A little off the topic at hand, but that is one way to put a positive spin on it--they have lots of volunteer work, some against their will of course but it still counts, right? I like your point about being in a "relationship based economy." A valid point and although she doesn't discourage friendships outside of the church, she has not made it easy either. Un-churched families are looked upon with a disproportionate amount of skepticism, however good their values and personal demeanor appear to be... anyway, thanks for the feedback.
She's discouraging them then. I realise now that my mother was trying to choose my friends as well. I just didn't notice when I was in high school but certainly did in my 20s and beyond. When your kids figure it out, they are not going to have a good opinion of your mother.
My grandfather was a minister. he had my father under his thumb for all his life. I realise now that for all my father's 80 hour work weeks, some of that money never came home to us. instead, it went to make my grandfather who was never going to be happy with father happy or accepting of him.
We would go to church. then lunch at my grandparents and then hang around their house till late in the evening. If my father ever noticed that I cracked a book, there would be hell to pay. And yet, with my parents both degree holders, they would be the first to tell anyone how important a university degree is. We need to be careful with what people say and what they do.
To this day, my mother likes comparing me to "the other black girl" in my class. She was on scholarship, ergo, she got her education for free...... and had a younger sister by two years. I had three younger siblings by 9 years. Imagine how much housework, babysitting and so on that cut in to my high school and study time. She graduated 2nd on the class. I graduated 10th in the class.
If the situation had been different, wonder how different the outcome would have been?