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Guilt, guilt go away, come again no other day

My Sentiments Exactly

I am a first generation Italian-American on my father’s side. His lineage is comprised of fiercely devout Catholics.

I am the youngest child of a cradle Catholic on my mother’s side. Mom is a woman so dedicated to her faith that her entire scholastic career consisted of attending Catholic institutions. She’s even a loyal-to-the-death Notre Dame Fighting Irish football fan.

Again, it is a lineage comprised of fiercely devout Catholics.

Personally speaking, I try my best to live Catholic. This means always trying to consider WWJD when conflicted. It means following church teachings, practices, traditions and, you know, commandments.

It means taking my cues from the pope and his posse, capisce?

Did I mention one of my closest friends is a Catholic priest? That would be Father John Keehner; trust me when I tell you they don’t come any finer, my peeps. Love ya, Padre!

I digress.

To say that Catholics are innately familiar with the concept of experiencing guilt would be like saying Tom kinda, half-heartedly, in a very casual way wouldn’t mind catching Jerry, you dig?

We realize when we coulda, woulda, shoulda done something different … and we gulp HARD when we know we’ve opted for the choice in the wrong column, a’ight?

But there ARE times when I know I’m going against popular opinion, and ding dang it, I’m just tired of feeling guilty about it, okay?

Among these error-wrought choices are the following:

1. Rooting for Chef Bobby Flay.

I know, I know, the name of the show is “Beat Bobby Flay” and even his best friends fight hard to help his competing cooks roast him.

But I can’t help it, I find myself always hoping he pulls it out in the end. Especially when the challenger is cocky. Really dude? It’s Bobby flipping Flay, simmer down.

2. Recycling without removing the tabby thingy first.

To be fair, I rarely do this and most often when it happens, it’s a result of me simply forgetting.

But on that rare occasion when I do toss a can without having first popped off the little built-in opener, I always have that twinge of you-know-what. In fact, the night before the recycling bins go out, I usually run to the curb and rip off the few I’ve left behind. Seriously.

3. Not liking every single tweet by Pope Francis.

I rarely see a post by him that I don’t immediately stamp with a heart emoji, but every once in a great while, I’m just quick-scrolling and miss a post. I don’t THINK this is a sin but I’m gonna have to verify this with my padre.

4. Turning the A/C or heat on for exactly four minutes to cool down or warm up the house in the morning.

I know this is ridiculous and probably spikes some meter somewhere or throws the planets out of alignment but I hate waking up either soaked in sweat or hypothermic. Sue me, man.

5. Not watching the news anymore. I know, I know, it’s foolish and short-sighted and ignorant (literally) and ill-advised. But I simply cannot stomach it any longer. Everyone speaking has so many hidden personal agendas, you’d think it was Easter morning and we’re all ransacking the house in search of eggs or something. Over it.

There may be a few bonus guilt-gotchas, like crying every time Kyle leaves to head back to campus or bawling like a baby as I watched my nephew / second son step to the altar to get married.

Either way, I’m glad to get all that off my chest.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go look up the times for confession this week.

Gulp.

• Kimerer is a columnist who tries hard to be good but sometimes leans in to the voice over the wrong shoulder. Give her only good-for-others advice via www.patriciakimerer.com.

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