That's a loaded question, actually. There are no Muffis men. Only Muffis women. Even though I'd never heard of a Muffis before, I spent the morning explaining Muffises (Muffii??) to Sydney.
We were watching TV the other day and she paused it while I was out of the room so I could see something unusual. The screen shot was of an audience watching a play produced on the new Nick Jr show "Victorious." Syd had the giggles.
"Look. It's a Muffis," she said between chuckles.
I saw old people, young people and the guy who plays Spencer on iCarly, and a nun.
"Right there," she pointed out on the screen. The nun.
"That's a nun, not a Muffis."
"What is a Muffis?"
"I don't know. You're the one who said it."
"When did they start calling Muffises nuns?"
By this time, I'm laughing so hard I'm crying. She's laughing at me.
"Nuns have never been muffises. They've always been nuns. Or sisters. Never a muffis."
We giggled until it hurt. About 10 minutes later, we calmed down.
"So what is a Muffis?" Syd asked. I started laughing all over again.
I couldn't wait to tell Jim. He's Catholic and proudly owns a pair of boxing nun puppets. Or boxing Muffis puppets. Whatever.
He chucked. "Muffis? Where did that come from?"
A couple of days went by with no Muffis discussion which is great because she's been going to vacation Bible school at a local Baptist Church. I didn't want her to ask if they have Muffises.
But this morning it started again.
Roman was snuggled by Sydney in bed. I went in to wake her up and all we could see of him was his front paws sticking out of the cover. When he heard us talking, he stuck his head partway out of the blanket.
"He looks like a Muffis," Sydney said.
"You mean a nun?"
"No, a Muffis, like on TV that night."
So I thought it would be a good time to talk about religions.
"Nuns..." I began.
"You mean Muffises."
Okay. "Muffises are very special women who are members of the Catholic Church. Daddy is Catholic. The Muffises are very special to his church. They are teachers and in many small churches do many of the duties a preacher would do. They devote their lives to God and to helping the church."
I wasn't sure what else to say. I'm not Catholic. I always thought I should be. I had a series of dreams when I was 19 that made me think the Catholic Church would have a huge role in my life. So, I went to the library and checked out a bunch of books about the Catholic Church. I always thought you could become anything if you could read enough about it. That's why I never read any of those Hobbit or vampire books. I've never had any desire to be either of those. Maybe a bad decision since vampires are very trendy right now. Anyway....
When Jim invited me to Mass for the first time, I was excited. The first time we went to his old church in Pine Bluff, the priest said, "Now, greet your neighbor with the sign of peace." There was only one peace sign I knew, and just as I was about to flash the Richard Nixon one when my mother in law quickly took my hand and shook it. "Peace be with you," she said, holding back a laugh. That wasn't in any of the books I'd read.
I think it's time to take Syd to Mass again. She went as a baby, but was too little to remember it. Poor Jim. He'll have his work cut out for him. Keeping me from doing the wrong gesture or drinking out of the Holy water fountain was always challenging enough. Now he'll have Muffis patrol, too.