I wasn’t going to discuss Lent; somewhat detracts from the sacrificial aspect if one wants attention and sympathy points. But what the hell, I am Catholic. I will feel guilty about this post and all will be forgiven.

My sacrifice for the forty days originally started as a relinquishment of desserts –even though I am not a huge dessert person, save for my occasional ice cream –because a little weight loss is a nice side-benefit when being noble. But a sacrifice with ulterior motives is probably more for me than for Jesus.

And then I thought, hey, maybe I should find something a little, you know, difficult. (Profound, no?) Something of which I don’t have the best control. Like my occasional drunken/social cigarette. But again, saving myself from lung cancer, probably more for me than Jesus.

Over AIM, my favorite college roommate and I were discussing this dilemma and she challenged me to give up shopping (which I am supposed to be doing with my New Year’s Resolutions anyway). And even though the shopping by her apartment in Chicago is MUCH superior to that in Minneapolis, she thought I would have a much harder time with it. (Probably true.) And Jesus, I am pretty sure, doesn’t necessarily support my excessive consumption habits. Dilemma: solved.

With my Lent goals selected, I was content until The Kid’s roommate Sweets conveyed that he had no faith that I could refrain from wine for forty days. Wine is very tasty. But I do like proving people wrong and although I am not so sure Jesus would necessarily approve – him with that whole turning water bit – so I gave the stipulation that I would give up wine if he gave up pot. When one of us cheats, the other is off the hook. I told him he’d last a week. He said that estimate was generous. On this one, I refuse to cave. Besides, my impending alcoholism always has beer and booze to fall back on.

I usually start very strong with my Lent affirmations but bargain and barter near the end. Although there’s not much wiggle room with these, I always tend to justify a loophole. I’ll let you know when I find one.