status viatoris – being ‘on the way’/being in a state of pilgrimage
When my future husband (aka Tigger) went back to Romania last summer to build his dear old mum a fence, he also had a rather more delicate task to carry out: that of informing his three-times-a-day-to-church parent that his girlfriend, as well as being ancient, was also a dirty dirty heathen.
Sadly there were no flies on that particular wall, at least not any wily and/or bilingual enough to report back, so I had to take my beloved’s word that the conversation went something like this:
Tigger: “Mummy, the time has come to inform you that my girlfriend, as well as being ancient, is also a dirty dirty heathen. How is that likely to work for you?”
Three-Times-A-Day-To-Church-Parent: “My sweet boy, if she makes you happy, then who am I to judge? After all, you’re the one who has to live with her and put up with her dirty dirty heathen ways. Just promise me that you will refrain from becoming a heathen yourself.”
Tigger: “No probs on that score, Mummy. I shall remain for evermore a good(ish) Catholic boy.”
Except, of course, it wasn’t.
Because when the time came to inform her we were getting hitched, she immediately wanted to know if the church ceremony would be in Italy or Romania.
Thus forcing Tigger to gently explain that dirty dirty heathens are certainly not permitted to marry in the Holey Catholic Church. We would be marrying in the local town hall – a place less concerned with one’s invisible sky fairy affinities, as well as being cheap and unfancy (just like us).
Three-Times-A-Day-To-Church-Parent was unimpressed.
So very unimpressed was she, that Tigger feared she might even boycott the wedding entirely.
Personally I just felt extremely sad that something so minor as my lack of invisible sky fairy affinity risked causing a rift between mother and son whilst seriously souring my future mother-in-law’s opinion of me before we had even met.
But sisters-in-law got involved, family talks were held, and eventually Three-Times-A-Day-To-Church-Parent rang to declare that Tigger had completely misunderstood.
She hadn’t been unimpressed at all! Not a bit of it! In fact it was all great! Super! Smashing! What could be better than a town hall wedding – it would be cheap and unfancy, just like us.
Didn’t Tigger know perfectly well that she loved all her children equally? And all her children-in-law just as much – even the dirty dirty heathen ones? Didn’t she always respect their choices? Because whatever made them happy, made her happy.
Oh! And by the way, son, is there really no way you can persuade your dirty dirty heathen fiancée to join the Holey Catholic Church and become one of us? It would be so much nicer…
This is Status Viatoris, now mildly curious to see what will happen when her future mother-in-law finds out she may eventually end up with at least one unbaptised grandchild, in Italy.