Saturday, January 06, 2007
Nuns Having Fun
One of the ladies who works at the Catholic Charity brought us a new calendar. I believe the title is "Nuns Having Fun".
We do have fun.
Then we feel guilty about it.
Although I think our idea of fun might be hugely different than that of the average citizen. I have a real ball cracking out the Murphy's Oil Soap and working on the swirls and curls of wood in the pulpit. Our church used to have one of those tall wooden, ornately carved pulpits. After Vatican II they chopped off the top...you know where the priest stands for the sermon like the basket on a hot air balloon, only made of wood...and kept that. I can't imagine what they did with the 'stem'.
There is something off-putting about this calendar, though, and it took me a while to put my finger on it. (It took me a while to find someplace to hang it, too...it's big.) I don't begrudge the nuns having fun. These nuns actually are having fun. There are a bunch of them on a roller coaster. A few of them are ice skating. One is in a tree swing, swinging. A group is playing soccer. One group appears to be at some sort of fashion show. It's a nice fashion show, too, the model is wearing sensible shoes, her arms are covered, her hemline is just below the knee...she is even wearing a hat. Would that people still dressed this way for Mass! Don't get me started!
In fact there is only one picture in the calendar that is off-putting in and of itself. There are two nuns playing "Twister". Twister Sisters. That is wrong on so many levels.
It took me an entire week of staring at the calendar there on the coffee table awaiting it's home for the year to figure out why it was bothering me: when nuns have fun doing things that 'normal' people do and someone takes a picture of it, the whole exercise is all about nuns being 'cute'.
Not cute because they are attractive girls wearing veils.
Cute because, "Oh look! It's nuns on a hayride!" "The sisters are fishing!" "Wait a minute! That drummer is a nun!"
Being a nun means not drawing attention to yourself and to put yourself before others, to serve the church militant, of which we are a part. It doesn't mean we can't have fun on a hayride or may not have fun on a hayride (although I have never for the life of me been able to determine what is fun about a hayride). And there's nothing we can do about it if someone snaps a picture of us having fun on a hayride, if anyone of us is actually enjoying being on the back of a hay wagon going slowly around on a farm (I'd rather polish the pulpit...twice). And there's nothing we can do about it if someone makes a calendar out of it or sticks the picture in the Catholic Monitor. Why would they do that? Because we're so darn cute.
Heaven Help Us.
At least I have the satisfaction of knowing I'll never be pictured doing anything and looking cute. Everyday I look more and more like a bloodhound, especially in dim light. If someone snapped me on a hayride I'd just look like they were taking me out to hunt down a fugitive from a chain gang.
Heaven Help Me.