My parents raised me without religion. For this, I'm quite grateful -- thanks, Mom and Dad. It allowed me to figure it all out on my own. However, I didn't start that process until college, when I took several religion classes, eastern and western, to see what it was all about. Thus, prior to college, I was quite clueless about it all.
Flashback to the early 90s... this was pre-college. I found myself backstage at a Ratt concert. Please shut-up immediately. I don't need your mocking, thankyouverymuch. It was 20 years ago, for cryin' out loud.
He starts working the room, mixing it up, signing autographs, flirting with the ladies and doing the rockstar thing. He walks up to me and I notice he has a smudge on his forehead.
"Wait, hold still," I instructed as I placed my thumb against the offending smudge and began vigorously wiping it off. "You've got some dirt on your forehead."
Yes, I did.
I had no idea that 1.) it was Ash Wednesday, or 2.) what Ash Wednesday even meant.
I received a very quick Ash Wednesday tutorial from the not-remotely-pleased Ratt master Pearcy, then he sauntered off as far away from yours truly as he could possibly get. That was my cue to exit the backstage area, pronto.
And that, my friends, was how I learned about Ash Wednesday.
This gives all new meaning to the lyrics from the Ratt song, You're in Trouble:
And I will only tell you once/You're in trouble/What are you gonna do?/You're in trouble/I got a finger on you/You're in trouble
True story. FML.