Secondhand Sunday

Sunday, February 21, 2010

I'm basically too lazy to think of anything new to say so I'm re-posting a "vintage" entry.

If you aren't in the mood for repeats, please feel free to change the channel.


Original Post Date, April 2, 2009

I can't tell you how many times I've muttered this statement. After I've said something that's politically incorrect, cut off school buses in traffic, taken the Lord's name in vain and kept the extra change the cashier accidentally gave me. I've lost of track of how many things I've done that would guarantee me a VIP pass to Satan's lair.

Every year, I act the good Christian and impose a personal penance on myself by giving up something I love for Lent. And every year, I give up sweets. Since I grew up as a member of the Eastern Orthodox Church, our Lenten season begins the 7th Monday before Easter since we don't count Sundays when calculating the season of Great Lent.

I don't remember why. I would like to say that I missed that Sunday school class but I had perfect attendance as my personalized Bible will attest, so I'll just chalk it up to old age.

In fact, I never remember that our Lenten season starts sooner so I usually just follow what my Catholic friends do. When I start seeing purple, green and gold Mardi Gras beads in the stores, I know it's time to start gourging myself in anticipation of my weeks of sacrifice.

The first week, usually on the Monday or Tuesday before Ash Wednesday, I go to the grocery store and stock up on fruits, nuts and other healthy snacks. Then I boast to everyone within earshot that I have "given up sweets for Lent" and I bask in the glow of their admiration.

The accolades continue through the second week when, at a staff meeting, I'm presented with the dilemma of whether or not to eat a chocolate chip muffin. It's early and I haven't had breakfast yet so I glance around the room to determine if any of the attendees know about my Lenten endeavor.

The coast is clear so I lovingly place the muffin on a plate, grab a bottle of water and take a seat. A glance at the clock reveals that there are ten minutes before the meeting starts, which is plenty of time to indulge myself in my favorite morning treat. I gaze down at it, plump with chocolate chips peeking out at me and I refrain myself from teasing it with a lick, though the desire is strong.

"Why, Good Morning! I thought you gave up sweets for Lent?" I stop chewing and look up to see the woman that I had made a Lenten pact with just two weeks ago.

"I'm giving up sweets for Lent." I had told her.

"Oh my gosh, me too. How perfect! We can be each other's support."


I think back to that fateful encounter as I pretend that I'm still chewing, my mind racing for an explanation.

"I'm sorry. What did you say?" Because don't you always say this to buy yourself some extra time?

"I said, Didn't you give up sweets for Lent?" her arms are now folded across her chest and she's leaning on one hip.

"Me? Oh....oh...I must have misunderstood. What I said was that I was giving up candy, not all sweets."

"Oh, okay." she replied as she took a banana and sat down across from me.

By week three, the plethora of drugstore Easter candy starts showing up in bunny dishes atop file cabinets and desks around the department. I spoon a handful of black jelly beans (my favorite) into my hand as I'm walking out of the clinic.

"I thought you said you were giving up candy for Lent?" a voice calls to me and I fear turning around, knowing it's my support buddy.

"Hey, hi! What? Candy? No, no...what I said was that I was giving up chocolate. Not all candy because, you know, chocolate is my favorite and it is the biggest sacrifice. These jelly beans? I could take 'em or leave 'em. Hey, how are you doing?"

"Good! No sweets at all. We're doing really good!" she beams.

"We sure are. Yay, us!" I turn to walk out and grab a tissue to wipe the jelly bean blackness off my sweaty palms.

Week four arrives and I have Sunday dinner with my parents. After we eat, my mother goes into the other room and comes back with her hand behind her back.

"Guess what I have? You're fav-or-ite..." She brings her arm around front and opens her cupped hand to reveal Cadbury eggs; the most amazing once a year confection ever invented.

I grab them from her and eagerly start to unwrap one.

"Hey!" my sister scowls at me, "I thought you gave up sweets?"

"What? decided against it this year."

Oh, I'm definitely goin' to Hell for this. Anyone care to join me?


  1. I love re-posts...we all watch re-runs on telly. Same thing right?

  2. I love this one! It's so funny how we can arrange things we say to give us the best loopholes. (((HUGS)))

  3. HA! I went to a Catholic school and could never stick to my Lenten promise for more than like a week. I usually tried (and failed) to give up soda or candy or something like that too. I'll be going to hell with you I suppose... but that's all right, I hear it's nice and toasty down there.

  4. Sugar and candy! Our mothers wanted us to give it up for all the right reasons!

  5. Thank you for your public service blog on Wednesdy. I walked into the lab at work and my coworker had a smudge on his forehead. First thought, hand him a towel, Then!!! before I made the big faux pas I remembered seeing your post. I have never actully seen anyone wear the ashes. I know, I dont get out much. Being raised Baptist we were spose to give up dancing, forever. Wernt to bad because all I knew was the Bump. TY Chrissy

  6. Yeah, I'm with you on this one! Growing up Catholic, I rarely was able to keep my Lenten promises! So, when I became an adult, I converted to Methodist. They don't give up anything for Lent! Done and DONE!!!

  7. I gave up Catholicism one year. Funny, I haven't missed it.
    I never understood the giving up stuff. It never made me focus more on the sacrifices of Our Lord or brought me closer to him. Just made me bitter.
    Funny how religion can do that to ya.

    Does this mean you're giving up blogging on Sundays for Lent?

  8. Oh, you are too funny! I love the line where you announce your good intentions to everyone in the store and then "bask in the glow of their admiration"!! What a perfect line that is!

    Hey..I commend you for your'd do well in the long as you had a stash of chocolate bars hidden somewhere...

  9. i am also a lover of the cadbury creme egg. i eat the first and i'm like oh that was so good so i have another and then i'm like that was SO good and i should stop or i'm going to get sick and then i eat another and another another until i am ready to heave. and then i wait an hour for the feeling to subside and i eat some more. issues. i have issues with food.

  10. Hey you're not going to hell for eating sweets during lent... not the other stuff... I'm not so sure about. :P

    Hilarious post. Even if it is a repeat episode. :)

    Being a non- practicing Catholic dude, myself, I understand the whole Lent thing. But that doesn't mean it makes all that much sense. I don't think God, if he exists, would care about any one single thing we withhold from ourselves.

    See ya in hell!

  11. I am holding your hand as we walk toward the fires of hell...actually, I gave up giving up stuff this year, so I am doing pretty good:)

  12. @Gillian,
    Thank you! Yes, same thing.

    Isn't that the truth?

    I'll save ya a seat. Although, they'll probably make us stand.

    I guess they really do know best!

    @Simply Suthern,
    Oh my gosh! I'm so happy you read me first. :-)

    @Anything Fits a Naked Man,
    Oh, I should switch.

    @The mad woman behind the blog,
    No, Sunday laziness has no time limit.

    In the wild. You're funny!

    @Speaking from the crib,
    I CANNOT stop laughing at this! Because I do the same exact thing. See you at Overeaters Anonymous.

    Here's hoping you didn't get struck by lighting after the "if he exists" line.

    Oh, should we coordinate our outfits, too?


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