The stories of their lives were just so interesting to me. Miraculous conversions, martyrdom, being thrown into a den of lions--you can't get more dramatic than that, and that's not to mention the special visits from Mary or Jesus, and of course the halos. Plus, the women saints were always so beautiful in the pictures. I just wanted to be a saint so badly.
Then, in the fourth grade, I had the pleasure of knowing Sister Diane. She was one of my all-time favorite teachers. She wasn't young and beautiful like the saints in my book or even particularly nice for that matter. She would dump the contents of kids' (mostly just Loretta Robinson) desks onto the floor if they were too messy. But, there was something about her that I loved. And if the following story doesn't prove how much I loved her, I don't know what will.
That year there was a boy in my class who went through a puking phase. He threw up in our classroom at least once a week. And, for some reason, every time he felt the need to vomit he would run to the front of the classroom to grab a tissue...as if a Kleenex could hold the entire contents of your stomach post-lunch...as if the boys' bathroom weren't DIRECTLY next door. Details! Anyway, this left our room splattered in puke on a regular basis, and Sister Diane would evacuate us to the hall and ask for a volunteer to help sprinkle that weird sawdust stuff onto the floor. And, I volunteered...every time.
Around this time, it occurred to me that most of my favorite saints were nuns, and one of my favorite people--Sister Diane--was a nun, so it only made sense that I should plan to become a nun, too.
But sometimes evidence of sainthood was depicted as something more subtle--like a ray of light beaming down straight from heaven. Like this:
|St. Therese "The Little Flower"|
My quest for sainthood continued into fifth grade, even after Sister Diane moved away. I even started a Rosary Club so that I could go into church and pray the rosary during lunch recess. But, the only person that joined was my teacher, Miss Dennis.
And then at the start of junior high, I discovered something that would throw off my plans for the convent. The Spiegel Catalog.
And, that nuns take a vow of poverty, which meant that as a sister I could never dress as glamorously as I aspired to. I still wanted to be good and pure and holy, but I also wanted to do it in some awesome over-the-knee boots that I saw in Spiegel (which my Mom didn't go for, by the way). Couldn't I do both? St. Agatha seemed to be pretty fashionable.
I mean, that dress is not exactly my taste. But then again, I don't think the Spiegel catalog was around then.