Monday, March 5, 2012

Target and the Catechism and Being in Love

Frank met with Father Paul on Friday night. Father was very impressed with his progress. "You already think like a Catholic," he said. "Now we just need to get you caught up on theology." So for homework, he told Frank to read the Baltimore Catechism. He also invited Frank to come to a special dinner on Sunday night for all the people entering the Church this year.

Have you ever read the Baltimore Catechism? It's a book written especially for children that lays out the Catholic Church's teachings in a simple, question-and-answer format. I was lucky enough to go to an old-fashioned school where I had to memorize a lot of the answers from it. I've been teasing Frank that we can quiz each other on it.

On Saturday, I spent the entire day cleaning my apartment. It had been a while since I'd done that, so I put on music and had a mini dance party while cleaning. I always put off cleaning for ages because I hate doing it, but when I was done, it felt great. In the evening, Frank and I went to dinner with a group of our friends, and then we went swing dancing!

On Sunday, Frank picked me up at 10 and we went to 10:30 Mass together, as usual. We spent half the Mass baby-watching, as we can't seem to help doing at St. John's. We said hello to Father Paul and asked if I could come to the dinner that night with Frank, which Father said was fine. Then we went out for brunch at a restaurant near my house called Faccia Luna, where we had delicious crepes and mimosas (of course).

Then came a trip to Target, which, if you know of my love for Target, you will know was basically the highlight of my weekend. Frank and I were on a hunt to find a scrapbook which we will use to record our adventures together and the things we hope to do in the future, much like the adventure book from Up. Sadly, Target did not have anything suitable. So we agreed to try a scrapbook store some time soon, and wait until we find the perfect book.

Although we didn't find a scrapbook, I was suddenly seized by a need to take a picture of ourselves "just doing ordinary everyday things." So we paused in the lamp aisle to take this beauty:

Because I'm suchhhh a good photographer. I think we really need someone other than me to take pictures of us. Anyone feel like volunteering? Maria? Jenna?

We bought a cart full of groceries and a giant hula hoop, because I had been desperately craving one for some time. I wore the hula hoop across my body like a sash until we got into the car. I also hung on to the front of the shopping cart while Frank pushed it to his car, re-affirming that my inner age is about 6 (in case anyone had any doubts about that).

We hung out at my apartment for a while, just talking. I pulled out my journal and read him some of the entries from when I first started to like him. The first time he appeared in my journal, I described him as a "goofball" - ha! It's actually pretty accurate. We had a long talk comparing our different versions of how and why we started to date. It was really interesting, and before we knew it, it was time to go back to St. John's for the dinner.

The drive to St. John's was pure magic. I don't know what it was - perhaps the fact that we had just shared so many deep thoughts with each other - but we were both feeling very happy and very, very in love. Frank put on a cassette of old Irish songs (yes, he listens to cassette tapes. Could he be more adorably old-fashioned?) and as the songs he loved came on, he sang along in an endearing Irish brogue.

There was a moment when - how do I describe it? We were holding hands across the transmission and he was singing about an Irish man who fell in love with a Spanish lady... just like us. He looked at me and smiled, his eyes so full of love, and at that moment my heart felt so full that I didn't know whether to laugh or cry with happiness. So I did neither; I simply smiled back, and wished that I could bottle up that moment and save it for ever.

I felt, deep in my bones, that it was worth it. For that moment, everything was worth it. The long years waiting to meet him were worth it, and the sorrow and hardship that I know will someday come will be worth it too. For the little moments like that, the moments when I know he is as crazy about me as I am about him, everything is worth it.

When we got to the church, we went to the parish center, where a nice little dinner had been set up with white tablecloths and multiple courses. We met the other people entering the church, most of whom were there with their spouses or their Confirmation sponsors, so Frank and I laughed a little bit about being the odd ones out (we've decided that it's best for me not to be his sponsor). The best part of the evening was getting to hang out with Father Paul. He is even more awesome than I realized. We even found out that he was prom king in high school!

We talked about Frank's "homework" and I told Father Paul how I had to memorize parts of the Baltimore Catechism as a child. "What's a sacrament?" he promptly asked. I paused for just a moment before saying, "An outward sign instituted by God to give grace!" He smiled and said, "Instituted by Christ. But yes. That's what's so great about the Baltimore Catechism - you have these really good theological answers firmly lodged in your brain."

After dinner, Frank and I weren't ready to end the evening just yet. So we went into downtown DC and drove around looking at all the monuments. I gave thanks yet again for living in this beautiful city, and for this very blessed time in our lives.


  1. You described those special moments perfectly. Those moments you want to last forever the ones that will be in your heart. It is so hard to describe what happens between two people and to put it into words. I have a very hard time expressing my feelings. I hear how I feel in music songs like "Time In A Bottle" by Jim Croce, "For You" by John Denver and "The Smile on Your Face" by Alison Krause. I know these are "old" songs but thet say what I feel and what you describe so well. I wish you both nothing but the best.

    P.S. If you get tired of my comments, just tell me to mind my own business.

    The Other Frank

  2. Frank, I LOVE your comments, and my Frank and I really enjoy reading them! We think it's amazing that you and your wife have a similar story to ours. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

    1. None of can predict the future, but all of us wish to be loved and to love. Enjoy all of it that you can. My hope for the both of you is that fifty years from now you can look at each other and still have your heart race with joy. I still miss her whenever she is gone and am filled with joy when she comes back to me. May it be with the two of you for as long as you are together.


    2. "other" Frank, thanks for your kind comments!! I just wanted to say that the songs you mentioned are far from old songs! I have 2 of the 3 on my computer and the 3rd on a cd. Great songs!
      I sincerely hope that, as you said, 50 years from now, she'll still make my heart race and that I will still make her filled with joy when I sing to her. :)

  3. oh man that target picture is sooo cute

  4. haha, thank you! We look pretty dorky in it, but we're happy. :)