For those who celebrate, I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas.
Let’s start out with my favorite “unconventional” Christmas tune. I have to get on thanking and complimenting Mark Bialczak for nominating me. Such an awesome writer and all-around Dude. Mark abides.
If I had to pick a favorite Christmas song it would have to be “O Holy Night,” but it has to be done right and the notes have to be hit. More credit will be given if the song is sung in French, Italian, Latin, or any other language for that matter.
Last night I joined a good number of my fellow Christmas-Palm-Sunday-and-Easter (C.P.E.) church goers at St. Cecelia Roman Catholic Church in Solvay, New York. It’s the church where I had been baptized, the church where my family has returned to after bouncing from St. Charles in Westvale (the First Communion Years) and St. Michael/St. Peter on Onondaga Hill (the Confirmation Years). The altar at St. Cecelia is the former alter of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, which is located in Downtown Syracuse.
Despite not being thoroughly happy with Catholicism, I’ll still attend masses. I consider myself spiritual if not a Catholic. When I get married, it will have to be in a church. If the woman I marry isn’t Catholic, it won’t be that big of a big deal; however, a priest will be on the alter while marrying us. Despite current beliefs, Catholicism is a part of who I am. It’s often hard to find those former Catholics who write off the religion as if it never existed; there is some personal insecurity with that, because the past is the past–you cannot erase even a smidgen of it–and you should accept it.
You are you, after all. Your journey is your journey.
Sometimes, I do wish I had that guide as a safety net of reassurance insurance.
Exactly, but–of course–by that point it would be too late to take anything back… and that’s fine with me. Mistakes should be made, and they should be seen through, cautiously.
Mass was as beautiful as always. The kids performed the annual pageant, which was cute. Santa walked down the aisle after Communion, and gasps could be heard emitting out of the little ones’ mouths.
To kick mass off, before it began, my mom and another close Sherwood parent agreed the young woman in front of us was really pretty. Mind you, moms sometimes don’t have volume control.
Me: [Rolling my eyes] Yes, mom. Thank you. I noticed. She doesn’t have a ring either.
Mom: Hey, I’m just saying. You don’t have to get annoyed.
Me: Just keep it down.
[Later that evening…]
Mom: So there was this cute girl in front of us in mass.
Me: [Rolls eyes] Her family was nice. (My father and I had made conversation with him and a brother before mass.)
Mom: Her brother looked like Cousin Eddie.
Me: So all plaid wearers look like Cousin Eddie?
Mom: [Ignoring my comment] Maybe she’s on Christian Mingle?
(NOTE: My mom brings up Christian Mingle up all the time. She once made a joke about me signing up for that, which bothered me. She took that annoyance as a thorn in my side, and continues to use it more often than not.)
(NOTE: I don’t think she knows that I tried eHarmony for a couple months, cancelling the subscription one month early.
(NOTE: Her bringing it up still bugs me like the very first time.)
(NOTE: See what I did there? “Like a Virgin” lyrics? Christmas? Christians? Waiting til marriage? Ideals? Whatever…)
Me: Why the hell do you keep bringing up Christian Mingle? It has nothing to do with anything. (I was clearly in denial, because there was a connection.)
Mom: [Laughing (because she is winning)] I know. [Turning toward Erin’s mom] This girl clearly doesn’t go to church. It didn’t look like she knew what the she was doing.
Me: That makes her a good match then. After the responses/prayers have been changed, I’m not sure of what to do either.
That last comment fell on deaf ears.
Cliche alert!!! Cliche alert!!! Cliche alert!!!
Mom just wants to see me happy. Thankfully, I didn’t not get a paid subscription to Christian Mingle to unwrap the following morning. I could not imagine my parents filling out my profile for me. Perhaps asking for a mail-order bride would have been appropriate?
* * *
Christmas Eve was spent at my brother his girlfriend’s house. Our parents, her parents and sister all gathered for a fun story-filled evening with standard and veggie lasagna, salad, and varieties of cookies for dessert. Everything turned out delicious.
The night was great for our parents. They got to hang out for the first time in a while, and our fathers went back-and-forth with storytelling about school and growing up. Although, the younger generation have heard these stories several times, it’s fun to have others take a listen, respond, and reciprocate. It’s strange enough that the two fathers went to the same elementary school; despite not knowing each other and having different paths, it’s comforting to see two strangers–both Irish Catholics–meet down the line.
The night gave the four of them a night off. I was going to say adults instead of referring to our parents as them, but resisted. It’s habitual to keep referring to our parents as adults when we–kids–are adults as well. Mike and Erin are in their late 20’s, and Tara and I just turned 30 (she more recently than I).
However, our parents had a nice relaxing evening. They deserve a holiday night off.
Tara and I were there the previous night, which was a friend gathering; we had a low-key evening where playing Cards Against Humanity was a must. When moving happens, I’ll miss some of these occasions, but it will be fun to come back during the holidays. Life is about doing and creating, and missing out on the occasional gathering will happen. I’m probably going to meet some woman who most likely will not have family in Central or any part of New York state. It’s a reality that should be accepted before taking leaps and bounds.
Not too many people in the house heard about or played Cards Against Humanity, so it was a perfect opportunity to break it out for the 10 of us to play. No one reached seven cards, so we made an executive decision to have a final round. I clearly was not winning, so I took the lead with the last round, and purposely picked out the black card that required people to make their own haiku. Travis took the prize home, and his winning haiku can be found in the pictures below.
I play with words and invisible objects.
A mind, a pen and a piece paper have the best relationship ever.
"Remember this--if you shut your mouth, you have your choice."
- F. Scott Fitzgerald