Thursday, August 30, 2007
I'll Have Nun of That.
I don’t remember my first day of school. Maybe it’s because my mind is blocking a horrible time. Or maybe it was just such a non-event to me. A Catholic school can be a traumatic place for a five year old. Not only do you have to learn real stuff like the ABC’s and arithmetic, and how to write these things down, but you also have to learn religion things. I might not remember the first day of school but I can remember my first catechism class. It started with "Who made me? God made me." and went down hill from there. The nun who taught us, over time, told us so many wild stories that didn’t seem possible that I became totally confused. One such story was that people lived for hundreds of years in biblical times.
My first teacher was Sister Mary Ellen. She was a really nice person who, however to a five year old, seemed old. I think she was about twenty years old. One time, in second grade, a girl in our class had a temper tantrum and as Sister Mary Ellen was trying to calm her down, the girl got on the floor and bit her on the ankle. I remember thinking, you can do that? She eventually quit the nunnery and got married (to a man).
For third grade we got Sister Mary Frances, who was obese, and apparently never used soap or deodorant. I found that as we moved up from grade to grade the nuns got meaner and meaner. I guess being married to a dead guy can be pretty frustrating.
In my adult life I have tried to avoid nuns, not because I don’t like them, but because I just don’t understand what it is they’re doing.
Of course you can’t avoid coming in contact with nuns all the time. My former job with Cardinal Health brought me in contact with all sorts of people in the hospitals. One day at Holy Cross Hospital I was being accompanied by a pharmacy tech up to one of our med machines. While in the elevator I was doing the small talk thing when a ‘damn’ got slipped into the conversation. Everyone in the elevator went quiet, and when we stepped out on our floor the pharmacy tech told me, "Those were nuns in the elevator. Try to watch what you say around here.".....damn it, stealth nuns. Nuns without habits. I thought they were retired professional lady golfers. You know, if they are going to be so offended by a mild oath, I think they should be required to wear that habit so I know when they’re around.