Marc’s GChat Status Expanded

What I’m Giving Up For Lent

Many of my fellow Christians have already forgotten that today is Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.

For those of you who just remembered and are now frantically racking your brain for something you have yet to do today that you can give up for Lent, I’ll give you a few seconds to get on track.




Ok then,

For as long as I can remember, I gave up three of my favorite things in life for Lent; pizza, candy, and chocolate. It should not be difficult at this time to see where my priorities lied (laid?) during my childhood and high school years. These junk foods were my slow jam. I hearted them. Giving them up was very difficult.

This will be the first year that I do not give up pizza, candy, and chocolate for Lent. Because there really isn’t that much of a need to. As many have complained to me over the last few weeks when I told them what I was giving up, the amount of pizza, candy, and chocolate that I eat has dramatically decreased since I started working out and eating healthy.

Pizza, candy, and chocolate for Lent had become outdated.

This is a positive life development I suppose. Food for me is no longer the sort of sacrifice that people applaud for Lent. It’s the sort of thing I could breeze through and probably forget about until Easter.

This, though, is not the point of Lent.

Because for many, Lent is as much an exercise in your own willpower as it is a time for religious observation. It’s like randomly trying to become a vegetarian (which everyone has done at least once in their lives), except there is a set timetable.

So I began thinking about what I could give up instead. I toyed with alcohol for about 3 and a half seconds until I realized kickball is starting soon. I knew I could think of something just as difficult with less of an impact on my social life. A few friends suggested cursing, which is a good one, except I feel like I would slip up so many times that it would be like I never gave it up in the first place.

Then my buddy Miller landed on the winner.

Video games.

I love video games. Love them. All guys do. Any guy who tells you he doesn’t like them or desire to play them is absolutely 100% lying to you. I spend hours a week playing XBox360. I am not ashamed to admit that. Fallout 3 on a Saturday afternoon, kicking my roommate E’s ass in NHL 2009 on a regular basis, 5 hours of Civilization IV on the train ride home to Connecticut. These are staples of my life.

Not for the next 40 days. I will not be playing any video games. This includes; XBox, Play Station, Nintendo Wii (including the Wii Fit), any hand held games, brick breaker on my blackberry, online games (like, and computer games.

This will truly be a challenge for me. At the same time it will probably be easier than giving up food. It’s not like I can turn on the XBox and accidentally play Grand Theft Auto, like I could accidentally eat something not realizing there is chocolate in it. There is also no middle ground. You can’t sort of play a video game, like people accused me of sort of cheating on Lent when I would eat a calzone. I think it will also have a positive impact on my life. The hours I would be spending playing video games can now be spent on other things, like fixing my blog.

Naturally upon my roommate E learning that I had decided to give up video games, he pulled out a copy of NBA Street and said, “look what I bought.”

So I played a game last night, the last video game I will play for 40 days. I lost 21-14 to my roommate Jake. Sadness. Oh well, I can rematch him in April.


February 25, 2009 - Posted by | Nonsense | , ,


  1. that is a brilliant and bold sacrifice. Jesus would approve.

    also I REALLY like that your comment-adding page has the same pretty format as the main blog page, kudos.

    Comment by Mallory | February 25, 2009

  2. I considered giving up diet coke (or soft drink products in general) for Lent, but then realized that my coworkers might murder me during my caffiene withdrawal-induced bitchiness. Instead, I’m going with all “dessert items, except ice cream” (which is going to be AWESOME considering I am the owner of the “snack drawer” at work). I’m planning at least one trip to goodwill/salvation army with some clothes that I no longer need. I’m also going to be sure to bring canned foods to my church for the food drive – which means I actually have to go to church on a regular basis.

    Comment by Suze | February 25, 2009

  3. I did alcohol my junior year of college – I was competing a lot so it wasn’t too big of a deal and I managed to get through it. (unclear on how). Senior year my best guy friend gave up Madden and it was ugly (he had dreams about it – he would call and tell me about them). So good luck with the video games.

    Comment by sarahkathleen | February 25, 2009

  4. Sarah, your comment inspires so much confidence in me. 😉

    Suze. Funny story. Word Press flagged your first comment as spam. I think it was because you included a link. I should probably work that issue out.

    Mal: I enjoy that too. Bloggers comments ordeal is really messy and ugly. This was not my doing though, just one of the many reasons Word Press is better.

    Comment by marcsgchat | February 25, 2009

  5. Cram, I am giving up bourbon for Lent.
    I have also recommited myself to attending Mass every weekend.
    I think this speaks rather clearly to how different my life has become in the past two years.
    I am now a Bourbon swilling city girl who works on the weekends or catches up on sleep so she no longer makes time for Church. Oh, what has become of me. Going to Mass today for Ash Wednesday felt really good though. I even ran into a friend there…

    Here is to getting my Catholic booty back on track and you not succumbing to the very strong draw of all things video game related.


    Comment by SAJOM | February 25, 2009

  6. I am glad to be Jewish. I am going home to eat junk food, drink caffeine and play video games. Amen. 🙂

    Comment by Carly | February 25, 2009

  7. Amen Carly! I’m agnostic

    Comment by Erika | February 25, 2009

  8. I should remember this when I’m supposed to be eating nothing but matzah…

    Comment by Carly | February 25, 2009

  9. I’m giving up soda…thus why my head feels like it’s expoding…HEADACHE.

    Also, I also plan to give up complaining. We’ll see how long that lasts.

    Comment by Alex | February 25, 2009

  10. So glad I’m not a church-going-folk… I don’t have to give up anything… though I should probably try some guilt into making me go to the gym and stop drinking a bottle of wine a night.

    But Brickbreaker? I can’t go 20 minutes without playing Brickbreaker… I play it during red lights when I’m driving around, which I do every day. Brickbreaker is like breathing!

    Comment by Cate | February 25, 2009

  11. I certainly have never tried to be a vegetarian. I feel like for dudes, it is definitely not the norm to try to become a vegetarian. And for chicks it’s basically just another crash diet…

    Comment by Ross | February 26, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: