I am not a particularly religious person. Truth be told I am not sure what I believe in in terms of religion per se but I do believe in some sort of higher power and that many things that happen are not merely coincidences. That said, I got myself baptized about 10 years ago – I think because someone had told me when I was a kid that I was going to hell if I wasn’t baptized. So after years of thinking about it and researching, I walked into an Episcopalian church on the upper west side one Sunday and the female minister, Lillian, who would later become a dear friend, was quoting Bob Dillon and I thought “I can hang here”. Lillian came to understand that, as I had disclosed when we met, I was never going to be the person who comes to church every week or even once a month and sits in the front row.
I have since moved to another part of town and haven’t found a new church. Frankly, my favorite time to go to church is when no one is there as it’s a quiet place to think and reflect. I also like to attend midnight mass on Christmas Eve, sometimes Easter services and Ash Wednesday administration of the ashes. That was today.
I started giving up things for Lent about five years ago just to see if I could do without for 40 days. Things I love. Generally food related. One year it was sugar and I was a bitch on wheels for the first week. Sugar withdrawal is rough even when one isn’t a big candy eater. The next year it was just dessert, not all sugar. The following it was cheese. You get the gist. So this year I contemplated giving up alcohol. I really did for a day or two. But last night I realized after I signed up for Match.com for a month to provide some entertainment as well as to throw my hat in the ring again to hopefully meet someone that I am not sure I can endure some of those blind date meetings without at least one glass of a pain killer/social lubricant. Thus, alcohol was off the table.
So tonight as I showered quickly rushing to make it to church at 6PM it came to me. As all my good ideas do come – when I am in the shower. I decided to give up saying the F word for 40 days. Yes that was it I thought to myself as I combed conditioner through my hair swiftly. I am sure there is something perhaps sacrilegious about giving up a word like this for Lent but I think the higher powers would be cool with me not cursing as much. Could I do it I wondered? I know it is a foul word some say but I happen to love that word. It’s so versatile. It’s a verb, an adjective, a noun, an adverb (google “the F word” – it’s funny and the video will explain it) so hopefully you get it. Anyway, I know it happens to slip out here and there and, I must add, some have found it offensive from time to time so I figured it’s worth a shot.
Knowing myself a bit, ok a lot, I decided to up the ante and committed that I would put a dollar in a jar for every F word that utters my lips for the next 40 days. So I already owe $6 and it’s only been six hours. Ugh. I know this makes me out to be a very foul mouthed cursing maniac which I am not. Really! But I do love this word even though it is… well… not well appreciated by everyone. I also decided to keep a daily video log of how it’s going. Perhaps some interviews. May make it into a short. We will see.
After Easter, the entire jar will be donated to a charity of my choice. In fact, tonight I thought that it might be the perfect start for a new charity that a friend and I were discussing the other day. We will see but it seems like this may be much more difficult than sugar. Or I will just have to keep my mouth shut for 40 days…..hmmm…never gonna happen. Thank God I kept the booze!