Atheist Life Hacks: How To Lunch With Old Mormons
For this life hack, you will need:
A Mormon boss.
40 other Mormons lunching.
A complete lack of belief in god.
A smartphone with good volume.
Atheist friends to text.
A well-timed prayer.
I used to work for a Mormon. Take a moment, let that sink in because it gets worse. I was one of his directors, whom he liked to try and make his bitches, so I worked with him closely.
For far too long.
One day, my Moroni-worshipping boss asked me to accompany him to a lunch event. He explained that it was for business networking purposes and we were to invite some of his connections to an event we were very busy planning. You may have guessed already, this is my favourite fucking thing in the world. Lunch dates with stuffy old Mormon men and their business connections. Fuck yes. Fuck. Yes.
I tried to remain professional and contain my excitement while I told my boss I’d be happy to join him, and off we went, giddy as all hell.
The event included about ten tables, with four people sat at each. Looking around, I started to recognize faces. Faces I’d become familiar with as members of his church. My heart started to race as I wondered if this was it, if they’d finally decided to take me as their blood sacrifice to Joseph Smith.
In the wise words of one frosted, milky rapper:
palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
But there was no mom's spaghetti. I couldn’t help but wonder if something was up. My boss knew I was an atheist. I told him in my interview for the job the first time I met him. Why was I the only atheist in a room of old Mormon men? Was he going to try and sell me off as one of these old farts’ sister wives? Was I being promoted to director of pothole repairs in Bountiful, BC?
When we sat at our table, an older man and what appeared to be his wife sat with us. This made me pretty sure I was about to be abducted, kept in a cellar, and brainwashed until I emerged from the dungeon, ready to accept Wednesday nights as mine to dry hump our shared husband through magic underwear. I started to wonder if it would be comfortable to wear every day and how hot it gets in Bountiful. Can you even get beer in Bountiful? Can you hide it in magic underwear, so the other Mo's don’t know I have it and burn me at the stake? I didn’t think I would make it through the first day there. Worse, maybe he’d send me to Utah. I shuddered.
But alas, it was all just regular, expected Godless Mom paranoia. I knew this because suddenly, my 70-year-old boss introduced me as a 7th-day Adventist. He’d mixed up my atheism with another director’s Seventh-Day Adventism and thought he was bringing someone who, at the very least, was saved by Christ.
I corrected him right there at the table.
“No, that’s Jane Doe. I’m an atheist.” (Names have been changed to protect the innocent.)
A swirling vortex of silence encapsulated my body right then as I felt 40 pairs of blue eyes try to kill me with thoughts.
Silence. Absolute. Perfect. Silence.
It just seemed to go on forever. You know, in those slapstick comedy movies, where they use a dramatic pause, but they make it go on so long it becomes funny? Yeah, it went on so long it started to feel like comic schtick. I wanted to punch my boss lightly in the arm and say, “Kidding! Atheist? Me? LULZ,” just because the moment felt like it was begging for a fucking punchline.
But I didn’t. I started to snicker a little instead. Anyone who knows anything the fuck at all about me knows that I cannot contain laughter. I laugh at everything. Good jokes, bad jokes, your jokes, her jokes, bodily functions, swearing, uncomfortable shit, and most fucking importantly, religious stuff. I laugh at it, and I do not do it to be disrespectful. I simply cannot help myself.
So, I started to snicker. Inside, my brain is yelling, 'Shut up! You idiot! Praise Jesus or something. Anything! Not this! Anything but this!' and on the outside, I was snickering like a smug, careless asshole.
I was so busy worrying about my own behaviour, though, that I missed my boss saying something.
“Pardon me?” I needed him to repeat himself.
“We’ll make a believer out of you, yet!”
I mean, you expect this shit from Mormons, being as they’re like the fucking Borg, just roaming space trying to usurp souls for the planet Kolob. But it still pissed me off.
I sat down steaming. I can’t fucking stand it when people think they’re doing you a favour by trying to get you to believe their twisted bullshit.
It came time for lunch, and, as expected, before eating, the Mormonshad to pray. I made a point of pulling out my phone with the sound on and texting every atheist I knew about what I was being forced to endure for the sake of my job.
Click, click, click, click. Typing angrily on full volume as some silver-haired asshole thanked a goddamned (#NoHoly) ghost for the egg salad sandwich on his plate.
I started to mutter under my breath. My boss began to look at me and scrunch up his face as if to say, “not here, not now.” He was probably right, but fuck him.
But then he said something without thinking, so loud that everyone else heard:
“You don’t need to believe in Jesus. Just put the phone down.”
And with that, all eyes turned to him as he panicked, most likely terrified he would be excommunicated from the magic undies club.
For the record, I got a raise after that. Small. But still.
And that, my fellow heathens, is how you handle lunch with 40 morons. I mean Mormons.
How do you handle it when you find yourself amongst people praying? Have you ever had to work for a super religious person? How did you find it?