Thursday, April 13, 2006

Maundy

I don't know what that means, and, being a post-Catholic, we never used that term anyhow to describe a simple "Holy Thursday."

"Maundy" sounds like some kind of bad-accent version of "Monday" to me and conjures up the drippiness of the word "maudlin," which conjures up purple, which is a Lent color.

Today is a day to humble yourself and wash someone's feet. They'll be doing it at a number of Protestant and Catholic places this evening. It's a fairly scary concept; I know a lot of people who are plum-frightened by others' feet, even their own. There was a girl in my class at some point in my life who absolutely could not stand to see any naked feet. She would freak out as if they were snakes or something, jump around and squeal until the offending appendanges were re-cloaked. The time the weird boy who once had encountered some farm machinery in his usually-urban life wanted to show off his severed-ness to the teacher and class really sent her flying.

Sometimes I wash my husband's feet. I wash my own more often. Got a whole little dishtub for the purpose. Lots of fizzy, minty, buffy things, too.

Shoes, I've found, while keeping off the Biblical-nomadic dirt of sheep dung and Palestine sand, do tend to ruin any natural circulation of the feet in question. Feet end up grossest when they've been inside a shoe all day. John Steinbeck's Joad guy tends to agree with me on that point, I'm noticing.

No, I do not go all Magdalene and use my hair to dry them. What kind of person do you think I am? It's not about a sinner's repentance anymore, it's about cherishing and being serve-because-love. . .

and about having a really sensitive nose and personally disappointingly sweaty feet.

They're making a lot of women's hybrid athletic/life shoes these days that are designed to be worn without socks. While this may sound like a good idea, along with clever things in the description like "anti-microbial layer," believe me, it is not really that long before natural forces take over.

One pair of Merrels that everyone-female usually comments on being "so cute" can be a demonstration: they seem to have some kind of canine anti-bacterial technology, I've concluded, for while, no, they don't really reek like the usual leather shoe gone-past-its-prime, they smell exactly like a dog to me. You know, dogs' mouths are so "clean" and all. They may be battling disease, sure, but they still smell.

And it invades my feet to the point that the odor is nothing I've ever experienced with other shoes, pervades the skin and takes several Dial-soapings to remove. In other words, dang.

Don't doubt that I've disassembled the shoes and scrubbed out the footbeddy part and let it dry in the solar breeze. No avail.

Oh, the perils of Merrels, "modern existence," etc.

In others' blogs I've been commenting about the immigration thing, in case you were wondering about my brain.

It is Spring Break, after all. Not that I'm a teacher or someone who works for a Jewish or Catholic organization and has time off.

Full moon enough of an excuse? How about 90-degree temperatures and a baffled confrontation of "what shoes should I wear?"

3 comments:

pomegranate said...

This post moved me..

to chuckles and chortles.

happy global warming.

trAcy said...

an anonymous but known friend wrote in (since i couldn't get to m-w.com):

"latin: mandatum.... to love one another as exemplified in the feet washing."

Josh said...

I'm glad you found out what Maundy means. That would have bothered me until I could find it. It never did before, but when you bring it up I have to know!

I also love the term 'post-Catholic'! I think I may have to borrow (steal) it.