With Yom Kippur happening on Thursday, it's time to figure out our schedule for repentance, people. For all of you non-Jews out there, Yom Kippur is a holy day centered around what I generally think of as 'Catholic-sized guilt'. IRONICALLY. Basically, you repent and atone for the things you have done, which is pretty handy, since it's only one day. I'm not actually Jewish, but one day of atonement seems more reasonable than a lifetime of confession that ultimately goes nowhere. Well, sometimes it leads to the molesting of a child, but whatever--I'm just saying. You don't hear a lot of scandal coming out of the Yom Kippur holiday. People are too busy feeling bad about themselves.
I think it's weird that God's Chosen People, the Jews (Possible Jewish bumpersticker: My best friend is a Jewish carpenter who's on the Honor Roll and has the power to make you burn in Hell) and God's Righteous Army, the Catholics (Possible Catholic bumpersticker: Baby On Board, YES AGAIN) have something they actually agree on, something that levels the playing field a bit: GUILT. I know that Jewish mothers are known the world over for laying guilt upon their children like hens lay eggs, but the Catholic moms are making a comeback. I know some mother-daughter relationships that are founded on the tenets of guilt and expectations; I also know who and what those daughters are doing on the weekends in order to balance out their mothers' expectations: Jose Cuervo shots and the UW football team. Hey, it happens to the best of us.
I don't have guilt--ever. Like, NEVER. You know how some people are all rough and tough and talk a good game, but secretly they hate themselves and feel guilty for a lot of stuff? Yeah, not me; not in the slightest. I know that guilt is a cop-out emotion, as well as being the most pointless thing to ever emerge from religion. I feel no guilt. Anytime someone says to me, "Oh but I feel so guilty about that!" I laugh, because guilt is actually very self-serving; it's a dangerous emotion. Here's how it was explained to me, many years ago: If you need a pen for a meeting, and you run into an office supply store for one--but the lines are super long and you don't have time to wait, so you just steal it--it's okay, because you feel guilty. You aren't the "type of person" who would normally do something like that--as evidenced by how guilty you feel--so therefore you can feel good about yourself again. No harm done. This? Is total bullshit. But take the phrase "stole a pen" and substitute something else--"cheated on a boyfriend", "called in sick to work so I could enjoy the sunshine", "committed country-wide genocide". It's all the same: you feel guilty so that you can actually feel the opposite. This kind of thinking is a colossal waste of time. I don't atone, either, because I don't think much about flaying myself in front of others just to get my so-called reward some eighty years later. But I do think about things like regret sometimes, and regret and guilt seem like friendly bedfellows. So last night I made a list of the things I most regret--the things I feel I might atone for, had I been more religulous. Thank you for being my witnesses to this list, and for not judging me in my time of need.
Snotty atones for...
I loved this movie. I LOVED IT. And make no mistake, I cried like I'd been the one diagnosed with cancer, I really and truly did... but there's no way I could have met my maker with the grace that Susan Sarandon did in this movie. I related to Julia Roberts' character, too, because Susan Sarandon's character was a straight-up cancerous bitch sometimes; I hated how they blamed each other for so much, I really did. I felt like I was a part of that family, just torn in two different directions. I even felt Ed Harris' exasperation when he didn't know what to do with all of the crazy women in his life--I wanted to help the family so that together, we could dance around on Christmas Day to cheesy Diana Ross songs, right before Susan Sarandon kicked the bucket. I can't believe I fell for this movie and I can't believe I'm admitting it on the internets. The last time I watched it, I SOBBED MY FACE OFF and ended up resembling a Mr. Potato Head with nothing stuck to his face; I was just a brown, weepy THING with no distinguishable features. I've also seen this movie around five hundred times; each time I hoped it would mean less to me, and each time I was so very, very wrong.
TAKE MY BREATH AWAY (Berlin)
This is a horrible song. Horrible. But every time this song is blasting out of some ugly old guy's bitchin' Camaro, I sing along. I SING. ALONG. I'm not proud of it, but Maverick and Goose made an impression on me at an early age in Top Gun, and if you don't know what Top Gun is, then you have something to atone for, or you're too young to be reading this blog. There are worse things to love, though. Miley Cyrus. The Republican ticket. Hybrid fruits, like grapples. Ex-husbands. The fashion of Mariah Carey. Iran. But still, that song is redonculous.
MCDONALD'S FRENCH FRIES
I know I'm not supposed to love them or dream about them or rub them all over my naked body, I know this. But that doesn't stop me from doing it. I was actually quite angry when they stopped frying them in animal fat--which is just another phrase for 'delicious goodness'--and then started frying them in, uh, animal fat. Andthengotcaught, OOPS! Oh, McDonald's, you stinker, you. Now I don't agree with their business practices, lying to the public, or Grimace--what the hell is that thing, an overweight Fruit of the Looms character? a gay grape? and why would McDonald's name it after something negative your face does involuntarily?--but I understand that I'm completely condoning their behavior since I keep supporting the business financially. I'm okay with that, but I should probably repent, because I am never going without those fries. You can take away my booze and cigarettes and illegal dog-fighting ring, but you cannot take away my