Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Magic Shake-Ball

Dear Magic Shake-Ball:

I'm a half-Jew/half-Protestant agnostic married to a fallen Catholic. Am I going to Hell for burying St. Joseph upside down in my yard?


"Devise but how you'll use him when he comes,
And let us two devise to bring him hither."
(Merry Wives of Windsor, 4.4.26-27)


Hmmm...I was hoping for some straight-forward Macbeth here. Instead I have two women plotting to expose Falstaff for the con artist that he is by dressing him up like Herne the Hunter and tricking him into thinking he's being pinched by fairies. It's a great scene of public humiliation. But what does it have to do with my spiritual fate?

Okay. I'm thinking that this is Will's way of saying, "Look, Falstaff falls for this because he believes in fairies and magic. If you want to buy into the St. Joseph thing, then be my guest. It's just a bunch of smoke and mirrors anyway, and you'll probably end up looking like a moron, but that's up to you."

But then I'd be saying that Shakespeare was an atheist, and I just can't handle that kind of responsibility.

What if he's trying to tell me that Mistress Ford and Mistress Page have an excellent reason for devising this scheme--like proving their innocence to their husbands--and that it's okay to dabble in this kind of thing if you're just trying to be a good wife? I like that. Maybe my husband is subconsciously trying to get back to his Catholic roots, and I'm helping him. And if the house sells, then it only proves that it's a good thing for us to be exploiting--I mean, exploring.

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