Sunday, February 21, 2010

Wishing You a Very Merry Lent!

Over the past few days, I've been hearing a lot of chatter at work and online about Lent. I wasn't raised Catholic, so I know that people customarily give up some bad habit for the forty days of Lent but, beyond that, I'm not very familiar with this particular religious observation.

I do, at least, now know that Lent has little or nothing to do with lint or lentils, as I once suspected when I was a child.

Every year around this time I'm reminded of a particular project that my fourth grade class was assigned back at Hopedale Memorial Elementary School. Our teacher handed us each a fresh sheet of blank paper and told us to write a few sentences about what we were giving up for Lent. Beneath that, we were instructed to draw an accompanying illustration.

I realized, years later, that this was probably a wildly inappropriate assignment for children at a public school. I'm not going to write about that now, though... I'll leave you to ponder that on your own.

What I will write about is the astonishingly bold and selfless choice that I made when prompted to give up something for forty days:

I wrote that I was choosing to give up canned tuna that wasn't dolphin safe.

And I drew a picture of a dolphin, caught in a net, weeping.

What I did not include in my project was this sneaky secret: I hated tuna. I was entirely unwilling to eat it anyway, dolphin safe or otherwise.

Every time I walked by that poster, which was displayed in the hallway along with the rest of my classmates' work, I felt a twinge of shame about the trick I had played. I felt guilty about it then, I felt guilty about it years later, and I still feel a little guilty about it now.

Perhaps I would have made a good Catholic after all.

(Please note that the above drawing is a recreation - the original art 
was lost or destroyed... or possibly confiscated by the Illuminati.)

1 comment:

Tracy said...

Oh my...does it get any funnier than this? I doubt it.