Sunday, March 3, 2013

Giving Up: Third Sunday of Lent

I fell down on the job a lot this week, I hate to say.

Day 11: Call an old friend. I posted to Facebook:
[bzzzzgrrrl] has been instructed to call an old friend today. If you would like to be that old friend, private message me your phone number. Priority given to those who can receive a call between 5:30 and 6:30 this evening, or between 9 and 10 tonight.
Two people requested calls, and they were two of only a tiny handful of "old friends" with whom I am in very regular contact already. I called one between 5:30 and 6:30 and the other between 9 and 10, and tried to call a couple of others but got no answers. It was nice, though, to connect, to hear voices to love and be loved by people who have known me since I was a much younger adult.

Day 12: Pray the Paper (pray for people and situations in today’s news). I sort of forgot to do this and so did it on Day 16 instead. Here's some of what was in the news that day:

OK, to be fair, I didn't actually pray over that last one, but it was interesting to think about, right?

Day 13: Read Psalm 139. I did, and shared it with a friend, too, a day later. Those of you who also did, or who are following along now, that one ends sort of weird, right? What do you make of it?

Day 14: Pay a few sincere compliments. I did this, and tried to focus on accomplishment, rather than appearance. It seemed to go over well. People like that stuff. Who knew? (I also attempted to go to Goodwill again, and failed, again.) I did it some more the next day, too, because it worked so well. On that next day, I also encountered this article in Forbes on "7 Ways You're Hurting Your Daughter's Future,"* which claims doing so will also make my niece richer, which I am all for, because someone needs to care for Auntie Bzzzzgrrrl in her old age.

Day 15: Bring your own mug. I don't really use mugs except at home, so maybe I'm missing the point of this one. Do they mean bring my own mug to a coffee shop where they think I'd buy coffee, so I wouldn't waste a paper cup? I guess that's probably what they mean. I don't drink coffee. I did go to friends' house for dinner, and was pretty sure I'd be offered tea or coffee after dinner, so brought my own mug for just that purpose. Then I was able to explain to my friends, who are a minister and a seminarian, and we all amused ourselves for a while. Maybe the idea of this is to do something amusing. Probably not.

Day 16: Educate yourself about human trafficking. Boy howdy, did I. I read a 30-page report on human trafficking in my state. There's a lot to know. Coincidentally, one of my favorite feminist bloggers came out of semi-retirement to talk about her shifting views on sex work. There is, unsurprisingly, a lot more cussing in that post, but it's interesting reading.

This week, a colleague I don't know well asked about the whole giving things up for Lent thing, and suggested that taking Sundays off from that practice was basically cheating. He was mostly asking a Catholic mutual friend of ours about her opinion, which did not stop me from chiming right in. I explained that Lent is actually 46 days long, so that we can take Sundays off and still do 40 days of whatever Lenten observance we're doing.

"Seriously?" he said. "Canon law?"

"It's not so much canon law as it is basic math," I said.**

*... which title I take exception with, because I am pretty sure it's the patriarchy that's hurting your daughter's future, and the fact that there may be small things parents mothers (seriously; see #5. This future-daughter-harming is ALL MOM) can do to mitigate the damage does not, I'm pretty sure, make it their fault.

**The rest of this interaction actually did happen, but I did not actually crack out the basic math line, because I only thought of it moments later, and I'm pretty glad about that, because while it's both true and funny, it also would have been rude in the moment, a little, I think.


Anonymous said...

That Psalm 139 is a doozy!

Anonymous said...

I found this blog by googling for feedback on Forbes "7 ways you're hurting your daughter's future," and I think it's horrible that little girls are being taught that their femininity is somehow "defective" and "inferior" to males and masculinity! God had a very special purpose for women when He created Eve, the "mother of all humans," and it's really sad that little girls these days aren't being taught to embrace their true nature! I am almost 32, and if I had to choose a handful of toys from my own childhood to take with me in order to evacuate for a hurricane, not a single, solitary ONE would be something you could find in the boys' department!!! I think there's something magically "human" about the face of a (realistic) doll, and women tend to outlive men partly BECAUSE of our life-giving, rather than risk-taking, nature as the female sex.