So, I heard tomorrow was Lent. Now, not being Catholic, I wouldn't have known this, had one of my devoutly Catholic Facebook acquaintances not smugly announced he would be giving up Facebook for the entirety of Lent, and that he could henceforth only be reached via snail mail, carrier pigeon, or whimsically punctuated columns of white smoke.
While I can't say that I'm disappointed that my main page feed will no longer showcase his hilariously inane Vatican news updates, and grossly politically incorrect theories on the "perfect submissive wife," I was raised protestant, so the whole concept of Lent has always been of great curiosity to me. At first, it was my understanding that its observers were simply to take an aspect of their lives and 'fast' in the same way the Christ fasted in the desert for 40 days. The first ever example I can ever remember of Lent was a friend who gave up pickles. "But I really like pickles!" she insisted. I was twelve at the time, and also loved pickles. She was such a martyr.
However, as a maladjusted adult, I now understand Lent to be the ultimate showcase of religious one-upmanship. How much can you give up? How big can you go? Pickle lovers give up pickles, chocolate lovers switch to butterscotch, alcohol lovers go to AA, kleptomaniacs go to jail, and so on and so forth. The bigger the forfeiture, the bigger the score. But just like a witty comeback, or a sarcastic tattoo that leaves the opposite party thinking "gee, I wish I'd thought of that," it's the self-implicating, savvy sacrifices that get the most mileage. So you gave up Pabst, and you're an alcoholic--great sacrifice, it's just not clever enough.
Nevertheless, as I pride myself in the omnipresent cloud of smug that follows me on my bicycle from Whole Foods to and from the coffee shop, I'm not to be outdone. Hence, I've composed a brief list of things that signify great personal sacrifice, that I could potentially give up for Lent.
I know, you wish you'd thought of it.
- renting dvds from redbox
- fiber plus granola bars
- tweeting about mormons
- verbally abusing the fedex man when he's late
- wearing the same pair of socks for two days in a row
- buying sunglasses
- buying "hallelujah" covers
- buying flannel
- vegan chocolate chip cookies
- taking narcissistic photos of myself via photobooth
- saying "shitty tits"
- $5 footlongs
- showboating on main street and/or through the temple
- kelly clarkson
- shameless sticker mooching
- tolerating asshole SUV drivers
Being fat Tuesday, I really need to get my kicks in on all these, because come tomorrow, the 40th day won't come soon enough. Definitely leaning towards that last one though. I'd say a night or two in the slammer is still the reigning champion in ultimate one-upping sacrifice.