Near occasion of sin?

Ouch! Mary-T, a.k.a. “canon law Mary” – handed me a whammy last night. We were talking about our mutual frustration with a particular web site, when she said, “You know what? I’m just going to have to quit going on there. Whenever I talk to you or anyone else from the site, it’s ‘what’s going on with so-and-so…?'” and all we do is gossip. It really is a near occasion of sin for me!

And I feel so embarrassed, because she’s right. It’s a milieu that fosters gossip and criticism and fault-finding and – for me, the smug sense of how much smarter and more sensible I am that other women (and a lot of the men).

For instance: right now there is a thread in which a woman jokes about buying a couple of new coats for her new northern home (she’s from warmer climes, originally); the thread develops into a discussion of the “luxuries” considered “necessary indulgances” by the women – be it clothes, cosmetics, books, etc. –

– and I think, y’all are talking about spending more for a damn purse than I can bring home from either of my primary jobs in a month’s time!” and I feel self-satisfied that I have no such need for something as vain as a $600 purse to make me feel fabulous!

And in another thread, a woman announces that she sent a man a message which he didn’t respond to, so “it’s all over.” And without knowing a thing more than that, more than twenty-five women have jumped in that thread to commiserate with the woman about what a heel and a snake in the grass said man is for not responding to her message –

– and I think, how absolutely egotistical and even megalomaniacal it is that she should expect the world to revolve around her little two-sentence message. There are a dozen perfectly good reasons why the man didn’t respond to her message. Yet. If it’s who I think it is, I would add to the list of possibilities that the “relationship” being boasted of in the past couple of weeks is nothing more than a construct of her overfertile imagination. That means – there was nothing to BE OVER.

After all, when we say a relationship is OVER, it must first have existed. It must have had a beginning, a moment of engagement between the parties.

God preserve me from winding up like some of these people, who embarrass the daylights out of me with their folly.

Which is pride, sinful pride on my part, because I presume I’m superior to them.

I’ll talk it over with Father, tomorrow.

Whine alert

I have an ear infection. Pain. Low-grade fever. Sleepless nights x 2, now.

There is a truism floating around that women can endure any amount of pain and sickness and suffering and still muster on in the daily grind.

That truism is a LIE when it comes to me.

When I feel sick, I can’t imagine ever feeling well, ever again. I am miserable.

I want a hand to hold and a lap to lay my head in.

[/whine] – for the moment at least.

What’s in your library?

I’m nowhere NEAR done – maybe an optimistic guess is that I’ve got about 20% of my books entered so far? Still, this is FUN! Check out google Library – as soon as I can figure out how to enter it so my books alone show up, without the “add/delete” stuff for other people to tamper with, I’ll post my list.

I think…. it’s like this

A woman’s heart

A woman’s heart is a great mystery. We women don’t even understand it, ourselves. We love when it is wholly irrational to do so, and cannot when it would make so much sense. We come to see things we’d rather not see at all – because the heart is a scope into another person’s soul.

We can fight it, we can rage against it – it hardly matters. We will love despite ourselves, and suffer in the process.

I knew I was sunk when one day I suddenly realized, I want to iron his shirts. I don’t iron – unless it is absolutely necessary, but suddenly I was overwhelmed with the completely irrational yearning to iron his shirts.

I learned to iron so that my father could have a nice shirt to wear to work. He had to wear uniform shirts, and my mother would take them from the washer and dryer and dump them on the picnic table in the basement (the very picnic table I now use as my desk). He’d come through, trying to get ready for work (he was a long-distance trucker), and he would say, “Do I have a clean shirt to wear?” and she’d look at him from underneath her eyebrows, usually over hte top of a book, and she’d snap, “If you want a shirt, you can iron it yourself!” and for a long time he did – and not any too well, either.

So I learned to iron his shirts, because I adored my daddy and it shamed and infuriated me that my mother, his wife, should despise him so.

I should have known not to marry Danny or Rusty – the thought of ironing their shirts was boring. But now I want to iron his shirts, and I see myself handling the fabric that he wears against his own skin, and it is an act of great service, and love and devotion to a man … whose shirts I will quite surely never iron.

Such is the complexity and the fickleness of a woman’s heart – it betrays not the men, but us, the ones whose heart it’s supposed to be.

being faithful

I have wallowed in my own sufferings, some severe and some miserably petty, for so long, it’s an amazing relief to be able to look around and not see some catastrophe about to crash in on my head.

However, in the past couple of weeks I’ve been in a position of learning of other people’s sufferings – illnesses, deaths, estrangements from friends, etc. –

I’m selfish. My little respite is so precioius to me, I don’t want it disturbed.

But it has to be. God’s children don’t get time off for good behavior, or prolonged relief from carrying the Cross.

I’m glad I remembered that tonight – It’s not so hard to carry on when you know it’s a Divine Appointment you’re keeping.