My debut article was supposed to be inspired by the most Gawdly of muses. One rainy evening a few weeks ago, a certain someone announced that he would write a monologue admitting that he loves Hello Kitty. I was inspired. I promptly proclaimed that my first article would be a rebuttal to his. My thoughts then devolved into an internal dialogue of yokes about his feline love. Oh, the material.
If you don't know what a yoke is, boy have you been deprived. And before you hypothesize, it's not part of an egg. Don't go look up the definition; it's a concocted word. The term's origins are lost in the annals of time, but somehow yokes were unleashed. Yokes are a particular subcategory of stupid jokes. Typically spawned from way too much sugar, yokes are grammar-school jokes with some lightly-twisted meaning and they tickle me immensely.
However, I tire waiting to rebut Security Gawd's Ode, so I'll move on to a less dependent topic. A few weeks ago, attempting to comply with the traditions of my religion, I decided to give up meat for Lent. To be completely honest, I only decided to give up something for Lent because I felt like a bad Catholic. You see, my coworker gives up a butt-load of crap for Lent every year—hard stuff like caffeine and junk food. I haven't even tried to give up anything for Lent since I was a kid. At a very tender age, I realized that I don't have the resolve to give up stuff that I like for 40 days. So instead of continuing the self-defeating practice, I stopped giving things up for Lent.
Unequivocally, that was the best idea I ever had for Lent. Heck, it lasted for years and years. I even extended the notion in middle school and banned personal New Year's resolutions. I was proud that I had eliminated the flaw of the bogus promise. As those around me set themselves up for the inevitable downfall, I just moved through the days without a second thought. But my kingdom crumbled when a colleague announced her last junk-food meal for 40 days. Guilt overriding my simple truth, I racked my brain for something to give up. I didn't want to give up something good because I don't have that kind of stick-to-it-ness. Formulating the seemingly perfect abstention, I decided to give up meat.
The best part of my plan to give up meat for Lent involves the timing of HoneyBaked Ham. HoneyBaked Ham is simply the best ham ever. Pigs sacrificed to feed people should never become a ham other than HoneyBaked Ham. I've always figured that if it weren't for HoneyBaked Ham, I could go Vegetarian, no problem. That said, there are precisely two times a year that I always get HoneyBaked Ham; one is New Years. Ironically, the other is Easter, which just so happens to be the day Lent ends.
Confident that I could hold true to my meatless pledge, I felt like a born-again Catholic. OK, I wasn't about to go to church, but I felt good about my demonstration of faith. In theory, I'm totally on-board with the romantic symbolism of giving up something for Lent. In practice, I quickly realized two things.
First, people do not think I'm pious. Whenever that I admitted why I was avoiding meat and ordering a potato, I was met with disbelief. Most were just looks, but each and every member of my family replied with some version of "since when do you care about stuff like that?!" Now listen here, my kin, the only reason you were informed of my observance was due to my second revelation: I eat out a lot and pretty much everything that I order out is freaking-chicken. That's right: chicken tenders, chicken wraps, chicken salads, chicken and a side, kung pao chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken. So, I kept making due. I made it through about five, harassed, menu-searching days. Then, in one lapse of attentiveness, I absently ordered a shredded chicken salad. The second the plate hit the table, I realized my mistake. Not about to waste the poor, killed birdie and not about to anger my spit-ready server, I abandoned the meat-free diet and chalked it up to my sucky ability to fast. When I announced defeat to my husband he replied with the obligatory response, "since when are you Catholic?" Forget it, just forget it. I'm back to the one promise that I stumbled upon in my youth, I re-give up giving up stuff for Lent.