Monday, August 1, 2011

3 reasons why I couldn’t be a nun

Having been educated (scolded, molded, and folded) by the Sisters of the Immaculate Conception, and having recently had a long-awaited reunion with our deliciously awesome mother superior, Soeur Cécile, I can safely say that I could never, not in a million years, be a nun.



Here’s why:
1. My intense dislike of being poor: Living a life of labor and moderation ain’t in my cards. I may be able to pull off one or the other, but not both, at least not simultaneously, and certainly not in a sustained amount of time. If I had to pick one, I would have to choose labor, because, being the unofficial/undiagnosed but blatant OCD that I am, I would work hard to yield a desired outcome. Though I certainly couldn’t do it all the time. And as far as moderation goes, so as to allay the fears of anyone who thinks I may suddenly attempt to take the robe route, I have two words: purses & electronics. Can’t live without them. Have to have them. Have to have the latest ones (Valentino and Apple tie for first place, almost always). Must have all their peripherals. Must have enough of them in neat rows in their dust bags and sometimes even fancier storage bags purchased lovingly for the same purpose. Glorious, luxurious, designer purses! Ahhhh, my babies! So.. umm…yeah, poor is not something I could do well.

2. I stopped being chaste a while back: I have been married for 12 years, so obviously chastity went out the window a-running. If I had been asked this question, say… 13 years ago, I may have given a different answer. But now I know that I am not meant to have a pillow for a husband. I dare say I am quite fond of turning mid-sleep and hugging a warm body (a hairy, snoring, warm body, which I may then be quick to kick to its other non-snoring side but that’s neither here nor there). It did take me a long time to train this one so I am understandably reluctant to envision a future without it. Should anything happen to this one (divorce is not an option so basically mortal tragedy is the one possibility that could curtail my happy routine), the idea of another warm body would not be entirely displeasing, mind you, it just feels pretty foreign at this point. So, no, I'd rather not give up the male companionship altogether.

3. I could never willingly take a vow of obedience: I have a big problem, BIG problem with authority. In fact, the nuns of my childhood could attest to that fact with many, many anecdotes. Quick story: In 9th grade, after having just read Sartre, Camus, and their brethren, and having declared myself an unwavering existentialist, one Friday morning, I stood firm about not attending our weekly mass in an impromptu boycott, on account of I don’t believe in God. In my mind’s eye, I can still see the quivering lip of the Sister of the Immaculate Conception I told this to, as I stepped out of the obedient line of uniformed girls, marching two by two to the chapel. She quickly separated me from the herd, lest anyone else get any ideas about joining my solo defiance, and took me promptly to Soeur Cécile. I have to give her credit for her quick thinking. Instead of punishing me, calling my parents, sending me home, or suspending me permanently, our wise mother superior gave me the open-ended “chore” of cleaning her office every morning. So 10 minutes before the first bell, I was there, every morning, rain or shine, in her sanctuary, dusting her tchotchkes, hoping for the best but expecting the worst. She would sometimes come in and we’d chat as I tidied up an immaculate office that really didn’t need to be cleaned at all.  It took a whole academic year, but by the end of it, slowly but surely, she had convinced me that God and Nietzsche were not mutually exclusive. What’d-I tell you? She was awesome! Regardless of the outcome (and keep in mind that good catholic girls don’t stray too far away from their God, no matter how rebellious), this germinated the seed of revolt in me of any and all things one must accept without question, especially ones solely on the say-so of someone in a position of power. Now imagine me be-robed and be-humbled. It. Just. Would. Not. Work!

And there you have it. Truth be told, besides being physically incapable of taking the only three vows required to be a Sister, I can also be vain, haughty, unkind, and let’s just admit it, downright bitchy, especially when it comes to hypocrites who have the gall to condescendingly lecture me on my own morals, while theirs reside squarely in the crapper, just because they attend mass on a regular basis and say God willing and God bless a lot. Big problem, BIG problem with hypocrisy, but that’s another blog for another Monday morning...

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