Saturday, December 11, 2010

We are in the middle of a blizzard today.



Snowed in.
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It is snowing 1" per hour - South Minneapolis has already received almost 8" of snow and 8" more is expected by the end of the day.  I want to get to Mass this evening - it is my big worry.  I was supposed to meet Cathy for coffee this morning - but she cancelled on me - stood me up.  (She's probably in bed with the cats twittering away.)  I just don't understand people that will make a date and then cancel for no reason.  ;)
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Michael Voris is featured on Fr. Z's blog today and amidst the high praise comments are a couple slurs on Michael's hair.  I know!  So if you happen to be a registered commenter go tell them that Michael's hair is cool.  STBs can be hip if they want to.
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The picture of Dorian Grey
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I was at the grocery store the other day - I know, big event in my life - and I saw a former colleague of mine.  (He didn't see me.)  He came from a rather wealthy family and always wore the very best designer clothes, drove the best cars, and had the most prestigious address.  I always thought that he was a 'nice' man, albeit very superficial and snobby.  That said, for some reason he seemed to like me very much. 
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Anyway, he looked miraculously the same, which is why I recognized him I guess.  As I looked more closely however, I could tell he had a lot of work done.  Face lift, eye lift, facial peal - and possibly cheek implants - his face was more sculpted than ever - his eyes so lifted and defined they reminded me of a mummy's - maybe the blotchy spray-tan added to the dried-up look?  His hair was a bit darker, but as always, nicely hi-lighted.  He was dressed in a black suit which probably cost around $3000- or more.  "He looked mahvelous!"  I hid before he would see me - or had he already seen me and was  deliberately trying to avoid me as well?  I'll go with that one.
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"Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months." - Oscar Wilde
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So what's my point?  The guy looked like Joan Rivers - he looked like a mummy - he looked dead.  I haven't been able to get it out of my mind since.  I am convinced people who look like this have focused all their energies towards creating and maintaining an attractive facade - but it seems to me their eyes betray them, their blank stare suggests to me they are filled with dead men's dreams and illusions.  I know you think I'm judging their moral character, but I'm not.  The reality is just too obvious to ignore.  I wondered, how many of these people, victims of so-called beauty and culture, fashion and the arts, money and status, are in effect caricatures of their former selves, clinging tenaciously to what is transient and impermanent.
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I've had nightmares since.  Dreams of former friends whose friendship turned out to be false.  I was their friend as long as I was amusing and 'with it' - in some cases, useful, and joined in their entertainments - and as long as I didn't talk about conscience, or worse - matters of faith.    I often guilted myself for being a bad friend, when in fact, many of these friends were only interested in me to the extent I spoke their language and participated in their games, and laughed at their jokes, and hated the same people and things they did.
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If my life seems vapid and useless...  [after all, "we are useless servants, we have only done what our duty"] - what about those who sacrifice their very soul to gain the whole world with its "carnal allurements, enticements for the eye, and the life of empty show"?  All of which is passing away.
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That is scary.

13 comments:

  1. elisabeta1:15 PM

    I told my sister when I turned forty that I had no problem with getting older-- one step closer to Paradise. What a waste, clinging to youth which must pass. And, I too, am worried about getting to Mass tomorrow. I drive forty miles into St. Paul for the Traditional Mass and we will be renewing the St. Louis de Montfort consecration. Is there a patron for assisting with the weather?

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  2. What I don't understand about cosmetic surgery, is why anyone would do it (unless they were in an accident or fire, or had some serious congenital malformity). Because the operative word is "surgery". Which involves pain; a lot of it. And needles, scalpels, IV's; the whole nine yards. All the stuff I would seriously like to avoid. I suppose they are trying to deny that they are aging.
    Our choir went caroling at the local nursing homes last night. Plastic surgery would not have kept any of those people from being there. It can't stop Alzheimer's, broken hips, or emphysema. You can fool yourself, but you can't fool Mother Nature.

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  3. I may occasionally stand you up, but I assure you that you will never doubt it's me (when I do show up!)!

    Ok, the Jack made this sound sensical.

    Good day to get more painting done, Ter!

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  4. this might be your saturday reflection, but it's on my mind constantly. i used to have a circle of glittering friends as well, but we've parted ways the last 6 years but seen one another here & there from time to time. now & then i still get pangs of guilt. did i toss them aside, or they me? is that wrong? was i not pretty enough? why do i care? *do* i care? how can i let them be themselves and me be me < faith-wise > yet still maintain the friendship? in most cases < nearly all >, they've fallen apart. and what's left?

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  5. The thing is, many friendships are situation-based and when the situation changes, the friendship deteriorates. When people's values change, they perceive others as less interesting; for those whose values haven't changed, they wonder what went wrong with their former friend who used to be so much fun.

    I've lost some friends whose values are so different from mine that it was no longer enjoyable to associate with them; others are still okay, but I find that I have to censor myself in a different way than I used to. You know there's something going on when you'd rather go to Mass than to happy hour.

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  6. "The thing is, many friendships are situation-based and when the situation changes, the friendship deteriorates."
    You are right about that, Nan. I hate it that it's true, but it is. It seems like it's especially true of workplace friendships.

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  7. The trick is to differentiate between work friends and friends. Because we see colleagues more regularly, we view them as friends and tend to forget that there's a line of demarcation and we don't see many of these people socially, unless in a work-related activity.

    The greatest difficulty is that it isn't always obvious until one party changes jobs; you think you'll stay in touch but in most cases don't, even without a restraining order.

    I'm doing temp work right now and know that temp job friendships have a shelf life. I sometimes run into the same people and we pick up where we left off if we're on the same project but have no communication in between.

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  8. In my workd, folks whom I consider "frieds" are often merely "Acquanitences." Yeah they're around, they know you, you know them, you might have coffee with them after church or around the break room at work, but they're note really "bosum buddies" so to speak. I found out who my TRUE work friends were when a couple of years ago my car was intheshop and i needed a ride in to work...several folks drive RIGHT past my place, but couldn't be bothered to go an extra block and pick me up. you bet when THEY asked me to do something for them, I just couldn't work it in..what goes around comes around..

    I must admit--I've had some work done :) I hads my Babs streisand nose fixed to look something more human, aand I bleach the grey right out of my hair, and Dysport between they eye every 3.5 months to take the frownlines away (actually really helps with stress-related headaches too :) Oh yes-the BIGGIE was Lasik going on 6.5 years ago.. But I really don't think any of it is overdone..and I'm lucky I have good skin to begin with. Plus all my good clean living :) Now I jsut need to lose some weight--but I have plans for that after the first of the year :)

    Sara

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  9. Sara, thanks for the laugh; the friends/acquaintances conundrum triggered the memory of pretentious college guy telling me that he didn't consider most people friends and that we didn't really have a word for it but in German it was bekannter...I looked at him and said "acquaintances?" Because, actually, we do have a word for that. I guess I wasn't supposed to speak German.

    I haven't had any work done. I don't even color the gray in my hair.

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  10. As "Bekannte/r" just basically means "someone I know", I'd say you're right Nan. I hate when people use pretentious European words when an English one exists. It's fine if you wanna say "Schadenfreude" or "joie de vivre" but when you start talking about "Konzept" and "Prospekt" as if they're anything different, that's just dumb.

    Interesting, in Swedish there's supposedly several words for people in non-marital sexual relationships of various commitment levels and gender combinations. Goes to show where a country's morals have gone ...

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  11. Terry, this post is dripping with the personal self-hatred that is so pervasive throughout and sets the tone for most of your blogging. It's the notorious, conflicted Catholic guilt of a gay man who honestly tries to square his life with an institutional church that could care less about you. That's why you feel vapid and useless and are having nightmares, and that's why you have always gone over the top with religion - with religious piety.

    The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess ...

    -Luke 18:11-12:

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  12. Thanks for letting me know that Robert... I always miss it when I'm being the Pharisee. Thanks for pointing these things out for me to examine.

    Prayers and best wishes - I assure you, your comment is deeply appreciated. God bless.

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  13. We need to try and love ourselves as much as God loves us. If we open our hearts to the realization of that great love as grace then God will take care of the rest that needs doing. Thanks for your good wishes. Happy holidays!

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