: what should I give up? :

Do you realize Lent starts Wednesday, the day after tomorrow? I didn’t, the news came as a surprise, and I’m not prepared. I mean, I know I have to give up something, something I love eating or doing or having, but what? And how much do I have to love it? A lot or a little or not at all, really?

Last year I gave up my beloved Leibniz Butter Biscuits. Cold turkey. I endured six long, miserable weeks without so much as the sight of one. No kitchen cupboard harbored the happy yellow box with the blue and red type. In its absence I tried to fill the void with graham crackers, but it wasn’t the same. I was jonesin’ for the Leibniz, man. Every day, I was jonesin’ for the Leibniz.

One year I gave up smoking. Okay, it was in June, so technically it wasn’t Lent, but I quit smoking, anyway. Again, cold turkey. I don’t remember enjoying myself then, either. In fact, I don’t recall one amusing anecdote from those days. None.

Another year I gave up candy. All kinds, candy bars and Starburst and Twizzlers and Milk Duds  — everything. Then I forgot and ate a Mars bar. The guilt, when I remembered, was huge. Big huge, I tell you.

Do I have to keep doing this to myself? There are so many things I’m willing to give up, forever if I have to. I just can’t decide which one to choose. Wait, I know. How about I make a list and you pick for me. Does that work? Yes? Great, here’s the list of possibilities:

What Should I Give Up for Lent?

1. Shaving my legs
It’s vain and narcissistic, yes?
2. Flipping off chucklehead drivers
I won’t lift a finger for 46 days.
3. Beets
I’m willing to share.
4. Paying bills
A two-digit credit score will be plenty.
5. My Facebook page
I’ll close it down if I remember the name I used.
6. Leibniz Butter Biscuits
I ate a box today, just in case.
7. Smoking
I quit once, I can do it again (since I remain non-smoking).

See how hard it is? Each choice has its own unique merits, wouldn’t you say? I suppose I could go for martyrdom and give up all seven, but that seems like showing off. Well, I’ll leave you to decide. Thank you and good luck.

Copyright © Publikworks 2012.

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30 Responses to “: what should I give up? :”

  1. 1pointperspective

    I’m morally obligated to advise you to choose either smoking or flipping off chucklehead drivers, as either one of these activities could cause you great harm. I just posted a piece about the merits of shaving, so I won’t go there. You could always give up organized religion, but be warned, Christmas will seem even more hollow than usual.

    In any case, thank you for sharing your dilemma, it made my decision as to whether to shampoo the carpets or not a little easier.

    Like

    • publikworks

      Oh, good, I’m glad you didn’t pick the cookies. I’ll put you down for flipping off the chuckleheads. That one will be a challenge, since I get cut off at least once a day. The smoking thing would just be too easy. So where did you come down on the the carpet cleaning?

      Thanks for your input. 1point!

      Like

      • 1pointperspective

        Since I’m off work today, I had a choice: I could sit here staring at this computer waiting and hoping someone would read something (anything) I had written, or I could shampoo the carpets and check back on the computer in between refills of the shampooer. Since I’m something of a noble savage, I chose the latter.

        Like

  2. clownonfire

    To give up your Facebook page…. Did it hurt when you wrote this?

    I say screw the ritual of shaving your legs… It’s purely aesthetic. It’s [somewhat] a sexist practice. And all these disposable blades can’t be good when trying to live a responsible green life.

    Now don’t you just want to light up a smoke and Facebook?

    Like

    • publikworks

      Yay! One for shaving my legs.

      To tell you the truth, cof, I started a Facebook page a couple years ago, but I can’t remember what name I used or the password or anything. I doubt if I ever even made an entry. I should be embarrassed to admit that, but …

      It was great to hear from you, I loved your suggestion.

      Like

  3. Eileen Riley

    Hmmm…..well, I’m going to have to go for No. 2 but only on the condition that you actually continue to drive for the next six weeks. It won’t count if you rely on family, friends, neighbours, colleagues or random strangers who walk by your house.

    No. 1 – Keep shaving. Warmer weather is coming (eventually) and you have to think of the rest of us.
    No. 3 – Beets. I have a few in my fridge that I a bought a year or two ago. You can have them if you want.
    No. 4 – I run my own business so I simply can’t condone such behaviour, unless I get to do it also.
    No. 5 – That would be too big a sacrifice. You need to know every random thought of every person you have every met.
    No. 6 – I hate to say it, but they look vile. And boring. Which is a very bad combination.
    No. 7 – I could go for that as my backup as long as you start smoking today.

    Good luck. Personally I have decided to give up watching The Biggest Loser while eating ice cream.

    Like

    • publikworks

      Vile, really? Boring? How can you say such terrible things? That’s, that’s … uncalled for.

      I like your list, though, it was well-reasoned and thoughtfully presented. I must pass on the beets, however, thanks all the same. Your decision to quit watching The Biggest Loser while eating ice cream made me laugh out loud, good thing I wasn’t drinking coffee at the time.

      I’ve got two for flipping off the chuckleheads now. Thanks for making my morning, Eileen.

      Like

  4. O. Leonard

    We were required to give up candy during Lent when I was growing up. It was required because it was easier to monitor by the parental unit. It was torture. The Easter baskets were devoured within hours. As we got older we would “cheat” and get a candy bar. You’re right about the guilt. The candy never tasted as good as we thought it would.

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    • publikworks

      Yay, halfcnote, thank you! Beets. I want to give up beets. Do you think I’ll get any brownie points for that, though?

      Like

      • halfcnote

        Sure. You will be providing extra resources for those whose mainstay is borscht. That’s known as a mitzvah in my neck of the woods (really good deed). Go a head and eat that brownie.

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        • publikworks

          Oh, boy, that’s music to my ears. I think I love your neck of the woods and that it’s a mitzvah,

          So, If you don’t mind, I’ll eat the whole pan. Thanks for the green light! And thanks for stopping in. I’ve missed hearing from you.

          Like

  5. Angie Z.

    I say give up all of them. Be like a monk for a while. I hear this lifestyle brings the added bonus of spiritual enrichment, wisdom and clarity. Which I’ve been told tastes exactly like Leibniz Butter Biscuits.

    Like

    • publikworks

      I should, shouldn’t I? Okay, I’ll give it all up. Even the cookies and I’ll throw in liquour for good measure. Mama needs some wisdom and clarity and spiritual enrischment.

      PS. I hope this works.

      Like

    • publikworks

      Is that a slam? That seems like a slam.

      By the way, I liked your old gravatar, but I love the new one. It’s terrific!

      Like

  6. Lenore Diane

    Yep, based on your list – I’m voting for beets.
    Lisa, I’m giving up Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Please send help. I may have to find solace in those Leibniz biscuits. What is it about biscuits that make them so delicious?! I like the ones with chocolate on the bottom. Mmm… biscuits and chocolate.

    Like

    • publikworks

      gasp! Ben & Jerry’s? Whoa. We should start a support group, you and I. Me with no Leibniz and you with no Phish Food. Let’s stick together through this — misery loves company, you know.

      My neighbor preferred the ones with the chocolate layer, too. I’m more of a purist. And the plain ones are low in calories: 6 cookies = 160 calories. There’s just something about them I can’t live without.

      Good luck, LD. I’ll be thinking of you.

      Like

  7. misscapri

    I wouldn’t give up anything if I was you. Although I am a Christian I refuse to give up anything because I know my own psyche well enough to realize this would only make me irritated and impatient for Lent to end, not make me closer to God. The extent I’ll take it is sticking to playing more serious music on the iPod as well as the digital piano, excluding practicing, and of course “Byker Hill” if my favourite hockey teams win.

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    • publikworks

      It just wouldn’t feel right not to give up something and I’ve decided to go with butter cookies and flipping people off and beets. Easter will be a happy, wonderful day. Good luck with your hockey teams!

      Like

    • publikworks

      See, now I have to politely disagree on the turkey, tht; cold turkey sandwiches are my favorite. Quitting cold turkey, not so much. I’m glad you got a chuckle, I’m still humming your song in my head.

      Like

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