"Well, who'd you lend it to?"
Yesterday was, of course, Ash Wednesday.
The day prior to that, depending on your cultural baggage was either Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday. We didn't do much for either Tuesday, frankly. I am trying to diligently get back to my days when my abdominal muscles were visible and I was also tired of shriving, which is why we didn't do anything.
Then, of course, for Ash Wednesday there is relatively little to do other than -- quick! -- think of something to give up, so that I may be all down with that penitential thing. If I'm not interpreting my somnolent, midnight reading of her latest blog entry correctly, the very lovely and gracious Poppy (who is but a step away from becoming one of us) gave up spirituous liquors and their fermented cousins for Lent. I think she gave up sweets, also. So, duly inspired by Poppy, I gave up Coca-Cola and snacking. Considering that Passover is nearly here and it's the time when I hoard Kosher-for-Passover Coke (sweetened with proper sugar, not ::spit:: corn syrup ::spit::) this is a pretty huge deal. This is ridiculously penitential stuff. If I were to be crucified and went off to the desert to mind my own business in preparation for passion, death and resurrection, I can assure you Satan would be tempting me not with turning rocks to Parker House rolls, but to 6.5 oz. glass bottles of KFP Coke. So it's a good thing for the salvation of the human race things worked out as they did.
Anyway, while I was at it, I gave up snacking because:
a) I have to be at least as virtuous as my High Church Anglican pal (the aforementioned VL&GP) who gave up a certain class of potables and edibles, and
b) If I snacked, I'd be thirsty and I'd want a Coke and my willpower has several structural deficiencies for which I have (more or less) (finally) learned to compensate. More or less. It's that near occasion of sin/tempt fate thing.
Then of course, I had to get "ashed" and I generally dread it, because one time a couple of years ago the non-priest whom I was unfortunate enough to draw as my ash-guy managed to get som in my left eye and I wound up twitching like Chief Inspector Dreyfus, hardly the ideal model of sober piety. I also don't like it because quite often you get a message, upon the imposition thereof, along the lines of: "Repent and believe in the Gospel."
All perfectly true, no doubt, but that's not what the purpose of the ashes is. The purpose of the ashes is to remind us that we have an expiration date. So, because of this and because I am a hidebound and reactionary traditionalist-type I was secretly tickled when I got the "Remember, man, thou art dust and unto dust thou shalt return." Which might make me recreationally theo-morbid, but whatever.
The other thing is there's a fast going on. Not anything as hardcore as a Yom Kippur fast, but what can you expect given the current state of enuresis hitting the US division of the Papist crowd? So we're allowed one meal* and no meat or fowl. Capybaras, for some possibly apocryphal reason, are acceptable. Anyway, as it always happens, all the stuff I was suppose to comprise my abjure du jour paraded in front of me. At the drugstore I saw personnel wheeling PALLETS full of KFP Coke and beginning to put up the display.
To say nothing of the fact that some of my foodie publications arrived yesterday as well. So, we had dinner a full hour early, as we were famished. To keep my mind busy I made some vegetable hosomaki rolls and grilled some ebi kushi with HUGE shrimp (what some people might mistakely refer to as "prawns") and that was that.
I also started going around to the various Lowes' and Home Depots and other home improvement places in search of what to do as re. the boys bathroom. Maybe it's just me, but EVERYTHING seems very much trendy/sophisticated and not at all on the same wavelength as an 8 year old boy.
So, basically, I'm not all that sure of what I'll do. Tuesday we start ripping out stuff and I have to decide. On something.
* And you may have, ONLY if you need it to "keep up strength" a couple of snacks here and there. But I had given up snacking, see?