As we went along we chatted, and so the time and the miles sped by. While I was talking about the letters I received in my "Seraphic Singles" days, one of the girls asked "What is Drama?"
I took a big breath to opine on one of my favourite subjects.
Drama is the state of making a socially awkward situation more exciting and awkward than it needs to be. My example was two fictional girls (here we'll call them Mary and Martha) and a fictional George. I shall now embroider the original story, as I have more time for juicy detail. (Drama thrives on juicy detail.) Goodness gracious, I made up a story while practicing for a pilgrimage! How very Canterbury Tales.
Mary, Martha and George are all slim young pillars of their local Extraordinary Form of the Mass. George, feeling that it is high time he married a nice Traddy girl and produced a lot of little Traddies, asks Mary out for a cup of coffee, so as to see if he likes her conversation as much as he likes her white lace mantilla and rockin' 1950s dresses.
Mary has never given George much of a thought before, but there aren't a lot of young bachelors in the parish and George seems like a nice guy. Therefore, Mary says yes to coffee and has coffee with George. They have a long conversation--well, actually George does--and Mary concludes afterwards that she isn't attracted to George and they are just going to be friends.
Unbeknownst to Mary, George privately decides the same about her. Therefore, after mulling it over and presumably praying about his future, he bumps into Martha in the street and asks her out for coffee on the spot. They have a lovely coffee, and laugh a lot, and afterwards George asks Martha on a Real Date. Martha is very pleased and emails Mary to tell her her splendid social news.
Mary, needless to say if you're female, is seriously hurt. Although she wasn't that taken with George, it hurts that George obviously wasn't that taken with her and within a few days had transferred his attentions to Martha. Naturally, the easiest way to stop hurting so much is to tell a friend in the same set (perhaps even Martha) what a womanizing louse George is.
Now, there is no evidence that George is a womanizing louse, but how much more exciting it would be if he were, eh? And perhaps Mary would feel better that she had escaped the attentions of such a jerk, etc., etc. And if someone tells Martha, Martha's eyes will be opened to George's villainy before it is too late, etc., etc. The permutations of Drama are endless.
However, Mary has another option. Mary can swallow the hurt and not say anything to anyone, for she is schooled in graciousness and has a vague sense that such a prudential silence is what a Catholic Christian lady is supposed to practice. She tells Martha that this news is exciting and that George seems to be a nice guy. And if Martha, or some Drama addict smelling a whiff of Drama in the air, says to Mary, "I thought you were having coffee with George," she can smile and say, "Oh, that was just a friend thing."
The Recording Angel nods approvingly and writes this down in the Book of Life.
When I think about it, the dangers of Drama are worst when you are in a relatively small (but not too small) set during your undergraduate university or college years. Not to put too fine a point on it, but this is when a goodly percentage of Catholics-who-are-Catholics pair off, to say nothing of making friends and business contacts for life. As long as you keep your grades up, long gab sessions of "he said" and "she said" and "can you believe it?" are probably not as damaging in high school. However, college and university, i.e. the beginning of adult life, are a different story. It's too bad then, that this is at the age when so many others (perhaps late bloomers like my formerly Drama-loving self) still live and breathe Drama. However, the best way to cope is to understand that this is their problem and to resist being sucked in, including with the help of prayer and, if necessary, conversations with sympathetic older ladies, like me.
In other news I had rollmops (herring) for lunch yesterday and to my chagrin they were cured not only in salt but in sugar. I adore herring, but my goodness. If you don't have a grain of refined sugar for three and a half days, you sure taste it when you get it.
Update: My super-smart Guiding/pilgrimage hat has just arrived from France. It is ever so smart. It is hard like a top hat,100% pur laine and hits my huge head perfectly. I may never take it off.
|Carrick, c'est chic!|