Friday, August 26, 2011

Good and Bad Religious Types

There's an upside and a downside to having a member of the family who is religious.  In general, if the person is sincere and practices her religiosity privately, that's okay.  My Tante Linda is  like that.  Oh, she'll do Mass three or four days a week, and loves those novenas, and you can count on her to do the Nine Church Visitations on Good Friday.  Oh, and there's her buds that she hangs out with: St. Thérèse, St. Clara, St. Bernadette, and so forth.  Also, she has some small religious statues around her pad that looked kind of cool, if you're a kid and not an art critic.

But sometimes religiosity can be oppressive.  Consider my eldest sister Heather.  Since I'm #5 in a sibship of five, you can logically expect that there would be some trickle down effect in bosiness.  Specifically, my eldest sister would be inclined to be bossy to me and my brother Mike (#4).  However, she had a particularly domineering personality; later on, we nicknamed her The Mother Superior.  Specifically, here are some examples.  When we were preschoolers or of early primary grades, she would do things organize the two of us for mandatory prayers when the mood struck her. 

I remember a painful episode.  I was seven, absorbed in watching She-Ra on television, when she announced that it's time for the afternoon devotions to the Blessed Mother! 

I said, "No, I wanna watch She-Ra!"

"Mom!  Angel is misbehaving."  And my poor Mom would have to drop what she was doing and mediate between her two daughters.  I wondered sometimes whether she was sorry she wasn't as consistent on birth control though she was disinclined to listen to the Pope de jour, whoever he was back then.

Anyway, Mom finally got the picture, and straightened her out: Heather was not the family's moral compass.  But Heather never got the memo: there was a string of disputes: my watching Sweet Valley High, my swimsuit (immodest, said Heather; but Mom bought it because I wanted it), my shorts, my friends, my music (devilish!), and so forth.  She missed my running track.  I slipped that one past her.

In a way, my family developed a unique dynamic: instead of the typical pattern in which the daughter or son rebelled against the conservative parent, ours morphed into the younger two siblings rebelling against the oldest sister, with our mother swerving as a buffer. 

It did have a good side.  I learned that I could trust and confide in Mom. Even when it came to girl things.  Thank God, whoever she is.

Mike also liked She-Ra.  I think I now know why.

I'm also a big fan of the newspaper funnies, especially Zits, Luann, and Baldo.  Will Brad be extricated from the clutches of Ann Eiffel only with this assistance of his sister; and how will Baldo cope with his cute, bespectaled girlfriend?


Big Sky Heidi said...

Your older sister souns overbearing. How much older is she?

Banana Oil said...

Running track is sinful? She's too much off-base. Or using mind-altering drugs.