I’ve had some really bad dates, y’all. You know this. You were there for them. There have even been a few that have left me crying in frustration, because I’m convinced that “I am going to die alone!” Just as Gaily knows that “I wish Kitty Foreman were my mom!” means a mommy issues day, the above sentence is code for “ask me about my bad date.” That’s all the tears have ever been, though: the product of frustration. I’ve never actually been so hurt or offended as to cry… until my last date with Assistant Manager.
Assistant Manager was the 34-year-old Catholic, with whom I had a decent first date last Thursday. We chatted at Starbuck’s and seemed to get along well. As much as I wanted to take some time off from the dating world, the situation seemed promising, so I made a second date. Once again, I’d talked myself into dreading meeting up with him. He’d seemed a bit over eager (wanting to plan multiple dates at a time) and had some mildly irritating mannerisms and habits, like calling every time I texted him. Dude, if I wanted to talk to you, I’d call. You pretty much have to be related by blood or offering me a job to get me on the phone.
However, I knew I was being ridiculous. I prayed about it and tried to get myself into a good mindset, since the plans had already been made. When Assistant Manager asked what I wanted to do, because men are incapable of making plans anymore, I just said that getting a drink would be fine, because I had somewhere to be the next morning at 9:30. I even got cute and actually put on shoes, despite the fact that it’s summer.
On the phone, Assistant Manager had mentioned that he’d been working all day and was “nasty,” because it’s so hot. Way to turn a gal on, dude. I gave him plenty of time to shower and even mentioned that that’s what I was doing, but he still showed up to the bar looking disheveled and unwashed. He didn’t smell much better, but I felt like I was being shallow to fixate, though he’d been quite polished on our first date. He asked where I wanted to sit and seemed put out when I chose a table instead of a booth. So far, he’d done a complete 180 from our first date, but I sat and we talked, as I breathed through my nose and sipped my Diet Pepsi. We chatted about what jobs he’d held before his current one and he essentially gave me his life story, which was fine, because I’d wondered why he wasn’t further in his company at 34 if that was his goal. Then, I brought up another issue I felt was important: religion.
Y’all, I have atheist friends, Protestant friends, Christian friends who don’t call themselves Protestant, Jewish friends, et cetera. I legitimately do not care what other people believe, but this man’s main attraction was Catholicism and the fact that he was specifically seeking a devout Catholic woman. I’m also not raising kids with my atheist and Jewish friends and think I could accomplish doing so with someone who was any of the others. I just feel that any major theological disagreements, such as The Jesus Thing, are too big of an issue for a romantic relationship. End disclaimer.
On our first date, Assistant Manager had made a quick comment about disagreeing with a lot of ideas and practices within the Catholic Church. As someone who is pretty Catholic and has few to zero problems with the Church doctrine, I wanted to know more about this. Does he resent the Church? What exactly does he think should be changed? Well, in addition to admitting he didn’t even own a bible, the short answer is… yes and everything. Here are just a few problems he has with the Catholic Church:
Women can’t be priests.
Priests can’t marry.
You must confess mortal sins to a Priest to receive Absolution.
Homosexuality is a sin.
You must receive six months of marital preparation to receive the Sacrament of Marriage, or it’s not a Sacrament and is not recognized by the Church.
Assistant Manager: “So, have I made you mad yet?”
Me: “I’m not mad or offended. Most of my friends don’t agree with those things. I just don’t understand why you identify so strongly as Catholic, if you disagree with everything the Church teaches. The main thing that sets Catholicism apart from Protestantism is the acceptance of the authority of the Pope and all of those things are under his authority.”
Assistant Manager: “Well, I don’t disagree with everything.”
Me: “Do you believe in transubstantiation? Do you believe that the bread actually becomes the Body of Christ?”
Assistant Manager: “It’s just symbolism. Everybody does it. They all take Communion, but it’s just symbolism.”
Me: “But that’s like the defining feature of the Catholic Church. It’s one of the primary teachings.”
Assistant Manager: “It’s still just symbolism. Do you seriously believe that a biscuit becomes the Body of Christ?” :laughingly:
Me: “Yes. I do.”
Ass: “Well, um… those are your beliefs and that’s fine, of course.”
Um, dude, that would hold a lot more weight, if you hadn’t guffawed at one of the fundamentals of my faith. He laughed y’all! He called the Eucharist a biscuit and laughed at me! Texan Engineer unwittingly implied that I was unintelligent for believing in Christ, but as an atheist, he did not laugh in my face. I could actually deal with the fact that Assistant Manager didn’t believe in Transubstantiation. I just didn’t understand why he still considered himself Catholic, if that were the case. In fact, the only answer he ever gave to that was that he likes traditional service. When I pointed out that many Protestant churches offer traditional service and described Janet’s church, he mocked her for believing the earth was only 6,000 years old. You don’t have to agree with someone (unless it’s the Pope, the issue is Transubstantiation, and you call yourself Catholic), but you don’t get to openly mock them. You sure as heck don’t get to giggle about my spell casting and call Christ a biscuit!!!!!!
Assistant Manager: “How do we even know he ever existed? What proof do we have?”
Me: “We don’t. That’s what faith is.”
Assistant Manager: “Fine. You have all the faith in the world. What if, when you die, you close your eyes and there’s just nothing?”
Me: “Then I’ve lived a good life. I’ve helped people and done as little harm as possible. The flipside of that is ‘what if, when you die, you burn in Hell for not accepting Christ?’ That’s obviously not a reason to believe, but that’s the counterargument.”
Assistant Manager: “Well, people will accept him when they get there and they see him. I don’t believe Jesus is enough of a dick to do that… to cast them into Hell just because they don’t believe. If he wanted them to believe, he should’ve proven he was real when they asked.”
…. anaaaand now I wanna know how you identify as Christian, when you open a conversation with debating whether or not Christ ever existed. Once again, I don’t care what other people believe, but this guy made it clear that he wanted a devout Catholic. The Church teaches that the only way into heaven is through the acceptance of Christ. You know what, though? I could deal with his disagreement on that. Most Catholics have one or two teachings they don’t fully accept. If he believes that being a good person will get someone into heaven, regardless of their acceptance or denial of Christ, fine. He’d hardly be alone in that. But this man disagreed with every issue I mentioned, which makes him, by definition, not Catholic. If you do not recognize the teachings or doctrines of the Catholic Church, it doesn’t matter how you were raised. You aren’t Catholic. I can date a non-Catholic (who is aware of this fact), though. That’s fine. We’ll do Wednesday night Protestant service and Sunday morning Mass. I cannot emphasize enough, though, that Assistant Manager called Christ a biscuit and laughed in my face.
Ultimately, I changed the subject. He told me about how great his people skills are and how wonderful of a communicator he is, after offending the waitress with the way he told her that his beer was warm. We spoke on that topic for about 10 minutes and then I sort of just gracelessly got up and left. I have never left a date more offended or upset, and that includes the guy who had five beers in one hour.
Ass: Well shall we go out again?
Me: I don’t think so. I’m really just not feeling it. I think I’m gonna take a break from dating for awhile. It was nice meeting you, though, and I wish you luck.
Ass: I figured you just bolted
Me: Well, I actually do have to be up tomorrow. Honestly, I deleted my free profiles a little while ago. I really do just need a break.
Ass: So if I may ask what was it
Me: It really wasn’t anything. About a week into talking, I decided I wanted to delete all my profiles, but I felt like I should give it a shot.
Ass: You really are a great girl. I hope you find what you are looking for.
Part of what I’d prayed for was to be kind, no matter how the date went. So, I did not respond with “SERIOUSLY?” when he asked why. I did not tell him that I hope he realizes what he’s looking for, because it ain’t a devout Catholic… or even just a semi-serious Christian. I lied. If I’d have told the truth, he’d have continued with his pathetic backtracking efforts and nothing he could have possibly said would have made up for cackling about my pastry worship.
Through my tears, I told several friends what had happened, none of whom are Catholic or believe in Transubstantiation.
Never-Swears Karol: Sounds like a douche.
Catherine: How are you going to SPECIFY that you are a Catholic and that you WANT A CATHOLIC GIRL and then blaspheme the entire concept of Catholicism?!?!?!?! And I’m not even Catholic!!!
Lacy: I am sorry he laughed at you. I realize we have some instances where our faiths/denominations differ, but I would never laugh at someone it’s disrespectful and cruel.