Saturday 20 June 2015

Rare Jewels

It's Seraphic Singles Saturday, and I am reflecting on an email I got from a reader who went on a first date with a convert, which seemed to go very well, and then his perhaps over-the-top enthusiasm suddenly melted into a puddle of silence.

My Nice Catholic Girl reader wondered what she did wrong, for this was (my version) a Nice Catholic Boy in his thirties, and they are rare in her neck of the woods, etc, etc.

My first thought was that this supposed Nice Catholic Boy was a jerk for coming on so strong and then losing all interest, behaving more like a kid of my generation who was crazy for Space Invaders until PacMan came along than like a polite adult man whose life presumably revolves around God.

My next thought was that, though NCB are indeed probably rare in her neck of the woods, so are NCGs. If NCBs are so precious and desirable to NCGs, then surely NCGs must be precious and desirable to NCBs, too.

Now I shall ponder Benedict Ambrose, which I often do, being married to him, and the fact that he was still Single at 36, which was surely a miracle. There was dear old B.A., cheerful, intelligent, well-educated, witty, attractive to women and also, one must add, attracted TO women, and yet he was still not married when I came along, and WHY?

I'll tell you why. It was because there were no Nice Catholic Women in their thirties around. The only Scottish one he knew became a nun. When I came buzzing by Edinburgh on holiday, I had a sad sense that B.A. would make some nice super-trad, Latin Mass going girl a great husband. Little did I know it would be some years before such a girl stumbled upon B.A.'s Latin Mass community.

Meanwhile B.A., meeting a woman who actually thought his interest in Catholicism was an amazing feature instead of a bug, acted decisively, so here I am in a Scottish attic instead of having brunch in Toronto where I belong, help, help! I had been to a Trad Latin Mass only once in my life before I met B.A., and I had found it extremely confusing and dull. However, I was open to looking at it again, and I thought B.A. was super-cool, and I have red hair like all his principal crush objects, so here I am.

In Toronto, where there is a large and vibrant Catholic community, there are a lot of NCGs and NCBs. A lot. In Edinburgh, where there isn't, not so many. And therefore, I recommend to NCGs from big Catholic communities to go out of their way to meet NCBs from smaller communities because they might not be feeling so spoiled for choice.

When I think of the vast cultural divide between devoutly Catholic men and non-Catholic women in general, I really have to wonder why, after an eye-opening foray into The World Out There, devoutly Catholic men do not throw themselves at the feet of the nearest, good-natured, reasonably good-looking (to them), devoutly Catholic woman and propose marriage. And when I say, devoutly, I mean, obedient to the precepts of Humanae Vitae. I mean, if so many not-so-devout Catholic couples use artificial birth control, just imagine the likelihood of a non-Catholic woman throwing her Pills away, let alone accepting the Speech with good grace.

This reminds me of an anecdote from my undergrad days. A guy I knew from my Catholic college walked a girl from another college home after a college club meeting, and she was initially delighted because she fancied him. She invited him in, but with some reluctance he said he couldn't, and off he went to his own bed in his own dorm, five doors down from Father Whatsit. The girl consulted me as a mutual friend. Was he gay? she wondered.

"No. It was probably because he's Catholic," I said.

"Huh?!" said the girl and, you know, it's too depressing to continue. That was around 1992.  Now somewhere someone is probably writing a homily about how cruel it is for Catholic men not to go to bed with lustful non-Catholic women, and how we must accept such lustfulness as a Sign of the Times and the mutual mingling of flesh as a form of interreligious dialogue, etc.

So as rare and precious as Nice Catholic Boys might seem---and, incidentally there's more to "Nice" than not just demanding premarital sex as a "normal part of an adult relationship"--I posit that Nice Catholic Girls of the same area are just as rare and precious. You shouldn't put up with nonsense from any man, and you shouldn't feel sorrowful and self-doubting when a supposed Nice Catholic Boy stops texting. His loss, my little sugarplum!

A NOTE: If you are interested in someone in your community, it is best not to tell people in that community, in case you later have second thoughts. If you tell Mary Kate's or John Paul's pals that you really fancy Mary Kate or John Paul, then you can bet your last penny that Mary Kate's/John Paul's pals will tell him/her. They will also tell other people, and this will create an environment of pleased expectation which may be very embarrassing to Mary Kate/John Paul, particularly if she/he indicates that she/he welcomes your regard and you drop him/her flat. What kind of self-absorbed, insensitive, unstable weirdo are you, your community might think. Shame, shame, shame.


  1. Oh man, you mean men in their thirties do that too? But why?

    Sometimes I think (with all affection) that men are pretty much just like toddlers. After seeing my male friend's share house the other day, I feel that there's a case for that argument.

  2. Well, this one did. "Why?" is probably an unanswerable question.

    Neither my father, brothers nor husband are in the least bit like toddlers. Meanwhile when I think about toddlers I know, they are horribly clingy and not all that articulate, unlike the chap in this story. No, I cannot agree that men in general are at all like toddlers. I caution that thinking so will radiate from you like a force field repelling all men who are worth knowing.

    The best way to attract men is to smile upon them all thinking, "Men! How marvellous! How cuddly and fun to dance with! How I wish one of them would take me out and buy me drinks and fattening things!"


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