To be or not to be…Catholic.

This past weekend I ventured to church with Momma Sassy (as I attempt to do every week) for the Sunday evening “last chance” Mass.  It was a nice service as usual and we had the beginnings of Christmas music, as it was the second Sunday of Advent for us Catholics.  This particular Sunday for some reason I was a bit distracted by lots of different things and had trouble focusing on the message (which was that we should prepare the way for the little Baby Jesus! In a non-Pottery Barn Kids kind of way), and here’s why: dreams of Catholic sugarplum husbands dancing in my head. No worries, I’ll explain.

Enter Little Drummer Boy. Yes I know it’s a fan favorite Christmas song, but that’s not what I’m referring to. A few years ago, the [extremely good looking] young gentleman drummer that plays every week at church asked me out. I mean! Every Catholic mother’s dream, having her kid asked out at church. Especially in my family, as all of you probably know the first question I am asked by my dear mother when she hears I have met someone is whether or not he is Catholic. (“Ma, I met our mail man at work today, he’s such a nice old man.” “Oh! Is he Catholic??” Seriously.) If the answer is no, then the next question is how close is it to Catholicism and what are the odds we can convert him! Pronto! First date: Bring him to Mass. Anywho I’m deviating. So I went out with this young man, who is now affectionately known as Little Drummer Boy, or LDB (not to his face of course, brnt).  Our date was nice, we had a lot in common and he was older, dark, built, ethnic, into church, played soccer, and was going to be a doctor in less than 2 semesters.  You guys! Jackpot! Whatever, we had zero chemistry from my point of view and it went nowhere after about 3 weeks of courtship. Well I still see said young man at church on the reg, and despite our failed pre-relationship, he was good on paper and the kind of man every mother and father want for their only daughter.  Seeing him spawned this train of thought that ended up distracting me in a major way. Which in turn caused me to constantly scold myself and check back in with the singing and sitting and standing and sign of the cross and sitting again routine.  Moving on.

The next thing that triggered this odd thought train was our weekly bulletin. Ma always gets it before Mass so we can scoot out right after Communion. JK we never do that.  So during the service, it’s sitting in between us, face down, with the adverts page facing up.  And my eye is drawn to the largest ad on there, which is for – prepare yourself – CatholicMatch.com.  A dating service just for Catholics! Another dream of all Catholic mothers! There would be no questions, except how many goats does he have and how soon can we get married!! So I’m very taken aback by this website and got to thinking…if I am, like, really Catholic (you know, vs. sort of Catholic or Easter/Christmas Only Catholic), how important is it that my life mate and future baby daddy be Catholic as well? Depends who you ask.  Ask a Catholic or Jewish mother and I guarantee you they will both agree, it is necessary that their son or daughter choose a life partner that subscribes to the same newsletter.  As my mother says, a bird can marry a fish, but where would they make a home? My answer was always “maybe it’s a flying fish and that special bird that can swim under water for long periods of time!” But I’m a smart ass and in real life not everyone is as special as a fish with wings or a bird with crazy weird lungs.  But perhaps there is a merman out there for me, no?

In the 8th grade I “went out” (in the middle school sense that you were somehow dating someone but never did anything with that other person except pass notes and giggle…or maybe it was just me, whatev) with a nice Jewish boy. It lasted about 3 or 4 weeks before the inevitable end came. My version of the story is that his mother found out I was Catholic, or more importantly that I wasn’t Jewish and promptly informed him to end it or lose his inheritance.  I added that part on the end but you get me.  So Jewish vs. Catholic conflict is understandable, as there are significant differences and a child raised in that home would be sufficiently confused by the age of 4. But other situations in which the two people are simply different flavors of Christian are perhaps less important, and I’d argue that it depends on each person and their individual commitment to that particular brand of faith.  So here’s what I conclude (for today anyway): I will say no thank you to any man who is atheist.  It is a deal breaker if you are a hater of the Catholic faith and make fun of my religion.  I do not tolerate ignorant haters.  And while this topic was a major distraction to me during our service and gave me cause for this intriguing and thought-provoking post, I will remain open-minded and take whatever the Big Man decides to throw at me.  Because really, who am I to judge?

Stay tuned for more Catholic contemplations down the road.

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