I’ve been checking on Big Dating Site obsessively over the last week or so, like an addict sweating through cold turkey and I couldn’t help myself – I accepted a date.
I was totally being picky though and had decided I wasn’t just going to choose anyone – no more heartache for Patty’s plump little heart.
And there was the kiss. All pleasant-looking and normal-sounding and younger than me (can I really tick the toy boy fantasy of the bucket list? Yay!). His profile showed a well-rounded fellow and was full of excitingly adequate spelling and grammar.
Having been all bitten and let down as you well know, I tried not to get too excited about our date on Sunday evening and slapped myself around the head every time I started fantasising about everything going perfectly and ever after and all that. So going in with low expectations, I was super pleasantly surprised to find someone who looked exactly like his profile and smiled warmly at me.
We went through two cups of coffee and I couldn’t believe it – a date that was going well! I wasn’t exactly seeing fireworks or anything, but pleasant chit chat, no inappropriate questions or comments, he didn’t ridicule the people around me and was pleasant to the waiter.
So when he suggested we grab some dinner, of course I said yes.
After we’d made our orders (I went for the claypot crab and scallop, he for the vegetable pie), he said “Actually Patty, there’s someone I want you to meet.”
Huh? Surely he didn’t think it was appropriate for me to meet his kids or his parents or something half way through our first date. For me it’s still about four dates too early to even introduce someone to my cat Irony.
He clasped my hands and looked into my eyes. “I want to introduce you to your saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Now, I’m all for religious tolerance, live and let live and all (hey, some of my best friends are believers), but I don’t believe in god. It says ‘atheist’ right there on my Big Dating Site profile. His, I recall, said ‘Christian (other)’.
“Um, thanks,” I said, “but actually I’m an atheist. It says so on my profile.”
“I know,” he said. “That’s why I asked you out. I want to save you, Patty. I want to save you from an eternity of burning in hell.”
“Thanks again, but I don’t believe in hell, so I’m really not worried about going there.”
“I’m going to help you open your heart to God,” he assured me.
Do you see what he did there? Totally on-purpose stealth mission in waiting til we ordered food before revealing the crazy. Nothing up to then suggested he was on a mission and now I was stuck there!
“I’m sorry,” I said, “I’m really not interested in talking about religion. Can we talk about something else?”
“Without God there is nothing else. I don’t know what Satan did to lure you away, but I’m here to help you find your way back – back to your saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.”
“I really don’t want to talk about it.”
“Don’t be afraid. You’re a sinner, Patty. And sinners need to be saved. I can help lead you on the path to salvation.”
Someone at a table nearby got their claypot crab and scallop and it looked and smelled absolutely amazing, bubbling away inside a proper clay pot. Meanwhile, my date was busy quoting some sort of scripture to me. How come when zealots quote scripture they pick the weird passages that are all wishy-washy and don’t seem to make any sense? Whereas non-zealous Christians quote the cool things Jesus was supposed to have said which are hard to disagree with, because Jesus sounded like a pretty cool lovey hippy dude, unlike his Dad who sounds a bit crazy.
“Look,” I finally snapped, desperately hoping dinner would be here any minute and really glad I was pretending I wasn’t a total piggy and so didn’t order dessert at the same time. “To me religion is a fairy tale. Let’s just agree to disagree, can we?”
“It’s evolution that’s the fairy tale, Patty. Satan has poisoned your mind.” All the while he was smiling at me in an oh-so-pleasant but-maybe-not-all-there manner. “But you can be saved.”
It was pretty obvious that this wasn’t going anywhere any good, but I really wanted my dinner now, especially as I’d have to pay for it anyway. So I decided to ask him some questions about whether he believed the bible literally (“I believe the Bible is the word of God”), how did he explain the inconsistencies (“There are no inconsistencies if you read it with a pure heart”) and so on to fill in time until my dinner came.
The crab and scallop claypot was worth the wait, but a bit hard to enjoy as I scoffed it down in record time. I could see people around me doing that “tut tut, and she probably wonders why she’s fat” thing that skinny people do.
So did he ever actually want to go on a date with me? It seems he uses Big Dating Site stalking atheists and looking for souls to save. I wonder if that gets him some sort of fast track to heaven or a better job when he gets there or something.
So apparently wicked, sinful me can look forward to burning in the fires of hell for all eternity. But so long as there’s claypot crab and scallop there, I can deal with that.