...& the fact that I've been back from vacation with the Luces & haven't blogged about it yet doesn't really count in my book. Patience, people, patience...I've certainly had to use it since I've been back, as it's been rather eventful. (But hey, we had a great time!)
Anyway, for those of you that don't know, today is Ash Wednesday - the 1st day of Lent, on which many Christians receive a mark of ashes on their forehead as a token of penitence & mortality. Now, before some of you start asking "Who are you & what have you done with Claire?", let me explain why I mentioned this. (The following story is in NO way intended to offend anyone - so just don't go there.)
I work in a hospital (in an office, not on the floor - & I definitely don't perform surgery, although I've been tempted..), & every year, various forms of clergy walk around on Ash Wednesday to rub ashes on people's foreheads. Well, several of the - hmmm, what do I call them - ashed-upon people came in my office a couple of Ash Wednesdays ago, & one of them was far more bold than anyone I'd ever encountered on this day. (I think that the story is worth re-telling, & may in fact turn out to be like "The Night Before Christmas" one day.)
Ash Head: "Why, Claire, haven't you been blessed today?"
Me: "Oh, I try to think that I'm blessed EVERY day.."
AH: "Now, you know that's not what I meant. You should go take part of the Ash Wednesday tradition. You will be absolved of your sins. If you don't, you'll go to Hell."
Me: "Wow. That's serious, then. However, I don't 'take part in the tradition', but thanks."
AH: "That's awful, Claire. Have you at least made a sacrifice for Lent?"
Me: "Oh yes, the same as I do every year. I'm giving up heroin." (I've never done it, but I ALWAYS say this every year because I think I'm funny... Hell, party of 1, please.)
AH: "That's not funny. I'm going to pray for your soul tonight, but I doubt it'll be enough to save you from Eternal Damnation. Harumph..."
Holy crap!!! I've only joked around with this woman on occasion, & had absolutely no reason to believe that she was so religious. Frankly, I was stunned, but of course, now I'm still laughing about it a couple of years later (& she barely acknowledges me on the rare occasion that she sees me) . Whoops, another reason I'm going to Hell. Well, while we're at it, let's take a look at some other reasons:
* I no longer attend church (although I do still believe in God, just not necessarily what I was taught all those years).
* If God listens to my parents' son, it's my fault that my parents got a divorce. (Ooops, I think that "parents' son" reference might have just made that 2 reasons.)
* I had premarital sex. A lot. And liked it.
* I lived with Doug before we got married. Oh, & let's not even talk about Doug...but chalk up 2 more, please.
* I laugh about my parents a lot, so I guess that means I don't honor them.
* I'm not fulfilling God's will because I am not having children. (Yes, I've actually been told that by another zealot.)
* I cuss. Quite a bit.
* I joke about going to Hell a lot. I think that's supposed to be a sin.
* I've been known to say snarky things about other people. I know, shocking...sad but true.
You know, this list could go on & on...& you know what? That's ok. But beware...if you laughed at any of this, you could be joining me.
(By the way, I redecorated the blog a bit, so pop out of your Reader. Oh no! Aren't attention-seeking & vanity sins, too?)