Giving up Wonder Woman for Lent
Growing up in outport Newfoundland we basically had one channel, CTV. Well we had CBC, but our TV set was so bad I couldn’t stand to try to make out the image for all the snow. Save Disney, all the good shows came on CTV, so it didn’t much matter.
Being a sleeper little gay boy, I did have some tell tale signs of my future path. One was my love for the show “Wonder Woman”, luckily coming on the non-snowy station on Sunday nights.
Life for me during those years was what happened when you were just waiting for the next episode of “Wonder Woman”. Oh the thrill of it. She’d spin around, divert bullets with her bracelets, break out her golden lasso and round up all the bad boys by the end. She was like a pre Katy Perry/Madonna/Brittany all wrapped up in one.
Being very Catholic, we were taught that you should give up something you truly loved for Lent. The nuns, who were also sometimes our classroom teachers, were very clear about this. They even gave us class time to ponder this, making sure you zeroed in on that thing you loved the most.
It might even have been a writing assignment where you had to write neatly, capitalize and use a period. For the nuns, the road to heaven was paved not only with sacrifice, but good grammar. I could give up candy.
I could give up playing hide-and-go-seek.
I could give up listening to “ABBA”.
I could give up “Wonder Woman”.
It made me shudder, just the thought of it. But I knew before the ink had dried that there was no room during Lent for two loves in my life — it was either God or “Wonder Woman”.
What’s more, to show your real goodness and your willingness to sacrifice for our Lord, the powers that be mentioned that if you prayed while you had forgone whatever it was that you loved, well, all the better.
That dreaded first Sunday ringing in Lent crept up on me, like the grim reaper coming for what’s his. The rest of my motley crew that was my family, however, didn’t give it up.
They all gathered in the living room around our tiny set, and as the music of the show started its most welcome melody, I, with the heaviest of hearts, ascended the stairs to my shared room, and slowly knelt to speak to God. I wasn’t even past “who art in heaven,” when the tears started to trickle down my face. Very soon they turned into a steady stream of pain drops, and by my first Hail Mary, I was bawling.
The only bathroom in the house was upstairs, right next to my room. One of my dear sisters took an opportunity during a commercial break to dart upstairs. She paused when she heard the hysterics.
Opening my door she found me on my knees and practically distraught. “What’s wrong with you,” she asks. “I gave up “Wonder Woman” for Lent,” I bawled back.
She looks at me for a second and says, “Sure Lent don’t start till next week!”
But I knew before the ink had dried that there was no room during Lent for two loves in my life — it was either God or Wonder Woman.