Thursday, January 24, 2013

Nun Of The Above

Growing up Catholic in Utah added a kind of twisty dimension to life. We attended Catholic school, in full plaid uniform regalia. Might as well have had three heads and purple polka dots. But they say what doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger. When she was in sixth grade, my sister Kathy and her friend Robin sewed nun habits to play in. Kathy is a fabulous seamstress, and able to make anything except maybe shoes. By the age of twelve, her sewing skills were already finely-honed. I’m sure the nun habits looked authentic. Kathy and Robin walked around the backyard, heads bowed in prayer. My mom received more than one phone call from a neighbor who was concerned that someone was extremely sick. Apparently, they couldn’t see the girls on the swing set when the nun game got boring. I couldn’t quite figure out what was so fun about walking around praying, but decided to find out. I asked if I could play, and was rebuffed because I didn’t have the required outfit. I was in Kindergarten, and hadn’t had that much contact yet with nuns. I had only a vague idea how they dressed. In my mind, a nun habit involved a dress, veil, rope around the waist, and old lady chunky-heeled sensible shoes that tied. Aside from the rope, I had none of those items. So I improvised. I wore a full petticoat, with a half petticoat on my head (the stiff, noisy 1960 kind), and a rope around my waist. For footwear, I chose a pair of black cowboy boots that were decorated with red and green diamond shapes. They were too cool for words. They were also too cool for playing nun. My sister totally dissed my outfit and refused to let me play. So, I think I went and dug a hole or something. If any neighbors were still watching our house, they probably thought all the praying was for the little insane girl with the petticoat on her head. This was the beginning of the end of my religious faith.

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