Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Happy March, Happy Lent!

Yesterday was Shrove Tuesday so after my family and I pigged out on homemade banana pancakes with blueberry maple syrup, I tried to think of something I could give up for Lent.
Now, just to clarify, I'm not a really religious person. But I grew up in an ultra Catholic home where Christmas was modest because it was all about the birth of Christ and not about tons of expensive gifts and Easter was a sad (then happy) occasion not at all connected with a rabbit who lays chocolate eggs. In fact, if I was still living at home today, I'd be going about my day with a smudge of ashes on my forehead since the family would have all gone to church early this morning to get blessed for Ash Wednesday.

When I moved out of the house I not so much turned away from all that but softened the harsh edges. I go to Anglican church which is nearly the same as Catholic but without the guilt, they have women priests and casual Sundays. At least I think the Sundays are still casual... I haven't been since Christmas.

Anyway, deep down I'm still the good Catholic girl who still prays (off and on) and considers going vegetarian on Fridays (but never remembers until after the steak dinner) and I always try to give something up for the 40 days of Lent.

It's supposed to be something hard. Not like giving up calamari when you're allergic to seafood or sheep's eyes that you've only ever eaten that time you were a contestant on Fear Factor. Can you imagine saying to Joe Rogan: "Sorry, bud but I gave up eating beetle filled doughnuts for Lent. No can do." Hee! But I digress. You're to give up something you love. You're supposed to suffer. It's one of the main tenets of the Catholic church. Second only to guilt. The ever-present guilt. So the point is to think and meditate and pray when things become difficult. And boy, did I pray the time I gave up meat the year Lent fell on my Oscar trip to Miami. That was a hard one and I'm definitely going to heaven just for keeping that one.

So I've decided to give up watching tv before noon. That's the best I can do since I'm sorry but the Amazing Race just started. And I love daytime tv. I usually watch fashion Fridays on CityLine and sprinkle in a little Montel, Maury or Ellen just for kicks. And there's nothing funnier than watching the AChannel hosts try to cook on the morning show. I also watch soaps but All My Children starts at 1pm. Hey, I'm a stay-at-home-mum and like I said, I'm a lapsed Catholic. This isn't supposed to cripple me.

So good luck to my fellow Catholics for Lent. I hope we can all get through it with our sanity and pat ourselves on the backs while we overindulge on what we gave up as soon as Easter is over. I know I plan to keep that tv on 24 hours straight. I'll be anxious to see those spring fashions on CityLine.

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