I spent a quiet New Year’s Eve holding hands with Sr. Serena Scatterpin, Renegade Sisters of Mary. As many of my PG readers of all true, red-blooded American faiths know, January 1st is her birthday.
(Others: Lorenzo de Medici, General “Mad” Anthony Wayne, J. D. Salinger, E. M. Forster, Joe Orton, Barry Goldwater, and — Sister goes ballistic over this — one-time tacky drag queen J. Edgar Hoover.)
Sister was born a “discreet number of decades ago,” as she tactfully says, at 12:01 a.m., in the second balcony of New York’s famed Roxy Theater, during a Bette Davis movie. Mom, newborn nun-to-be, audience, and Rockettes somehow survived the unscheduled intermission feature.
(The film was Now Voyager, which may have something to do with Sister’s all-encompassing, fashionable, two-cigarette, je ne sais quoi demeanor. It certainly explains why gay Catholic tops and High Church Anglican bottoms are attracted to her from the get-go.)
As a rule Sister makes only one New Year’s resolution. “Make it morally simple,” she encourages holiday celebrators. “That way, on a Recovering Catholic Guilt Factor Scale of 1 Venial Near-Occasion-of-Sin to 10 Carnal You’ll-Do-Beadwork-For-That you’ll keep things spiritually down low, if you know what I mean.”
I think it no breach of friendship to share Sister’s numero uno (especially since we share a common numero duo). And I’m sure many of you know where we’re both, er, coming from. Our joint resolution: Don’t hanky panky with Fr. Manly Everhope, S.J. (He spends way too much time partying with the boys.)
As we usually do on New Year’s Eve, Sister and I exchange gifts. I gave her a DVD of Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (her favorite Bette Davis penance). She gave me a paperback copy of 50 Facts That Should Change the World by Jessica Williams (disinformation Press 2007).
“Feel free to share data in this eye opener with your LGBT-Q, etc. cohorts,” urges Sister, after I buss her a chaste kiss and manage a non-sexually specific bear hug to celebrate her birthday. “Probably a few of these facts will help hung over readers make their resolutions — after sobering up from all the holiday hoopla and confetti throwing.”
In the interest of Better New Year’s Resolutions 2008, Sister and I offer the following to be mulled over cinnamon toast and black coffee before making any 365-day commitment (that more than likely you’ll fail to live up to by day-12 anyway).
. . . A third of the world’s obese people live in the developing world . . . China has 44 million missing women . . . Brazil has more Avon ladies than armed services members . . . Black men born in America stand a one in three chance of going to jail . . . One in five of the world’s people lives on less than $1 a day . . .
. . . Last year, 16 million Americans had some form of plastic surgery [and needed it] . . . David Beckham’s deal with the LA Galaxy football team earns him $100 every minute . . . Global warming already kills 150,000 people every year . . . A third of American believe aliens [all straight and gray] have landed on earth . . .
. . . Americans discard 2.5 million plastic bottles an hour . . . Every day, one in five of the world’s population — some 800 million people — go hungry . . . The US owes the United Nations more than $1 billion in unpaid dues . . . [Euros no less!]
A change of heart’s in order. Here’s our 2008 resolve: To actively love, help heal this, the only –so sadly, shamefully abused — world we’ve got. “And,” adds Sister, “don’t forget to Thank Your Lucky Stars.” (Joan Crawford, who?)