Monday, March 5, 2012

The Commoner Observes Lent

Any of us who worked our way through Catholic School know one thing-no matter what else Lent is important.  It can save your very soul from Hell-or at least gain back some of those points you lost along the way-Fill in any appropriate sin here.

So even though I hardly ever go to church there are certain non-negotiables to being Catholic and observing Lent is one of them.  You can't eat meat on Friday and you have to make some observation, some offering, or some sacrifice.   

Over the past few years I have taken to observing the Annual Lenten Acts of Random Kindness.  This is hard work and during Lent becomes almost an obsession and definitely a burden.  Now I'm a nice person I think -but I don't go out of my way to be kind because I really go out of my way to mind my own business.  It's hard to marry the two.

Everyone waits for this event.  I'm like the Santa of the town.  You never know where I may strike.  I've done some great acts-like anonymous coffee, or money in a meter (I love that meter thing the best but we don't have any).  One time, while running through San Jose airport to catch a flight I stopped and told someone -"excuse me your coat is dragging."  that was super nice I thought.   One time I forced commoner Kristen to take my last Excedrin.  I think I yelled at her that she had to because I needed to get an act in.

It's very stressful, but all Lenten sacrifices are.  Over the years I've gotten pretty good at it.  Sometimes I think I've gotten so good at it that these don't really seem like acts of kindness.

 Maybe because I'm so much nicer now. LOL.  So now when I do something nice but not so special I'll put it on reserve in case I can't find anything later.  For instance sometimes I'll make my husband a new cup of tea-which is not really anything special, but I declare it my random act unless I can't find something better.  The other day I took my Starbucks cup out of the Target cart  and threw it away instead of leaving it there.  Sometimes I'll wave someone on in traffic and go there's the act for the day, that's all I have.

By the time these 40 days are over and I get to Easter I've had enough of being kind.  It's so much work.  Trying to find something nice to do every day?  Come on that's hard-and your not really supposed to talk about the acts-it's like Kris Kringle.  But I tell you what-after 40 days of random acts of Kindness comes 6 weeks of extra Bitchiness.  Remember Seinfeld?  Serenity now insanity later?  The same theory holds here.

I just hope that at the end of Lent, the ghosts of those nuns from high school and maybe God himself will have noticed how good I did and I'll be good for a little while longer.

Be on the lookout for a random act of kindness-it's probably me.