Wednesday, January 23, 2013
Ask Sister Mary Martha's Readers
So today, I turn to our readers to ask you all a question. I need help!
In the shop we sell St. Dymphna. St. Dymphna is the patron for the mentally unbalanced and sleepwalkers, but because she has that distinction, every kind of off kilter, 'you're not normal' issue a person can have has also been glommed onto her.
And St. Dymphna had no mental or neurological problems. Her father did. She didn't even sleepwalk.
So, I've never felt that St. Dymphna really was a good patron saint for mental illness, rather, she was the victim of someone who was mentally ill.
All this time in the shop, and the shop has been around for many years now, we've billed St. Dymphna as the "Crazy People, St. Dymphna". She sells like hot cakes. I went round and round with how to bill her, since she has so many patronages and came up with 'crazy people' because she is more the patron saint for the off kilter (in my opinion) than serious mental illness.
I never thought that calling someone crazy (in jest) was a bad thing. Or saying, "Well, that's just crazy." Crazy is a useful word.
But from time to time I receive a diatribe from someone who is deeply offended that I would use that word in reference to the mentally ill. I don't, actually, since I actually don't recommend St. Dymphna for actual mental illness, but it looks like a do. 'Crazy' is a good bucket word for the not normal,l given there really is no such thing as normal. There is. But there isn't. We all understand this.
When I was a child, one of my favorite things to eat was sauerkraut on top of mashed potatoes with ketchup on top. If there was no ketchup, the whole thing was totally unappealing to me. Not normal.
I'm at a loss as to how to bill St. Dymphna. I don't want to offend anyone and their points are well taken. I also don't really agree with their well taken points. So I come to you, dear readers. Any ideas for a new billing for good old St. Dymphna? Patron saint of the not normal isn't very catchy.