Ok, I know that sounds weird, but there’s method in my madness. I try to be on guard against my Kantian-to-solipsist tendencies, and I think I’ve noticed another spot festering. I’m lucky in that, within walking distance of my office there’s a delicious cupcake place that, once a week, gives away free cupcakes if you come in and do a talent. And right across from my building is a restaurant that does free wine and cheese tastings twice a week. Like a certain Transylvania count, I never drink… wine, but I quite enjoy the cheeses.
The trouble is, I find that my pleasure in the food and in not paying for it tends to be commingled with a kind of smug feeling that I’ve somehow gotten one over on someone. I guess it’s better to feel that when I’m not actually taking advantage of people, but it’s pretty obviously a bad pleasure to cultivate. There’s something pretty weird about redefining a generous gesture as a weakness I am exploiting.
So I’m going to skip the cupcakes and cheese and hope that a Lenten hard reset will help me come back to them with just innocent enjoyment and actual gratitude. I know this a strange, picayune thing to focus on, but it’s actually a small fault, all the more reason to root it out and burn it off.
So that’s what I’m giving up. As for the thing I’m taking on, I’m finally reading The Brothers Karamazov. I’ve been working my way through some of the must-read religion-or-philosophy-related books I’ve had recommended by friends or commenters. (The Power and the Glory. Brideshead Revisited, Fear and Trembling, I am a Strange Loop, and After Virtue were also on this list, and I’ve finished them). The Brothers K is the big one left, and I promise you all (but mostly TKB) that I will read it now.
The comment thread is open for making fun of me or sharing any Lent plans of your own.