I still somehow ended up figuring something about you out. (Or so I think. Again, only you will ever know if I’m really right or not.)

Am I crazy for doing this? Well, I say no; I mean, this is what happens with all writing ever, isn’t it? The author simply talks to himself. And when there are hundreds — even thousands — of wonderful, thoughtful, life-changing works out there that have come from this, well, I just can’t help but still say no, you shouldn’t dismiss me as crazy yet.


Anyway, because of the…interesting method I used to learn about you and also because I’m a very busy bee — as well as because I’m incredibly shy and really honestly find no point in doing this whatsoever — I’ve been keeping this all to myself for about 10 months now. However, for some reason only our great God knows (because I sure as heck don’t!), I’ve finally decided to share it with you, as weird as that may seem. And so, without further ado (for this is already incredibly long-winded, as per my usual), here is what that epiphany-of-sorts was:

You had changed, but you really hadn’t changed at all.

Talk about deep profound, and something out of a melodrama, right?


No, it was really quite obvious. The signs were all there the whole time; I was just too stupid, too blinded by biases that lead to dislike, to see it all for what it really was, to see you for who you really are. (Which absolutely kills the journalist in me, might I add.)

All that time while I was taking you to be some sort of fake, fame-worshiping narcissist, you were really none of that at all. You were just a man going through a personal transformation, a humble dude from a tea-loving island experiencing an in-to-out metamorphosis of sorts. But not a bad one.

All in all, you had simply embarked on the journey of discovering who you really are, which is perfectly alright, is something that should be celebrated, even. But there I was internally dissing you the entire time. The good thing is, though, that when I found this out, I very suddenly started hating myself rather than you; how could I be so dumb, so cruel, as to take an innocent journey of the self and turn it, in my mind, into a once good man adopting an abhorrent way of life?

You weren’t narcissistic or careless or fame-obsessed or any of the negative stamps I had put on you. No, you were simply being the good guy that you always have been (and [hopefully] always will be) and only trying to adjust to the drastically new lifestyle you were living in the kindest, most proper way possible. You were doing nothing more than keeping friends, family, and fans up to date on yourself, keeping the people who worry and care about you most assuaged and in the loop. Those little comments to fans and many selfies that I found so silly before were suddenly incredibly understandable, commendable, even; you were just trying to tell people not to worry because you’re a good kid doing good things, and the fact that I completely overlooked that made me hate myself — makes me hate myself. It’s just horrible of me!

It’s embarrassing misunderstanding anything, but misunderstanding a good person and thus regarding him as bad? That’s a whole new level, and I’m ashamed to have reached it. As (normally) a very good person and very good judge of character, I never thought I was capable of doing something like this. But we all surprise ourselves by doing the seemingly impossible every once in awhile, right? Because nothing is ever impossible; things are merely improbable.

Unfortunately, though, the seemingly impossible (a.k.a. improbable) isn’t always a good thing.

And so I want to apologize for my misunderstanding. As stupid and pointless and laughable and meaningless as this all is, I just can’t live with myself if I never make it known that I have greatly wronged such an amazing person by mistaking him as quite the opposite. So I am sorry. With all of my heart, I am sorry, and I truly hope that you forgive me.

You know, as I’m writing this, I’m still wondering what the point of it all even is. Why am I sharing this with you, with the world? You see, like with most things in my life, I just really don’t know; I simply do stuff and see what happens, never really ever knowing anything about any of it at all, just blindly hoping that the pieces may all fall into place one day and not cause something horrible to happen because of it. And I’m definitely still feeling that this letter is just another case — although, I’ve never had hopes for anything to come of it and was never planning to share it in the first place. It’s just that earlier on today, I got a strange, sudden urge to do so, and so I did. But I still have no idea why. Like I said, this is all really quite dumb.

Well, whatever the reason behind all this is, I guess I should at least share what this incident has taught me, for I can’t just leave the letter off with an “I hate myself and am sorry and am so confused.” That’s not fulfilling enough, at least not for me. So, through this all, I’ve learned a very important lesson, and that is one of open-mindedness. Sure, it’s not like I’ve ever been some closed-minded jerk whom everyone else hates, but, clearly, as this experience shows, I still have some opening of the mind to do. If I can be so easily blinded, so easily fooled into believing that a good man is actually bad, then something is off with the acceptance levels of my brain. And so they need to be adjusted accordingly.

Which means that the lesson I took from you was this: that good and bad is all up to perspective; a good man in one’s eyes can be bad in another’s, and who’s to say that any of them are even that bad (or good) at all? Like I said, it’s all due to perspective, all up to personal biases that have somehow shaped our minds into seeing certain behaviors and actions in certain good or bad ways. And so, James McVey, you have taught me to stop it with perspectives, to end judgments that my personal biases naturally lead me to believe, and to begin the perpetual act of really getting to know. Even though doing such is apparently a “disease,” well, it really doesn’t seem like that bad of a disease to have to me. And I must say that I’d certainly rather be ill in that way than in the way I was before. Yes, I think I’d rather die a thousand time over from the pain of trying to get to know everyone in the world than even once from the pain of knowing that I may have thought of someone wrong, and I have only you to thank for that.

So, once again, I’m sorry, James McVey, but I also thank you for this invaluable lesson that you so indirectly taught me. Hopefully one day I can be honored enough to actually both apologize to and thank you in person, but until then, just know that I’m keeping you — keeping this — forever in my mind so that I may never screw up so badly again. You’ve made me a better person, James, and you will continue to do so in the future. And I just wanted you to know that.

So maybe this had a point after all? Well, even if it still doesn’t, it at least feels good to get this off my chest. Not that it was really weighing me down that much, anyway, but still. It just feels nice.

Okay, so enough of the ramblings of mine. James, thank you one final time, and I again hope to one day cross your path. You’re a wonderful person; don’t let it change. (Or do. Who am I to judge?)

With love always,

Coming Out of the Blogging Closet

Well, this happened a lot sooner than I thought it would!

Hi Mom. Hi Bekah. Hi Dad. You may or may not be reading this right now, but either way, you still know that I’m writing it, and so I figured I’d say hi. You know, welcome you to my online family and such.

That’s right; after almost ten months of blogging, I’ve finally come out of the blogging closet.

Yup, my direct family now knows that I have a blog. They now have the URL and can read anything I write at any time they wish. Just like the rest of the world, they now can freely read me and then promptly choose to either love me or judge me.

(I really hope it’s the former!)

So you probably don’t understand why admitting that I have a blog is such a big deal for me, and, honestly, I don’t know why it is either. It just is. Having people I know really, really well know what goes through my head on a semi-daily basis just isn’t normal for introverted old me, but, again, I honestly don’t know why. It probably has a lot to do with said introversion, but still it could be something else, as well. So let’s just settle on “It makes me uncomfortable” (even though it shouldn’t), and agree that that justifies this being a big deal.

I will admit that I am pretty proud of myself right now, though, for finally working up the nerve to stop hiding my hobby and passion from those I love most (and from those who love me most). I know you may have been a bit offended the other night when I told you that I have a very active blog, family of mine, just because I waited so long to let you in, but I want to let you know right now that you both shouldn’t have been and shouldn’t be. Please know that I didn’t want to hurt you with a secret; I just wasn’t ready to open my mouth, wasn’t comfortable with doing so, and so I waited until now, until I was, to let you in.

I want to make you all proud, and even though I know you’ve always been proud of me no matter what I’ve done, I still had reservations regarding telling you because I a) didn’t want to be a copy cat and b) didn’t want this to be a failed (or stupid) endeavor and thus feel like I let someone down (because if you didn’t know about it and I failed, then who could be disappointed?). So I waited until I saw that I wasn’t awful before I said anything so as to not let you (and thus myself) down. As odd as that may seem, that’s probably the second most important thing in my life: not letting you guys down. So I tried my hardest not to.

I’m sorry if that seems wrong and very selfish of me, and I’m sorry if you still don’t quite fully understand it. Just know that you not understanding is entirely my fault, for I still don’t know exactly how to explain why I don’t tell people everything about me. I just don’t like to do so — don’t feel the need to do so — and so I don’t. So please don’t be offended or anything by it, because it really is nothing against you. It’s all me, me and my stupid fear of bothering other people, which means that it has nothing to do with you. So you should never be offended by it. Really.

Please just know that if something is ever truly bugging me, I will let you know about it. Until it gets to that point, however, I don’t mind holding it in. Actually, I kind of prefer it; big fusses annoy me.

But I must say that it is really nice not having to hide this any longer. It feels good having it all in the open, and with my next endeavors in life, well, I don’t think I’ll hide them either.

And also, now that you all know about this, I can actually start pushing it out into the world and seeing if anything could ever come from it! Huzzah!

But, also now that you know about this, please don’t go asking me concerned questions after you’ve read a post. I’m alright. Really. I just enjoy thinking deeply and picking apart life, enjoy trying to see if I can figure something new out.

I love you, my dear family, and I thank you all for understanding. ❤

Now wish me luck, for it’s time to let everyone else I know in!

A Forkful of Gratitude

Yesterday, when I was emptying my dishwasher, I noticed that my stainless steel silverware was beginning to rust. More specifically, one particular fork I had pulled out was starting to form huge rust spots everywhere.

Now, I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so this upset me slightly; I mean, the silverware was purchased specifically for the fact that it was not supposed to rust (like, ever), very unlike the set we had before it which, after x-amount of years, ended up rusting thoroughly.

But with this set, I was looking forward to years and years and years and years and years and years and years of guaranteed beautiful, sparkling silverware, silverware that would put even Downton Abbey, where they polish their silverware on the daily, to shame. So, as I just said a few moments ago, I of course started getting a little upset at what I saw before my eyes; it was ruining my dinnerware dreams!

Now, when I say “upset,” I wasn’t necessarily sad about the rust. What I was was ticked off; plain and simple, there just shouldn’t have been anything on my rust-free silverware that was barely a year old. Clearly, something was wrong there!

I don’t know, I just felt a bit betrayed by it all. Like I said: Broken dinnerware dreams.

But then a little thought suddenly popped into my head. I’m not sure exactly how it came about, but for some reason deep within my subconscious, I began thinking that it was horrible of me to care so much about something so silly as a rusting fork. After all, it’s not like rust is some horrific problem that causes health issues or makes the ware entirely unusable (whether due to complete heinousness or crumbling to bits as you take a bite from it). Even though a bit less shining, it was nonetheless a completely okay fork. But there I was still complaining and getting angry about it.

In other words, I am that privileged where I can be picky about and thus get upset over the way a few pieces of my silverware collection look.

What kind of awful person am I?!?

When there are billions of other people in this world who don’t even have things as simple as clean water and indoor plumbing, who am I to be complaining about rusting forks? I’m lucky that I can even own a fork, that I can even get my fork to rust due to actually having the means to safely wash it! Compared to what I could be dealing with, I have absolutely no right, no reason at all, to be complaining over something as silly and stupid as a little, rusting fork!

So, needless to say, it was a humbling experience emptying the dishwasher yesterday, and from here on out, I don’t think I’ll ever complain about anything so trivial ever again. No, I have it all in perspective now, so (hopefully) I’ll never be so horrid as to take what I have for granted like that again.

Gosh, who’d ever imagine that a simple fork could give such a powerful lesson?

I Didn’t Stop the Wedding

Right now, I am eating a ginormous, delicious piece of cake–chocolate and vanilla layers with fluffy vanilla buttercream in between and gooey chocolate fudge on top–and I’m doing so because I didn’t get any at the wedding.

Now, don’t think that it wasn’t my own doing that caused this lack of dessert, for it was; I didn’t get any cake because I deliberately chose to not stay for the reception. Yes, right after the ceremony, I, as well as the rest of my family who was in attendance, booked it out of there as fast as we could. We didn’t care about any cake–or food or drinks or partying or family or friends or pictures or whatever else there is to be had at a wedding reception–and we especially didn’t care about the bride or groom. The only thing that mattered to us was getting there and then promptly getting the heck back out. Screw everything else! We were to do our duty then go.

Now, this probably seems very rude, and I agree that it is. But I do not regret it one bit, for, as the saying goes, you should treat others how you wish to be treated; we were only very rude and inconsiderate because the bride and groom were to us…and to the rest of my family who, because of it, ended up not attending the wedding at all (perks of being relatives of a relative, I guess). At the end of the day, it was only fair to not give the bride and groom our time on their special day because they hadn’t given anyone their time all week.

So here’s the full context of this wedding, since I’m sure you’re a little confused right now.

My cousin, who we will call Bob (for privacy), is a very immature 20-year-old from a small country town about an hour away from the city in which I live. He’s been incredibly immature and a bit off-the-wall for all his life, but he’s always been my only cousin (until the past 10 months), and so I’ve loved him nonetheless.

Well, a little over two years ago (so when he just turned 18), he met a girl. Let’s call this girl Mary, again for privacy. Now, I don’t know their exact story (except what the priest told us at their wedding: that he messaged her on Facebook with a ‘hey,’ and then they hit it off from there *rolls eyes as far back into her head as they can go due to the childishness, hoping that said rolling will somehow damage her brain, end her life, and thus put her out of her current misery*), but what I do know is that he brought her on vacation with my family two years ago, where we met her for the first time and genuinely liked her (except for her tobacco chewing habit…blech). During that week, we were told that she was only his best friend, nothing more, nothing less.

Okay, fine. Nothing wrong with that, right? Two best friends who very obviously have a little crush on each other? Totally innocent! What could ever go wrong?

Babies. That’s what could go wrong.

Yes, what seemed to be only two months later, we found out that the two were actually a couple and that Bob had gotten Mary pregnant. At ages 18 and 19 and with the maturity levels of the average 10-year-old, Bob and Mary were going to be parents.


(That should be read with a very deflated, sarcastic tone of voice.)

So fast-forward nine months, and they have a baby. Then fast forward about six more months, and Bob and Mary, even though only 19-going-on-20 and just-turned-21, decide to get married. Fast forward two more months, and they decide to go on vacation with my family again…and get married while there.

Okay, cool. That’s totally fine. My mom’s sister got married a few years ago when we were all on vacation, and it was a great experience. So what could go wrong with this?

Bridezillas. That’s what could go wrong.

So, Mary was a jerk all week. And by jerk, I mean a female dog. Bi-atch. I mean, the first day of the trip, she didn’t even look at anyone else! She was too preoccupied with ‘going to Kmart to get her nails done’ *rolls eyes while clenching teeth* to worry about anyone else, even her soon-to-be mother-in-law (my dad’s sister) who was stuck in the backseat of their car for 9 hours with about 20 bags piled on top of her…even though she can barely even walk because her rheumatoid arthritis is that bad.

The thought that went through my head when first seeing that: Okay, white trash, you can leave now.

But at the time, we thought it was just wedding stress or such making Mary, who we used to really like and think was a genuinely kind girl and good mother despite her youth and immaturity, into such a witch. However, when my aunt sat down and starting talking with my mother the next day, we were proven very wrong. Very, very wrong.

So it turns out that Mary is some sort of…gold digger? (Yes, Kanye, I’m looking at you for the official definition.)

Basically, as soon as she was tied to my cousin Bob by a baby, she starting showing to my aunt her true colors, and they were not pretty!

Mary takes all of their money and spends it on herself, every single dime she gets (and she only just got a part-time job at Victoria’s Secret…*rolls eyes in anger again*). She leaves her child with my aunt, who can barely move, for hours on end, saying she’s only getting a shower but then leaving the house entirely without even saying a word about it. She tricked my aunt into cosigning on their new car, so the loan is in my aunt’s and cousin’s names…and not hers…which means she’s not responsible for paying anything…yet she doesn’t let anyone else drive the car…. She takes my aunt’s parking spot in front of their home, and if my aunt is parked there, she makes my cousin get up and physically move my aunt’s car so that she can be close to the house and not my aunt (because she’s a lazy piece of trash and horrible human being who doesn’t care about anyone but herself, even when the person she’s being inconsiderate towards can barely even walk because her joints are literally eating themselves!!!!).

I’m sorry, let me take a moment to calm down. Deep breaths now, Leah. Deep breaths…

Okay, let’s try this again:

She refuses to leave the second floor of the house to talk to my aunt, and if my cousin tries to talk to her, Mary forces him back upstairs. Mary also refuses to do any chores, leaving a two story home for my aunt to try to hobble around and clean–and, again, if my cousin tries to help, the she-devil forces him back upstairs.

…Yet my aunt is gracious enough to let them live there rent-free (even though she’s not very well-off money-wise) because they are just two idiot kids with poorly paying jobs and a new baby…

And again I say TRASH.

Oh, and if their pets start showing affection for my aunt, Mary takes them upstairs and won’t let them back down to see her for months. MONTHS. Because she’s a jealous witch who doesn’t care that the only things my aunt has left in life are those pets and her son and her granddaughter. Speaking of which, Mary does the same exact thing, as well, when her child starts showing a preference to my aunt–except that she only keeps her upstairs until she needs her to be babysat again, of course.


And the sad thing is that that isn’t even the half of it. Telling it all would take too long, so I’m leaving the majority of it out.


Well, my mother found this out on the second day of our vacation, and she relayed it to everyone on the third. Needless to say, the horrible behavior that Mary and Bob were showing suddenly all made sense; they weren’t good kids who were stressed out. They were always that horrible and were always taking advantage of everyone around them, ignoring others unless they needed a favor. They were just trashy, horrible human beings, and right then and there, my family decided that that was it; they were never to be allowed back. From then on, from my dad’s side of the family (which is only his sister, my cousin, and his new wife *gag*), only my aunt would be allowed back on vacations. (And also in my family’s house, as my dad, who wasn’t able to go on this trip due to work, decided when my mother, sister, and I returned home and told him everything we had learned.)

So this brings us to the wedding. All week, my whole family, who loved Bob and Mary going into this vacation, had to just sit back in horror and cringe and rage and fume as they watched the two idiots treat their mother horribly and then treat the rest of us just as bad, for as much as we wanted to speak up, we really couldn’t; that’s my aunt’s job. So all week, the only thing we could do was pray for their behavior to lessen up, for them to grow up, for it all to not be so bad. And it was absolute torture doing so, which caused everyone not directly related to Bob and Mary (so everyone but my aunt, my mom, my sister, and me) to, by the end of the week, refuse to go to the wedding.

Except for another of my aunts, of course (my mother’s brother’s wife), for she’s a photographer and was who they chose to take their pictures.

Notice how I said “chose” instead of “hired.”

Like I said, trash.

Well, all week, this, their behavior and not being able to do anything about it, broke my heart. I had to just sit back and watch these two wreak havoc, sit back and watch the little she-devil Mary further destroy my cousin Bob. Because he may have always been immature and kind of weird, but he was never a jerk. He was always kind and helpful and obedient, especially to his mother. But ever since they started dating, he completely changed. She changed him, and by marrying her, he was forever doomed. And it broke my heart.

For a good many days, I sincerely considered having a talk with him and trying to get him to stop the wedding. I was going to tell him exactly how I felt about it all and see if I could get him to take it to heart. We were never really that close growing up, so I figured that if I, of all people, said something to him, it would strike him and maybe mean something. Maybe coming out of the blue to tell him what was up could save him still.

But the longer and longer I thought on it, the less and less I felt I should. There are many reasons why I felt that way; I didn’t want to cause any more drama than there already was, I didn’t want to make him hate me and my family (because, apparently, as my aunt told us that week, we’re the only relatives he actually likes), I didn’t want to overstep my boundaries with me not being so close to him and all, etc, etc. And so, at the end of the week, I didn’t speak to him. I didn’t try to stop the wedding.

Nope, instead I just kept sitting back and watched in pain and agony as idiot Bob married idiot Mary in the bright sunshine on a warm, breezy beach, and as I did, I told myself that I shouldn’t be upset. Rather, I should be happy, for this is exactly what they wanted. And so they are happy, at least for now, which brings me much happiness, too, as it should; this kind of relationship can only end badly, and even though I know that way before they ever will, I also know that it, their inevitable bad ending, will end up teaching them both a much needed lesson. Yes, everything will work out just the way it is supposed to, most likely with a divorce, and they will both end up better because of it. Hopefully. And even if they don’t, well, I can’t say that I wouldn’t still be glad; with the way they currently treat others, it would most definitely be some much deserved karma that would certainly put a bright smile right across my face, as mean as that is. So if they’re happy, fine. I’m happy, too, and I know that everyone else around them is, as well.

But I can tell you right now that I’m the only one who’s happy because they are; everyone else is only happy because the two are finally out of their hair.

So, yeah, I didn’t stop the wedding, and I’m glad for it. As Proverbs 13:3 says, “He that keepeth his mouth keepeth his life: but he that openeth wide his lips shall have destruction.” I kept my mouth shut, but they didn’t. So we shall see how this plays out.

Although, hopefully that “openeth wide his lips” only applies to physically spoken speech, for I am writing this right now. And I am still eating that cake…

The rain falls

The rain falls
and the city sleeps,
but as I lay,
I am wide awake.
I am beyond distressed,
always been such a mess,
always been stuck on such childish dreams.
So I guess I’ve just never really had the time to sleep.
Foolish me,
playing make believe,
with my head resting still
on the cool window sill.
Life’s not what it seems,
and life’s not what you dream.
Life is just dirt and seeds–
except in the middle of a drought;
it’s so hopeful at first,
but then comes the worst
to only fill you with doubt.
And that doubt stays.
In your mind, it replays,
over and over,
the turmoil, it brings you closer,
closer to the edge,
closer to being dead,
maybe not in real life
but definitely on the inside.
You’re definitely nearer to something that isn’t alive.
But then there’s a surprise;
you’ve been in a daze,
your eyes have been glazed
and your mind in a haze,
and you’ve been walking around each day
with your head in the gray clouds,
never looking around
but constantly looking down,
and so it smacks you in the face,
with no sympathy,
with no grace.
It takes you a moment to know,
but then a seed of thought starts to grow
because the drought has finally gone away,
and you’re reminded that the city is, in fact, covered in rain.
I’m reminded that the city is, in fact, covered in rain…
And the whole time it was all just in my brain.

Brought back to my reality,
I also remember that cardboard fortune cookie,
and in my head, I count the five years that it took me,
the five years that it predicted,
and I stop my thoughts and thank God for it.
And I rejoice,
and I replay,
and I retreat
to my bed where I know I can finally sleep,
for I’m finally relieved
of the stress that, for so long, accompanied my dreams.
But still I do not rest.
No, still, I just lay
between the sheets completely wide awake,
except, this time, not depressed.
This time, I’m too excited to sleep,
for why would I ever have such a need
and why would I ever want such a thing
if reality suddenly is my dream?

Long time no see, eh? Well, there was more traveling in my recent past, so that’s why I haven’t been active on here as of late. (Darn hotel wifi!) Hopefully, though, you’ll be seeing all of my recent adventures on here soon. But for now, you’ll have to try to enjoy this little poem of mine that I just re-found instead. I don’t know when I wrote it or why, but I like it, and I truly hope that you do, too!