Am I being too cynical?

by azaria 5 Replies latest jw friends

  • azaria

    I absentmindedly placed this in beliefs, doctrines & practices (that's the reason for the duplicate posts)

    My parents are being much friendlier in the last couple of weeks. I was always the one that called and visited them. In the seven months that my daughter and I have been in this apartment (I left my husband) they only came once. I think they were in the city anyway because they came unannounced. She called on my birthday April 2 (she told me a couple of weeks earlier that I was actually born April 1) and even my father talked to me. Then yesterday she said that they wanted to take me out for dinner. Something tells me that this isn’t really coming from them. Is the congregation being told to be specially nice to family members that aren’t witnesses? Have to go to work now. Will get back tonight. By the way the weather is pretty bad. Southern Ontario was hit with freezing rain last night and all the schools etc are closed. Everyone have a great day!

  • xjw_b12

    azaria. I would look at this as a good sign. They called on your birthday, and they want to go out to dinner.

    Is the congregation being told to be specially nice to family members that aren’t witnesses?

    uhhhhhh. NO ! This kind of flies in the face of everthing they ARE told to do. Take them up on the offer.

    But Be Aware.......they could very well be trying to convert you in this time of the end !!!.. Have they made any such contact with your brothers ?

    Kinda curious though, why they tell you know you were born on April 1, not the 2nd ?????

    and BTW Happy Belated Birthday

  • funkyderek
    She called on my birthday April 2 (she told me a couple of weeks earlier that I was actually born April 1)

    That's a hell of an April Fool's joke!

    I agree with xjw. Take them up on it, but be careful. There may be a sting in the tail.

  • Prisca

    Maybe they are having a change of heart, and are starting to regret not spending more time with you?

    Take them up on the offer to go to dinner with them, and see if there's any hidden agenda behind their sudden friendliness. If not, enjoy their company.

    On a positive note, it's great that they are in contact with you. How many here on this board are shunned completely by their families, not even a phone call, let alone an invitation to dinner?

  • Gamaliel


    If I recall, your situation is a bit similar to mine. Your parents are near 80 or so, you have 2 brothers and 2 children. My parents are just turning 70 and I have 3 children. You were never a JW but you didn't see it as the truth when you looked into it. They won't want to purposely hurt your feelings the way they would if you had once accepted it but now reject it. In either case, they also wouldn't want you to think that JWs can't act normally. You already know that they aren't normal, but they don't know just how non-normal they are.

    My parents realized they were never going to convince me to come back, but they still don't want to appear too cult-like, especially to the grandkids, and, in fact, some exJWs who want to continue to have a fairly normal relationship can play a game on JW parents if they wish to continue a relationship. One of the attractions of the JW religion to JWs is that it appeals to a pride, a sense of importance among the more educated world around them. Therefore, their own ego can be played to get in the way of Watchtower rules. (Some JWs play on this very forum for the same reasons.) If they get a feeling that you actually feel sorry for them and are conveying a very sincere message to others about them personally that they act brainwashed and can't think for themselves, then they will act on that to defend themselves. I believe it worked on my parents and I've tried to make the most of my opportunities with them to turn them into normal grandparents, to the extent that my children have even received "winter-time" gifts from them. My kids could care less about their JW religion, and therefore the situation works out nicely. My kids don't have to go around feeling they have no grandparents, when other kids talk about their own grandparents.

    Another thing about parents, of course, is that it's hard to erase natural affection completely. Your parents have been JWs for 30 years or so, which means they probably never expected to die in this system, before Armageddon. When they begin to realize they might, many of them will start to want to see their kids again. I know of a couple situations where older 2nd and 3rd generation JWs have started collecting family pictures and looking at family genealogies and histories they never cared about before. Even though they are still JWs it shows that a recognition of mortality is getting stronger. This recognition can make them want to be closer to their own children and grandchildren.

    Whatever it is, make the best of it. Time passes much too quickly.


  • azaria

    I really appreciate your comments. I will take my parents offer to take me to dinner. (I will admit that I will pray for strength though, I never know what comment they are going to make)


    I realize that I should count my blessings. I can’t imagine if a family member shunned me. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if my parents did, but if any of my brothers did, I couldn’t bear it.


    Do JW’s really believe again that the end is coming? Not sure why my mother told me after 54 years. I have to admit it kind of bothered me on the 1 st and 2 nd . But there is real tragedy in peoples lives, this is such silly stuff really.


    I guess they didn’t want an April Fool's Joke (the joke is that in the Netherlands for the first 8 years I was called Joke (pronounced yoku) Gotta laugh about it).


    You have a good memory (I have three brothers though) Did the older witnesses really believe that they probably wouldn’t die? My dad who’s 82 is planning to expand their house. He’s already converted it from a small cottage to a two bedroom house, now he wants two bedrooms upstairs with a bathroom. I really don’t understand this. They have everything they need to live comfortably. In his case I would consider volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. As for my mother she has over 120 blouses (she enjoys sewing -an understatement) Why doesn’t she donate to other women less fortunate in the cong? I have mentioned that I only have a few outfits for church but she has never offered.

    I will tell you how the dinner went. Thanks again.

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