I mentioned before I was raised Catholic. My parents made sure I hit the major sacramental milestones on schedule, although I got the impression this was more for my grandmother's benefit than my own. As it was explained upon Confirmation, we'd reached the age of reason. I celebrated by exercising my reason and setting upon my own spiritual path.
But I'm grateful for my Catholic upbringing, if only because it gives me one religion beside Scientology I feel I have the legitimate right to ridicule.
I remember spending what seemed like years of my childhood kneeling next to my grandmother as she repeatedly hailed Mary, wondering what in the hell she did that made her feel the need to confess almost every single day. Whatever it was, it must have been really bad. I made a mental note to ask Mom later how grandpa died.
Grandma taught me there were many, many more holy days than just the Easter and Christmas my parents celebrated. That sounded wonderful until I realized the Feast of Saint Blaise involved neither candy nor presents. I pondered this while standing in line to have a priest whack my neck with long candles.
"Why do we need our throat blessed?" I'd ask.
"To protect us from diseases of the throat."
That sounded reasonable enough, I guess. At least I didn't have to worry about brain cancer metastasizing too far. I figured I must be missing the days the other parts of the body got blessed. And do they bless wieners? That made me giggle.
I remember Grandma shushing me a lot in church. Another thing I remember was staring over the alter at that twelve foot crucifix with Jesus nailed to it. There was so much about that morbid exhibition that didn't make sense to me. I thought that, if I were Jesus, it would kind of bother me that the worst moment of my life would just happen to be the one the church would choose to immortalize as it's symbolic centerpiece. If any scene from my life is going to be frozen for eternity, I'd much rather remember turning water into wine or running my toes through a hooker's hair. You know, the good times. But no, you have to constantly trigger my PTSD with that gothic monstrosity.
But I had to admit, being stretched out naked like that really accentuated the abs. Say what you will about the big J, the dude had a six-pack.
I have no idea what triggered this memory from my childhood.
In other news, the "Bobby Flay's Best Burgers" edition of Men's Fitness is out!