Fat Tuesday and the Lenten sacrifice
I know this blog title sounds a little like a crazy, hipster band name, but please bear with me.
I’ve been doing a lot of reminiscing recently, which of course means I’m trolling (plagiarizing) my own blog posts. There was one in particular that I thought to be timely:
Lent is coming up, starting with Shrove Tuesday, or Fat Tuesday. I’ve had many a conversation with folks about what they’re “giving up”. It’s still curious to me, how this is a thing, especially for folks certainly don’t practice religion in general. Whether people are giving up meat, stranger sex (as in with unknown persons and the freaky type), alcohol, or social media, is it disrespectful to reappropriate the idea of this particular set of 40-days?
Over the past several years, I’ve contemplated taking up the practice of religion – as in the adoption and adherence to a set of faith-based principles, not just showing up for Sunday day-drinking. It hasn’t happened yet, as I’m not sure I can fully commit to a denomination. There are so many questions: How do they feel about gays? Do they have female religious leadership roles? Do they have a position on climate change? Where do they fall on other religions, charity, poverty, or lobbying? Maybe it’s hubris, but I’ve been trying to find a faith where I can fit in the way that I am, not one where I’d have to change myself to fit into a faith. Is it selfish? Maybe. But I also don’t think it would be right of me to be ‘faithful’ in name, but not in true practice.
Will I finally land on a religion? Would they even have me if I signed up? Who knows. Until such time, I’m a lapsed Catholic, quite possibly being guilted into some sort of recognition of Lent, by way of dietary austerity, during which time neither processed, sugary foodstuffs, nor foods with faces shall pass my lips.
Will I be giving anything up? I’m not sure. But just in case, I’ve been drinking gin & tonics every 2.5 hours since 11am today, and have been snacking on a bag of white chocolate chips for the better part of an hour. Plus, I’m trying to find someone to join me for a steak dinner after work on Tuesday. Luckily, I work in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Between St. Anselm or Peter Luger, I can pretty much guarantee a glorious carnivorous kick-off to whatever Lenten diet I get suckered into.