Funny Story

Those who are Catholic will be familiar with the reconciliation services that Catholic Churches often hold around the holidays-essentially, they bring in a group of priests who are all available to hear confession, and people go to confession. When I was around 12, my mother and I attended such a service right before Thanksgiving; it was at our own parish, so we knew a lot of the people there, and ended up waiting in line for confession with one of my friends and her mother, who at the time was very very pregnant.

My friend’s mother was the first of our group to go into the confessional. When she came out, she was in stitches laughing: my friend’s mother was only 30, and looked much younger than that. So, when the priest saw her, his immediate reaction was to look at her with total compassion: “Oh, honey”, he said. “Come here and tell me what happened.” He took one look at her and because she looked so young, he assumed that she was an unwed teenage mother. My friend’s mother told the priest that she was 30 years old, that she had been married for 12 years, and that this was her fifth child.

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in that room ๐Ÿ™‚

15 thoughts on “Funny Story

    1. Lol ๐Ÿ™‚ One of the happiest moments of my childhood was seeing my friend’s mom telling this story to my mom, and the way they were both laughing ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I know, right? That attitude was prevalent, though, among many people where I grew up even years ago. We knew a young woman who became a single mother at age 23; my mother was distraught when she learned of this: she looked at my father and I and shook her head, and asked, “What happened, on that one night when she just gave it all up?” My father and I both had to turn away because we couldn’t keep straight faces, and my mother wasn’t joking.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. “My friendโ€™s mother told the priest that she was 30 years old, that she had been married for 12 years, and that this was her fifth child.”

    Just curious as to your opinion of an 18 yr old having five children in a row. Does this make sense for the kids? Kids are very expensive and time consuming (if you bring them up responsibly). The irony is that my prim Presbyterian family stopped at two but I often wished we were three or four because my parents were all over my brother and me like white on rice. To say that the “American work ethic” was an ingrained religion in my household is an understatement at best.

    You know what? That worked because my parents had the time to rescue us from our wild adolescent impulses. (I still snuck some of those in there, but my parents often saved me from myself.)

    What do you think JaC?

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    1. Well, in the case of my friend’s mother, it turned out great: she and her husband have been very happily married for over 50 years now, they ended up having 7 children and all 7 of those kids turned out golden.

      There are pros and cons to everything. There was only my brother and me: I totally agree that when there are fewer kids in the family, they get more parental attention. That can be both good and bad. In the case of my friend’s family, there wasn’t a lot of emphasis from the parents about work or responsibility: once my friend turned 16 and was old enough to work, she was simply told that if she wanted clothes and makeup and good shampoo, she would have to get a job and pay for those things herself, which she did. She also became fluent in Japanese, married at age 22, lived and worked in Japan for several years, and was accepted into graduate school at Yale: she didn’t actually go to Yale, but she was accepted there, and could have attended Yale if she had wanted to, or, to be more accurate, if she had been willing to go into a great deal of debt, which she wasn’t. She has been happily married for 28 years to the man she married at age 22. I could go on forever listing the friends and relatives I have who married as teenagers or practically teenagers and went on to have great lives and wonderful marriages.

      I didn’t get married until age 36, and I am totally cool with people who don’t want to marry young or don’t want to marry at all, but I am also totally cool with people who marry young. One of the things I really really appreciate about my parents and my entire extended family is that they never pressured anyone to get married, or to not get married: if we wanted to marry as teenagers, that was great. If we waited until we were 40, that was great too, and if we never got married at all, that was great too; I think that people who feel that they have just not found the right person yet should not be pressured into getting married, but by the same token, if they feel that they really have found the right one, they shouldn’t be pressured into not getting married.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. “One of the things I really really appreciate about my parents and my entire extended family is that they never pressured anyone to get married, or to not get married… ”

    Same here. I was married at 34 and my mother shocked her world by marrying my 26 year old father when she was 30!

    I didn’t mean to criticize young parents but I remember myself at 18 and that is truly the only standard by which I can measure.

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    1. No worries ๐Ÿ™‚ I remember what I was like at 18 as well, and I was in no way ready for marriage; interestingly, at age 17 I was dating a guy whom I am pretty sure I could have married. He was very much in love, and I found that very appealing: I seriously considered the possibility of marrying him-my parents absolutely loved him and would not have objected. So, the choice was totally up to me, and upon serious consideration, I knew that it would be very wrong to marry him, for lots of reasons-for all reasons, I ended up losing all interest in him and breaking up with him.

      If I had married as a teenager, it would have been a disaster, but people can be radically different from each other. I know too many people who married young and had kids young and it all turned out great, so, who knows? ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I remember coming close to marriage at 24 and that would have been a disaster.

        I agree that individuals are very different; I am cautious about life changing decisions so I chose to live with Mr. Wonderful (husband) for six years before walking down that aisle.

        In terms of conservatism, I may have re-invented that term! ๐Ÿ™‚

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      2. Lol, my father popped the question to my mother and presented her with a diamond after only 6 weeks of dating; she said yes. Her older sister started screaming when my mother showed her the diamond later that night: “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT YOU ARE GETTING INTO?!?!” she asked.

        The absolute craziest thing I have ever heard is Warren Beatty and Annette Benning: they met, it was love at first sight, and an hour or two later they were so sure of their love that THEY DECIDED TO MAKE A BABY RIGHT THEN AND THERE, THAT NIGHT!!!!!! They succeeded in making a baby that night, and 30 years later, they are still together and going strong. Who knows? It takes all types to make the world go around. We need cautious people, and we also need at least a few people who are willing to throw caution to the wind ๐Ÿ™‚ Like you, Liz, I was more on the cautious side ๐Ÿ™‚

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