Written by Lillian Daniel
"Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth." - Psalm 100:1
Happy Fat Tuesday, everybody! It's hard to believe it's already here but you've been hearing all those cheerful Fat Tuesday songs on the radio for months now. My favorite is this one, and you can sing along if you like.
"It's the most wonderful time of the year! There'll be parties for hosting, marshmallows for toasting and caroling out in the snow. There'll be much mistle-toeing, and hearts will be glowing…when loved ones are near. It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Fat Tuesday!
But yes, discerning reader. If you suspect that song was not really about Fat Tuesday, you are right. It's about that other big holiday, whose name I will not mention since it already gets a disproportionate number of songs written about it, particularly unfair when you consider that it also gets a decorated tree and its own beverage made out of eggs.
But I digress. The point is that we need to get more excited about Fat Tuesday.
In New Orleans, they're already super excited, but that's because they call it Mardi Gras. "Mardi Gras" is French for "Fat Tuesday." Like everything one translates into French, it suddenly sounds like way more fun.
In fact, in cities all over the world - Rio deJaneiro; Barranquilla, Port of Spain, Quebec City, Mazatlán and Mobile - people are having way more fun than you are.Are you ready to do something about that?
Yes, Lent begins tomorrow, on Ash Wednesday, when we will look at our excesses in light of Christ and acknowledge our mortality.
But you've got another twenty-four hours before you have to go there. Have some fun. You don't have to be in New Orleans to indulge your senses, your perverse appetites and your rawest desire.
In the Midwest, on Fat Tuesday, we do that by eating pancakes.
Because we're crazy like that.
And you can be too.
Thank you, God, for creativity and costumes; for parades, parties and possibilities; for dancing on tables and dancing in the streets. And then, thank you, God, for them ceasing, so that we can rest our weary souls in a quieter season.
Lillian Daniel, author of When "Spiritual But Not Religious" is Not Enough, has a chapter in the new anthology, What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-one Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most. Follow her on twitter @lillianfdaniel.