Do you talk to yourself? I do. All the time. So far though, not out loud. This is one of my favorite jokes, because it fits me:
Two guys are sitting at a bus stop. Neither is speaking but the first guy suddenly bursts out laughing.
"What's so funny?" the second guy asks.
"I was just sitting here telling myself some jokes," the first guy said, wiping tears from his eyes, "and I told myself one I'd never heard before."
There is always a conversation going on in my head and sometimes it is mildly amusing. I was walking down a very quiet hallway this afternoon, not really paying any attention to that conversation when all of a sudden the voice in my head said, "I have no real talent for Catholicism."
A quick rewind of that train of thought took me back to collections. I had been thinking about collections. Do you collect things? I collect movie soundtracks; white, art deco, praying, virgin Mary figures; crappy virgin Marys, all things Wonder Woman, comic books, skulls, gargoyles, Homies, anything with a Gothic arch shape and now nuns.
Nuns fascinate me. Priests too. I know full well why this is - my reading tastes are far too narrow and there are far too many crime-solving Catholic clergy out there. And now I find that I'm slowly amassing a miscellany of nun-ish stuff. My favorites are the three teeny-tiny nun figures that Mindy gave me. They look like they're being held at gun point. We can't figure out why their arms are raised, unless maybe they're freakishly charismatic evangelicals. I dunno. But they're cool. (I'll try to post a picture of them tomorrow.)
Yes, I like little rubber nuns and nuns on plates and sparking, walking nunzillas. Haven't had that much luck with real-life nuns. The only time I've actually spoken to a nun was the time Jackson and I made an agreement with Katie's mother to take her to confirmation classes since she was with us every weekend and her momma wanted her raised Catholic.
We were sort of half-ass attending a very cool little Catholic church at the time. The church used to have a school and a small convent, but financial constraints forced the school to close and there was only one or maybe two nuns in residence. Jackson called the church and asked about getting little miss Katie into confirmation classes. Sister Mary Martha of the Harsh Retribution made an appointment with us to come to the church and meet with her to discuss what needed to be done.
I thought that was cool. Nuns fascinate me, after all. I was excited. Jackson and I scrubbed our faces one Saturday morning and made our way to the Sister's office. (She told us not to bring the kid.)
If I was doing a dissertation in sociology or something, I would totally write about that experience. Silly cradle-Baptist me thought this would be like any other churchy meeting I'd ever been privy to. We'd chat and feel good about everyone and then there would be a schedule to discuss and maybe some food. The meeting would be held after either the Sunday or Wednesday service because we wouldn't want to have to go to church on yet another day during the week. We'd leave with good intentions, a four color brochure and little else.
That Saturday morning, the Sister and welcomed Jackson and I into her office. Actually, welcome is a bit too strong. More like she ordered us into her office and all but whacked the chairs we were to sit in with a riding crop or something. We hadn't even been introduced and already we felt guilty.
She explained that the classes met every week between the two Sunday morning masses and that Katie must be there for each and every class. As she lectured us about our spiritual parental responsibilities, I kept waiting for the pleasantries and maybe some cookies. It was a long wait. There were no pleasantries. None. Only instructions. Very direct instructions.
And no cookies. Not even a stray wafer.
Then, after a few weeks, when we realized the whole Cathist/Batholic thing wasn't really workable and we'd have to chose a religion and stick with it, we quit taking Katie to confirmation classes. If we hadn't been so cowardly, we would've called the Sister, or at least the Father, and told them why we weren't coming back. But, we didn't.
Instead we would cringe when the phone rang every Sunday morning. "Don't pick it up!" we'd yell to each other and then huddle together over the answering machine and tremble at the sound of the Sister's inquiry into where Katie was and why wasn't she in class?
We were a little culture shocked by the whole thing. I, for one, am not used to that particular approach. It never occurred to me that the church might command me to do something and then expect my full and unequivocal cooperation. It was really interesting and if I were less shallow I would spend some time thinking about that and it's possible implications.
I can't think right now, though. Gotta go finish my Father Koesler mystery.