Headcanons of Joseph and Mary: OTP of the New Testament

In the world of fandoms, there is something called OTP also known as One True Pairing. It basically means “the relationship that fans of a show love the most.” In the Bible, there are many beautiful relationships. My OTP is Joseph and Mary

I only gained a devotion to the Holy Family recently, but I would sometimes talk on Tumblr with other Catholics about what Joseph and Mary’s life could’ve been like. These speculations are called “headcanon.”

An example from a past Tumblr post:

  • Who decorates the house: Even though Joseph made all the furniture in their house, Mary is the one who always makes sure that the house is filled with flowers and little things she gathers from walking around town.
  • Who does the cooking: Mary does the cooking as per tradition. She taught Jesus how to cook, too.
  • Who kills the spiders: Neither of them kill spiders, but instead release the spiders to a safe outdoor area as far away from their house as possible.
  • Who is more organized: Mary. I’m very certain that she came up with the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness.”
  • Who wakes up first: Joseph. He always smiles at his wife and child before getting up.
  • Who has the weird taste in music: Given that they had limited means of listening to music at the time, they both take what they get.
  • Who spends the most while out shopping: Joseph. He wants to make sure that what he gets is perfect.
  • Who sings in the shower: Mary. Joseph does hum, though.
  • Who cries during movies: Given that the closest thing they had to movies was folk tales and stories from Scripture, neither of them.
  • What’s their favorite non-sexual activity: Since neither of them have sex, Mary and Joseph pray. A lot.
  • Who is more protective: Joseph.
  • Who’s the cuddler: Also Joseph. He’s not much for words, after all.
  • Who’s the big spoon/little spoon: Joseph always spoons behind Mary. And it’s always my headcanon that they share a bed even though they don’t have sex because they love each other romantically.
  • Who kisses more roughly: Neither of them.
  • My rating of the ship from 1-10: 10! They’re 2/3 of the Holy Family!

I’ve written about my personal Joseph/Mary headcanon before. But my friends on Tumblr and I  are not the only ones who love speculating on

My dad, who has an amazing devotion to St. Joseph, has a book called Joseph the Silent by Michael Gasnier, O.P., which goes into detail about the kind of man St. Joseph was. There’s also a famous story of how Joseph became betrothed to Mary as described in the Protoevangelium of James: when it came time for Mary to find a husband, the priests of the temple called on all the eligible men to place their rods in the temple and the owner of the rod that would flower would become Mary’s husband. Joseph’s was the one that bloomed. However, the Protoevangelium of James speculated that Joseph was an old widower.

Rachel and Kateri made this video about what Fulton Sheen said about St. Joseph, who thought that St. Joseph was probably a young man, closer to Mary’s age (14):

Even fellow Patheos blogger Rebecca Frech goes into her headcanon on what Mary was like (or at least her kids do). Hopefully, we’ll see what her kids have to say about St. Joseph soon.

Which brings me to the question everyone’s asking: Why speculate about Joseph and Mary if it’s not in the Bible?

Headcanons are a very weird and funny thing. I think the reason we love speculating about Joseph and Mary is because headcanons make the characters (or in this case Biblical figures) feel more human. We can imagine Mary and Joseph as people and not just as images depicted on stained glass windows or statues that are part of a Nativity set.

We can imagine 14 year-old Mary turning to the handsome, young possibly 17-year-old Joseph for comfort and strength when she couldn’t deal with everything on her own. We can imagine the two of them trying to raise Jesus even as they deal with the constant mood changes that come with adolescence and young adulthood. We can imagine Joseph dying at a young age, in the arms of Jesus and Mary, and realize how short life can be.

St. Joseph, bring us closer to Jesus and Mary and grant us the grace of a happy death.

 

JMJ

Simplicity Project Progress Report And Coming Attractions

Happy Chinese New Year!

In honor of the end of the month and the start of the Chinese New Year, I’m gonna give a progress report on my Simplicity Project.

As I’ve stated before, I’ve been taking photos every day as part of my personal 365grateful project.

Here are what I consider the best photos that I took this month.

And as far as novel writing is concerned, I finally found a website where I could submit my work to have it critiqued by others in the industry. It’s called “Scribophile” and the way the website works is that once you join, you critique works from other writers in order to gain enough karma points to post your own work. Give to get.

TRIGGER WARNING ABOUT ANXIETY AHEAD. IF YOU HAVE AN ANXIETY DISORDER OF ANY SORT, PROCEED WITH CAUTION OR SKIP AHEAD.

While it was easy for me to look over the works of others and give a critique, I wasn’t quite as ready when I received my first in-depth critique. I was super-close to having an anxiety attack. Why? Because the last time I put my work out there for others to criticize, I actually had an anxiety attack and nobody was there to help me. In fact, the leader of the writing class was so unsympathetic that she told me to drop the class or else she would kick me out. I left the class crying and felt scared of her whenever we were in the same room. But thankfully, now I can be in the same room as her without wanting to head for the hills.

THIS HAS CONCLUDED THE TRIGGER WARNING

This time, I decided to take my time reading the in-depth critiques. I made a cup of chamomile, which always calms me down and kept telling myself that I needed the feedback. I took notes on what I thought I should change and ignored what I felt was right for the story. And after reading the first in-depth critique, I took a break and felt relieved. Reading the second in-depth critique was a lot easier now that I knew what to expect. I know it sounds really amateur of me to worry so much, but this was the first time I really had my work critiqued in-depth in years. So overall, I’m proud of myself for overcoming my fears and doubts towards receiving critiques from other people.

I also read one book this month and am planning to read 11 more new books in 2014. Books on my list include Strange Gods by Elizabeth Scalia and The Kick-Ass Writer: 1001 Ways to Write Great Fiction, Get Published, & Earn Your Audience. I’ve also subscribed to daily quotes from The Society of the Little Flower, a group devoted to St. Therese of Liseux, one of my patron saints for 2014. And I’ll tell you right now, St. Therese is awesome. The quotes I’ve read have given me a lot of comfort and she recently answered a prayer of mine after I prayed a novena dedicated to her.

Next month on my blog, I will be writing a series of themed posts. Every Tuesday in February will be titled “True Love Tuesday” in which I ramble about my favorite couples from television. Oh yes. We’re gonna delve into the wonderful world of shipping. You have been warned. Every Friday in February, on the other hand, will get a little more philosophical with C.S. Lewis’s The Four Loves. Entitled “Four Loves Friday,” I will be writing a series of posts focusing on one of the four loves that C.S. Lewis goes in-depth about. I’ll also be looking more into St. Paul Miki, who is another patron saint for 2014, by getting to know more about Jesuit spirituality.

I’ll end this blog with a quote from my simplicity-themed planner. (Yes, I found one at Barnes & Noble for half-off. Total score!)

Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it- J. Petit Senn, French-Swiss poet.