Monday, April 30, 2007

A Neighborly Joint

Yesterday my neighbor invited me to smoke some marijuana with him and another neighbor. That's the first time that's happened in a few years, so I was a little rusty as I politely declined. Back in college I was better at saying no without making the situation awkward.

I've never smoked marijuana, but I've been around it plenty -- dorms, hockey games, construction jobs, and armchair intellectuals. It's never been a temptation for me, because I value my sobriety at a basic aesthetic (vs. moral) level. That surreal feeling of spacelessness is the worst part of any fever for me, when I get sick.

So when B___ asked if I'd like to join him and F___ for a neighborly joint I scrambled for excuses, stuttering my way to a simple "No Thanks".

When I moved to this neighborhood a year ago, I really wanted to sink roots; to get to know folks. So I consider the offer of a joint a measure of success. Because after college, you don't just offer a smoke to anyone. Really, it was an offer of hospitality.

My question to myself this morning was: what would be the best way to move forward in friendship with my neighbors from this point? I suppose by reciprocating: by extending hospitality of my own. Maybe I'll start grilling in the front, as opposed to the back, and offer some less toxic gifts. Wisconsin has a drugs problem: many people in the state need alcohol to have a social life.

One of my goals with Blessed Are the Uncool has been to start a conversation about how Christians can live more naturally with their families and neighbors. I'd love to hear about other people's stories.


At 1:51 PM, April 30, 2007, Anonymous Karen said...

I think the best thing to do is to just keep moving on. You don't need to do anything special; just keep being you. That's what made him offer in the first place. You can still grill in the back and ask if B and F would like to have a burger. With you and B ;)

At 12:07 PM, May 04, 2007, Anonymous becca g said...

Right on, Karen. However, maybe not burgers. You know that the type we typically serve up are of the veggie variety... not so popular!

At 1:38 AM, January 07, 2008, Blogger ewinwe said...

hmm, just found your blog, so i know this is dated ... but ...

... if this is a normal "fit in to the neighbourhood by whatever means" method, then i'd say stick to your moral guns - no point in breaking the law (marijuana being an illegal substance). but if this is an oblique reference to alcohol ... ahem ... then have a glass when your neighbour offers it - it is NOT an illegal substance (unless you or the one doing the offering are actually under 21?) and is certainly not against any teachings in the gospel. (ah, and if your response is that maryjane is not mentioned at all in the bible and so must be okay, then i'd have to refer you back to 1 Peter 2:16-18)


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