A lot can change in five years

November 14, 2007 | Background | 6 comments

Last night for some light reading I flipped through a book I originally read back in 2002, David Sedaris’ hilarious collection of essays called Me Talk Pretty One Day. I came across his essay in which he describes some students in his French class trying to explain Easter with their very rudimentary French vocabulary. I remembered it well from the first time I read it, but this time it struck me differently. I saw it from a different angle and “got” the humor a bit more, but I couldn’t put my finger on exactly why. Then I realized: in 2002 I’d never heard of the Resurrection.

I suppose I’d probably heard the word used in reference to Christianity, but I didn’t know that Christians believed that Jesus rose from the dead, and I definitely didn’t know that that’s what Easter was about (I only realized it had something to do with the Crucifixion when I got to college — I seriously always thought that the Easter Bunny was the central figure to Easter). It’s hard to believe that someone could grow up in this country and even spend many years in the Bible Belt and not get that but, unless I’m misremembering something, it’s true. I doubt that hearing this claim would have changed my beliefs or piqued my interest at all, but it’s an interesting testament to my former determination to tune out my Christian neighbors when they started talking about their religion!

Sometimes it’s hard to believe how much my life has changed in five years.

6 Comments

  1. Jordana

    Although I was raised in a sort of Christian religion, I never understood or knew that Easter was a Big Deal to anyone.

    When I went to an Episcopalian college, I couldn’t fathom why so many of my friends wanted to go home for Easter (candy was that important to them?). They tried to explain that it was The Central Part of Christianity, but I was still in a place in my life where I didn’t understand what I was hearing.

    It wasn’t until I began learning about Catholicism and seeing things all around me I’d never noticed before that I began to understand and to want to remember all that I’d been missing all my life.

  2. Ginny

    Wow Jennifer! I am so glad you found my blog, so that I could find yours!

  3. Abigail

    My moment was when I rented Keeping the Faith. 7 years ago, it was one of my first movie dates I had with my husband. I must have watched it 6 times when it came out on video. Watching it again with our newborn this summer we had a totally different reaction. It wasn’t that funny, it was weird and sad that a priest and rabbi would have pre-marital sex, and the beautiful traditions of the Catholic and Jewish faith don’t need “jazzying” up with a modern twist.

  4. Karen

    I really just don’t get the idea that everyone in the US MUST have heard about Jesus, I mean we are a Christian country right. :rolleyes:

    I really had no idea what the whole point of either Easter or Christmas was beyond the secular trees and candy until high school. At best I MIGHT have been able to come up with something about Jesus, but that is it.

    I have a very distinct memory from when I was in elementary school. Someone was trying to help my sis spell Christmas by pointing out that it was Christ-mas. I flat out told them we didn’t go to church so she wasn’t going to be able to spell that any better than the whole thing. :shrug:

  5. Matt

    Jen,

    I love Sedaris, despite his many moral failings, and this is one of my favorite of his essays. I find it fascinating that you didn’t get that on your initial read!

    Although, the time of year approaching, I’ve got to send a shout out to his Santa Land Diaries. Here’s a link to David reading the whole thing. It is hilarious:

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=1108137

    There is probably a little crudity in there, so if the kids are around or you’re on the sensitive side, perhaps best not to listen. (or perhaps best for you to mod out, if you think it best Jen, my apologies if you do. I’ll take no offense!)

    In pax Christi,

    Matt

  6. Amber

    I LOVE that essay! My parents have it on an audio CD collection and I’ve listened to it many times. My husband (not Christian, and not really getting the whole why Easter is important thing) thought it was mildly amusing, but I about bust a gut with the whole morsels of wood bit.

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