Giving Up on Lent
Religious preference is not something I often broach in this space. I want this blog to be lighthearted and fun to read, meaning that the topics of religion, politics, and dissing other people’s children (and thus the parenting skills of the diss-ees) must remain undiscussed. I have never had the urge to pen a polemic.
However, today marks the beginning of Lent, a season that (given my unnamed denominational upbringing) I thought was spelled L-i-n-t for much of my life and referred to the particles I got out of the dryer. The concept of going without something for forty days and forty nights was lost on me.
Maybe that’s because I went without a lot of the things everyone gives up for Lent during my formative years. I’m not bitter about any of it, and I’m not questioning anyone’s parenting skills on my blog. (Just putting that out there for re-iteration.) My parents did the best they could for me, and I know they both love me very much. I love them, too, very much.
Still, here’s a short list of the things I went without as a kid:
- Rock music – This was defined as anything secular, but especially 1970′s rock-and-roll up to present time. I guess country music wasn’t secular, because my Dad listened to it on the radio. In his defense, he tried to do it when we weren’t in the car, something for which I was grateful.
- Pants – I was not allowed to wear pants to school from 3rd grade to graduation, and the dresses and skirts I donned had to be knee-length or longer. Yes, even my cheerleading uniform. Oh, and we couldn’t turn cart wheels or anything like that in our uniforms, lest we reveal our bloomers and cause lustful thoughts. That rule was a good thing for me, because I couldn’t turn a somersault, much less a cart wheel.
- Split skirts – I took physical education in a split skirt. For FIVE YEARS, I had to wear that disastrous piece of fashion. I hope no one was offended when I skipped the culotte craze when it resurfaced several years ago. Ick.
- Movies – NO MOVIES. EVER. I never even saw a G-rated movie at the theater growing up. It was considered a bad testimony to go to a movie theater to see “Pinocchio,” because someone might see my Mom there with my five-year-old self and think, God forbid, she was taking me to see “Midnight Cowboy.”
- Bathing suits – I had to swim in my clothes. No bathing suits. (See comment above on lustful thoughts.) I guess no lustful thoughts were ever caused by wet t-shirts.
I could go on, but I hope you get the idea, Dear Reader. So, I’m not giving anything up for Lent. I think I will see one movie per week during the entire forty-day-span, play my ’80s hair-band iPod tracks every day, overspend on a new hat and debut it for Easter at my Lent-observing church.