On Saturday night, I experienced one of the most gut-achingly hilarious conversations I have encountered for a while...and once again, it involved daughters, so for anyone feeling I am becoming a Mumsy Blog, I apologise forthwith, but please, read on...
The talk that night was of church and Catholicism. Earlier this year, I became a member of the Roman Catholic church which, to be perfectly frank, was to ensure that my daughters got the best education this council area can offer. I am far from being a God-Botherer, preferring to keep my faith very quiet and internal, and so changing religions didn't rail against my personal beliefs in any way.
Daughters #1 and #2 have embraced Catholicism in totally different ways. #1 sees it as a chore. She has no time for Mass, sacrements or any of that 'nonsense', and views the school Chapel as purely a place for her and her friends to hook up with their respective boyfriends for a furtive snog, when they are supposed to be dusting it, which is quite appalling. #2 daughter, however, is set to become Soeur Sourire, I fancy. I am quite prepared to watch her erupt with 'Dominique a-nique nique nique' in the very near future.
So, how we got onto the subject of sinning on Saturday night is beyond my ken, but #1 exclaimed that she was a sinner of the first order, not, ironically enough, due to the gropes in the Chapel, but because she had partaken of the Eucharist without being confirmed. #2 santimoniously informed us that she thoroughly enjoyed eating the bread as it tasted scrummy and wondered what it was made of. I replied that I was pretty certain it was just rice paper, and agreed that it was jolly tasty.
#1 'eeewed' at us both and proceeded to divulge that the 'Holy Bread' was made by the schoolkids in Food Tech. At this, I went into peals of laughter. I was utterly gobsmacked that a load of spotty oiks could be entrusted to make 'Holy Bread', knowing that their food hygeine would be way below par, that they would have arrived at that lesson having just snuck off for a crafty fag behind the bike sheds, a quick fumble with the girl of the moment, and possibly a detour to the toilets for a furtive zit pick. #1 couldn't understand my tears of laughter and proceeded to protest that it was made just like normal bread but with Holy Water and Holy Flour...this made me even worse. What the hell is Holy Flour?
And when the priest blesses it, does he realise the school have been cutting corners and using child labour to make his bread? Or is he in on it, and he and the Headmaster are divvying up the savings to place on the 12.30 from Kempton? Knowing this particular priest, and how he nods off during #2's Masses, I would guess he probably spends his cut on a few crates of Jim Beam.
I used to date an ex-communicated priest, as a matter of fact - he got kicked out for forgetting his vow of celibacy and became my manager when I started work at a firm of accountants many years ago. I was 19 and he was 41. He was a bit of a nutter, really, and told me that one of the most boring tasks he had to perform was hearing Confession. Because he couldn't be seen, he would take in magazines to read, and at one point, took up knitting to pass the time. This particular past-time had to be curtailed when he dropped his ball of wool and it rolled out from under the cubicle door and across the floor of the church...
I have been appalling and not ventured inside a church since #2 was baptised at Easter. Every Sunday I tell myself I will go to the 11am Mass and every Sunday I seem to find myself otherwise engaged at that time.
Well, perhaps I will find myself in a church again in the not too distant future...and on that note, I shall sign out and leave you to ponder!