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Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Today is Ash Wednesday, the period of 40 days of reflection and sacrifice leading up to Easter.

This morning I went to the bathroom and brushed my teeth—an admirable action if it weren’t for a couple of small details. The first detail was that I had yet to eat breakfast. The second, and perhaps more urgent detail was that I was supposed to be taking a shower.

Perhaps it was the lack of a shower that reminded me that I was out of anti-perspirant. Sharing is a worthwhile quality to develop, so I borrowed some from the boys; my teenaged sons who are given to trusting clever commercials to influence their buying habits. Now I smelled like toothpaste and the Old Spice Guy. I’ll admit that at the time I wasn’t really interested on reflecting on the whole thing, but I’m pretty sure there was sacrifice involved.

The next hurtle of the day: getting dressed. The pants I wanted to wear were covered in animal hair, which also counts as sacrifice because I’ve given bed and breakfast to many animals wandering about in the wild searching for a Bed and Breakfast Inn that allows shedding as a form of payment.

I threw the pants in the dryer to see if that would help the problem. Turns out the dryer was full of towels. Now my pants were covered in animal hair and lint. I reflected that I was lucky because this is the season of Lent, although most people don’t spell it with an “i” or celebrate it by wearing dirty pants covered in hairballs to work.

For breakfast, I generally dish up a bowl of soggy cereal because long ago I sacrificed the teeth I need to deal with any foods of real character. However, the whole “what to wear” episode put the cereal plan right out of my head and I forgot to prepare the stuff in time to soften sufficiently. I don’t see why the Cream of Wheat people don’t institute a Meals on Wheels program for the dentally impaired.

Casting about in the kitchen for something to eat, I discovered a faded box of soft vanilla wafers that had long ago rallied past their life expectancy. Not exactly the Breakfast of Champions, but if I added a little peanut butter to the equation, all should go well.

As I replaced all the boxes of unused cereal back in the cupboard and added peanut butter to the shopping list, I reflected that hummus on cookies is probably a delicacy in some Mediterranean countries. Mediterranean countries full of aborigines with bad teeth. Perhaps that would make a suitable vacation destination some day.

Time to take the Labradors for a romp to sacrifice several ounces of surprises that I did not want to find on my carpet when I came home from work. As I watched them play, I was surprised at how self-reflective dogs can be. I was also surprised to see them greet the neighbor, who was nattily dressed for the office and was now nattily dressed in muddy paw prints. You’d think people would be more forgiving during Lent, no matter how they spelled it. The neighbor spells it S-T-U-P-I-D. There were more letters involved, but I sacrificed listening after that.

The Captain called and asked what we were having for supper. I reflected that we were going out. He likes home-cooked meals, but after all, this is the period of sacrifice. I’ve already given up my shower, my Shredded Wheat, and my sanity.

It’s his turn to suffer. He'll be a better person for it.


Deb Claxton said...

I'm impressed by your sacrifices for Lent. I plan to give up watching news about Charlie Sheen for Lent. It should be hard since he's on every network, but it's worth the sacrifice and I'm not even Catholic.

Skyraven said...

Roflmao! Amy, dear, you've done it again. You've cracked me up and managed to create a new joke for me to share with my fellow Catholic pals. Lol Only you could put such a great spin on a day when I wouldn't and I so appreciate it. You're hysterical and I love reading your blogs mama. Keep up the great work! :) Huggles

Amy Mullis said...

Sky, and you've done it again, too. Coming along with a pat on the back when I really need one. This Lent thing is harder than I thought!

Lucia P. said...

Ha! From one bad Catholic mother to another-you really know how to make me laugh! I hope you have read Betty MacDonald's writing (The Egg and I, all the Mrs. Piggle Wiggle books), your writing really reminds me of her.

Bless you my child!

Bad Catholic Mothers

Beth Bartlett said...

LOL, that hummus joke caught me off-guard! Beautiful! So glad you're not cutting out funny for Lent, because that would be impossible. :)