Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I Heart Pancakes

Today is Pancake Tuesday.

You may be familiar with it's more common names: Mardi Gras, Shrove Tuesday, Fat Tuesday?  These are all the same thing – The day before Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. 

Now, you won't hear me talk too much about religion on this as it really isn't a priority in my life.  But I was raised Irish Catholic, and I was Confirmed when I was thirteen.  Mostly, I went through this Sacrament because everyone else I knew was doing it – I went to a private Catholic grammar school that was K-8, so when we all went off to high school, basically everyone came back for our Monthly Confirmation classes for, I think, more social than religious reasons.  And, as a thirteen year old, it was important to me that I would some day be able to get married in the Church.  Seriously.  That was a concern. 

And then after Confirmation, I pretty much stopped going to Mass except when we went in school (surprise! I also went to private Catholic all girls high school).  But I've still continued with the 40 days of Lent thing.  It kind of became a joke like, "If I give up soda for Lent, Baby Jesus will forgive me for premartial sex!" 

The point is that Lent is a time when you fast, or rather for most of us, give up things like chocolate, soda, and booze.  So, on Fat Tuesday, the day before the 40 days of fasting, we celebrate and are gluttonous.  Some places go all out, like New Orleans' Mardi Gras... But in Ireland (and other British colonized countries) tradition involves pancakes. Yep!  The idea is to use all the rest of the rich and fatty foods in your house before Lent.  Seriously, guys.  You can read all about it here: Pancake Tuesday!

In celebration of Pancake Tuesday, The Captain and I went out for Pancakes for lunch today at the Original Pancake house.  I had traditional pancakes, stuffed with bacon.  Then I came home and made both traditional pancakes as well as crêpes or "Irish Pancakes" as we call them.

In all seriousness, I will be giving up something for Lent this year.  I participate in this tradition as a form of personal growth and to challenge myself, more so than as a Religious endeavor.  This year, I'll be giving up shopping and extraneous spending.  This means that I will not be making any purchases that are unnecessary* – so groceries are OK, eating out is not.  Bills will be paid, gas will be bought, any health related issue will be addressed, but everything else, including but limited to new dresses, shoes, beauty products, music, movies, technology... these things will have to wait until after Easter.  Because I'm pretty sure Baby Jesus will love me more when I have more money.

*There is an exception.  My hairdresser and I are both doing this for Lent and on the same weekend, she will be in Portland with her mom and I will be visiting The Wizarding World of Harry Potter with Boyfriend.  We have agreed that for this ONE weekend, spending money will be OK.  We're going to text each other to make sure we aren't cheating the rest of the time!

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