I was raised Catholic and I work at a Catholic hospital. I was working one Ash Wednesday and a Priest came by the unit and offered to anoint the staff with ashes. While I am not what you would call an observant Catholic, I decided to play along and got in line behind my co-workers. I waited patiently as each one of the nurses got a small smudge of ashes applied to their forehead, much like our Vice President, Joe Biden received today. When it was my turn, I stepped forward to get my mark and I noticed a little twinkle in the Priest's eye. I didn't get a little smudge. He took the mixture of oil and ash, smeared it from one eyebrow to the other and from my widow's peak to the bridge of my nose! I had a HUGE PLUS SIGN IN THE MIDDLE OF MY FOREHEAD. I didn't realize what he had done as I walked away. Sure, my co-workers were giggling, but we are an immature lot.
It wasn't until I walked back into my patient's room and her whole family started to snicker that I realized something was up. My patient told me to go look in the mirror. I looked. I blushed. I came back out to the patient's bedside. My patient's mother said something in Spanish and smiled. My patient chided her mother and then said to me, "My mother said the Priest, he must have know you needed some extra!"
I won't be getting ashes today.