Thursday, May 29, 2014

Lagniappe: The Patron Saint of TV Dinners

When I asked my friend’s mother why there was a little statue of The Virgin Mary on top of their Sylvania, she corrected me in a tone which faintly suggested that her family were better Catholics than mine would ever be. “Oh, Honey, that isn’t the Virgin Mary. That’s St. Clare of Assisi– she’s the patron saint of television.”

I approached the plastic idol with what I hoped was a reverential pace to examine her more closely. She held one hand upward in a gesture of blessing and her face looked up to the heavens. Or perhaps she was simply keeping an eye on the antenna which was fastened to the roof directly above. It was impossible to tell. I tried to pick her up, but discovered that she wouldn’t budge from her place.

I’d heard of people having their eyes glued to their television sets, but never their feet. It was a day of firsts.

When I came home, I took my usual place at dinner – the seat farthest from my mom. It was the lowest position in the family pecking order, but it also happened to be the only chair at the table which afforded a clear view of the family room and the television in it, which was always miraculously turned on and which I always (just as miraculously) got away with watching. I could now tune out the conversation of my older siblings and tune in to early evening network programming knowing there was a new saint in my life who was watching over me as I ate in silence, just like (as I would learn many years later) the sisters of the Franciscan Order founded by her, The Poor Clares.
Michael Procopio, Food for the Thoughtless
This is a blog I discovered via Saveur's annual search for the best food blogs. Michael Procopio not only writes amusingly about food but about his formative years which, as you can see above, include his Catholic upbringing. Do click through the link above and read the rest of the post which includes a delicious looking desert. ("Serves: Enough. You should thank the Lord you’re getting any dessert at all.")

Then browse around as I have been doing and enjoy his other writing. For example, Dressing Up and Playing God is going to entertain anyone who's ever been "instructed" by a sibling and had to sort out Judgment Day at a young age. He's also got plenty of non-Catholic material which is just as good. Bon appetit!

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