Perched atop a rustic bench in the snug of an Irish pub with a full pint at the end of a bent elbow in a tony suburban Orlando neighborhood, I was ready for what I thought might be the toughest writing assignment of my career.
My friend was dealing with a very lonely Irish mother in law and he was hoping to find her someone for the holidays. I was told that she was an extremely devout Catholic woman originally from Offaly who decided to set up shop on dating websites after a daughter and two girlfriends found love online and I was pitched as “the funny New York writer” in town to compose a snappy profile that would attract Mr. Right.
She took a stab at writing about her ideal man and I rolled my eyes when I read in her email about the blessings of her grandchildren and how she was “looking for a man that knows his place on this earth as a servant to our Lord.” Jesus, take the wheel because I had some work to do here!
While I was told she was well preserved and certainly could appreciate the beautiful daughter she created for my friend to marry, I was still expecting Susan Boyle’s older ugly stepsister to walk in the door all the same.
My jaw dropped when I locked eyes with my friend and saw the impossibly curvaceous sixty seven year old woman standing next to him. She had cat-like eyes and a porcelain complexion that lurked beneath luxuriant waves of bleached blonde hair. Her alluring voice was roughed up by cigarettes and the brogue was fighting the good fight against a skuzzy southern drawl.
After composing myself and ordering a round of drinks, I expressed disbelief that she would be seeking companionship. In the course of an hour, the puzzle pieces started to fit.
Like so many of us, a ghost of some frigid grade school nun was screeching in her ear about the sins of the flesh. You know the rap: sex is something not to be enjoyed, certainly not before marriage. After faithfully serving two deceased husbands and raising churchgoing adult children, I’m sure our charitable Maker would look the other way if this good woman rounded the bases of love in her last few innings.
Brides of Christ back in the day may have been excellent public servants and educators, but looking back, one can’t help but think they were trying to stamp out sexuality with the same sensible shoes that stamped out their own. A nun like the one Meryl Streep played in “Doubt” educated me on the birds and the bees, and I still remember how her face looked like she had a rotten wedge of grapefruit in her gob as she described each sin in detail and what menu of punishments waited for us in Beelzebub’s Buffet. To this day I see her in my head with a straw broom every time I have trouble brushing an impure thought away on my own.
I figured if we were going to hell for helping this active senior sin, we might as well have fun this evening, so I ordered myself a whiskey and began with my one-liners.
“Not looking for a man to turn loaves into fishes, but if you can raise the dead in bed, fair play to you!”
She gazed at my friend with a look that said “I told you this wasn’t a good idea.” I fretted with the fringes of my cocktail napkin nervously.
“OK, how about ‘my list for the confessional is boring and I am looking for new sins to fry my friar?” She blessed herself and cackled. “Jesus, Mary, and Joseph!”
Negotiations ensued that made Hilary Clinton’s Pakistan trip look easy, and soon we were making considerable headway as the evening wore on.
The liquor massaged our cerebellum as we got up and stumbled into the night air, but not before logging onto her account from my Iphone and uploading the following post to her profile page.
Catholic Cougar Looking to Prey
Are you tired of getting disappointed by lovers promising to turn water into wine? Yeah, I know the feeling. Good Irish Catholic woman looking for a reason to stay in bed on a Sunday morning, providing we make it to 5:30 Mass the night before.
Seeking a clean guy older than the Son of God but younger than Abraham. Jesus is my ideal man, but kindly click your mouse somewhere else if you are 33, single, into piercings, and living with a mother who thinks you walk on water. Been there, done that.
I’m not looking for marriage, though it would be nice. I guess I’m just looking to turn a love life of Sorrowful Mysteries into something joyful. Wink if interested.