Friday, March 14, 2008

I'd give up cursing, but that's ****ing hard

Among many friends who practice Catholicism to varying degrees, I was raised the same way. Perhaps you wouldn't know that. Sometimes I forget, myself.

A random element of Catholicism that I've adopted is either archaic or old-school, depending on what spin you want to throw on it: I do everything possible not to eat red meat or poultry on Fridays (and Ash Wednesday) during Lent. I've actually been successful at it the last two years and have just one more Friday to go before completing a third.

As much as I've resisted some church edicts (I'll spare you those politics; this isn't that kind of blog), I have serious respect for the discipline inherent in repeated and voluntary sacrifice. That's beautiful, spiritual and transcendent.

So sometimes one of my Catholic buddies will ask, "Hey, what'd you give up for Lent this year?" And I'll frown, because eating meat on Fridays is what I'm giving up for Lent.

Before you judge me, innocent stone-casters, please realize this is rough for a guy who doesn't like seafood except for tuna -- and only when it's from a can and obliterated among mayo, pepper and vinaigrette -- and thinks the four food groups are akin to those mentioned in that old John Belushi/"Saturday Night Live" sketch: "Cheeburger, Cheeburger, Cheeburger, (and) Cheeburger."