AWKWARD! Mom Forbids Me to Do This Unless A Nun Approves!

AWKWARD!  Mom FORBIDS It; Makes Me Ask the NUN for Permission!  #humor #school #backtoschool #teacher #student #Bible #earrings #funny

So then… she says “Absolutely not,” with an air of such finality, it would stop Attila the Hun in his tracks.

Because when my Mom says, “no,” she means “NOOOO!”

But I’m a 16-year-old girl desperate to have my ears pierced.

I’ve been lusting after the earrings at the mall for weeks. They have little gold knots – and darling little hoops – and butterflies! Dainty little gold butterflies, people! MUST HAVE.

Attila ain’t got nothin’ on me. I shall not cease my relentless campaign! I shall scourge the earth and annihilate all obstacles until VICTORY IS MINE! – and those precious butterflies adorn my earlobes!

I follow my Mom into the kitchen, where she’s preparing dinner.

I set the table and say, “Mom, WHY can’t I get my ears pierced? I saved up my babysitting money – and I’ll make sure the piercings won’t get infected – and the mall is just—”

“It’s against the Bible.”

“What? The Bible says I can’t get my ears pierced?” I ask.

“Yes,” she says.

(I’m no theologian, but I don’t remember either of the testaments discussing ear jewelry!)

“Where does it say that?” I ask.

She stirs the spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove and says, “The Bible says it’s a sin to self-mutilate.”

Self-mutilate!? I’m not mutilating myself!”

“Well, you want to cut holes into your ears, don’t you?”

“Mom, that’s not the same thing! The Bible just doesn’t want you to hack off your hand or something!”

She arches her eyebrows in that “you say potato; I say po-tah-to” sort of way and returns to her sauce.

Seriously! It’s not that she’s a religious fanatic – I mean we go to Church every Sunday, but she’s not a zealot. But she was raised in a pretty strict Catholic family, back in the days when the Mass was said in Latin.

Lots of hellfire and brimstone in those days.

Lots of hard and fast rules – with clear cut consequences leading straight to eternal damnation.

Pierced ears = self-mutilation = grievous sin = loose morals = immediate downward spiral into prostitution, pregnancy, tattoos, heroin addiction, and *gasp* — skipping Easter Mass.

So I beg and plead and debate and beg some more.

She is resolute. It’s like trying to move Mt. Rushmore just a couple inches to the left. She will not budge.

It’s a sin. It’s a sin. It’s a sin.

I insist that the self-mutilation in the Bible DOES NOT refer to pierced ears! Did.I.mention.the.butterflies.Mom?The.earring.butterflies.are.ADORABLE!

FINALLY, she agrees to CONSIDER it – IF and ONLY IF I consult with a priest or nun to CONFIRM that ear piercing does NOT qualify for Biblical self-mutilation.

Ahhhh! The clouds part, the angels sing: HALLELUJAH! HALLELUJAH!

Quick! Get thee to a nunnery! Find the youngest, hippest, coolest nun you can find!

All night long, I rack my brain to think who I can ask. My very life depends upon it.

Should I ask our parish priest at Mass on Sunday?

Should I ask one of the nuns who teaches at the Catholic school I attend?

Do I choose the youngest nun – the nicest nun – or the nun who teaches the class with my highest grade?

Finally, I settle on Sr. Rita. She’s not young, but she’s an awesome teacher and I love her class.

All day long, I fidget in my blue plaid skirt and white blouse, my legs shaking a mile a minute.

Finally the last bell rings. The rest of the students file out and I stay behind to timidly say, “Sr. Rita, may I please ask you a question?”

She looks up from her papers and says, “Sure.”

Suddenly I lose my nerve. Maybe my Mom is right! Maybe this IS a sin! I don’t want Sr. Rita to think poorly of me.

“Um…um,” I stammer, looking at my shoes.

“What is it, child?” she asks.

“Well, um, my Mom says that something I want to do is a VERY BAD SIN – and that I had to ask your permission before I could do it,” I say.

Sr. Rita raises her eyebrows, crosses her arms, and stares at me intently. “What’s the sin?” she asks.

“I want to…I want to…get my ears pierced!”

Sr. Rita suppresses a grin, her eyes crinkling, as she sighs with relief.

In retrospect, I now realize she probably thought I was going to ask about having sex — or doing drugs — or committing homicide!

In comparison, piercing ears hardly makes a “ding” on the Sin-o-Meter!

She pats my shoulder and says, “Yes, dear, yes. You may pierce your ears. It’s not sinful at all!”

I beam from ear to ear – (soon to be punctured ear to ear) – and thank her profusely!

I fairly explode with happiness! I share the good news with my Mom, who, trooper that she is, lives up to her promise to take me to the mall now that we have a religious blessing.

And I ensure that Sr. Rita is one of the first to see my darling little earring butterflies!

(Of course, I still end up a coke-addict junkie whore – but that’s completely unrelated to the pierced ears.)

Ha! OK, just kidding! Fear not, Sr. Rita, where ever you are: your decree was sound and just. I’ve not squandered your blessing. My pierced ears and I will see you in Heaven one day. (It may take some pretty heavy-duty negotiating to get me on the admit-list, but I aim to rock & roll up there in the Great Beyond!)

— Darcy Perdu

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(Anything YOU wanted as a kid that was impacted by parental reluctance, outright disapproval, or religious beliefs?  Do you remember back when you got YOUR piercings?)

Well, That’s a GOOD Thing for a Teacher to Say — I Think…

Um...Is That a Compliment?  Funny School Discussion!  #teacher #funny #school #backtoschool #teens #son #humor

So then…he slings his backpack on the counter and pops open the fridge for a snack.

“How was the first day of 10th grade?” I ask.

A muffled “fine” floats up from the fridge.

“Oh come on, you gotta give me more than that. I’m excited to hear about your classes and teachers. Can’t you tell me something about your day?”

My 15-year-old son emerges with a container of pineapple — pauses, concentrates — then brightens when he remembers something.

“After class, one of my teachers, Mr. Preston, said, ‘Tucker, I am really glad you are in my class.’”

“Oh!” I say proudly, taking it as a compliment for my son.

Then I think a moment. “Wait, why did he say that to you?”

“I dunno.” He opens the silverware drawer for a fork.

“Did he know you from last year or something?”

“No.” He grabs a water bottle.

“Did he say it to anyone else?

He shrugs. “Nope.”

“So he just told you specifically that he’s ‘really glad’ you’re in his class? What class is this?”

“Religion.”

Oh.

So now I’m wondering if the teacher said that because he was impressed with Tucker’s keen philosophical grasp of theological principles –

or because he was thinking, ‘Good Lord, this heathen’s on the brink of eternal damnation. Thank God he’s in this class so we can SAVE HIS SOUL!’

I’m sure it’s the former. Yeah, definitely the former.

— Darcy Perdu

Original Illustration for So Then Stories by Stefano Marchio

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(Do you agree it’s like pulling teeth to get your teenagers to communicate? Any examples of “compliments” that might NOT be actual compliments? Any odd teacher quotes?)

Threatening My Kid with the Fiery Pits of Hell: Um…Too Much?

My Daughter & The Fiery Pits of Hell

So then…Chloe, age 9, tiptoes into my home office, stands before me, twisting her hands into pretzels. She can see that I’m answering work emails — and certainly the frenzied typing indicates how focused I am — so she hesitates a moment.

“What?” I ask.

“Well, um, I was just wondering…”

I click open an attachment and quickly glance at the contents.

She continues to stammer. “Um, I was thinking…well, since I’ve been going to religious education classes once a week at St. Catherine’s Church every year for the last few years….”

“Mmm, yeah…” I say distractedly.

She looks down and says, “And since I’m going to go to Catholic school for middle school next year, so we’ll have religion class every other day and Masses all the time there…”

“Uh-huh, yeah.” I hit Send to forward the attachment.

She asks timidly, “Well, I was just wondering if I could skip 5th grade religious ed. class and take a year off?”

WHAT? My head snaps up and I whirl toward her.

But I calm myself. No need to over-react.

I look at this child that we have faithfully shepherded through the sacraments of Baptism, Reconciliation, and Holy Communion. This child that we have driven all the way over to very-far-away St. Catherine’s Church once a week for religion class. This child who is now asking to skip a year of religious instruction.

So I decide to say something inspirational.

I say, “Really? You want to take a “year off” from God? Is it OK if God takes a year off from you?”

Whereupon she flees from the room, distraught — no doubt convinced that her proposal would have led directly to the burning flames of hell.

I know. Tough love. But I had to do it. Her soul is at stake!

Of course, I follow her and calm her down — and gently explain the importance of continuity in her religious education.

So then…

Two days later, my carpool partner calls to say that her family is moving to a new neighborhood — so she won’t be able to split the driving duty with me over to St. Catherine’s religion class – so I’ll need to drive Chloe there myself EVERY week.

Oh.

Um, Chloe? Chloe, honey, let’s talk about your idea again. You know, sometimes absence does make the heart grow fonder…

— Darcy Perdu

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(Any examples of tough love? Any activities you wanted your kids to continue but they were not QUITE as enthusiastic?)

So funny!  Threatening My Kid with the Fiery Pits of Hell --- but it BACKFIRES!  #funny #kids #humor #carpool #church