I was raised a Catholic. During Lent Catholics deny themselves some pleasure as a demonstration of sacrifice and devotion to our faith. Since I remarried, after 20 years of marriage to my first wife whom I do not speak to anymore, I am not officially a Catholic. Catholics are not allowed to remarry. Rules are rules.
However, I still practice Lent. I truly enjoy a cocktail or beer or wine most every day. But during Lent I give up alcohol of any type. During Lent it is no booze for me. I have been doing this most of my adult life.
Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent. Every year on Ash Wednesday I visualize myself 10 pounds lighter by the end of Lent. I do this every year but every year I weight the same on Easter Sunday as I did on Ash Wednesday.
I explained this phenomenon to my nephew Andy. Andy, who knows a thing or two about alcohol told me, “Uncle Manzie, the reason you don’t loose any weight is because you are substituting something else for the alcohol.” Andy challenged me with “I bet you are eating sweets during Lent that you don’t normally eat. Sweets are a common substitute for alcohol.”
Under my breathe I angrily muttered, “I suppose ice cream counts as sweets?”
That’s the problem! I like ice cream as much as I like a daily cocktail or two.
One of my earliest memories is eating vanilla ice cream out of a paper cup with a flat wooden spoon. This took place before I ever ate popsicles, drumsticks, dreamsicles or ice cream sandwiches. Ice cream in a paper cup was safe. There was no concern or danger of the ice cream melting too fast. Even if it melted it was still safely contained in the cup. Conversely, it takes a more mature and skilled person to consume ice cream in a cone or on a stick. Rapidity is required to avoid peril.
Today my superior dexterity and speed allows for the consumption of ice cream served in cones, cups, sandwiches and bars. And that is why I weight the same on Ash Wednesday as I do on Easter Sunday.
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