Catholic Guilt and the Ugly Face Phenomenon

As part of the baby preparations, I emptied out my cedar/memory chest so we could move it out of the nursery.  I came across a million scrapbooks and journals.  On the first page of the first journal I opened it seemed like a confession.  I was 11 years old.  Martha threw something at Kathryn, I dropped a bottle of salad dressing into a basket of clean laundry (which I washed again), I had a spelling test and I made a bunch of mistakes.  I thought, “Man, I was hard on myself.”

Then later I opened a seminary journal, I was 17 years old.  I expected to find my thoughts on whatever scripture we had been studying but as I opened it to the first page I read, “I forgot to say my prayers this morning.”  I always joke with people that I’m half catholic because my mom used to be catholic.  I think this guilt I have displayed all through my life is further proof of that.  Catholic guilt is hereditary despite what Chewy may say.

Anyway, I’m 35 weeks pregnant and the emotions still run high, I am more cranky than before though my goal this week has been to be better about road rage.  Here’s why.  Last Saturday, Chewy and I were at BJs.  It was cold and rainy and so he went to get the car and I stood in the lobby – people watching.  An employee was out there in the cold and rain collecting carts and bringing them inside.  He was coming down a hill in the parking lot with a whole line of carts.  A woman in an SUV starts backing out of her spot.  He waves his arm in the air to get her attention so she will stop.  She does, and then I watch as she turns toward the store watching the guy with the carts go by.  She is talking to her passenger, hands gesturing in anger and indignation and a face all like:

mama-june-stink-eye

And of course my face went

freaks-geeks-stink-eye

…and I thought, what an ugly face to make. Is that what I look like when I’m cranky on the road?  Therefore, I resolved to be better about my attitude on the road (and to not use my ugly face – especially when judging people for using theirs).  It’s been really hard this week but I think I’ve done alright.  I’ve hit traffic every morning and I keep telling myself to keep calm and listen to my audiobook.

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