Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh, Dear Lord!

This past Saturday was my family's annual September Birthdays Bash. Ostensibly, this event is to celebrate the 5 September birthdays in my extended family, but really it's an excuse for Aunt Bea and Uncle Brian to make a big turkey dinner and for the rest of us to stuff ourselves with stuffing and consume an unholy amount of gravy.

All without the sucktasticness of Thanksgiving, so it may actually be the happiest day of the year.

Before dinner, we were looking at photos of my grandparents' and great-grandparents generation. One great-grandfather was a rum-runner during Prohibition who had his boat shot out from under him by the police during a rum run, and played piano for Jimmy Durante. As is the case with interested ancestors, I gather he was a bit of a jerk. In fact, in my past life, I divorced his sorry ass and became a single mother to 3 sons in the 1930s rather than stay married to him.

More on that later this week, because I have something even more interesting to share.

After the pictures, my mother sorted through a plastic bag of greeting cards my grandmother had saved. Some went back to the 1950s. Some may have been earlier, but it's the ones from 50s that you will not believe.

Allow me to remind you that this branch of my family tree is Catholic. My grandfather was so into it that during one blizzard, he walked to church and helped the priest say mass since no one else showed up, but it was Sunday and these things had to be done. At one point, there was also a nun (possibly also the school principal) who would call the house, say "Tom, I'll be at JFK at 4" and hang up and he'd drop everything and pick her up at the airport.

This history makes it unsurprising that there were greeting cards with wording similar to this:
Father, I am giving you this Blessing, including:
___ Masses
___ Prayers
___ Rosaries
___ Ejaculations

You read that last one right.

As you can imagine, there were many jokes along the lines of "no wonder this is such a big family."

About.com has the real definition (mini-prayers) and examples. I'm a little sad that I looked that up. I thought it was more borderline taking the Lord's name in vain or maybe church lady Hallelujahs.

The blanks above were so the kid in question could write a number. A couple of the cards had 5 of everything, but one had 10 and I have to wonder what my Uncle Richie had gotten up to that made him feel it was necessary to double down on the ejaculations.

1 comment:

  1. So, if I read the definition right, I guess there are many people aspiring to ejaculate?

    (My grandmother was also "very" Catholic...she went to 5 am mass every day till we took her car keys away from her. As for me, I am a recovering Catholic :-)

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