I am starting to keep a log of the multitudinous ways in which I am an Advent Fail. I will be posting every several days but not each day.
I thought I was prepared for Advent this year. I bought a cute, marginally expensive little gathering of fake greens and decorations at Michael's and hung it on our red front door. I got out my old Advent booklets by Joyce Rupp, Richard Rohr, and Daniel Harrigan S.J. Holy, every damn one of them. They make a nice, festive pile by my side of the bed.
I dusted off my kneeler, prepared to spend mega painful-to-knees amounts of time praying. My "yes" to God would be like Mary's "yes" to God over 2000 years ago, except that my assent doesn't include: a holy pregnancy, a jolting ride on a donkey, giving birth in a stable or perhaps a cave with a serious lack of hygiene and no midwife in sight, and--oh, yes--fleeing with my husband and babe to avoid the insane Herod.
I got out the Advent wreath and inserted the requisite number of candles (no animals were hurt in their making) in the proper colors--three purple and one pink for Gaudette Sunday.
Except, except, my ADD brain WANTS to be holy and observant, but that ain't how it works. Here's evening of Day 8 in Failing Advent:
I am waiting to see Gronkowski race out onto the field in San Diego where the Patriots are playing the Chargers, a difficult and challenging game my husband assures me. (I won't mention my son and his wife and their membership in a football betting pool in L.I. which has already yielded some cash. My Dad, who hustled rich kids by playing bridge at Yale to pay for his education, would be so proud.)
I am waiting to see if Jonas Grey is allowed to play this game by the ferocious and don't-mess-with-me Bill Belichick, coach of the Patriots, a man never seen to smile in my memory. Ah, he is, thank the Lord. Time to be grateful!
I suspect this is not what the Church meant when speaking about Holy Waiting, anticipating the birth of the Christ Child. But honestly, for today--failed saint that I am--I live in restless anticipation, waiting to see if the Patriots can pull off a win against the San Diego Chargers. I might have to eat substantial quantities of pretzels and quaff some beer to endure this time. Surely beer is holy?
Ah, my waiting has been rewarded. I was faithful, after all. The Pats won and now I can go to sleep, secure in the knowledge that I practiced both "waiting" and "anticipation," but not quite in the way the church proscribes. Maybe I need to wear a purple robe next time, or burn some incense?