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A different approach to abstinence for Lent

By By Nicole S Farrell

Withdrawal symptoms have probably kicked into gear. The Carnival season (unfortunately) has ended and the Lenten season has begun, and as per usual, many people are now abstaining from one habit or the other.

Meat is usually the common choice, although last year one of my friends almost made me choke at her choice. While chatting with her on the phone one day, of course the topic came about as to what our abstinence was centred around. Saying that she was not eating any chicken, I answered, quite innocently, "Yeah, a lot of people aren't eating meat." Almost immediately, she shot back, "No, no, no. I am not eating chicken." In my mind, I heard the crickets chirping. What on earth does that mean? Stupefied, I enquired, "What?" Giggling, she said, "I never said I'm not eating meat; I said I'm not eating chicken." This was a first for me. "Sooooo, you're eating beef and turkey and – " She cut me off. "Yeah, yeah, yeah. Whatever!" As it hit me, I couldn't help but have a good laugh. Wonders never cease.

I am uncertain as to her plans for this year, however, many will be refusing to eat all types of meat; others will steer away from chocolate; a fraction will detour from the bars and lounges to avoid the temptation of alcohol consumption; a handful will totally refrain from eating junk/fast food; and some will opt for abstaining from sex.

I've been in a quandary, wondering what to abstain from for the 40 days. French fries, bread and carbonated drinks definitely have to be on the list, if I wanted to be honest with myself. However, I wanted something different to challenge myself as well. So what could I possibly say ta-ta to?

As I pondered, I speculated as to what other people would choose if they were given the opportunity to select something that wasn't the norm. It was hard getting some individuals to think out-of-the-box but all in all, they delivered.

Cintra: "I would abstain from working – but still get paid!"

Lorna: "I would abstain from getting up before 9 o'clock which means I would abstain from leaving home at half past four to get to work."

Carl: "I would not flirt with other women. I am married. I can't help it though so that will only last for 40 days, if so long."

Kenitia: "This is going to sound really bad but you asked. I wouldn't bathe. If I could not bathe and not smell, I wouldn't do it."

Roger: "I wonder if I should say it? I honestly wouldn't go home. My wife is the biggest nag in the world and we don't have children but her nephew is always there and dat boy real noisy so when I reach home, is noise all the time. So if I could stay somewhere else just for a while, yeah."

Marilyn: "Oh gosh, help mih but I wouldn't kiss my boyfriend! When he finish with you, yuh whole face wet! Dey really say love blind."

Moses: "No football, no video games, no 'liming' until sunrise on a Saturday morning."

Ian: "That's easy; no one-night stands. I real chronic with that. I kinda want to change that so a good time to try to start is during Lent, I guess."

Linda: "I would 'abstain' from my children and grandchildren. Don't get me wrong but is too much. I have eight children; four still live at home and that means I have nine young grandchildren running around all the time. I need a break, man. Forty days. I'll take what I could get."

Pamela: "I would definitely stay away from all of those energy drinks. I think I'm addicted to them. I have at least two or three a day and that's not too good."

Natty: "Ma'am, take what I telling you. I staying away from all dem young girls. I am 55 years and work hard for my money and they just like to come and suck it out to buy weave and clothes and go to party. I don't know how long ah will las' but I will try. De flesh weak."

Who would've thought? To each his own, I'd say. Hmmm… My 'weird' challenge can be resisting lustful thoughts. I usually go into a 'zone' while watching Criminal Minds. Did you really have to wonder if I was referring to Shemar Moore? Duh!

nfpeters3434@gmail.com

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