Searching through the archives, I've learned that the Robot Hugs web comic has a bit of a cult following here, for good reason. This morning's comic showed up on my Facebook feed (apparently, my feed is filled with awesome links) and I could so totally relate and so I'm sharing. This panel really resonated with me: (post the one that speaks to you in the comments)
To make clear, I'm often perfectly happy to explain about my religion and why I do crazy thing X, but I sometimes feel like I'm being treated as something on a checklist-like the person asking doesn't really care about what I'm doing or why, but the right thing to do is ask 'cause it fits in with the whole "educated tolerant liberal" mental model". Dear people-don't ask if you don't really wanna know the answer.
On the flip side are the Orthodox people who prop me up as some sorta shiny brave whatever 'cause I chose to be ortho*, and then ask incredibly stupid questions like "so who made you religious?". I'm not all that special for choosing to buy into a centuries old tradition, even if it comes with a boatload of restrictions, and "who made you?" is so damn insulting that it really doesn't deserve an answer, but if I must: "dunno, who made you? God? same here".
I've got a friend who became Orthodox in college and she says that the worst questions are about her parents (yes, people ask all the time about how non-ortho families deal with an orthodox family member) because the answer is deeply personal and incredibly complicated, like all relationships. How do you explain "unbelievably, amazingly supportive despite thinking it's completely idiotic?" to someone you've just met and will likely never see again. *shrugs*
So, to sum up: dear world, let me show & tell on my own terms.
Image source: http://www.robot-hugs.com/angry/
*Thanks to Sugarhill, I will now forever be using that term