Saturday, October 23, 2010

Sweet Saturdays

Did you know I keep a strict low-carb diet? Well that's because I am a reasonably spectacular failure at it. I do pretty well for a while and then go to the fair or a party or something and it's like I get possessed by Willy Wonka or something.
Part of the problem is I love to bake, especially at this time of year. There's something about the air getting colder and the bulking of the clothes and whatnot, and it makes me want to cook. Well, what can one do? Lent will come around before we know it and I will crawl, bloated and high from sugar overload, back on the wagon.
So today, which turned out to be an introvert's dream, I saw Scott off to Halloweeny land with the kids, and my podcasts and I got a ton of housework done, did the grocery shopping, cheffed up dinner for myself, and now I'm sitting down to one of my favorite old movies (His Girl Friday) with this delicious little something-I-whipped-up. It's a reverse whoopie pie! Chocolate cream cheese frosting as its filling! And yes, it's spectacular.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


So, I went to a workshop put on by the dioces about the new marriage program, which looks great- comprehensive, theologically sound, well grounded in good research, applicable, approachable. I think it’s going to be great, at least greater than my own Pre-Cana experience, which was just bearable in my opinion and not too bad in Scott’s.

But as a childless woman, being addressed in the group by a childless woman, I felt that old familiar prickle. She began the conversation by stating her marriedness and her childlessness and explained why she and her husband haven’t had kids. I thought this was curious but I could absolutely understand her motivation, because as a married catholic woman and leader, one is always keenly aware of that fertility lens through which everyone looks at you. One day when Scott met a new neighbor and she asked him “do you have children?” he said “no, we tried but it didn’t work out.” He was in the same spot, defending his state in life to someone who had an expectation of him as a married Catholic person.

So, where does that leave me? It leaves me in the position, like this woman, of defending my childlessness. But, I refuse to do it. I refuse to tell you why I’m childless, because you don’t need to know, and because the conclusion you’ve probably jumped to is good enough. And by You, I don’t mean you, my faithful readers, because you probably already know why. I mean... you, new neighbor, parishioner, parent of my students, etc. When YOU ask me if I have children, although I am tempted to defend myself, I will just say “no.”

I once stood at the back of the church where I was working, surrounded by kids who knew I was married and childless, and heard the pastor pronounce in his homily that childless marriages were invalid. I couldn’t help but feel a little defensive there, I must say… and that was the prickle I felt when, at this workshop, our presenter went on to say, more than a couple of times, that “marriage is for having children.”

Well, what if my marriage is not for having children?

I would have to counter to her that marriage is really for responding to God’s call. Marriage is a vocation- and that one's vocation is ultimately following God. That is, vocation isn’t about God saying “I’ve got a job for you” but more like “sign up, and go where I send thee.”

I can only guess at where my life would have led if we’d had children. I imagine my bizarro self in an alternate reality wondering the opposite. But I think we’re both doing the right thing, me and bizzaro me, because we’re following God’s call for us. Marriage may be for having children, it may for not having children. Marriage is for the glory of God.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Autumn Ramblings

There is very little of a lot of stuff going on, so I'm going to take it a paragraph at a time.

My car is infested with spiders. It has been, and I'm not kidding, for YEARS. I may have mentioned it here before, even. They seem to have settled, for several generations, in my rack (that is, the rails on top of my car. What is that, a ski rack? I don't ski... anyway, I know the title "my rack" is less than perfect. Let's move on) but they move in when it gets cooler, or warmer. What I'm trying to say is that at any given point a white or pale-ish yellow spider may drop down in front of me while I'm driving... or walk across my visor... or my window, or my windshield. I think these are the spiders, and now that I know that I'm a little bit more creeped out than I was before I knew. And now that you know, you'll never want to ride in my car, will you?

This semester is plugging along, and I am finding myself (right on schedule I suppose) pining for my life back. My main problem this year is a lack of definable deadlines. One class requires six 2-page papers, you know, whenever. One is online and asks that I post, several times. And my internship is totally self-motivated and such. That is, it's up to me to do all that STUFF involved in making it happen. I don't do well with amorphous requirements. I do all my best work at the last minute, and when there are no last minutes, well...

I hate halloween. I have no real great reason, I wasn't bitten by a halloween when I was a kid or anything, I just don't care for it. And it's freaking EVERYWHERE. I am loving the fall colors when I get a chance to notice them, but the orange and black crap everywhere is really annoying to me. Scott pretends not to like it but he really does, and that's his prerogative, and I fully support it, but not to the point of hanging stupid decorations up. On halloween night, Scott does it up big, and I sit in the living room watching non-scary tv and waiting for it to all be over. There, I've said my piece.

That's all for now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

I think I read somewhere that 70% of blog titles include the words "sorry for not posting much lately..."

I know, I know, I haven't been posting. It's just... you know, I've been busy (like sonic boom kind of busy) with school and work and whatnot. Also, the news I have to share is mostly worrisome news, with friends in crisis and mine and my siblings new entry into the "sandwich generation" and all that. Lately when I've been asked "so what's new?" all I want to say is "my friend has cancer and my mother is 'going fuzzy' all the time and oh my God I'm freaking out!!" but instead I say "oh you know, not much... same old same old... busy, you know." That's because I don't want to be Debbie Downer, nobody wants to hear all that. Already people at church know some things about these things and when they ask me how my friend or my Mom is doing, I feel a pang of discomfort. I don't know if it's because I feel like I'm supposed to be ministering to them and not the other way around (I really don't believe that, you know, because being church for each other means... and people have agency in their faith to pray for... and lots of other professional ministry answers) or if it's the same feeling I get when I tell people I eat low carb and see them steal a glance at my donut. That is, when I'm working and smiling and being "on" and they ask me how my Mom's doing, I feel a responsibility to demonstrate my (sincere) sadness in the midst of coffee and donuts or whatever I'm doing, and that is tricky.
So this is why I haven't been posting; because woe is me. But I haven't forgotten about either of you, my faithful readers! I'll be back on track right away. Probably tomorrow, or soon thereafter. Maybe today! I dunno.

Friday, October 01, 2010

7 Quick Takes: Bad Mass Behavior Edition

It's been a week full of stress and sadness so I think it's time for some silliness. So...

My 7 Favorite-est ways to misbehave in church:

1) I'll start with the tamest, which is from my childhood- it's just this: when someone is kneeling, slide the bulletin behind their backs on the pew so that when they slide back into their seat, the bulletin makes a loud-ish crinkling noise. I know, it's unimpressive, right? But when it's quiet it makes a mini-racket. Hijinks!!
2) Related, and also from my childhood- this one requires timing and stealth: just as someone (like, your Dad) goes to kneel, reach down quick and flip up the kneeler, so that they go all the way down to the floor. This is tricky on so many levels but when it works and someone (like, your Dad) has to stay quiet instead of yelling at you because you're in church, well, it is comedy gold.
3) This one only works on Palm Sunday, but everyone goes to Mass on Palm Sunday, so everyone can try this. You have to be sneaky though. Stand and hold your palm nonchalantly, but direct its little tip into the ear of the person next to or in front of you. The important thing here is to look straight ahead so that it appears it's happening by mistake. They'll bat it away several times before you bust out laughing.
4) The key to Mass bad behavior is that people can't react the way they want to, because they're trying to behave well at Mass- so you get extra license to take advantage of this. Plus, everyone knows that laughing in church is the! Most! Fun! Laughter of All! It's forbidden and naughty and nothing is funnier than something happening in church.
5) The old " excuse me" line when you hear a funny sound joke is always a hit at Mass. So, you know, you hear an odd sound like someone scooting across the pew or if the organist mistakenly steps on one of those foot-keys in an inappropriate time, and you turn to the person next to you with a STRAIGHT FACE (that's important) and say "excuse me."
6) Here's my favorite, it makes me laugh every time I think of it, and I can't even wait to do it again. You know how we Catholics take a break during the Our Father, and let the priest take a turn, and then we jump in and finish it off? (Note: This only works if you hold hands during the Our Father)Well, lots of people like to raise their hands (and the hands of the people they're holding) up high over their shoulders, for that last section. Well when someone holding my hand tries to raise it up, I hold it down, and hold their hand down with it. Which would be funny enough, right??? But then, I turn to that person with a straight face and say "I don't do that."
OH MANNNN it is soooo funny!!!! More funny for me than for that nice person who is only trying to pray, but still. Hilarious.
7) That should be enough to get you in trouble at least 6 times, so enjoy. And... don't misbehave in Mass. You heard it here.