Monday, October 15, 2012
An Angel Gets a Moustache
There has been a suggestion or two in the comments section (which is also the place to leave questions, by the way). I'll add my two cents.
It depends on the circumstance and the person. You wouldn't want to say anything that might embarrass the speaker of the misinformation if you were in a group of people, calling her out as a dumb bunny. You could say something very simple, like, "Oh I hope she is watching over us in Heaven! That means she's a saint! Everyone who is dead and in Heaven is a saint."
At least it doesn't sound like we're lowering Auntie Meg's pay grade.
I, too, cringe at such comments, but I can generally get away with a mild reminder (based on my get up) that Auntie Meg is a saint in Heaven, not an angel. I might even go so far as to mention that angels are a separate entity from human beings.
I tend not to do that, though. For one thing, these things are generally said at funerals and wakes, when people already have enough to think about. I might pipe up if it comes up in a regular old conversation, not at a mourning fest.
And even then....not so much. It really depends on the circumstances. I pick my battles, as they say. And sometimes, you just know your thoughts fall on deaf ears.
My mother is one of those people who insist, along with countless others, that if you shave the hair off anyplace on your body, it will grow back darker and thicker. I've listened to her admonish young people never to "start shaving" and tell the story about how Aunt Char's sister shaved her face and ended up with a thick black beard.
Maybe that's actually what happened to St. Wilgefortis.
The truth is Aunt Char's sister probably shaved her face because she already had a thick black beard. If shaving caused hair to grow back thicker and darker there would be no bald men or women and no men with scraggly beards.
After hearing her say it again recently, I did a little research. A lot of people believe this myth. Maybe I'm the one who is wrong? Maybe when women shave, their hair grows back darker and thicker?
The doctors at Mayo Clinic beg to differ, as does every single other person who knows anything about hair, shaving and hair growth.
But I'm not going to mention this to my mother, because she will tell me they're wrong and I'm wrong because she saw what happened to Aunt Char's sister. Which isn't even empirical proof, although I'm sure I could never convince her of that, either.
I imagine that people who want to believe that Auntie Meg is an angel in Heaven will continue to do so, no matter what you say to them. It's not the worse thing you could get wrong, theologically speaking.