I am not Catholic, nor have I ever been. I do have several Catholic friends that I grew up with, and a large portion of kids I went to school with were also Catholic. For years I was super jealous of all of these Catholics. It was like a private club that I wasn’t allowed to join on account of my Baptist upbringing. Here are the questions I constantly bugged my Mom with…
Why can’t I got to St Peter’s with all my friends?
Why can’t I go to CCD?
Why don’t we drink wine every time we go to church?
Why don’t I get to go to the DIO convention?
Why don’t I get a confirmation/party?
How come you and Dad aren’t as excited about Mardi Gras as so-and-so’s parents?
Is it okay if I give up something for lent?
Don’t I sound like an adorable child? Well, to answer the last question myself: yes. I have given up something for lent ever sense I was 15 years old. The first thing I gave up were French Fries. A good friend of mine, a Catholic friend, decided to give them up, and I thought “Hey! I can do that too! AND, my Mom won’t even know I am doing a totally Catholic thing!”
My Mom called me on it the first time we drove through a Wendy’s and I turned down an order of fries… Turns out she didn’t care so much. I, on the other hand, have continued my tradition of giving up one thing for lent each year. It started out as a way to join my Catholic friends, then morphed into something I really enjoy.
Just to be clear, I know that lent is about giving up a sinful habit to live a life closer to God, and I am in no way mocking this or making light of what I think is a really great religious tradition. I just happened to enjoy it in my own non-Catholic way.
I typically give up some really unhealthy food that I eat way too much of, and that way when I really really want this unhealthy treat and am about to break I just tell myself, “Hilarie, you promised GOD herself (God could be a woman) that you would not eat this!” Then the idea of God frowning at me and shaking her finger in disappointment at my failure to go a few weeks without this one treat is enough to make me put the greasy snack away and grab a banana.
This year I decided to give up chips…a very noble endeavor if I do say so myself. Zoey swears that I gave up chips a few years ago, but I have no recollection of this. Fiance suggested that I give up coffee, chocolate, or gossiping to him, but come on? I have to be realistic. We are talking about 6 whole weeks!
You should all know that I LOVE chips. I usually claim to be a pretty healthy person, but chips are my absolute weakness. I can eat chips all day every day, and I am often guilty of a daily bag of chips, especially chips and salsa. I guess I’m a few weeks in now, and I don’t think I’ve had any signs of withdrawal…. Although Fiance does often look like a big bag of talking Hot Fries.
I do have an entire bag of popcorn for a snack at least 3 times a week though…
So, please, next time you open a nice crispy bag of chips, think of me. When Easter finally rolls around, I’d like nothing but chips in my basket. Thanks a million.