Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Marking my Religion

Today marks Ash Wednesday - the start of Lent and the time where every good Catholic goes to church....or for those who remember their Catholic upbringing, go back to church until Easter.

I have already told Tony that I want to be better about going to church during Lent - I was great before the wedding, and then...well...not so great. And then my mom found out that I hadn't been going - apparently she has spies. Not really, but let's just say we have a lot of cousins everywhere.

But like a good Catholic girl, I went to mass over my lunch break.  It was very helpful that a Catholic Church is right now the street. And let me tell you - it was packed. The man I sat next to was kind of stinky. At first I thought he was a homeless man, but after a while, I figured he wasn't.

Church is always an interesting experience. I mean, I pray and all, but sometimes it can be like the airport. A great people watching place - especially on important holidays. However, as great as my people watching is, I always get a little nervous when it comes to certain parts of the mass, and no amount of people watching will let my mind stray from these nerves.

The sign of peace - or for my non-Catholic friends, the handshakes.

It's the time where I start getting nervous and my hands start sweating. Yep. I have sweaty hands - and not just when I workout. The sad part of it is that I can't hide it - I mean you can only say that you put on lotion so many times.

But today - I won in the sweaty hand department. Oh yes. After hoping that I wouldn't have to shake hands with the stinky man next to me who kept coughing in his hand - hello, doesn't he know the vampire cough/sneeze? - it happened. My hands began to sweat and I wondered if I could keep my hands dry enough to give the sign of peace to all of these strangers that I will never have to see again.

Luckily for me - all those around me shook fast.....but then I got a handshake from a man who had a cold, clammy, sweaty hand.

And I resisted the urge to wipe my hand on my jacket.

That's not all that I thought of during church though - don't worry mom - I did listen to the homily. Something about giving up chocolate....kidding, I kid.

Ash Wednesday is also the time when you get a cross of ashes on your forehead. It brought back lots of memories of grade school and high school Ash Wednesday all school mass. It was the time that every girl wished she had bangs, you hoped when you went up to receive your ashes that you didn't get someone with a heavy hand, and you didn't notice everyone looking at you funny - since they all had ashes like you.

Of course as live led on - things changed. Okay - well not the whole bang, heavy handed thing - but you realize not everyone gets ashes on their forehead. Lucky for me - everyone at work already knew that I was Catholic so it's not a huge deal to them to see me with a mark on my head....however there aren't many people to compare ashes too at work.

Guess I'll have to wait for my sister to get hers and swap pictures.

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