As many of you know, the Lenten season is upon us. It started last week with Ash Wednesday, which is right after Fat Tuesday (incidentally, I really think we should call it “Big Boned Tuesday” or “Pretty in the Face Tuesday”, but I don’t make these decisions, unfortunately). Anyway, I was baptized Catholic, and raised Episcopalian, so every year I feel the need to give something up for Lent. I wish I could say these sacrifices revolved around something good for society, like abstaining from gossip. Or added something good to my routine, like regular church attendance or kind words to my neighbors. But, usually, my Lenten offerings revolve around me trying to lose weight, or something else involving my appearance, like nail-biting. In my defense, the things I give up are things I eat/consume/do on a regular basis, so the sacrifice is there, it’s just probably for the wrong reasons. Last year it was wine. Which was really horrible (thank God for vodka, am I right??). This year, I decided to go with fried foods (and biting my nails. Again. It’s like peat and repeat over here). Now, I’m 36 years old, you would think that fried foods wouldn’t necessarily be a staple in my diet anymore, but, I’m single, I don’t cook, and I live like a frat guy. So giving up fried foods is actually kind of hard. Do you realize how much stuff is fried? Pretty much everything delicious. Chips, french fries, and for the love of God, donuts. DONUTS?!?!?! I could have just given up donuts on their own and had my work cut out for me, but I deleted all fried foods from my diet like a psychopath. The deck of onion rings is definitely stacked against me.
My favorite part of Lent is talking to all my Catholic friends about what they’re giving up, and then also learning all the little Lenten tricks. Like, for example, Sundays don’t count, and you can eat/consume/do whatever you want. But that feels like cheating to me. As one friend put it the other day, so on Sundays Jesus wasn’t wandering around in the desert anymore? He made a solid point. So, no Sunday cheating for me. Unless I’m really hungover and the only food in a 5 mile radius is nachos or french fries, then It’s every man for himself. But, here’s to the Lenten season, may we all stay strong in the face of lunches with coworkers and take out food. By the way, if anyone offers me a donut in the next 5 weeks, you’re dead to me.by