Panties, Untwisted

Panties, Untwisted June 20, 2012

Those of you who like bios and stuff can just go ahead and click over to my About Me page, but I’m a former English major and I like stories. So here we go.

Once upon a time, I was a brand-spanking-new convert who found myself yanked out of my Catholic cocoon in Irving, Texas and transplanted to the arid wasteland of Las Vegas. I had a three-year-old underfoot and belly-dweller under-ribcage, a husband venturing into the frightening recesses of academia, no family or friends near, and no solid Catholic community as far as the eye could see. Well, my eyes, at least.

Desperate for a little Catholic interaction, I stumbled blindly into the blogosphere and began devouring the archives at Conversion Diary and the new posts at I Have to Sit Down until I began to feel slightly human again. There are Catholics like me out there still, I told myself a little manically. There just might not be any here.

Right about this time, my husband discovered the First Things blogs in a similar way, starved as he was for reassurance that he wasn’t the only white male conservative Catholic left alive, and he pointed me to The Anchoress. I started reading her posts regularly as well, until one day, when she posted about the Wii Pray.

I did not find the video funny at all. In fact, I got my panties in such a twist that I posted my very first comment ever in a comment box. I was “deeply offended” and even “betrayed.” Then, feeling like I hadn’t expressed my displeasure quite clearly enough, I emailed The Anchoress personally and proceeded to give her a lecture on how people had died for the Mass and the right to celebrate it, and she ought to know better than to take that lightly.

The Anchoress, patient and long-suffering as she is, sent me back a detailed email explaining why she thought the parody was funny, why we ought to have a sense of humor, and sharing some concerns she had about our culture as a whole with its easily offended mentality, all while being extremely gracious and charitable.

I didn’t agree with her, but I appreciated the email and her kindness, so I let the matter lie. A year later, I finally worked up the chutzpah to start my own blog. After spending a few years in the blogosphere, I began to understand what she meant. I started to see “Catholic kitsch” for the first time and was stunned to realize that the grand, majestic Church I had converted to also had some crazy, silly, and even downright ridiculous elements. I gradually came to realize that the Church was made up of people, not just the wonderful Cistercians in Dallas and the University of Dallas campus. Other people, people who sinned like me, people who gave the Church a bad name, people who gave the Church a good name, and people who really made me wonder if the CCD programs ought to be a little clearer on that whole “we don’t actually worship these statues” thing. Most of all, I found that all these disparate elements did not diminish my love for the Catholic Church. They made the Church I had converted to even more beautiful, and even more true.

I kept following the Anchoress’ blog and was delighted when she moved to Patheos, and when some of my favorite bloggers like the Crescat and Bad Catholic moved over as well. I’ve learned a lot from the bloggers at Patheos about how to love others (even in a combox!), how to defend the faith without being defensive, and how to have a sense of humor when it seems like no one else does. I’m thrilled to be joining them and I’m really, really grateful that the Anchoress didn’t take offense at my self-righteous combox castigation all those years ago.

This’ll be old news for my regular readers (who have hopefully followed me over here), but for any new readers who might be wondering, “why barefoot and pregnant? Is it a joke? Is that your goal in life? Is that all you think women are good for?” let me clarify.

I was 8  months pregnant and barefoot when I started my blog. I’m 7 months pregnant and barefoot right-this-second. Given my past success rate with the mystifying methods of NFP, I’m likely to be pregnant and barefoot for a good portion of my foreseeable future. And I didn’t think that “Drinking Too Much Wine and Going to Confession”, which is what I do when I’m not pregnant, was a great name for a blog.

Mystery solved. Stick around! There’s a lot more deep thinking where that came from. Occasionally I’ll eke out the odd thoughtful and even profound post, but usually I spent my days (both on and off the internet) up to my elbows in the insights that explode out of one end of a child’s intestinal tract or the other.

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