Wednesday, January 16, 2008


I like nuns. I get irritated when people make fun of them or assume they are naive simpletons. I may not share their dogma but I admire their conviction and their dedication. Good grief. How many people do you know who put their whole lives on the line for something they believe in?

People think because they don't have sex, that they are weird. First of all, let's speak the truth. Plenty of people who have sex are terrifically weird. And LOTS of people don't have sex. That's the dirty little secret no one wants to know.

I don't really know why I like dressing up as one at nearly every opportunity. Maybe it's because the costume is fairly easy. It's calming to me in some way. Maybe this is why I wear so much black and white. I do have non-nunlike tendencies, though, fully on display throughout CFTE. In fact, let's not go there.

I went to the Sisters of Mercy (Catherine Macaulay the "foundress," as she is called, is pictured above) in Little Rock, Arkansas.

I am here to tell you I got an excellent education. They know their stuff.

And they're funny. I mean really funny. Also, let's not forget that I did a wicked imitation of Sister Marcelline. I wonder where she is.

"What do you have to say for yourself?" she asked me once when I was brought in for questioning on some infraction. I'm sure I was guilty.

I babbled. I said nothing. Sometimes that was best.

They have ambitions. They want to be successful like everybody else. And they are full of good stories. I am reading Sister Karol Jackowski's book Forever and Ever, Amen, and it is really quite wonderful.

I always knew I would write a "nun" book and I am. Mine is about one who leaves, though, and how she enters life at age 43.

I should also mention my friend Danielle Schaaf's excellent book Don't Chew Jesus, a collection of nun anecdotes and stories from students who lived under nunly jurisdictions. Not every story is pleasant.

I still need a title for my own. Sigh.

It's always something, huh?

Bitch, bitch, bitch. Sorry, Sister.



At 3:17 PM , Blogger Toni Lea Andrews said...

I was participating in a fund raising event that involved riding my bicycle from San Francisco to Los Angeles (I know. It was insane. I was thinner then.) when a ran across a group called "The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence." You may THINK you've dressed up as a nun, but you have NO IDEA. These "sisters" rode their biked 585 miles in full drag/nun regalia.

They were a hoot and really caused some double-takes, especially when riding through some of the very smallest towns on our route.

Unfortunately, their official website seems to be down at the moment but you can find lots of pictures with a google image search.

At 7:29 PM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

My gosh, that sounds like fun, TOni!! I'm very impressed.


At 5:21 AM , Blogger Austin Carr said...

You might want to check a few books on head-shrinking, see if this fascination of yours might involve black and white issues.

TFA says your glasses look cute.

At 7:46 AM , Blogger Becky Motew said...

Well, thanks, Austin. I mean TFA. Is there another identity there too?

I don't know what made me look all the way down here....



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