my mother's family is catholic and i went to catholic school

How to Be a Good Catholic, Pt. I (Sonny Carisi x Reader)

AN: “I am a shit Catholic,” I think to myself, continuing to eat my steak burrito on this previous fine Good Friday. “The shittiest Catholic,” I insist, unable to get up to attend Easter Sunday Mass after pulling an all-nighter. This goes out to all the other shit Catholics/Catholics who are trying but not always consistently succeeding. Disclaimer: The examples listed are somewhat inspired by my own experiences. Well, some of them are. I am, in no way, saying that these necessarily apply to everyone. But if these sound eerily familiar, welcome to the sorority/fraternity, we have habits. Literally! (Happy belated Easter!)

@ohbelieveyoume and @xemopeachx (special shoutout to the latter for dealing with my running Catholic things by her!)


As the only son in a household of three girls, Dominick “Sonny” Carisi Jr. had a few extra expectations placed on him besides being an absolute gentleman of God. Specifically, that he meet, fall in love with, and bring home a good Catholic that would win over his parents and sisters and then marry said good Catholic. It was in Sonny’s hopes that you would be that very person: You were sweet, patient, smart, funny, had a good head on your shoulders, could at least recite the Lord’s prayer … Okay, maybe it was the bare minimum, but considering what few people he was able to meet outside of his busy schedule, you were the best. Besides, it helped that you liked him right back. Enough, in fact, to agree to date him and do so quite happily for the last couple months. Maybe it was a short period to become so optimistic, but Sonny couldn’t help it: You were, in a word, wonderful.

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Sure, those high school health classes might tell you how to properly use contraception, the basics of what to expect during pregnancy, and how to generally care for a newborn. Hell, for my final I had to carry around for a week one of those mildly-creepy dolls that cried and wet itself. What they didn’t tell you in class is that one in five pregnancies ends in miscarriage. Yeah, your mother probably sat you down one day when you were young and told you about your period. Maybe she discreetly left a box of tampons under your bathroom sink. Maybe she was one of the “cool” mothers and took you to the doctor to start you on the pill after you had been dating that one guy for a while. She probably sat down on your bed, a maudlin smile crossing her face as the enormity of her baby girl growing up twinkled bittersweet through her mind. She talked to you about safety and responsibility, of making wise choices, and reminding you how she didn’t get to sleep through the night until you were three because you were such a fussy baby. What she didn’t tell you is that you were her third try. She didn’t say you had two brothers or sisters passed ill-formed and bloody, unviable clumps of cells and false limbs squeezed from her body in that cold, sterile abattoir of a hospital room. Your mother will never tell you this. No mother will tell her daughter this, but statistically there’s a good chance it happened. People say new life is a miracle, but the reality is miracles take a bit of practice to get just right.  

I met my husband during my sophomore year of college. I was a plain girl, but had dated men on and off since high school. I was no virgin, but you wouldn’t catch me putting out on the first date. We suited each other well. He wasn’t extraordinarily handsome, but he had the chiseled jawline of Greek statue. He was sentimental and had a soft sweetness about him that instantly endeared him to me. He was not the wild, fun guy that you went on a couple crazy, memorable dates with, but the sort of man you settle down with. He was a finance major, and had a comically overblown New England accent that you think you’d only hear in comedy sketches. He was strong but gentle, and had very close ties with his family. This is the sort of man you meet and know instantly that he was made for fatherhood. Made for raising and taking care of his family, and I loved him for it.  After about a month, I invited him over to my apartment with definite plans in my mind for our first time. I had the wine, the candles, the soft jazz. He was very much a romantic, and I thought for sure he’d find it beautiful.  After a light dinner and some heavy kissing, I took his hand and began to guide him to my bedroom. He stopped suddenly and released my hand upon realizing what I was implying. He smiled, blushed a little, and told me he was actually waiting for marriage. I knew he was religious – Catholic in particular – but I hadn’t known he was that Catholic. I was raised in a nonreligious family. We weren’t any sort of diehard atheist avengers; just that religion wasn’t a thing for us.  I knew he attended Mass with his family on holidays, but hadn’t realized he was such an adherent. I already loved him, so I (not without a little disappointment) respected his wishes.  

We continued dating over the next two years, and he got an amazing job offer for a big-name venture capital firm a week before he was to graduate. He took me to meet his family in Massachusetts shortly after graduation, and they were your typical New England bunch. They were well-meaning, but very loud and very Catholic.  Again, not in any sort of creepy cult sense, but they had me go to Mass with them (very long and very boring) and their home was littered with crucifixes and Virgin Marys. 

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Meanwhile, Elvis was juggling women. He phoned Priscilla regularly, still saw Anita Wood, and dated other girls, mostly Hollywood starlets and hopefuls. Like all of us, Elvis felt no guilt. It was easy to attract women and it was fun. They wanted him, and he wanted them. Anita and Elvis almost broke up when she discovered a letter in which Priscilla had written to Elvis that if she was ever to visit him as he’d asked, he would have to convince her father first. Anita confronted Elvis, they argued, and she left Hollywood in a huff. Not long afterward, Elvis gathered together Pat and the other girls who partied with us. “I want you to know something,” he announced dramatically. “I met this girl in Germany and we’ve been talking on the phone a lot,” he said. “I’m bringing her here.” No girls except Pat (Parry) were to be allowed in the house during Priscilla’s visit, he said. The parties would stop, and the guys would bring their wives to the house every night. During Priscilla’s visit Elvis’s home would be family-oriented.

Elvis had finally convinced Priscilla’s parents to allow their precious sixteen-year-old to visit. He’d called her father in Germany and somehow persuaded him that his little girl would be safe in Hollywood. Vernon and Dee would chaperon, he assured Colonel Beaulieu, and she would stay at the home of our great friends, Shirley and George Barris, the man who designed custom cars for Hollywood celebrities. Elvis had tremendous persuasive powers. He just turned on the charm and people did what he wanted. Something about Elvis was totally believable.

Joan, who was pregnant with Debbie, was assigned the job of “taking care of Anita” in Memphis. Elvis usually spent the Fourth of July at Graceland, but he was staying in California for Priscilla’s visit. Anita Wood was waiting him at home, so we figured that if Joan went to Memphis, Anita would believe that Elvis was not far behind. I asked Joan to leave St. Louis, where she was visiting her family, and go to Graceland to keep Anita busy. The heat would be off, and Elvis could deal with the fall out later. Anita, Vernon, Dee, and Joan took an overnight trip to a fishing camp and occupied themselves with various activities.

When Elvis finally arrived at Graceland, he told me that he and Anita had a serious talk about their future. “I told her that I wasn’t ready to settle down,” he said. “I told her that I knew she wanted to get married and have a family, so it was better if we stopped seeing each other and went on with our lives.” Anita later married Johnny Brewer, a former football player with the Cleveland Browns, and she and Elvis remained good friends until his death.

When Priscilla arrived in Los Angeles in the early summer of 1962, two years had passed since she and Elvis had seen each other in Germany. I went to the airport and picked up a nervous of sixteen who confided that she didn’t know what to expect. On the way back to the house, I gave her a short tour of Los Angeles. By now Elvis had moved to a large Italian villa on Bellagio Road in Bel Air that had been purchased by Mrs. Reginald Owens for the express purpose of renting it to Elvis! It was very grant, and even came with a butler.

Priscilla looked adorable with her hair caught up in a long ponytail ending in a curl, but Elvis asked Pat to go on payroll during Priscilla’s visit so she could do Priscilla’s hair every day. Exaggerated cat-eye makeup and big hair, along with lots of false hairpieces anchored in place with gallons of hair spray, was the style of the day. Elvis liked to see Priscilla in what Pat calls “that big boombah” and decked out in the flamboyant outfits Elvis preferred. During the day, she hung around the set, then Elvis squired her around Hollywood, showing her the sights and taking her shopping for expensive clothes. We drove to Las Vegas in Elvis’s customized bus and stayed at the Sahara, Elvis took her to all the shows and bought her more wild clothes at Suzy Creamcheese, the famous Vegas boutique. They even gambled together. All this at sweet sixteen.

Of course, Priscilla was impressed with everything. She was young, naive, unspoiled, and unaware of much of what was going on. She spent a lot of time with the wives, so she never saw our real Hollywood lifestyle, although she was a faithful reader of Photoplay magazine, and she’d seen the storied about Juliet Prowse and Tuesday Weld. “Oh, don’t believe that stuff in the papers,” Elvis assured her. “They all do that in Hollywood. It’s for publicity.” Priscilla stayed only one night with Barrises, and then moved in with Elvis and slept in his bed. But they didn’t make love, Priscilla told me, and I believe her. Elvis was grooming her for the job of Mrs. Presley. He literally gave her instruction on how to be the perfect wife and the mother. When Priscilla left, Elvis called her several times a week, although not every day. They never wrote because Elvis was not a letter writer. I think he wrote six letters in his life: three to Anita Wood, one each to Alan Fortas and George Klein while he was in Germany, and one to President Nixon. But that’s another story.

The next step was to campaign or permission for Priscilla to live in Memphis. He was falling in love, so he wanted Priscilla near. Elvis also relished a challenge, and this was as formidable a task as any he’d ever faced. But when Priscilla finally broached the subject to her parents, her father had a fit. “No way in hell,” he shouted. “Are you crazy? You’re sixteen years old! You have to stay here and go to school.” Elvis summoned all his charm for the job. “Please,” he begged Colonel Beaulieu, “I’ll make sure she lives with my father and his wife, right near Graceland. I’ll make sure she goes to Catholic school.” I think he also promised her father that he would eventually marry her. Ann, Priscilla’s mother, was excited about Elvis and Hollywood and more inclined to let her daughter go. Finally, Colonel Beaulieu agreed to another visit, at Christmas.

It was not until 1963, when Priscilla turned seventeen, that her father allowed her to live in Memphis. Living with us had to be a great strain. She was so young and desperately trying to appear older. And when Elvis was home, she had to stay up all night to keep him company, then go to school in the morning where she was finishing her senior year. After school, she had homework, but by then, Elvis was up, and the night was just beginning. Priscilla functioned on zero sleep. At first, she did stay at Vernon’s to keep her promise to her parents. But Priscilla spent most of her time with Elvis, and before you knew it, she was permanently installed at Graceland. I assume her parents knew because she moved in less than a month after she came to Memphis. Elvis still didn’t make love to her. He was waiting until they were married.

In the beginning, Priscilla had a hard time adjusting to our rough teasing, Memphis Mafia style. We hurt Priscilla’s feelings one day, so Elvis dressed down the entire group while Priscilla cried upstairs. He reminded us that she was very young and we couldn’t treat her so harshly. Joan commented that she felt like a child who had been snitched on, but our relations improved, and Joan in particular came to be like a big sister to Priscilla.

We were in Hollywood a lot then, doing three pictures a year. Elvis left Priscilla in Memphis and took off for the West Coast for two or three months at a time. “Okay, we have to go to work!” he would say, and she waited for him to come home. Every day Priscilla went to Catholic high school in her prime little school uniform, packing a little .25 automatic Elvis gave her for protection.

Joe Esposito, “Good Rockin’ Tonight”

Queer [White-passing Person of Color]

I do just want to say that as a white-passing person with a mixed ethnic and racial background these POC profiles have been giving me life. My mom’s side is white and my father’s family is not and my sister and I grew up between two worlds, never knowing anyone else who did.

We were told my father’s racial/ethnic history in dribs and drabs over the years. Like, I knew his mom had moved to San Fransisco from El Salvador with her husband, but it was years later that I learned his dad (my paternal grandpa) was Palestinian, and it was years after that I learned my paternal grandma’s father had been Italian. My mom’s family is white. Like, Irish-background, freckles instead of tans white, descended from early Presidents white.

Folks ask me if I’m Jewish, more so when I had longer hair, but my larger and bold nose shape still prompts questions. “Are you Jewish?” has been used as a pick up line to me, which does add extra joy to explaining that my grandfather’s parents moved to El Salvador from Palestine, so close but no cigar. “What are you?” has also been used to chat me up by folks of all colours, stay classy world!

My sister reads as more Latina, which has been a hassle for her where she lives, because (like me) how white-passing she is varies on season and situation and neither of us ever quite fit. At this time, she and I are pretty much each other’s only family, so most situations described below are from when we were children and young teens.

Frustrating as it’s been, as a queer person I’m glad for the disconnect I experienced with race and ethnicity when I was younger. I’ve never been brown enough or white enough and, as a fluidly gender-fluid person with a straight male partner, I’m never queer enough or straight enough either.

Beauty Standards/issues

When I was born (I’m the first-born), my father’s mom was excited, because I had blue-grey eyes, like a lot of babies do. She was so excited that there would be a blue-eyed baby in her family and my parents had to be like “it’s going to take a lot more white folks to dilute the brown eyes/dark hair genetics, Ma.” At the same time, my father thought I wasn’t his, because I looked too much like a full white baby, which is a pleasant thing to learn later in life. My sister had darker hair and darker skin as a baby and was easily accepted.

As kids, my sister and I were both medium-brown eyes and hair, with her skin tending to be a little darker than my pasty ivory, because I was a hardcore indoor kid. Our cousins (all of which also had a white parent!), who live in a sunny state, all had dark beige skin that ranged from terracotta to tawny. My sister and I were from a rainy area that didn’t see lots of sun and we had to be slathered in zinc and tended to burn as kids.

From about five or six on, my mom used get my aunt to curl-perm my hair in various ways to try and make it “behave.” Sitting for what felt like ever while my aunt wrapped strands of hair into spiral curlers was a normal thing until I was about ten and got the guts to ask them to stop. As all the perms never seemed to stick or fix my curls, she relented. I was taught to brush my hair and it wasn’t until I was an older teen I realised I could and should use a wide-toothed pick if I didn’t want constant breakage and a wedge-shaped cloud of frizz. In college I learned to stop washing my hair every day.

In the end, my sister ended up with wavy, naturally auburn hair that is easy to straighten and style and light fawn skin with yellow undertones. I’ve got naturally black hair that’s a messy mix of 3a/b curls and is surprisingly horrible to straighten unless I go pay for a blowout. But,I don’t need a hair tie if I braid it, which I love. I’ve yet to find a foundation that matches my beige skin that has, I swear to gawd, yellow-greenish undertones (most especially if I put my tanned arm next to my partner’s, who has a defined red tone to his skin). Both my sister and I freckle and tan when exposed to sun and no longer burn easily.


In the winter, I wear a scarf in a way that covers most of my hair and neck, which can definitely change how others move around me. Though not that significantly, as there are a lot of folks in the area I live who cover their heads and hair in distinctive cultural and religious ways.


While our cousins on our father’s side were all taught at least working Spanish growing up, my sister and I were never taught more than a few words. Which meant family could and did talk in front of us together in Spanish to exclude us. My sister wasn’t young enough to notice, but I did. Our family never went back to El Salvador on vacation, but cousins and aunties did, so there were constantly pieces of a world we knew we were related to but not let in on around us.

We were raised in a predominantly poor white area by a mother who told my sister and I it was fine if we wore dress-up veils and danced to “Ahab the Arab” because we were Arab. My father didn’t really care.

Though my sister and I didn’t look a whole lot like the kids we went to school with, we looked enough like them it didn’t matter. My mom taught us to mark “Hispanic” on school forms, in hope it’d give us more benefits, or something? I don’t know why. I mark “Other” now, if I do.

My partner’s family is from cowboy country and we drive out there every other year or so. Trips across these rural areas are interesting, because he has very long hair and I’m clearly some sort of mixed race and my gender presentation isn’t always 100% clear. We’re regularly surprised by the reactions or lack of that we encounter in the small towns we visit and pass through. We’ve also encountered areas that have gotten better about distrusting folks who you can’t label right away.


I grew up eating a lot of beans, rice and tortillas. But everyone I know did, to some extent. It might be a West Coast thing? My father’s mom would make epic amounts of tamales and load us up when we visited. My mom’s side made pies a lot. They made a lot of the stuff you see in 1950s’ and 60s’ Betty Crocker cookbooks, because that’s what the home-ec classes they took taught.

Both my parents spoke pretty decent or fluid Spanish. I don’t know why they didn’t bother to teach us. Were we supposed to ask? We were children.

I took Spanish language classes in high school and into college, but it super messed up my English spelling, for some reason, so I stopped. Now I can get the gist if I read Spanish, but that’s it.


My father and his siblings and their kids all went to Catholic schools and did the full shebang of all the ceremonies involved. My mother’s family is all varying forms of Evangelical and Pentecostal Christian, so I grew up in a church that spoke in tongues pastored by my mother’s father and then later, we attended a conservative Baptist church and I was 11 when I started teaching Sunday School. I was often cast as Mary in the Christmas plays because of my nose shape and hair type.

I was regularly jealous of the cool private schools and dress-up ceremonies my Catholic cousins were a part of. I think the religious difference was one of the things that really did set my sister and I apart from our cousins as kids.

Now I’m just an existentialist and I think my sister is some sort of Christian.


Used to be terrible, because I craved a label or explanation or group as a kid. I’m pretty okay with me now, though. It only took me to my late twenties and early thirties!

Identity issues

White-passing, raised the way we were, my sister and I often felt adrift from others. Where did we fit? Nowhere. Our mother wasn’t that into me, because I didn’t fit her idea of femininity and my father’s family wasn’t that into my sister and I because we weren’t brown enough.

Eventually I just gave up trying to find a label. I’m a hella mix of cultures and experiences, like a whole lot of folks out there. How I present, gender- and race-wise, fluctuates.

There are white folks I know who I know don’t think I’m brown enough to have opinions on race things, or who discount my experiences. And there are queer folks I know who do the same thing. But here’s a thing I know: when I was four I saw my father’s dad on his deathbed. He was deep golden terracotta and spoke a language I bet he’d wished somebody had taught me. I spent my life meeting cousins and cousins-of-cousins who’d stumble over the Irish name I was given and praise my pale skin. My hair was always a “mess”, never curly in the right way and my brows were too thick and I didn’t know my nose was big until my mother told me.

Things you’d like to see less of

Siblings that look alike. Most mixed kids I know don’t look like their siblings, they move like them. You see still pictures and you’re like “that is not related to you,” but you watch them talk together and you see their relation in their hand movements and head movements and shared slang.

Things you’d like to see more of

Ambiguous mixed race! Curly hair that is a Klein bottle of nonsense and frizzes and halos and is a beautiful mess. People who don’t belong. Arab-looking people who are just people. Doctor Bashir of Deep Space Nine was my first big crush. Seeing a face that didn’t necessarily look like the faces I saw in my family, but had familiar signifiers was immensely important to me.

Read more POC Profiles here.

ON PRIDE (and gender)

A long time ago, I sat in a hot car with my father and told him I was gay. It was hot in the way that defeats any attempt at air-conditioning, and the heat loosened muscles and made everybody sweat equally, profusely. It made it a little easier to tell him what might have been obvious for a long time. It was the middle of the summer in a part of Texas kind of near Dallas and he had driven me from his apartment complex to my mom’s apartment complex and we were sitting in this heavy heat in his 280ZX just not saying anything for a while. Then I told him, and he sat in the maroon velour and heat for a minute before offering, “For what it’s worth, I don’t think you’re gay.” I laughed. this kind of anti-reality regularly left his mouth and it had long since ceased to hurt. The flat-out denial was actually an effort on his part towards generosity. 

It turned out he was right, in a way. A couple of years ago, I did an interview with Out Magazine. I was in their annual round-up of somewhat well-known queer people. I was a little surprised when, ahead of the interview, I was asked via my management to clarify for the publication how I identified, like sexually and/or gender-wise. I hadn’t bothered to try to publicly identify in a long time cause I’m privileged enough not to have to worry about it too much, plus I didn’t really identify as anything. Identifying seemed like the death of possibility. I don’t remember what I told them. Something extremely open ended.

I’ve had relationships with men and with women and with people who might not identify as either one of those. I feel extremely fortunate in that I truly don’t give a fuck when it comes to the gender of the person I’m dating. It took a long time to be comfortable with that. I wanted badly to fit into the straight, binary world. My family was Catholic. It came with a kind of all-consuming but ultimately shallow guilt. I was a high-school student when a girl grabbed my leg at the late night diner where we smoked cigarettes and drank coffee and played western swing on the jukebox. I was very turned on and then I had a fear of imminent doom for weeks. It had been coming for years but that was the first totally vivid flush of that feeling and that particular self-awareness. It was isolating as hell and it sucked. Eventually it settled into a life-long bothersome internal conversation about What Am I and Who Am I Attracted To. I wasn’t trying to identify, I was trying to not be confused.

When I was a very small child, announced to everyone who would listen that I was a boy. I’m terrified, still, talking about it. At the time, though, I was defiant and happy. My parents were mortified. I insisted on being referred to and treated as and being a boy at my Christian preschool, at our church, around our populous extended family, and in every public arena. What made it worse for my parents was that I did look and act like a boy and many people assumed I was a boy and were just confused about why I was announcing it until they figured it out and then they immediately let my parents know exactly what they thought of them with a pair of razor sharp dagger eyes. I am quite certain it was awful for my parents. I don’t begrudge them their confusion and despair. They felt burdened by God and no one did anything to dispel that.

Eventually the criticism from my family and the insults from other people were internalized and I gave up and what had been pride became shame and then I really was like everybody else for as long as I could pretend that I didn’t like boys and girls. And I talked about that couple of years in my life like one talks about having wet the bed.

As I got older, it never occurred to me that I should pay any attention whatsoever to the feelings ranging from awkwardness to disgust that I felt when I looked at myself in a full-length mirror. I condemned every one of those feelings as vanity, even before I was fully aware of them. I haven’t been Catholic for a long time but my guilt certainly still is.

I saw a program last year about a clinic in the midwest for transgender kids and their parents. The kids are counseled and lead their own gender explorations and their parents are assisted in negotiating the parental confusion. As a result they are collectively gifted with an understanding community. It knocked me over. I cried, a lot. I’d never considered that what I went through could’ve been anything other than delusion. In effect, I had to come out to myself. 

Gender isn’t clear cut for me, and now I accept that. I did at one time identify as a boy. I sometimes, but rarely, identify as a woman. Mostly I don’t think about it. I don’t feel tied to gender. “Genderfluid” is the closest I can get to identification. I like the word trans, in its all-inclusive definition. 

Last I checked in with my father his views on gays had softened. An admission something to the effect of “maybe the world is changing” was said softly in his thick drawl before he went quiet again. It was the last time we talked about such things. My father is old enough now that he won’t change and I no longer want to change him. 

Maybe, though, this will help somebody realize that this is closer to them than they thought. I’d like to encourage people who aren’t to let trans people, particularly trans people of color, define their own lives and terms. You don’t have to look very hard for them, and you should. Listen, accept, and respect. The more you learn the more acutely you’ll understand just how overdue that respect is.

- jh

anonymous asked:

also while on the subject of ireland and hp- why would irish kids not go to hogwarts? Seamus is Irish and he went. I mean i can believe that irish kids get to choose either hogwarts or more localized irish wizard schools but not that 'irish kids dont go to hogwarts cause imperialism'

  • Seamus Finnegan is as close to the stereotype of a reckless drunkard Irishman as it is possible for a child to be. That he is the only Irish character in the whole of HP is probably indicative of JKR not giving Irish wizarding communities much thought. 
  • That’s okay. I’ll do it for her.
  • It is probable that many Irish wizarding children would go to Hogwarts. However, it is likely that they would be from specific backgrounds. These backgrounds include, but are possibly not limited to:
  1. Historically, the children of English, usually Protestant, landowners, in Ireland as a result of the Marian, Elizabethan, Cromwellian, and Ulster Plantations.
  2. Children of some Norman ruling families, although since the Fitzgeralds of Desmond and Kildare and Butlers of Ormonde were notoriously “more Irish than the Irish,” this is debateable.  
  3. The children of Ulster Unionists, particularly during the Troubles.
  • Seamus Finnegan is the most Catholic, most Celtic Irish name JKR could have chosen, short of using O’Neill as Seamus’ surname in place of Finnegan (the O’Neills were earls of Tyrone, and led the Flight of the Earls, an event of significant historical importance in Ireland re. our struggle for independence).
  • I headcanon that Seamus’ mother is a Protestant Unionist witch, and his father a lapsed Catholic moderate. This would make his father more willing to send his son to school in England, especially if Mrs. Finnegan took advantage of her husband’s lack of knowledge about the wizarding world.
  • It is canon that an inspiration for the founders when they set about founding the school was Queen Medb (not sure which speling JKR used - there are several). Medb is a huge figure in Irish mythology, absolutely central to one of our most famous myths, An Táin Bó Cualigne, or The Brown Bull of Cooley. 
  • This means Irish schools of magic are canon.
  • And yes, I say schools, plural, because Medb was Queen of Connaught, one  of, at the time, five provinces in Ireland. If she taught magic/had a school of magic, you can bet your  bottom dollar that it was strictly to children from Connaught. This means that there had to be schools of magic in each of the other four provinces.
  • I have headcanons about the locations and natures of these schools if anyone is interested. 

Back on track:

  • It does not make sense to me, given Ireland’s history with England/Britain, that all Irish children would go to school in Britain.
  • We fought a goddamn war to get rid of the English ffs
  • Also: the English committed genocide against the Irish people
  • Our population is still not equal to pre-Famine levels
  • Do you understand how deeply damaged by English occupation Ireland was
  • Due to their relative isolation I firmly believe that the wizarding community in Ireland would do the following things:
  1. Be more likely to speak Irish as their first language
  2. Be less likely to rely so heavily on the British market as a primary trading partner, since magic allows for easier travel.
  3. Be more likely to actively hate the English/British.
  4. Basically be Gaelgóirs with wands (this will terrify my Irish followers, trust me).
  • I believe that the Irish wizarding population was greatly reduced by both our years spent as a colony and the Great Famine, just as the actual real population of Ireland was in real-world history. 
  • I believe that this led to the closure of the four provincial schools of magic, leaving just the primary academy in the now-defunct fifth province, at the Hill of Tara, where the High King had his castle. 
  • I believe that the vast, vast majority of Irish wix go through Scoil Draoí na Teamhrach.
  • I honestly don’t care that Seamus Finnegan went to Hogwarts in terms of figuring out Irish schools of magic and what percentage of students attend Hogwarts instead of their national academy of magic.


If Seamus’ mother is a Protestant Unionist, then she and therefore Seamus are probably from Northern Ireland, and so may be within the, for want of a better term, catchment area for Hogwarts, as opposed to Tara. So. View Seamus as the exception, not the rule. 

Where Were You: Remembering 9/11

It’s hard to believe it’s been 15 years since the attacks on September 11, 2001. Every year I have a little ritual. I watch as many documentaries of 9/11 as I possibly can. Nick finds the whole process a bit morbid, but I don’t. I grew up in a boisterous Irish/German family and we like to tell stories. I think personal narrative is the way we ensure who we were and how we lived is remembered. But it’s not just about the person telling the story. There has to be someone to listen. There has to be someone to remember. So that’s what I do. I watch the 9/11 documentaries to bear witness. To listen. To remember.

However, it’s not just a New York or Washington, DC story. September 11th impacted all of those who lived through the day and remember it, regardless of where you lived. For my parent’s generation, the question was always “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?” My parents always had an answer. They could recall it with perfect clarity. It always amazed me as a child, because I don’t think my mother was more than 5 or 6. Yet, she could describe everything she remembered and everything she felt on that day as if it was yesterday.

I didn’t really understand how that was possible until 9/11. Now, for my generation and countless others, the question we will be asked is, “Where were you on 9/11?” What’s wonderful about the internet is that it reaches so many people. We can connect to one another even if we live across the world. So, I thought to remember the 15th anniversary of September 11th, we could tell our “Where were you?” stories. Just to read, to listen…. to remember.

So here’s mine…

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Interview with renowned journalist Judite Sousa - Part 2
- my translation - Please only reblog or credit, as it took me much time and effort to make this translation. Enjoy! Part 1 here.

Q: Already 5 years in Madrid?
(smiles) “Yes, 5 years.”

Q: Sir Alex Ferguson
“He’s a person that influenced me very much. Until today we have a great relationship, we speak very often, send each other messages. We talk about our emotional state …
For example when we won the UEFA Super Cup vs Sevilla recently, Sir Alex gave me the ‘Man of the Match’ award. Or after the Champions League final in Lisbon, he accompanied me to the doping test.
He is a person for whom I have maximum respect, a close friend.“

Q: Bad phase with Mourinho?
“No, at least I overcame the not so good phases. We had a difficult phase. If we don’t win and things don’t go well, there is always a bad atmosphere in the club, with the supporters … These things happen, with other players too, with the fans. It was a difficult phase, not only on a personal level, but also inside the club.
In terms of personal relationships, talking with each other, etc. … out of all the coaches I worked under, the only friendship I have is with Ferguson – no one else… I liked to work with Pellegrini, I have a great relation with Ancelotti. But a true relationship, with talking regularly with each other and so on, I only share with Ferguson.”

Q: So you are definitly no friend of Mourinho?
“I’m not in football to make friends, I am in football to triumph, to give my best. Friends I have in my family and in my private life, some also in football. But I am not in football to make friends.”

Q: Daily routine?
“My daily routines are always the same. I like to be early, to do things calmly. I like to be at training 1 hour earlier so that I have time to do my things, my work, to train in the gym. I like to maintain this routine.
After training sometimes I stay longer, to do specific work. Mostly I’m one of the first to arrive and one of the last to leave.”

Q: How to maintain the perfect physique?
“My body is at least 50% of my success. Because when I’m not physically fit on the pitch, you can see that I am not well. Therefore that’s something we have to take care of. That doesn’t mean to be always 100% focussed on the diet. But I like to take care of a good nutrition, a good rest. Not too much fries or hamburgers, fastfood, these things. I avoid that.”

Q: What do you do on a day off?
“Mostly, I stay at home, with friends and family.”

Q: Did you already read the book your mother wrote (autobiography)
“Yes, I already read it. I think it’s a very interesting book. The title “Mother Courage” describes who my mother is. Therefore the family is proud. It was something she always wanted to do, her idea and we have to respect her decisions.”

Q: Your mother considered abortion when she was pregnant with you because of the extremely difficult financial situation of the family at the time (Dolores thought it was impossible to have a fourth child)
“I already knew that before. All that is written in the book is no surprise for me.” … “The relationship with my mother is excellent. I know about the problems, how much she suffered, what she went through, what she held inside her. She felt good writing about all this, she wanted to show to the world what she lived through, the suffering, the love, the story of her siblings … I think it’s a very interesting story and she wanted to share it with all the mothers of Portugal.”

Q: Being the face of the collapsed Banco Espirito Santo BES since 10 years?
“The contract is until Christmas. I’m not involved in the business. I only have a contract, I do my work, they pay. That’s it.”
(I don’t translate the rest, it’s about contracts etc.)

Q: You often help institutions and persons?
“That’s a bit delicate. I don’t like to talk much about these things.
For 2 reasons:
1. Who likes to help others doesn’t need to appear.
2. We cannot help everyone.

I have competent persons who advise me regarding these issues and help me a lot. I am a person who feels good when helping others but I don’t want to talk in length about these things. As I said before ‘Who likes to help others doesn’t need to appear.’ I am like that.
It’s like going to church. As the priest said at the baptism of my nephew: ‘Give as much as you like to give.’ That’s it: Each one shall give as much as he wants. There is no obligation. It’s something I like to do in a certain privacy, though it’s not always possible to keep it secret. But I feel good, I feel contented. Like the old saying: ‘God helps those who help others.’ I feel happy about that.”

Q: You are a catholic?
“Yes, I am and all of my family too. I’d like to go to church more often. Some days ago I had the chance to go to a mass with only a few people and I felt contented and relieved as I entered the church and could say my prayers. I felt fulfilled. I’d like to go more often, but as the church is often crowded, it’s not easy (to have privacy). But I am catholic and my family too.“

Q: Stay in Madrid after the football career?
“Probably. I have everything well-organised here, my son is at school here. I have my basis and my residence here, but I also have a house in Portugal. I’d like to see other countries, fo example the USA, Dubai, …
I consider myself a citizen of the world. I love travelling. During the year I have 9 months of training, matches, competitions, journeys … If I can chose, I prefer heat above cold for the holidys. But after my career I hope to have more time to get to know the world in a different way. And for sure I can also visit other places, for example places where there is snow. I am used to travelling since the age of 11. So I am a citizen of the world.”

Q: Does your son study in Portuguese? Or in English?
“He is going to an American school. He also speaks Spanish and Portuguese. A bit of everything. Just like his dad.”

Q: In her book your mother describes how she travelled to Florida to pick up your newborn son and bring him to Spain. What’ his nationality?
(laughs) "He is a citizen of the world, like his father. He’s Portuguese, Spanish, American, Arab … (laughs) I’m just joking, he’s Portuguese. He was registered in the USA, at the Portuguese Consulate.”

Q: And he’s the son of a surrogate mother?
“He is the son of Cristiano Ronaldo dos Santos Aveiro. I ask to respect the private life, not only mine, but that of everyone, regarding children, women, separations, … Respect and a bit of sensitivity. So I don’t want to talk more about that.”

Q: But your son is a four-year-old boy. Doesn’t he already ask you about his mother? At that age they want to know everything.
“He is interested in boxing, football, swimming. He’s a happy little boy. For sure he’ll be a well-bred boy, because I’m going to pass on to him the education that I got. He’s definitely a very happy boy.”

Q: Getting married or not?
(laughs) “Do you want me to be totally honest? … Not yet. (laughs) But like everyone in this world, like every ordinary person, one day I’d like to get married.”

Q: So everything is fine with Irina and you?
“Yes, obviously everything is OK. But I think that getting married is an extremely important step, a step that for sure you have to reflect well. And I’m still young, and therefore … It’s something I want to do one day, but I’m not yet ready for that.”

Q: But you were prepared and mature enough to become a father at 24?
“I’m living on my own since I was 11, so… I left for Lisbon at the age of 11 and I lived on my own ever since. I only saw my family every 3 months, which was for an 11-year-old very, very hard. I cried every day, I had to go through difficulties. Living on my own, without my parents, without the love of my siblings … I went through many difficulties.
So I think this answers your question about my maturity. I’ve always lived on my own. Then I went to Manchester at the age of 18 without even speaking the language. But I was very well-prepared and very calm because I had a suitcase full of experiences.”

Q: You know very well what life is. Real life!
“I think so. I continue learning more and more. I love learning. But I believe that I was prepared. And I’m prepared now for new challenges.”

(see part 1 here.)

School of God | Anonymous

Every day except for Sunday, the BOE (which stands for Official State Bulletin) is published in Spain. It is the official gazette of the Government of Spain and its content is authorized and published by Royal Assent and with approval from the Spanish Presidency Office.

It’s not something I’d usually read but this past week, I saw a friend of mine share something that caught my eye on Facebook:

The BOE of this past Tuesday 24 of February spends 23 pages to explain the details of the curriculum of the subject of Religion for the primary and secondary school (School and high-school in Spain). In these 23 pages, “God” is mentioned 168 times and “Jesus” 73 times. Other words like “religion” and “Catholic” appear 65 and 51 times respectively but that’s not what caught my eye, no. What really caught my attention was one of the quotes that appeared in the evaluation criteria to pass the subject: “To recognize the incapacity of human beings to reach happiness by themselves”.

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This is a long one, sorry.

Some backstory: I was knocked up by a loser guy when I was a freshman in college. At the time he was my boyfriend of a year. I can’t put all the blame on him - both of us were rather irresponsible when it came to protection. I did want to be a mother someday but it was sooner than I would have liked. Despite that, I made the decision to keep the baby because while I’m pro choice for others, it would have haunted me if I had gotten an abortion or put the baby up for adoption. Blame being raised Catholic, I guess.

At the time he was telling me how he’d definitely stay in the baby’s life and raise them alongside me, and I was a fool who believed him. When our daughter was born, he stuck around for about a month, doing the bare minimum. He was the youngest kid so I don’t think he was aware of how much babies cried, pooped, etc. and it was too much for him. He left without much warning.

I love my daughter and have no regrets but being a single mother is hard. I won’t make this into a “woe is me” post, but juggling work, school (online classes at the university I went to before) and motherhood is a lot to have on your plate at once. For a while, I couldn’t even think about dating. I had no time.

When my daughter was 4 and in preschool and I was 23 with a college degree, I finally felt ready to consider dating again. I knew I was done with men, especially cis men. My exes were all cis men and none of them were stellar. Also, I didn’t want to be knocked up and left by an inconsiderate man ever again. 

I had known I was bi since I was 13, but didn’t act on it beyond kissing a guy’s girlfriend in a particularly wild game of truth or dare when I was 16. Partially because I lived in a rural area (still do) so there weren’t many options, and partially because, again, I was raised in a close-minded Catholic household. I wanted to finally act on my attraction to the ladies in a more serious way.

A friend of mine recommended okcupid. I didn’t have high hopes, especially since I live in the rural part of New York, far from any major cities. Also, there were so many horror stories that I didn’t know what to expect. But I figured it was worth a shot. I filled out my profile, answered some questions about myself, and made 3 things very clear:

1. I was not looking for men, threesomes, or poly arrangements.

2. I was a mother and that any woman who messaged me needed to be okay with that. I have nothing against women who prefer not to deal with the baggage of dating a mother, but I needed the one I was with to be perfectly okay with kids and my past involvement with men. 

3. I was looking for a serious relationship. It’s fine that some people want more casual stuff, but I was looking for something more serious than what I did when I was 16.

I had my profile up for a while, and nobody of interest messaged me. The only messages I got were from guys who weren’t straight (and made it past the “no straight people” filter I had in place) and from girls who wanted me for threesomes or wanted me to be a “unicorn” for her and her boyfriend. I blocked these people and tried messaging some girls, but none of them messaged back or the conversations fizzled out within a couple of halfhearted messages.

I almost considered deactivating my account because I was losing hope. But then I got a message from a girl. An actual message from an actual girl. She was a single 21 year old monogamous lesbian. She was a petite androgynous leaning butch with messy hair, lots of freckles and a smile to die for. I wasn’t sure what my “type” was involving girls, but her pictures made me realize how sexy girls can be.

We had some stuff in common according to the questions we answered. She said on her profile she wanted kids and that she was actually in the early childhood education major so she probably knew a lot about kids, too. I couldn’t help but wonder what the “catch” was. We kept messaging, and I realized the biggest catch is that she lived 45 minutes away, but it could be worse so I didn’t complain.

After lots of texting, calling, and skyping, we decided to go on a date. I hired a babysitter and we went to a restaurant halfway between where she and I lived. It was incredible. It felt like we had known each other for years and I felt super comfortable talking to her. I showed her pictured of my daughter on my phone and she gushed about how cute she was.

We went on a few more dates, but one day my babysitter had a family crisis come up so I couldn’t make it. I informed her, somewhat at the last moment, that I couldn’t make it. I felt like shit because I sprung this on her so last minute and I tried to reassure her that it wasn’t her, but that my babysitter had an emergency and I didn’t have a backup.

I was expecting her to be mad or disappointed, but she wasn’t. She actually suggested she come over to my house instead. We hadn’t been to either of the other one’s houses, and this shocked me. But I said yes. And soon enough, she arrived.

We had a lot of fun hanging out and even though my daughter is pretty shy, she warmed up to her eventually. She played fun games with my daughter and was great at humoring my daughter’s expansive imagination. It warmed my heart to see. And that’s how I knew I picked the right girl, and that I was happy dating girls.

The Woman is the Brakes by raspberryseedz

Prompt #2:  Carla McCorkle was raised in a conservative Catholic household. In true 70’s style, Carla rebels by wearing provocative shorts and bootlegs Beatles records. Stan is not unlike Carla. He often goes against what his family desires of him, much to his brother’s chagrin. Keeping their stubborn rebelliousness in mind, write a fic depicting Stan and Carla acting out as hormonal teenagers.

Word Count: 1028

“They’re gonna kill me,” Carla said miserably.  “They’re gonna set me on fire until I burn to ashes and vaccum me up from the floor.  They’re gonna drown me in holy water and feed my bloated corpse to the crows.”

“Ewww,” Stanley’s nose crinkled.

“They’re gonna destroy all record of my existence and banish me to Antarctica.”

“Relax. They won’t even know,” Stanley insisted.  He reached into his pocket and held out a packet of Juicy Fruit.  Carla took one, popping a stick of the gum into her mouth.  She lay in the dim light with her hair hanging off her father’s work bench, contemplating the perilous situation she now found herself.

Her mother had warned her, in two languages she had warned her. La mujer es los frenos. The woman is the brakes. In the multitude of sins and transgressions that could befall a young person, the woman was responsible for creating the friction that stopped it.  And the list of sins was indeed varied and long.  There were the mortal sins, the eternal sins, the sins that you wouldn’t think were sins except that they led to things that were, most definitely, sins.

Staying out past ten, for example.  Any rational person knew there was nothing magically special about that particular time.  But to her parents, the minute between nine fifty-nine and ten o’clock marked the transition from wholesomeness to depravity, where being outside went from innocuous to dangerous.

Her knees were also an issue. When you thought about it, knees were just the same as elbows, only for the legs.  The did exactly the same thing.  But for some reason, elbows were fit to be seen by public eyes whereas knees must be banished under conservatively shaped dresses.  That was the line her skirts could not cross.

Dating? Oh, don’t even bother. You dated schoolbooks until you got married.  Don’t ask how that transition happened.

The rules were finite.  Bending them, for whatever reason, was a slippery slope to damnation. Sins that were sinful because they paved the road for other sins.  Carla listened, she really had, her ears had perceived the message. But it was difficult to gather the wherewithal to actually care. Especially when she knew full well her sisters had snuck out past the dreaded ten o’clock hour in skirts that weren’t up to standard doing whatever they wanted.  As long as she didn’t get caught, what would it matter?

Stanley was different.  Stanley didn’t get lectured, at least not directly.  It was more like a silent shadow hanging over everything that he did.  Stanley didn’t have older sisters that constantly overstepped the limits of a nice, Catholic girl.  He had a twin brother that constantly overstepped the limits of what a developing human brain could accomplish.  It was kinda a foregone conclusion he wasn’t going to make the proverbial bar.

Nobody actually said he couldn’t see a girl after ten on a school night.  But he lied about it anyway because there were so many other things that went with unspoken disapproval that he sort of got used to lying about everything, just to be safe.

And now their time had come. Her sins had caught up with her. They had been distracted and taking things a little too fast. For whatever it was worth, Carla did apply the brakes. She was just a little too late.

“Gum?” Stanley asked, holding out his hand.  Carla removed the soft lump of gum she had chewed and handed it off.

“There’s no way this is gonna work,” she told him. Again.

“I saw my dad try this once.  It’s totally gonna work,” Stanley replied.

She threw up her hands. “Stanley, you can’t fix a car with rubber bands and gum!”

“Shhh, stealth. Remember?” He hissed.

“Oh, let them come,” Carla muttered. “Let them find me, there’s no way they aren’t gonna find out what-” she turned her head and the view of her father’s crisp, white 1963 Dodge 440 made her pause.  “It really looks fixed,” she said, stunned.

“Really?” Stanley’s voice sounded from his spot under the vehicle.  “I mean, of course it does.”

“Holy god, Stanley, you fixed it!” Carla leapt up from the table.  It was admittedly difficult to see in the dimly lit garage. She only turned on the little lightbulb hanging from the wall over her father’s bench.  They didn’t want too much light attracting any attention.  But the bumper fit back on the car the way it was supposed to and the dent was pushed out and relatively smooth.  It could just be the shadows playing tricks on her, but it looked just the way they had found it.

“Just don’t touch it. Or breathe on it.  In fact, don’t even look at it.”

“I could kiss you,” Carla swooned.

Suddenly a soft click alerted Carla to the door leading from the garage to the house. The handle was turning.  Her heart in her throat, Carla did the only rational thing she could think of, dropped to her knees, and rolled under the car and right into Stanley in the split second it took for the door to open.  Stanley started to yelp in surprise and she clamped a hand over his mouth.  They laid under the car, side by side, in utter terror as a pair of feet moved into the garage.  

The feet shuffled slowly to her father’s work bench and stopped.  Carla winced and bit her lip.  Stanley was sweating.  The light was still on.  Would they think to look under the car? Where had she put her knee-appropriate skirt after she changed? Did she leave it in the backseat?  What about Stanley’s jacket? She couldn’t remember what happened to it.  Her parents were going to find her under their car with the boyfriend that she didn’t have wearing the shorts she didn’t own in the forbidden hours of the night.

A section of dark hair followed by a round face suddenly appeared from the side of the car.  Stanley and Carla jumped simultaneously, like characters in a horror flick.

“I don’t want to know.” Her sister shook her head.