Even if you’re not religious, you probably noticed that this past Tuesday was Mardi Gras, which means that we have now entered the season of Lent. Lent, in case you were not aware, is the Christian season of prayer, atonement, and self-denial, which runs from Ash Wednesday, February 18, through Thursday, April 2. It's followed by Good Friday, and, then, of course, Easter, the day that Christians believe Jesus rose from the dead.
During this six week-long observance, devout Christians give up a vice, bad habit, or pleasure of some sort. Catholics also give up meat on Friday, and some old school Catholics, like my Grammy, even fast for the whole day each week. (Personally, I don’t know how she does it.) Lent is also a time for penance, self-reflection, and admitting to yourself that maybe you need to quit being the worst. I kid!
We asked Bustle readers and editors, religious or not, what they plan to give up this year for Lent. Surprisingly, there are a lot of people willing to deny themselves something they love for the next several weeks, if only to give themselves a challenge. While I plan to give up nothing, as per usual, here’s what our readers plan to kick to the curb until Easter Sunday.
"Blowjobs. My husband doesn't know it yet, but yes, that's what I'm giving up. I might even give them up forever."
"I'm giving up Catholic guilt for Lent."
"I'm going to use this post to figure out what I should give up for Lent. But once, I gave up mini Slim Jims because I used to buy them every single day on the way home from the corner store in middle school. I think that's my favorite Lenten sacrifice ever."
"I'm a heathen, but I guess you can say I gave up life in a city. That was for love though, not exactly Lent. Kyle is more important than the Catholic Church."
"For Lent, I've given up hoping that my boyfriend will propose. Oh, wait! I gave up on that a year ago."
"Uber! Trying to, at least."
"Smoking and still going strong! I started last Saturday and am using an app, it's pretty awesome!"
"I'm not religious, but I try to give up coffee every year for Lent, because I like a challenge. I never make it past the first 24 hours, but I have a good feeling about this year."
"I was raised Catholic. The entire family would sometimes give up things together, like soda or TV. As an adult that hasn't been to church at all since high school, I kind of enjoy treating myself while my parents bemoan whatever it is they are giving up this year. That aside, I am trying to treat myself better all around as a personal goal for the year - yes, I can treat myself to good beer and whiskey and cheese, because duh, otherwise what's the point of being an adult?"
"I'm not giving up a damn thing. But I made my submissive give up soda."
"Well, I've already finished my first cup of coffee of the day, so definitely not that. Sometimes I'll try giving stuff up for Lent, but I'm not Catholic or at all religious, so I have trouble sticking with it. When you don't believe a magical sky wizard is going to be mad at you for having the thing you said you wouldn't, there's really no motivation to not have the thing."
"I'm giving up chocolate. I gave up elevators a couple years ago, but that was too hard to repeat."
"I tried to give up UberX but it is too cold. Gave in yesterday."
"I gave up dessert and then on the second day forgot and ate two scoops of gelato but I feel super bad about it. So I think I'll skip dessert the day after Easter. That counts right? THAT COUNTS RIGHT?"
"I gave up snow and went to California."
"I'm giving up my house and moving into a more modest residence. And by modest I mean a 'luxury' apartment that's 1,000 square feet instead of more than 2,000."
"Desserts... namely anything I will hide in the pantry when the kids and husband make me crazy. I figure it's probably best to give it up if it makes me insane enough to throw down over someone else eating it."
"Does giving up Lent for Lent count?"