Pastelitos

For some it’s Passover and for others it’s Holy Week. For me it’s none of the above.

It wasn’t always that way. It used to be all about Lent. Ash Wednesday, the Lent sacrifice, the washing of my feet, the two-hour stations of the cross. I did all of it. The one thing about Lent that I never got was Don’t-eat-meat-Fridays. Ugh. What a stupid tradition.

Growing up Catholic and misinformed, I always thought it was because we were eating the flesh of Jesus. I’m serious.  If we were supposed to believe that we eat him in the wafer, having him mysteriously appear in a Whopper wasn’t too far off. It was only until I was older that I was told that the meat was a sacrifice made by the wealthy. Well, much like everything else in the Catholic tradition, it doesn’t make sense in this century. Especially when there are 99 cent value meals that include delicious Jr. bacon burgers. That’s hardly a sacrifice for the wealthy.

Many years have passed since I’ve observed Lent. It equals the amount of years I haven’t practiced Catholicism. And, obviously, when you don’t practice something, you start forgetting the nuances, the traditions, the songs. There is no way I would know when to kneel, stand or sit now. It’s been too long.

Only, I’ve realized that by some twist of fate, I am once again observing Lent.

I realized it while writing my to-do list for tomorrow, which includes buying breakfast for my co-workers. Yes, I know, I’m adorable. I enjoy it. And my favorite breakfast food to bring is a box of pastelitos. Cuban-style pastelitos. That white box with a piece of scotch tape holding in all of the delicious smells and warmth. But, no, it’s not my act of giving that makes me observe Lent. It’s what happened when I mentioned that I would be bringing breakfast tomorrow. My announcement was met with immediate elation, but quickly followed by a collective squeal, “Don’t bring any Pastelitos de Carne!”

Oh Jesus.

Jesus is inside this puff pastry.

Promises, promises

Faith is a funny thing. And by funny, I mean funny ha-ha. I have faith that my bank won’t take my money and run and that my landlord is up to date on his mortgage payments of this God forsaken place.

I could pour all my goodwill in a cup and drink it every day for breakfast, but, really, it could still give me the stomach flu.

But, they promised.

They promised not to steal my money and not make me a squatter in my apartment. And because they promised, I have faith in them.

However, when I try to invert the equation, it doesn’t really work so well.

For instance, I promised Buddha’s lotus flower not to spend anymore money this week. Do you suppose it will have faith in me? At least enough to grant me my wish for a speedy approval for my new apartment? I also promised Saint Valentine not to eat any chocolate until Sunday, but I’m not sure he will hold the decision-makers at arrow point for me. Wait does Saint Valentine carry a bow and arrow? I think I just promised the wrong deity again.

I know what you’re thinking: “Why don’t you promise God that you will not watch anymore questionable late night movies on Showtime for the rest of lent in return for whatever it is you really want?”

Well, first, making a promise to the big G is ridiculous. Do you think he could have faith in my promises? Isn’t he supposed to be all-knowing? If I aim a little lower, I am pretty sure I’ll get better results.  And B., who told you I watch questionable movies?

I promise you I don’t.