I’ve had occasion recently to
ponder my many faults and being Catholic, I turned to St. Thomas Aquinas when
considering the long list of my shortcomings.
Let’s face it: there’s nothing like a misogynistic zealot for provoking
of you know (via Catholic school or Brad Pitt movies), the Seven Deadly Sins
are Pride, Covetousness, Lust, Wrath, Gluttony, Envy, and Sloth
start with the ones that don’t trouble me.
Bear with me – this’ll be a short list.
Nope. Having money or things just because it’s
there. That mentality has never
particularly afflicted with envy. Not
that my life is so shit hot, but everyone has problems. Sure it seems like it would be great
to be filthy rich but who knows. It
would certainly suck to be famous and of that I have no doubt.
wasn’t sure where to put this because let’s face it; the munchies are a
universal phenomenon. On the other
hand, I don’t make it a habit with either food or drink – but I’ve certainly
had my moments.
round off this category (and I’m not going to dwell on this), the only thing I
remember about lust is how to spell it.
I had an x-ray recently and before the technician activated the machine
he asked, “Is there any chance you could be pregnant?”
don’t know,” I replied. “Is there a
star rising in the east?”
onto to the “capital vices” that have an implacable grip on my soul.
that every now and then I can have moments of wrath (I’m typing this with a
straight face), but I prefer to see the funny side of things rather than react
with blind anger. On the other hand,
I’m not someone you want to piss off.
You might wind up in a column.
over this for days and even now, I’m still not sure if Sloth should come in at
a mere second. Sloth’s grip on my will
is absolute and weak sinner that I am, I generally find it easier to just give
I kidding? I embrace it. I luxuriate in it. I fling myself at it with giddy abandon. So epic is my laziness that family legends
have sprung up around it.
when added to my cardinal sin, pride, the mix creates a Louis the Sun King aura
(without, of course, the royal heritage, pots of money, accomplishments and a
place in history).
leads me to my next item.
can I say? I admit it. I am a vain woman. But it’s more than that.
Sometimes I’m quite convinced that I am really rather marvelous.
obnoxious, this would not be all that remarkable – there are thousands of vain
people in the world. In fact, our whole
society is all about vanity and glorifying the superficial. We’ve all been assaulted by media images of
perfection and many of us have fallen for it. I just happen to be one of them.
is what is known as “I’m a victim of the culture” defence.)
I’m a Leo with four other planets there, which apparently makes this sort of
thing more or less inevitable.
is what is known as “The Fault, dear Horatio, is in our stars” defence.)
since I’ve also been cruelly cursed with self-knowledge, I must acknowledge
that my behaviour could be the result of an undiagnosed narcissistic
is what is known as “The Likely Story”.)
take heart – pride did indeed goeth before a fall.
Ladies, we all know that each of
us has three sizes of clothing – the skinny stuff you get into when you’re in
great shape, the normal stuff that you usually settle for and at least one pair
of “fat” jeans.
I can’t say now what in the world
possessed me to stuff myself into pants I was about 5 pounds too heavy for but
I think that a heartbreaking dearth of caffeine and a delusional episode had
something to do with it.
Hmm, I thought, gazing at my
reflection, not bad at all. Kind of hot
as a matter of fact. OK, so they were a
little tight but they’d loosen up, right?
Any camel toe would be concealed by my mid-thigh length jacket.
It was rush hour when I left for
work, so I spent the entire trip standing.
The first glimmer of foreboding I had (apart from complete numbness
below the waist) struck me at the stairs leading out of the subway. As I attempted to scale them, I found there
was not enough play in the fabric to allow me to bend my knees but I persevered
and hauled myself up the steps.
Whew! Maybe this wasn’t such a
good idea after all but I was stuck with it now and I knew I could suck it
up. Besides, I was working on a really
interesting case that I was sure would distract me from any discomfort I might
experience courtesy of a size zero denim tourniquet. I could do this, no sweat.
Once I was in the office and absorbed in the file, none of this would matter.
Convinced of this, I tottered confidently into the office, put my briefcase
away and turned on my computer.
I sat down -- and felt a little
thrill as my legs went dead.
I heaved myself to my feet,
desperate to sort myself out before I was struck dead by deep vein thrombosis.
blinding lightheadedness caused by the sudden surge of blood thundering back
into my parched lower extremities staggered me only momentarily and was soon
replaced by a case of pins and needles so severe that I began to pray to St.
Sebastian. The tingling, numbness and
an inability to bend my knees (combined with the inseam’s increasingly menacing
assault on my most intimate areas) lent my gait a jaunty, almost piratical
air. I reeled down the hall, determined
to make it to the sanctuary of the bathroom in record time.
inside, I desperately dug into my viscera for the button at my waist.
relief as I popped it was immediate and as my grateful lower body began to
swell, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. In addition to cutting off all my circulation, my reflection
revealed that I had magically been transformed into an interesting performance
art piece – a topographical map rendered in exquisite detail on flesh.
was a deep groove where the zipper had been and the line of the seam was
imbedded so indelibly onto my thighs I could count the stitches. In fact, I was pretty sure the pattern could
be seen from space. Clearly, I was now
one with the jeans in an unpleasant Borg-like way. Peeling them off was no small task, as it soon became apparent
that they had bonded to my flesh, evidently on a cellular level.
chilling thought struck me.
you ever removed your boots after a long hike?
Ever tried to put them back on five minutes later? It was kind of like that. Unless I could manage to stuff myself back
into the damn jeans immediately, I’d never get them back on. I gritted my teeth, sucked in one last,
unencumbered breath and hauled the button toward the buttonhole.
endeavour gave me an idea of what it must be like to force 100 pounds of Jello
into a straw. By 3 p.m., I was
seriously considering calling the paramedics.
Clearly, the only thing that could separate me from my jeans was the
Jaws of Life.
ask me how I got through the day – I have no memory of it, thanks no doubt to
imminent death by constriction. It
tends to be a bit distracting.