Friday, March 20, 2009

Halfway through Lent, I'm hanging in there.

I gave up my favorite online forum (which shall remain nameless to protect the feelings of its members) for Lent. It had become a constant habit, a method of escape, a substandard coping mechanism. The neighborhood had degraded. It started off housing mostly university types and had become more run down until we were coping with the indigent and unwell. It had become a psych ward - which is fine in one sense. It provides a socialization outlet for those who have no other method and those who are sane and stick around can act as caretakers.

I was raised by soon-to-be ex-Catholics, so I was only mildly familiar with the history and practices. I am basically piggybacking on the spirit of the season. 

Lent Trivia
  • There's a Sunday loophole. On all Sundays of Lent you can indulge in whatever beloved yet pernicious habit you are giving up for the Lord.
  • Pretzels are kind of like the Lenten Matzoh for Catholics. Who knew?
  • Lent has become super wussy. Minimal participation is two fast days and meatless Fridays and if you're under 15 or over 59, you're excused completely.
  • So Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent. I never knew. And my parents were Catholic.
I was actually a bit envious of the mass ritual. I think it'd be cool to walk around with a cross of ash on your forehead and freak out your more secular co-workers and neighbors. It'd be like freaking out your parents' friends by coming home with a tat or pink hair as a kid, but in reverse. Speaking of which, my 2nd cousin, child of a minister, just returned home for a visit with a huge Seek and Ye Shall Find tat across his back. 

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