Welcome back to Gilda Sue’s Mail Bag. This week, I have another letter from our old pal, Father Patrick Fitzpatrick of the Sister Mary Frances School for Underage And Guileless Boys in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. Hey, Father Pat! The Father writes,
“Gilda Sue. I always wanted to learn to speak in tongues, but there’s not even an elective for that in Catholic Priesting School. Do you know where I can take a class?”
Well, hon, wouldn’t learning to speak in tongues be like learning to be a midgets, or an idiot savant, or a CNN legal commentator/television hostess with over-large nostrils, and a permanent scowl born of self-righteous indignation, a fixation on celebrity lawsuits, and a passion for hearing yourself talk (in tongues or otherwise)? Even if you could actually learn such a thing, you might find it’s not as much fun as it sounds.
Once I had nothing better to do to fill the void in a super-long, hot summer (which is the very predicament in which you seem to have found yourself, Father) and I took some Continuing Ed classes at the Lake Tar Monkey Community College. Their Language Arts Department offered up what looked like a rockin’ “Yiddish for Gentiles” class. (Not as easy as it sounded. I got a C). And The Home Ec Department teamed up with the Psych Department to offer “Mixology as Fixology” which was a sort of group therapy in the kitchen. As it turns out, being creative and busy (not to mention tipsy!) did help some folks take their minds off of their troubles, like rocky marriages, abusive childhoods, or frowned-upon sexual urges that they still can’t “pray away” even after all those beatings by nuns and years of boring Seminary. I actually didn’t really need the therapy part. I was just bored and thirsty, which is not a real-real good combo, by the way. (Grade-schmade! I just remember that that class was the birth place of the “Chicken Salad-infused Drambuie-tini,” and that it was a damn blast. I’m now also remembering that I was escorted off campus grounds on more than one occasion during that class, but for the life of me, I can’t remember why. Or by whom. Or to where.) Anyway, maybe the Pawhuska Community College offers up something similar.
Good luck, Father Pat! And let us know how that goes.
Bye, now. Keep those cards and letters coming!
This week’s letter is from Frimunt.And that’s this person’s name, y’all. Not a town. And I’m not sure if this Frimunt is male or female, but no matter. My answer will be the same, regardles.
OK. Frimunt writes,
“Dear Gilda Sue, I have lost faith in my dreams, my family, my friends, and my religion. Everything and everyone around me seem to lack the depth and substance that make life worth living. I’d kill myself, but I’m afraid of dying. What should I do?”
Well, Frimunt, hon, thanks for giving me a little break from all the tough questions. This is simple, because you are on the right track. At least half-way.
Y’all, the world is totally full of meshugeners and putzes wading around in ankle deep waters volleying hollow and meaningless banter at one another and dressing it up as thoughtful discourse, whether it be on the broad public forum or in seemingly intimate, personal relationships. But, as for being afraid to die, oy! That’s just crazy.
Hon, first of all, death is a lie, and once you realize that, it stops being so scary.
Here’s the thing, bubee. I grew up in a small town and once I could buy my own bus ticket (or secretly borrow some money from my mama’s purse to buy my own bus ticket), I moved as far away as that bus would take me, and I never went back. Now, when I left, those people in my home town didn’t think I was dead. Well, actually, my bobeshi did think I was dead for a few days, and she’s never forgiven me for giving her such a scare. But my point is that I wasn’t dead. And though it is possible for me to return to my hometown, I’ve just never had a reason to do so, which is why I left in the first place. I moved forward. I changed residences. And that’s all “dying” really is.
Disclaimer, hon: Neither Rabbi Spiderman, Father Fitzpatrick, or Pastor Grizzle agree with me on this. And, I don’t claim to know what the forwarding address will be for you, but I feel fairly certain that whatever it is, you should definitely not be afraid of to “die.”
So, no worries. Thanks for your question, Frimunt, and happy trails!