Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Rob a Convent...Go to Hell!

That's the message we left for the robbers (taped to the backdoor) that broke into the convent & tried to steal our boombox. The boombox was too big to fit through the window, so they left it. This was before cd's, so you can imagine the heft.

I posted a bit ago that I'd once lived in a convent in Kansas City. A couple people said "what"? So, here is the story...

Way back in the land time forgot - before email, mortgages, eyebrow waxing and way before Starbucks. Around the time that Molly Ringwald was on the A-List, Morrissey went solo, Tom Cruise was still married to Mimi and hair was as big as ever. Pretty much right after college graduation, I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps. We frequently referred to it as a sortof domestic Peace Corps - with a Catholic edge. It was an organization that peace and justice type kids joined in order to change the world - and to get "ruined for life".

I was placed with five other women and one guy in, yes, a convent in Kansas City. The Holy Trinity Convent to be specific. It was perfect because not only were there 7 tiny bedrooms upstairs, there was a very cozy chapel downstairs. Complete with altar and relics. It would have been perfect had it not been crawling distance from two local bars as well as the Shady Lady Lounge. Let's just say, the cops were around a lot.

The Jesuit Volunteer Corps (JVC) places kids in inner city communities to work as volunteers. Each one of us had a full time job at either a women's shelter, homeless outreach center or one of several community organizing groups. It was expected that we uphold the primary tenets of the JVC while living in the convent: Simplicity, Social Justice, Community and Spirituality. What that meant for us was that we lived semi-communally, engaged in minor acts of civil disobediance, lived off of $75/month and went on a lot of retreats. Despite the challenging work, not to mention all the protesting, we sure had a whole LOT of fun!


One of our mottos was "Just because you live in a convent, doesn't mean you have to act like a nun". This picture is of the seven of us on Halloween. I know that the pic is reeeally fuzzy - but, hey, this was before digital cameras.


Anyway, we are (from left): Sister Golden Hair, Flying Nun, Tranny Nun, Sister Rhythm and Blues, Sister Skeletor, Materialistic Nun & Mother Teresa.

Wanna guess which one is me?

13 comments:

Jonni said...

OMG Wendy, this is too funny! Love your story and thanks for sharing the pic. You guys were pretty darn cool!!! May those robbers rot! :)

Jonni
"former 80's big hair girl"

Connie said...

That is hilarious. I love the pic.

Let's see, I know you aren't tranny nun. So, I'll give a go at flying nun.

Former 'material girl' too ;0) Somewhere I probably still have those rubber bracelets.

MBmama said...

Hmmmm... Rhythm and blues nun? So were the interns frequenting Shady Ladies? What a hillarious name for a bar near a convent! You always give me a giggle.

wzgirl said...

Haha, Barb! Nope, us girls never went to the Shady Lady - but the one guy may have once. We all did go to the local bars just b/c they never let us pay for our beer - one of the benefits of volunteering.

Connie - Flying Nun?/Nope....
Barb - R&B Nun?/Nope.....

Laura said...

Oh my goodness! You are Sister Skeletor, aren't you? What a great experience!!
PS~ I still love Morrissey and the Smiths, I have Sirus now and my favorite station is First Wave, they play them all of the time!!
Hugs,
Laura

Laura said...

hey Wendy,check out Gavins pix on my blog from today. He cracks me up!
Laura

melody said...

You must be Mother Theresa. Interesting that no one else has selected that in connection with you, so perhaps I'm wrong....

melody said...

Whoops....I'm not affiliated with the Catholic church, and apparently spelled Mother TERESA's name wrong! My apologies to the late and really great woman she was.

Irena said...

You are so obviously Sister Golden Hair.

I expect you to wear that habit on Sunday.

Melissa said...

I'm going with sister golden hair too. What a great picture--love the "Mandela: Free at Last" paper in the background.

Should we start an 80's big hair photo challenge?

Debra Sue said...

Sister Golden Fair Hair is my guess.

Kristin said...

I went to Catholic school and MY GOAL was to get into the convent and have a look around... by 8th grade, we had all done it at least twice and been busted by the nun's at least once...

I am assuming you are neither Tranny Nun nor Skeletor Nun...

wzgirl said...

Yup. Irena, Melissa, D-Sue....I am (was?) Sister Golden Hair. Guess I shouldn't have been surprised when I pulled it from the album that the photo still faintly smelled of Patchouli.