Good. It’s Friday.

Like many families around the world, every Easter my family and I discuss religion.  It’s tradition. We find it’s the most direct path to the customary Easter family fight.  More meandering topics of discussion guaranteed to lead into a fight would be politics, new haircuts, and the price of submarine sandwiches.

This year, we won’t be having the traditional family dinner due to the Ick.  Although Betty *did* get her first vaccine shot a few weeks ago, so we’re well on our way to in person fighting. 

85 year old Betty was not at all interested in getting her vaccine although she was very interested in gallivanting around Costco, her friend’s houses and neighbourhood beer joints. Therefore, I was put in charge of registering her, corralling her and dragging her up to the vaccination location. I didn’t get a vaccination and probably won’t be able to until July.

I’m thinking in celebration of the event that I shouldn’t stop at one needle but instead should get many!  Vitamin B12,  Botox, Juvederm … just bring me ALL the needles and start poking me relentlessly.

Since we aren’t getting together this year for the traditional tales and tirades, I thought it would be a nice gesture for me to bring them to you and my family through this heartfelt post.

The Easter Story

by Karen

Every year as we gather for Easter dinner we take the opportunity to reminisce about how my mother’s parents shipped her off to “the Nunnery” for being bad when she was 15.

Betty was a bit of a firecracker you see.

She jumped out of her bedroom window in the middle of the night, smoked cigarettes and generally carried on in a manner unbecoming to a teenage girl in the 1950’s.  This sort of behaviour is now common place in many teenage girls of course, with the addition of wearing underpants, 57 tattoos and a sneer in public.

Betty wasn’t thrilled about being shipped to the nunnery, but it pleased her parents to no end.  Finally their ill behaved daughter was going to get the guidance she needed, and they were going to get the alone time they required to plan a well executed swingers party. 

Everything went along fine and dandy for everyone until the day Betty declared she loved the nunnery and she might just like to become one.  A nun.

If this were a movie, the next scene would involve a family sedan comically skidding to a halt at the nunnery and a teenage girl and her suitcase being thrown into the back of the car.  Car speeds away with clouds of dust behind it.

Betty didn’t become a nun. But the experience did affect her. In fact the whole thing was so traumatic for her she banned me from wearing black until I was in grade 10. It reminded her of the nunnery. Because I wasn’t allowed to wear black, black is now my favourite colour. I need it in clothing and decorating and shoes and purses. And it all stemmed from being banned from black for the first 15 years of my life.

I’m pretty sure my grandparents had no idea that sending my mother to a nunnery in 1950 would have any effect on their unborn granddaughter’s lifelong colour choices. But that’s exactly what happened.

It sort of puts my eyebrows in a squinch to think that something I’m doing at this very moment could randomly impact people 2 generations from now.

When you think about, it’s really freaky. And kindda good.

Wishing you … a Good Freaky Friday and a Happy Easter. May you all enjoy your own traditions this year in a new way.

41 Comments

  1. Andrew Karr says:

    You had me at “Submarine Sandwiches”.

  2. Hannah says:

    My parens were both rebels as teens and raised all sorts of hell….my ‘rebellion’ was being obnoxiously goody-two-shoes and tsk-tsking all their shenanigans. This sounds like my parents got off easy….until you realize I’m the oldest and my younger siblings DEFINITELY filled in for me. They thought they’d won the child behaviour lotto…..until my younger sister got caught smoking weed in the bathroom at school. In grade 6.

  3. Willow says:

    I was sent home in disgrace, parents, grand parents and more than likely generations of good Catholics shaking there fists in heaven. I cried for a whole year,well not all the time just a lot. I ended getting married to a guy who turned Catholic ,he was Lutheran. His Mom turned Catholic for his Dad.Yikes that was a weird day. That did not work, and I got divorced and moved to California, and worked for a Media Therapist. Two years later, Father Scott showed up for the seminar. I was personal assistant to the boss ans had to interview all the participants. He called and I had a real shock, and almost had kittens It was like we never were torn apart. Lots of kissing etc. He was an HIV Doc in Africa, and did I say really good Kisser. We kept getting together, he was still a priest and that whole hell thing hung over my head for a long time. He had to go back to Africa so we said See you soon. I moved to San Francisco,I will continue if the wonderful Karen will consent. type at you tomorrow!

  4. Jan in Waterdown says:

    My mum wouldn’t let me wear black either, in the 60’s. She said it was for widows and old Italian ladies. And growing up in Hamilton, there were LOTS of old Italian ladies. Now it’s my fave colour too. If mum had her way, I would have had a perm for the rest of my life too 🙄

  5. dirk says:

    Freaky Friday!! Woo hoo!!!

  6. Audrey Ogilvie says:

    I’m howling whilst contemplating the leadups to religions and political blowouts. Karen, I’ve written once or twice but have been a long time lurker and admirer. Now I could use a spot of help. In our village of 600 is a woman who is in the process of turning her more than half an acre property into a vegetable garden! She’ll feed us all. By herself. She’s a bit like you but closer to my age, which is 80! Anyway for the past few months she’s been bringing us loaves of her extraordinary bread. I would like to buy some unusual seeds for her. Any recommendations would be gratefully appreciated.

    • LJ says:

      I’m gonna say Cucamelons……I haven’t completely grown or eaten them yet, but I hear they are the size of a grape & taste like a citrusy cucumber….. Dunno, but I have planted me a couple of Cucamelon plants this year, so we shall see! Now that I think about it, Karen posted about them in “Unique Things to Grow”…..so there you have it; I would pick that one for sure!

  7. Mary W says:

    To Random Impactor, consider yourself thanked by my grandkids. I pick up lots of gardening and other advice that I’ve passed along from you to them. They don’t follow you but one has chickens, one loves to prank people, two love to laugh at problems before handling them, and the last one puts up with me repeating anything I learn from your posts as we walk her dog together each day. I could actually call you the pond water rippler. Tell Betty thanks!

  8. Lynn says:

    Happy Easter 💐🐇💐 husband had a Easter surprise sitting between both cars on our driveway was a white rabbit, unfortunately his basket was empty so he left no Easter eggs.
    Still it was a good too see mr rabbit.

  9. Linda in Illinois says:

    Happy Easter Karen. Love your story.

  10. Grammy says:

    For this very special day my grandson is here, and my plan was that he is going to dye eggs, eat brownies, and drink the lemonade we made this morning from our lemon tree produce. So far, he’s eaten a bunch of pistachio nuts and a V8 juice, helped to squeeze the lemons, jumped around the house with his VR headset on, and is now watching The Matrix on TV. The little boy I haven’t seen except by FaceTime for a year is now an almost-12-year-old with decidedly different ideas. Go figure. So I checked in to find your heartwarming Easter tale.

    As for the rebellion thing — the only reason I didn’t get sent to a nunnery in the ’50s was because I did the cooking and babysitting at my house. I think a nunnery might have been more fun. But my mother always complained that I “needed more color” and that’s why I have refused to wear makeup my entire life. It wasn’t my fault that I looked like I was adopted.

    Have a lovely weekend. I got my second shot yesterday, but my adult kids haven’t got to schedule theirs, yet. Hang in there just a bit longer. We’ll all make it through the end of this.

    • Susan Mercurio says:

      I had to make beds (and everything else around the house): not just make them, but with the hospital corners my mother learned from volunteering at Walter Reed Hospital after WWII. And not just with hospital corners – my stepfather had been in the Navy and they had to make their beds so tight that a quarter would bounce off them. I had to do both – and I got beaten by one or the other if they weren’t perfect.
      So I have refused to make a bed for the rest of my life.

  11. Lynn says:

    Wonderful, funny and thought provoking ‘Easter’ stories abound!
    You did it again Karen! I hope Betty knows how inspirational her daughter is to SO many people :)

    To Willow…the rest of THAT story……??

  12. Kat says:

    In grade 9 in the 80s at Loretto Abbey high school, our religion teacher Sister Wilfreda had a guest nun come to speak to us impressionable girls during class. She told us that in grade 13 she was in engaged to a 6ft tall blond adonis from the swim team and was planning her wedding. We smiled with enthusiasm. Then she got …THE CALL. And the call meant that she broke up with said blond adonis and got married to the church instead! Yeah! The gasps around the room were palatable. We all freaked out and spent the next weeks hoping we wouldn’t get THE CALL! And after high school, we all avoided wearing navy blue, our school uniform colours and switched to black instead! 😂

  13. Karla Wood says:

    And now we know (maybe) the inspiration for the song Black Betty (Bam-ba- lam). Have an excellent not just good…Friday and Happy Easter

    • Annamay Adams says:

      Well that song mention brought back memories! Some of the 1977 band Ram Jam was from my home town Hicksville, NY! Some of the band were also members of the Hassles of which Billy Joel was a member! Old memories!

  14. Marie Anne says:

    My mother went to school in Quebec where the schools were run by nuns at the time. I was also not allowed to wear black but my mother never said why. I think it also has something to do with her rebellious nature, I will be attempting to convince her to get the vaccine this weekend. Hope you have a fun weekend however you spend it!

  15. Jane says:

    My experience with colour is the opposite of yours. My mother insisted on my wearing red until I was around 12 because she thought I looked too pale. To this day, I have an aversion to red.

    Have a wonderful Easter weekend!

  16. Caroline says:

    Your email for this post came through with the words “More meandering topics of discussion guaranteed to lead into a fight would be politics, new haircuts, and the price of submarine … Continue reading →”

    I was with you on the topics until I got to the price of submarine…
    Impossible not to click through in order to find out why you discuss the price of submarines in your family!

    • Karen says:

      LOL!!🤣 ~ karen!

    • Laurel says:

      Karen was talking about submarine sandwiches 😉

    • Margot Hayes says:

      My intro came the same way as yours, Caroline, but I took it in stride being Canadian, and used to the whole country squabbling about new/refurbished submarines as long as I can remember (I’m 70). As I know Karen is also Canadian, it made sense to me. LOL

    • Penny says:

      Exactly what drew me in!! Quite disappointed to read the next word, but the rest of the post was worth it.
      Happy Easter (or whatever ) to all Karen’s readers.

  17. DEBORAH d MCLAUGHLIN says:

    Happy Good Friday! I hope you stay safe and get your vaccine soon. My parents both now have been fully vaccinated and I’m so relieved. (My dad was on the Betty path.) Thanks for all the cheering on of DIY.

  18. Ursula says:

    April 2nd is Good Friday in Australia. I was physically back at church for the first time since February 14th, owing to back surgery with complications. We had to wear masks in the building, owing to the Brisbane outbreak, but we could still sing. Today I remember that Jesus, fully God and fully man, took my sins to the cross. And that wasn’t the end of the story. He rose again, victorious over death. He’s coming back, & every eye shall see him. From the Bible, Acts chapter4 verse 12, Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under Heaven given to men & women by which we must be saved. And this salvation is for YOU. Read John chapter 3 verse 16, & put in your own name. May God bless you all real good this Easter time. Our Grandchildren live in America, so we are quite tuned in to your suffering.

  19. Kippy says:

    My Grandma nearly fainted when 7 year old me told her I wanted to be a nun. Dad had to quickly explain to his mother aka my Grandma that we had just seen the movie The Trouble with Angels and it showed young girls at a convent school having a lot of fun and mischief(as your mother did). My family and I are Lutherans.

  20. Caroline says:

    My back hurts just looking at the poor woman bending over that very low counter!

    • Megan says:

      I had the same thought!! Counters are too low, but then the telephone (to the right) is so high especially as a rotary dial!

  21. Brian says:

    Thus the reason for black nail polish. Got it

  22. Stephanie says:

    My mother was always threatening to send me to the nunnery – I never actually really believed they took anyone but unwed mothers so I felt quite safe (ish). Seems like I dodged a bullet now that I know what happened to Betty.

  23. Willow says:

    I was accepted into a nunnery,in Wisconsin. I was bored one day, well okay it was everyday! We could go for walks within the grounds, that was even worse then boring. Then one day, I heard a Psst. It was a boy older than me and he was in the priest school next door. WOW he was cute! The rest is history. I got kicked out for kissing a Priest-ling
    though a fence. He did not get kicked out. There is a lot more to this story. I will finish it soon~ HAPPY EASTER to all! Karen you make me laugh a lot…Thanks!

  24. Janis says:

    hmmm Good Friday and April Fools Day falling on the same calendar date. True story or not, I am thoroughly enjoying my subscription to Betty’s daughter’s blog. Thanks for all that you offer up!

  25. Thera says:

    Happy Easter!

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