Posted by: pendrops | February 4, 2008

a good idea


“I’m giving up wine for Lent,” I told Jason the other day. I said it so matter-of-factly that I almost convinced myself it was something I’d been planning since Epiphany. Truth is, I had only been thinking of it for about five minutes when I blurted my declaration.

“You sure?” he asked.

“Yeah. I’ve never done the Lent thing before. And wine just seems like, well, a good thing to give up.”

Now that I’ve thought about it, giving up one or two glasses of Cabernet each week hardly warrants a fast. Giving up chocolate or peppermint tea or goat cheese would be more appropriate, if sheer volume was the criteria.

But I had staked my claim with wine. It is one of my favorite things, after all. And it will be hard on those nights when my pasta and meat sauce or my homemade pizza sits before us in the shadow of a mid-February night.

“When is Lent anyway?” I asked Jason, already regretting this proclamation as I thought of our new favorite red table wine, Sacred Stone, and how well it goes with my garlic baked chicken and side salad drizzled in olive oil.

“I don’t know,” he replied.

“Well, whenever Mardi Gras is, it’s the next day,” I said, pulling up an imaginary calendar. “Hey, that’s this Wednesday.” I breathed in and sighed, determined to see my fast through to the victorious March 22nd end. Even if I didn’t know why.

But a few hours later, I got my reason. Jason and I were at Circuit City watching the first quarter of the Super Bowl (this is what you do when you don’t have cable). At one of the first commercial breaks, I caught a mediocre ad claiming this particular diet soft drink had fewer calories, even less sugar, and loads more caffeine. As zombie-like thirty-somethings came awake at drinking the soda, something about the stimulant-saturated beverage ticked me off.

“When is the pendulum gonna swing?” I asked. “When is it gonna end? This excess? I mean, how much more caffeine can we stand, really?”

Jason argued that it was already swinging the other way. But I didn’t believe him as I felt the hum and deep bass vibrations of thousands of soon-to-be obsolete electronic devices around me.

“When are we gonna just stop consuming so much? Just be content? Who needs all that caffeine,” I asked under my breath, suspecting that I had started sounding like a crotchety old man.

But then I became so involved in the game that I forgot about my consumption rant. I didn’t revisit it until our exit from the store.

“Oh, man, that’s out on DVD?” I thought as I looked at Becoming Jane and 3:10 to Yuma, bright and shiny in their cellophane wrappers on the shelf. “I want, I want!” In less than ten seconds, I picked no less than eight movies that would finally complete our collection of well-over a hundred DVDs.

Caffeine isn’t my drug. Neither is a 1080p resolution wide-screen high-def TV. Neither is wine. But I’m like everyone else when it comes to wanting stuff and wanting lots of it. And the awareness of that makes saying no to something, anything, even a little wine for forty days, seem a good idea.



  1. Girl, I just love you! And you totally remind me of me- those impetuous (did I spell that right?) declarations and the muttering under my breath and the whole not being able to say no to things, especially pretty 🙂 And I don’t know if you were kidding about watching the Super Bowl at Circuit City but that made me laugh out loud. If I ever have a reason to actually watch the Super Bowl, you and Jason can come over to my house and watch it with me- I won’t sell you a single one of my DVD’s so you’ll save 😉

    Love you,

    P.S. Did you feel the wind tonight? It was beautiful… The clouds were ripping across the sky and suddenly they’d part and it was if the sky had opened up and was rushing over my head. God is so completely cool… 🙂

  2. Ha! Good luck! Can I say that in reference to something spiritual? Well, anyway, you’ll be happy to know that Tim has given up coffee for lent. (I’m relating this to your rant on caffeine.) If you knew Tim, you’d understand this is a big feat! I’m actually missing the smell of coffee in the morning. . . . sigh. . . as for me, well, I feel like a bad Christian, but I’m not giving up anything. I did it for a few years and then . . . just gave up.

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