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 action both admirable and encouraged except 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 a bed and breakfast to many animals wandering about in the wild searching for a Bed and Breakfast
Inn that allowed 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” and 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 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 was 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. 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.