Modern Mortification, but First, a Disclaimer

Jes' to keep thangs copacetic: I did NOT give up bloggin' fer Lent, so I ain't violatin' nuthin' an thereby extendin' mah time in Purgatory.

(A place of purgation--what? Ya never purged? Doan lie.

Ya ate a half a Baskin Robbins Mud Pie an' raced to the loo to get it up an' out, right? The very thought of them cellulite saddlebags brought up all that fat laden carageen, din't even need to poke yore finger down yore gullet--admit it, now.

No? well, mayhap after Skeeter's white lightening' hoe down ya upchucked yore toenails...everybody has had a purge or two intended or unbidden. Well, jes' think of spiritual cellulite hangin' in folds an youse gonna hug purgatory like a college kid hugs the toilet.)

It wuz Granny's woes that done kept me too busy to blog fer the most part, an' it dovetailed wif' Lent, so I'se bloggin' lite fer Lent.

, I gave up bein' cranky an' sarcastic fer Lent. Lemme tell ya' how much easier it is to give up the way of all flesh. I can make it a day wif'out carousin' or chocolate, but jes' try getting through a day wif' out ONE cranky comment or a cynical curl of the lip.)

When I'se a grade school kiddie we had wunnerful sisters (NOT nuns-- nuns is mostly cloistered, an' it's religious wimmen, Sisters, who's the religious ladies ya see in hospitals an schools an' orphanages) an natcherly they instructed us on the joy an' efficacy of makin' a good Lent.

I took 'em to heart...not that I wuz appreciated within the clan fer my serious demeanor --looky heah at what one of my siblin's thought was mah twin:

Oh yes, Sweet Thangs, this very wind-up, fire -eyed toy was given to yore long sufferin' misunderstood, unappreciated an' much malingned Aunty! Oh the pain of it! ( pain in mah sides from laughin' so hard). An' ya should know, jes' to git the full flavor of mah sufferin's, that it were Pappy Cracker hisself who started it--he done called me "Mother Superior" whenever I dutifully reminded folks that swearin' were a grave insult to heaven's occupants. This is how it went: Uncle Henry would bark, "JEsus Christ"! An' little Aunty Belle in petticoats would shout back "Have Mercy on Us!" to complete the antiphon.

Now, y'all, I does want ya to know that I have made real Lenten efforts. A friend sent me a tip she heard while at a retreat. It's a tip on the how-to of modern mortification.

Old World mortification has been widely explored in cynical renditions of self flagellatin' monks an' such (cf. The Davinci Code) Jes' the same, a certain physical control over yore fleshly temptations ain't out of order: "But I chastise my body and bring it into subjection: lest perhaps, when I have preached to others, I myself should become a castaway." I Corinthians 9:27 ) I reckon athletes git that, I mean, they subject their bodies to all manner of pain to acheive Olympic Gold, an them models on the Vogue covers do the same doan they--fastin' until all flesh falls off so they acheive the glory of fame?

But it seems ter me that modern mortifications is, well, tougher.,

Fer wimmenfolks, try this: leave the house wif'out any make up. Doan put none on yore face, an' leave yore make-up bag outa yore purse. NO make-up. Nada. None. Wanna increase yore Lenten offerin'? Do this no make-up routine on the day the big boss is comin' to town, on the day of yore book-club luncheon, the day yore former boyfriend an' his new bride is bein' introduced at the neighborhood BBQ.

(heah's a version of the power make-up has over a woman:

yup---a li'l powder an' paint goes a loooong way fer some ladies!)

Thas' mortification all right. Mortific─üre "to put to death"---to killit daid. Mortify that pesky pride of yores. Heh. Jes' try it. Y'all will be amazed at how hard pride is to kill. Suddenly ya' see why givin' up chocolate is wimpy. Who wants a wimpy Lent? Might as well have a wimpy work out at the gym--whas' the point? If youse gonna sweat some, git rid of some cellulite, right?

I doan pretend to think like a fella...so I'se invitin' all y'all menfolks to lemme know what the male version of goin' out an' about wif'out no make-up would be. Mebbe it is to go out wif'out that creative comb-over job?

Doan worry too much...when I pass ya on the street wif yore raw face hangin' out, or yore bald spot shinnin' in the sun, I'll know y'all's havin' a good strong Lent.


darkfoam said...

for me aunty, the supreme penance would be to put on makeup and do my hair on a daily basis.
as a matter of fact i own no makeup .. no eyeliner, no foundation.
oops wait! i bought eyeliner around halloween because i went as alice cooper. i don't know where the eyeliner is anymore though. i think i threw it away. I can probably count the times i've worn makeup my whole life on both hand (and i'm no spring chicken).

on a more serious note. you and your mama have been in my heart. i know it is a stressful time. i have been thinking about you.

Aunty Belle said...

Ah, Foamy,
we is near kin, I reckon. This no make-up routine is ONE of the recommendations--and one that doan worry me much--lost mah "face pride" some years back. Now wearin' make-up is near bout a penance fer me too--though I think it is a charity on mah part to wear it--so other folks ain't forced to feel sorry fer me.

(Among other modern mortifications:
no TV or movies or computers or Ipods; drive the speed limit for 40 days; spend a day with yore least favorite relative, serve in a homeless shelter once a week)

Thanky fer the warm thoughts. Granny akshully is holdin' her own, though docs say her condition is still "very guarded" .

Pam said...

Hi Aunty, glad to see you back, even without (?!) the sarcasm, which really was there in droves. And a Southern gal leave the house without make-up? That isn't lent, that is sacrilege (sp.). It's late, I'm tired and can't spell tonight. ANyway, greetings to you, love the post and I def. see you as the Mother Superior type, good thing you met Uncle eh?

chickory said...

ha! whenever i would say "jaysus" my sister would say:

"i hope you are about to begin a prayer"

killit daid. i like that. my lent has been a bit wimpy unless extreme anxiety counts as offering it up. going without make up would be nothing...what would be hard is to not wear a serious shoe...i like to be dressed and "ready"...maybe a prissy sandal would be the modern equivalent of self flagellation.

i like that nunzilla! ive seen those. her mouth emits sparks! nice.

Big Shamu said...

I guess I've lived a lifetime of penance since I've never done a drop of make up past lip balm. Wait....I take that back, did makeup for acting classes back when I was a wee theatre major back in college. It was very itchy. The even bigger disconnect was when I was a working stagehand and talking to actors before and after they prepped for their performance for the night and when that makeup went on, the role began. The more the makeup, the bigger the mask.

Karl said...

Good morning Aunty Belle,

I've no need for comb-over, wouldn't wear one if I had a bald spot.

I think not conversing with you folks. That would make driving this desk worse than it already is.

R.Powers said...


fishy said...

Aunty Superior,
Ain't often a sibling can give ya a side splitting gift to treasure. I'd say you is right blessed.
I agrees with you, some folks don't take Lent too serious these days. Ask a teen to give up texting and they might just have a spontaneous purging event on your carpet. (You sure was graphic on that purging mess).
I had dinner with some of the younger in our broader family school of fish who asked me about my Lenten sacrifices. Well I said, "I prefer to be proactive rather than subtractive for Lent". Next thing I know there were these tween/teens mocking my statement. Then the oldest one said, " What are you being pro-active about?"
I shared my primary focus is to not lose my temper during Lent.
They were so surprised as they didn't think I had a temper. I went on to explain it's one thing to not act out or speak out in an angry matter, it's a different matter altogether to not feel anger toward another in your heart and soul.
So far this probably isn't my most successful Lent, but it has been mortifying.

moi said...

Goodness, what food for thought. I have grappled with makeup my entire life – yes or no, how much, whether or not it's a sign of power or of subjugation.

I know women who never wear it. And I don't notice that they don't. It just somehow wouldn't fit with their personalities. I know women who use it so judiciously, you don't know they're wearing it, unless you happen to see them without. And I know women who use such a heavy hand, it's a comical mask.

As for myself, I have always worn at least mascara and lip gloss. And in the past fifteen years, not a day has gone by that I haven't slathered on a sunscreen. Even if I don't leave the house. Those rays are brutal. A full on face – foundation, powder, eyeliner/shadow, lipstick – I reserve for business meetings and going out at night.

What would mortify me? Leaving the house in sweats and Crocs. If Jesus required that of me, me and Jesus, we'd need to have a bit of a talk.

LaDivaCucina said...

No make ups? I'd rather be a sinner! Just kidding, in fact I don't have make up on in the photo of me in my prev. post and OMG I'm goinig to post a photo of me sans make up on a future post! As for PRIDE, I wish more people had it when it came to their looks, this country is full of slobs!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
LaDivaCucina said...

ok, I cheated and had on sunglasses! But you always bring up interesting points Auntie. Don't think I could give up make up for weeks!

PS: I hate these people that post crap pretending to be interested in your post but really into self promotion. F. U Anonymous!

Jenny said...

I will die wearing mascara.

But I realize as I get older that it's important to tone it down and keep it simple. I use dark browns (not black) and earth colors for eye shadow/etc.

Fishy's "Aunty Superior" made me spit my coffee out. I liked this post.

Aunty Belle said...

Huh? Ya think I'd be a Mother Superior? Ya hurts mah feelin's, I mean, is I *that* straight-laced?

Oh dear.

But on Uncle Aloysius--yep, he said as much --I announced "I'se goin' ter be a nun" and he got that sly grin...an' said,"I doan think so, Baby-doll." But hey, thang is, I knowed he needed savin', so I made the sacrifice
(wait! does that violate the no sarcasm rule??)

Chicory, heh--youse right! We'll assign ya a penance of wearin' one of Moi's platform sandals. Nunzilla rides........watch out!

Shamu, yore mortifyin' 40 days is to eat only pre-packaged, artificially flavored an' colored squirrel food fer 40 days. (yick!)

Karl, oh youse to sweet too give a mort to-lemme think, what about prayin' that Rahm Emanuel is given an amusement ride over the River Styx?

FC! Bedhead? Heh--yore mortification is NO baseball cap fer 40 days.

Fishy, a proactive Lent? Let Blowfish drive yore Fizz fer 40 days.

oi, ooh I know jes' what to assign ya'fer mortification: NO shoppin online or even window shoppin' much less gettin' mauled at the mall--fer 40 days, UNLESS ya has on crocs. Purple ones. ( oh gag, even I cannot assign that!)

La Diva, Dahling,
I seen how ya hid from us--but I can still tell youse a cutie pie! Yore Lenten mortification is to avoid food talk, food blogs, food mags and food shoppin' until Easter eggs is all used up in egg salad, potato salad, cobb salad....

Boxer-Babe! no spittin' cawffe, now--that Fishy was assigned a good commuppance fer her impertinence. As fer yore mortification, why, take yore Dad on a trip down memory lane an' let him do all the memories.

Because they ain't showed up fer a spell two fellas git real heavy mortifications:

Gnome must has to take 40 B&W photos of California mission churches fer Aunty Superior

an Troll has to take 40 liberal chicks out fer overpriced Starbucked cawfee.


Jenny said...



moi said...

an Troll has to take 40 liberal chicks out fer overpriced Starbucked cawfee.

That's the worst, right there.

LaDivaCucina said...

EEEEK! No food talk? No food magazines? No food porn? No food blogging? I'd risk a flogging for blogging! haha! (Couldn't resist!)

Kymical Reactions said...

Auntie - there is no why in the world I could leave the house without makeup, and I hate to admit that. But there are reasons for that, and I can't say here. I can say, that I would love to be able to not have to wear it, but it's just not an option. :(

Big Shamu said...

I will be mortified and most likely end up being petrified after my 40 days of squirrel food.

Ardlair said...


You may or may not be interested to know that despite my vehemently anti-religious perspective I am a bit into self flagellation.

Only I do it properly..................
Lent is for wimps.......what is it ? A day or a few days of deprivation?

I do it for a year at a time.

Deprive myself of something that is.
Last year I did coffee.............still off it now in fact.
15 months.

Year before, spreading things on bread.

This year, short list was

using the car on journeys less than 5 miles.

I chose chocolate.
So far ( three months) so good.
And in my line of work that is an achievement!

And why do I do it?
Just to test my willpower I guess.

Maybe I should start wearing make-up so I could try without that?


fishy said...

Blowfish will not be driving the Fizz. I might dare him to go to the Mauls in purple crocs as a Lenten learnin' in mortification.

Aunty Belle said...

Would love to answer all yore comments
But, alas.

Granny is ...guess whar'?

SophieMae said...

Bless yer pea-pickin' heart! We're praying for Granny. I just checked in to tell ya I'm not ignorin' ya. You asked about spring... it just doesn't feel like spring... too many cold nights. But it's looking like it! Dogwoods, redbuds, spirea, yellow jasmine... and the wisteria is about to bust out, as well. GORGEOUS!

moi said...

Oh, no, Aunty! Take care . . .

Aunty Belle said...

Granny is okay--sorta---may git back out
Of the horsepital come monday--but I thank all
Y'all fer email good wishes.

fishy said...

Godspeed to you and Granny, what a struggle ya been having! I'se praying fer ya.

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