Last day of 2009. Good day for updates. I’ll post a new letter on Monday. We’ll take tomorrow off.
Please be safe tonight. And put on some thermal underwear.
Our first update is from Thou Shalt Have No Other Gods Before Me, a letter writer who wondered if her lack of faith would end her relationship. I have two updates from her.
Here’s the first:
Well, my fears were entirely unfounded. Today we ended up having a long conversation about our beliefs and how they relate to the theological school. I told him how I hadn't told anybody else that I was an atheist because I was scared about what they would think of me, because they really tend towards the "as long as you believe in something you're a good person" feeling. He was very supportive and agreed that it is difficult to talk about those things because even though everybody is very kind and helpful, they are also always in everybody else's business. Sometimes we want to keep things private, and not have them judged, but at the same time that I shouldn't be afraid to be honest about what I believe. I was worrying all over nothing! So, happy ending here.
Her second update seems to suggest it's over. Apparently, higher powers are easier to deal with than distance. It happens.
It's been a rough semester for him and he's realizing that seminary isn't going to help him reach his goal (he doesn't want to be a pastor like most of the other students). However, that has nothing to do with me or being an atheist, and while I'm sad that he's leaving, I mostly want him to be in a place where he's happiest.
There you go.
Our second update is from Whatnow, whose letter hit us all pretty hard. You were fantastic with your advice. He sent this update last night … a really great end to our 2009, I think.
Sorry for not writing sooner but work has been crazy.
Anyhow, here is what happened with my Christmas. Christmas Eve Eve Day I went to my mom's church and donated her warm winter jackets and some of her clothing items to the thrift shop. As corny as it sounds, I know she would have wanted that. I spent Christmas Eve Eve at my girlfriend's house, setting up and decorating her tree in record time. Christmas Eve morning my girlfriend and I swapped presents and she went to her parents and I went to my Dad's. Dad and I spent Christmas Eve chillin’ and looking at a pic of my girlfriend's dog in a Santa Hat. That got me through the day the next day. All Dad and I did on Christmas was have a nice dinner and watch the History and Discovery Channels. Mainstream TV would have been too much. That was about all that felt comfortable and I did not want to push it. We could not wish each other a Merry Christmas -- it hurt too much -- but at least we were there together. On Saturday, my childhood best buddy came with his family to visit his mom and we hung out that night.
In short, we got through the holiday more or less observing the day but we were not capable of celebrating it. This week will be hard because tonight would have been my parents' 47th wedding anniversary. But we are getting by.
Meredith, I cannot thank you enough for posting my letter! I am so grateful for you doing this as well as the advice I got from the readers. And if I was able to help someone, then I -- and I am sure my Mom -- would be glad. Thanks again and I wish you a Happy New Year and Mazel Tov!
Pretty great, right? Thoughts? Feel free to share.
See you next year.
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Meredith Goldstein is a Boston Globe columnist who follows relationship trends and entertainment. She offers daily advice on Love Letters — and welcomes your comments. Meredith is also the author of "The Singles," a novel about complicated relationships. Follow Meredith at www.meredithgoldstein.netand on Twitter. Love Letters can be found in the print edition of The Boston Globe every Saturday in the G section.