Monday, March 4, 2013

I'm Trying to Give Something Up That I Actually LIKE!

I LOVE this stuff in my coffee!!
Sure, I gave up the usual list of things for Lent. And then there are things that I "gave up" in a "kinda sorta" way, which means I let myself cheat...sometimes (most of the time).

Also, as a zealous observer of the celebratory nature of "Sunday," I break from all these withering penances on Sundays.

And, of course, "Sunday" begins on Saturday evening. Right after First Vespers (which I mean to pray, but I usually miss; its hard to "get a handle" on Vespers, whereas Lauds fits right in with prayers in the morning).

Sometimes this results in a paradoxical (and stupid) thing that I call "Fat Sunday," in which I find myself eating, drinking, and watching stuff that I never care about any other time of the year!

Ice cream? I never eat ice cream... except during Sundays in Lent! Etcetera.

Lent really makes clear what a schlep I am.

Every Lent, I determine to make an effort to be extra patient and kind with the children. That means something more than being "nice" to the children. I can do "nice" without much trouble. Real love, however, is always a challenge. Its a challenge even to remember that the person in front of you needs love.

Its easier to give stuff up. So, during Lent, I muster the courage to embrace a few FirstWorld inconveniences. For example, I don't sweeten my coffee (note for *future canonization cause file*). I really like my coffee sweet. As I said in another post, I use real Stevia, which I have grown to love over the years. So its a sacrifice. Its wimpy. Its firstworldy. But its something.

Still, I can handle it. Its not that hard.

But I never "give up" my half&half in the coffee. Ooooh, no. No, no, no, no, no.

Really, half&half is the closest thing on the supermarket shelf to actual MILK! Even after being nuked by ultra-pasteurization, something real remains, and it tastes good.

It has real fat in it!

These days, I roam the supermarket looking for food that hasn't been kerschnoodled into some "healthy" imitation of what it used to be. Often, when some food item boldly advertises itself as LOW FAT, that means that they have removed the real fat, and replaced it with "fake fat"! And since your body doesn't feel satisfied with fake fat, they distract it by adding a few five-syllable ingredients that ultimately can all be translated by the word SUGAR.

Anyway, the bottom line is: I really love my half&half in my coffee!

But I have been thinking about the papal conclave with all of its tremendous implications, and I am wondering if I should subject myself to some further mortification (n.b. for *canonization cause file*).

We're not talking black coffee here. That would be martyrdom (for me, anyway). Its not time for martyrdom, yet. But, how about using milk instead of half&half in my coffee? Hee hee. Now that would be hard.

So I tried it.

Yuk! The coffee tastes horrible! I don't know how people drink it this way.

Bad. Mood. All. Day.

I'm embarrassed to even formulate this question, but I'm asking myself, "is this good for me?" Do I need to consult with my spiritual director? Or (since he's very busy) should I consult with that radical bedrock of common sense that God has placed in my life, i.e. my wife?

Really, this is not a hairshirt. This is not flagellation. This is not even switching to Maxwell House. This is nothing!

I'm laughing at myself. Well, that at least is a good thing!