The Pleasure Who’s Name May Not Be Spoken (Or “How I Learned to Stop Feeling Guilty and Love Reality TV”): A Guest Post from “Dances Like a White Girl”

I am happy to report that I am really super busy with no time for blogging at the moment. Why does that make me happy? Because it gives me a reason to have my buddy IrishWriterGirl75 guest post on my blog. She has some wicked talent ya’ll. Enjoy!!

The Pleasure Who’s Name May Not Be Spoken (Or “How I Learned to Stop Feeling Guilty and Love Reality TV”) by IrishWriterGirl75

Though it has been noted for centuries that those of the Catholic or Jewish faith have the market cornered on guilt, the notion of predestination in the Presbyterian doctrine evokes nothing short of crippling self-awareness and over-analyzation of every waking action. “Did I remember to tell everyone at the potluck that there are pistachios in the Watergate Salad?” “Did I sit rigidly enough on that hard pew during the sermon or did I kind of sway when we sang “The Church’s One Foundation?” “Will I ever learn all the words to “God Be With You” even though I heard it, like, 250,000 times? And will there be a quiz?” The most anxiety inducing facet is, of course, no matter what you do, or don’t, those who have been chosen to go to Heaven have been picked long before they were born, so… good luck with that. It would be just like a bunch of suspicious Scots from the Highlands (which are cold, I mean blustery cold, made even colder with no leggings to wear under kilts) to create this belief. With that said, I’m still proud of my heritage and have really fond memories of our sweet, small, limestone church in my tiny hometown. But that guilt…well, as they saw about polyester and insulated casserole carriers, it travels well.

I have the kind of life that really, I shouldn’t have to escape from, and that makes me feel guilty. I have a great family, terrific job, supportive friends, an education, a good place to live, and plenty (if not too much, as evidenced by my scale) to eat. But I am also blessed (cursed) with a vivid and overactive imagination. And, in all fairness, I have the kind of job that deals with human emotions and reactions, that it’s like having someone vomit all over your shoes, sometimes on multiple occasions over the course of one day. Though I love to read, sometimes I can’t focus on a story, no matter how good it is. That is when I turn to my vice. Reality TV.

O.K., here goes. My show, like me, is off kilter and, quite frankly, appeals to the 16-21 year old demographic for squealy, dramatic girls and immature, dateless 25-45 year old men. And I judge not, for apparently, for these are my people. My show, like “Urkel” in days of old, emerges on Friday night at primetime and provides cheesy entertainment, met with chortles and eye rolling. But, also like “Urkel” (yeah, I know, it’s “Family Matters” for any sticklers out there), it’s got heart. And eye candy (draw your own conclusions). Since I’m not getting paid to endorse the show, I won’t do it any favors by saying the name, but I will describe it thusly : Three guys of varying maturity levels are locked, on purpose, in places reputed to be haunted, or at least condemned, over night. Their mission: to prove the existence of ghosts, and their own equilibrium (they fall down sometimes because, well, it is dark). My admission: I never miss an episode and I own two seasons of the show. As in, they are part of my DVD collection. The classiness just won’t stop. I should not like this. But I do. Therein lies the guilt.

The lesson in all of this you ask? Our society is full of ways to self-destruct, as well as ways to positively rebuild what has been lost. There’s only room for feelings of guilt, loss, and shame in one these options. As for me, I will fight feeling bad for destroying my brain cells with sugar-coated shows. After all, I could run into someone from the show “on the other side” someday, and we would have to have something to talk about. Ahhh, justification…

IrishWriterGirl75 is new to the blogging world, and she muses over on Dances Like a White Girl. She is smart, funny, and has some mad writing skills…oh, and she does in fact dance like a white girl. I’ve seen it. True story. She also has pretty much the easiest and best laugh in the world. So head on over to her blog, and check her out! 

OH, and she (along with this other really cool blogger I know who happens to be me) is also featured in the best book on the market for nursing mothers, Milk Diaries, written by the talented Maggie Singleton. It is available on Amazon!

Leap of Faith: Michael v. Church, part 157

Oh, Michael.

Parents are sometimes told, “what goes around, comes around”…most often by their own parents who see the misbehavior of children as some kind of karmic payback for the grief they themselves caused growing up. I fully admit that Grace is giving me a taste of my own youthful willfulness and dramatics, but Michael? By default, the blame for Michael’s actions must lie with my husband. Which also means that many, many, many stories about his childhood were conveniently kept silent from me before I sired children with him. I hereby make the claim of false advertisement. But I guess it is too late to do anything about it. I will nobly soldier on, and tell you my latest story in the meantime.

jumping jesus
Does this mean Jesus is cool with a little hang time? (photo from

Know this to be true: Michael and Church do not mix very well. They have had numerous battles during his short four years of life, mostly dealing with Church’s requirement of silence and Michael’s aversion to it. And there was that time he drank from the holy water font like a dog.

Well, at mass this past Sunday, our family was responsible for bringing up the Offertory gifts. I can almost hear a sympathetic “oh no” at the foreboding that statement instills in those of you who have read about Michael’s past exploits. Let me quickly assure you that neither the wine nor the Communion hosts ended up on the floor, thankfully. But that was only because the usher very wisely handed Michael the giant basket of the weekly collection to take up to the priest. And Michael likely accepted it without protest because it was the biggest item, therefore the best item. The procession up the aisle was actually incident-free, as was the hand-off of the goods. But while the rest of the family bowed in reverence toward the crucifix, Michael whipped around and took a running leap down all three of the altar steps, landing with the smacking sound of his “church shoes” against the marble floor. Awesome. 

After mass was over, one of the ushers came up and thanked me for volunteering to take up the gifts. “You got quite the little comedian there,” he teased. I guess I can be thankful that my embarrassment serves as a source of chuckles for others…and that I believe in a God who is truly forgiving.