Betty Duffy

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The Dorito-Eaters

I went to Florida with Pedge and Irene and another gal-friend of ours, Elaine. Irene’s parents have a condo near Naples, so we received our husbands’ blessings and set off on a sun-quest. It wasn’t meant to be a long trip, just four days, travel included, so when our flight was canceled, it seemed sort of a sign from God, saying, “GO HOME LADIES. Love your children. Clean your house. You don’t need a getaway. And don’t even think about trying it during Lent.”

Turns out our plane had mechanical difficulties. The airline chartered us by bus to the Dayton airport to catch another flight, which was delayed as well. “This would never happen to our husbands,” was our first reaction. Yet at four in the afternoon, sitting in the Dayton airport bar, it occurred to me, “If I had not thought I would be in Florida by now, there is nothing I would rather be doing then sitting here having a drink with my friends.” There was no reason to consider our delays a loss.

We arrived in Naples at 2 am, nearly twelve hours after we woke up to get our jumpstart on the airport. We could have slept in. Irene’s mother had left out a welcoming basket filled with wine and chocolate and matching bathrobes. She had booked a masseuse to come to the house the following day, so that we could each receive an hour-long massage.

It’s sort of funny to consider that the four of us met through Regnum Christi. Our girls’ getaway used to be a weekend retreat or convention. Since the scandal with Father Maciel, we have continued to do Gospel Reflections on our own, though not as a part of RC. We still woke up each morning in Florida and said our morning prayers together. We still went to Mass and said our Rosaries. But it was sort of fun not to spend the weekend sitting in a hotel convention room listening to lay testimonies. It felt very rebellious.

I remember a cousin of mine, once explaining to me why she didn’t want to join Regnum Christi with me: “Sometimes I just want to sit on the couch and eat Doritos,” she said. In light of Father Maciel’s writings on Time and Eternity, I often feel guilty about doing anything that’s not an apostolic activity. So I have devolved into a Dorito-eater. Hopefully, there will still be room in Eternity for me. My entire adult life as a Catholic has been tied up with Regnum Christi, and one of these days I’m going to write a post about how life has changed since I’m not really involved.

Here’s the short version: We went on a marathon outlet shopping trip. Irene’s mom drove us around old Naples and bought us dinner at Handsome Harry’s. We went to see a chick flick, read tabloids on the beach, rode bikes, took walks, played euchre, drank Chardonnay, and we had those massages, which were marvelous.

I have to admit, I’ve put off writing this post for a couple weeks because I’m a little embarrassed that I’ve been on two trips in two months without my kids. You can always find someone to say, “You deserve it! Take a break!” And you can always find someone who looks down their nose at you for actually doing it. I like to think that I have given my kids the gift of time with their grandparents, and I’ve also now given my husband the pleasure of being home with all the kids for a couple days without me. The circumstances are so often reversed. And everyone did fine, of course. The house was tidy, the floor mopped, the kids moderately clean on my return. It seems I could check out of here altogether and life would keep ticking without me, and maybe that’s what’s most embarrassing about it.

It’s been my little secret for the past five months or so, that my life is really pretty easy (though maybe I’m not hiding it very well). I can’t tell if I’m getting better at what I do, or if the kids are just more self-sufficient, or if I’m slacking on my duties and I need to do something to make my life more difficult. I’ve always thought that if life is easy, I’m not doing it right—but maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe it’s just the calm before a storm and I should enjoy it while it lasts.

In a couple days, I’m heading down to the Gulf to visit my sister, this time with the kids, but it will be my third trip in as many months. I’ve become such a party girl this Lent. And due to our airport delays on the Florida trip, we each received two free international round trip tickets that must be used by the person whose name is on the ticket within 365 days. The pressure is on: where to next?

Just for the memories--I do remember when life was hard.


Rebekka said...

I'm going to London in a couple of weeks. I'll let you know. :-)

wifemotherexpletive said...

it was a wonderful post, i'm so glad you had the chance... can't get past 'the floor was mopped'!! which, i don't think, was the whole point ... :) so glad you had the presence of mind to enjoy the delays...

Dawn Farias said...

Oh, that sounds like such a nice time!!

Hope said...

Okay, so I really want to read the post about Regnum Christi. I haven't researched it at all.

Maybe I'll have to delete this comment altogether because as I was typing I realized I had it mixed up in my head with Legionarres of Christ. Which I probably just spelled wrong, and don't know anything about either.

I do know as a fairly new Catholic, how disappointed I was when I realized there were these little groups of Catholics all over the place who thought they were the most Catholic. I thought I'd escaped that when I converted to Catholicism (well, except I was still me, prone to us and theming it with the best of them!) I'm assuming
Regnum Christi isn't like that because I haven't caught that kind of tone on your blog.

Realizing all those little groups existed did make me want to sit on the couch and eat Doritos,though! :)

Gardenia said...

“You deserve it! Take a break!” And this is not from a someone who looking down her nose at you. love your posts. and how funny the feeling you got from NOT going to RC activities; like you were skipping school maybe.