I was raised Baptist . . Southern Baptist. Growing up in southwest Louisiana, there were way more Catholics than Baptist. I was in elementary school and I had a Catholic friend. I don’t know if kids still do it but every Friday night, we either had to be spending the night with someone or someone had to be spending the night with us.
When I would go to my Catholic friend’s house to spend the night, it was always on a Friday night and her mom and dad would almost always drink a beer. Of course, at our house, beer was really bad (Southern Baptists don’t drink, you know?). I figured that if someone drank a beer, they’d probably do other awful stuff . . like kill you while you were sleeping or something. So, as soon as I’d see my friend’s mom or dad drinking a beer, I’d start thinking of a reason I should go home.
Catholics also had nuns and Baptists didn’t have those. I never quite understood the whole thing and I was an inquisitive kid (which means I grew up to be a nosy adult). I wanted to understand about nuns and the clothes they wore but . . we weren’t supposed to ask.
And those Catholics . . they had all kinds of holy things. They had Holy Day of Obligation, Holy Water, all things Holy for the Catholics. But one day, my friend and I were going to go for a walk and she couldn’t find her tennis shoes. I saw a pair in her closet and I said “oh, here are your tennis shoes!” She responded that she couldn’t wear those because they were HOLEY (as in . . they had holes!) but it sounded to me like she had Holy Tennis Shoes. I could hardly believe it but I didn’t dare ask. Finally one day I said to her “Laurece, what makes your shoes holy?” She said: “Holes! Don’t you ever get holes in your tennis shoes?” Yep, even Baptists get holey tennis shoes every now and then.
It’s been 45+ years since that happened and every time I get a hole in socks, shoes, underwear . . whatever, I think of my friend from elementary school and her holey tennis shoes.