Sunday, December 03, 2006


Thinking I am smarter than I really am has always delivered a heaping helping of trouble onto my plate since my earliest memories. In the article Confession and Contrition, I hinted that I have a story behind my going to Catholic school. Well here it is:

I remember my fourth summer on this planet. It was late August and my sister, who was and still is 11 years my senior, was left with me in her charge while my mother was out grocery shopping. I guess that she and my mother had been talking about me starting school that September since I was soon going to turn five.

My sister thought it to be a good idea to enroll me while my mother was out to show her that she was able to handle adult tasks. My sister asked me which school I preferred to attend, Catholic or Public school. I mulled it over, and since I could already read (yes, I know it is freakish, but I could read at age three) I had a full command of the alphabet as well. I knew that the letter C came long before the letter P in the alphabet, so the hierarchy of letters demanded I go with the C so I told her Catholic School.

She took me by the hand and walked me down the street to the Catholic school and we knocked on the convent door. A couple black robbed nuns came out to facilitate my sister’s request, and in only a couple moments and some questions answered I was enrolled. Imagine that happening today, a 15 year old enrolling a five year old without any documentation…

We returned home, and when my mother returned home my sister bursting with pride, shared what we had done. My mother went totally ballistic. She used terms I had never heard before, and some I probably haven’t heard since. She really lost it, and I remember her final words which were. “You two made that decision and you” pointing at me, “you will attend that school until you finish 8th grade.”

I now see that she didn't want to have to deal with uniforms and tuition and all the other life altering stuff that goes on there. However,I served my time in full. Kindergarten plus eight years.

As for the graphic above, my sister never attended Catholic school and is still a devout Catholic. I attended and I am a confirmed Atheiset.


Blogger Zoe said...

Seems like an awefully harsh lesson to teach a nearly 5 old.

It does seem to work like that though, it's the ones who don't go to Catholic school who end up the devout catholics.

7:45 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

The lesson was probably aimed at my sister. I'll have to ask her how she felt after that incident. Catholic guilt is a powerful force. I do know that her kids didn't go to Catholic school. One turned out to be a Republican lawyer and the other a progressive activist.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Jaggy said...

I LOVE Toothpaste for Dinner! Nice use of a great cartoon. :)

9:26 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Jaggy, I'm happy it made your day just a little bet better.

12:22 PM  
Anonymous Moosehead said...

Bad enough the pope is pissing all the Muslims off and you go and incite the Catholics!

Eight grade - hell, you had it easy. Try 12 - then you would have seen how all that guilt translates into great sex. Ahhh the wonderful taste of the forbidden fruit...and I don't mean that in a gay way.

We were marched to church directly from school wearing these blue scarves that identified us as members of the Croixsades (Crusaders) by the nuns who never beleived in sparing the rod and spoiling the child. Our principal was convicted of child molestation many years after the fact. He was smart enough to pick on the disadvantaged (poverty etc) and anyone telling the parents were given another batch of wallops for good measure as there was no way that they were not lying. Now, the Brothers...there is a whole other can of worms. Religion is the opiate of the masses???? Give me some good weed any day!

12:22 PM  
Anonymous gearhead said...


After my father left my mother in total poverty, we moved to a small town on welfare.
New in the 6th grade music class,in public school, I was shaken to hear that we were about to sing, "Age Of Aquarius" from the "Hair" play.
I had just been taught in church that all forms of the occult were from satan.
I sat quietly as the class began to sing. After a couple of motions from the teacher indicating for me to sing, she stopped the song.
"Gearhead, please sing along".
" Um,, I would rather not maam".
"Why not?"
"Well", I said, "I would rather not sing about the occult."
"I am director of the High-C club" she bellowed, "Do you think I would have my kids sing a song about the occult?"
"Well, that is exactly what you are doing, so I guess the answer is yes." I answered.
"Go to the office", she said as she picked up the phone and called ahead.
In the next couple of hours I recieved just about every threat one can imagine.
And with every threat, I dug my heals in deeper.
Not only was I going to apologize but make a public apology. Then I would sing the song to my classmates solo. They even threatened juvinile hall.
All the time they were trying to contact my mother, which was impossible.
Finally the principle, VP, and counciler entered the room.
"Gearhead, make no mistake about it; you are GOING to sing that song".
And then came one, out of what would become several throughout life, of my most shining moments.
My eyes narrowed, my lips pursed, and my finger pointed at them:
"Well by God, I will NEVER sing that song. You will kill me trying to make me before I will sing one note. My mother always told me that the day might come when I would have to make this choice, AND I'VE MADE IT!"
They left the room and about 15 minutes they returned and asked me to return to my class.
We never spoke of the incident again.

5:15 PM  
Blogger Syd said...

Are you shittin' me? That is a GREAT story. hahahaha Your sister must love telling it.

8:19 PM  
Anonymous Wende said...


I think we might have same parents. That's hysterically funny!

8:54 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Moosehead, that explains a lot of my suspicions about you.

Gearhead, great story, and that digging in is something he still does to this day, Folks. However Gearhead did join a cult the next year where they idolized BTO ; )

Syd, I think my sister would avoid the topic. My nephew read this story and wrote me (he is the progressive and not a Catholic). I told him to ask his mother about it but only when my mother is present. I'm sure my mother will lay into her about again even after 47 years. LOL...

Wende...ho boy...

9:08 PM  
Blogger Trish said...

Gosh you and your sister still speak?

What a story.

8:12 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Yes, we speak. I have no hard feelings. She even comes out here to visit me every couple of years. I think I got a good education. Afterall it was me who stated I wanted to go to Catholic school. It could have easily gone the other way had I thought that Public was a shorter word than Catholic.

9:24 AM  
Blogger Mom of Three said...

Oh. My.

Your mother had her hands full, didn't she?

1:35 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...


But she is well taken care of now. My sister is her constant companion.

5:47 AM  

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