I’ve always been drawn to Catholicism, even though I don’t necessarily believe in God – or, more specifically, in his baby Jesus incarnation. Although I am willing to admit life would be a lot easier if I did. Still, even without Jesus, and even factoring in the papal stance on condoms and the paedophilia and the wayward, perverted clergymen, there is a lot to be said for Catholicism.
For example, all the women in The Sopranos are Catholics, and I’ve already told you how I feel about them. And I like candles, and the way Catholic churches drip with glamour – none of that po-faced Protestant pre-fab; no greying widows putting on a brave face in beige twin-sets, no sermons led by a clean-living, well-meaning brunette from the Home Counties. With the Catholics it’s all twisted Irish priests and frankincense and gold goblets and scarlet window panes that dapple you in pinky sunlight while you sit in the pews and, between sobs, beg whoever it is that controls this shit to give you a break.
Also, I’m a big fan of the Virgin Mary in her chic blue headscarf – I’m sure I don’t have to remind you that La Madonna’s credentials include being impregnated during an Angel visitation and giving birth on a Donkey, both with minimal fuss. This is what being an independent woman is all about, as far as I’m concerned.
But, despite its merits, I haven’t converted to Catholicism yet. There are a number of reasons for this – such as that I don’t really want to be Christened, due to the fact that not being Christened has sometimes got me attention, and also I firmly believe that if you’re going to subscribe to fidelity as lifestyle choice (which I so will if I’m fortunate enough to enter into a sexual relationship again in this lifetime) then both partners better properly commit to that lifestyle choice or else someone is getting his penis removed, with a sharp thing and no anaesthetic (even if only metaphorically).
Mainly though the reason I have not yet converted to Catholicism is because I once met a woman who told me – after I had waxed lyrical about Mary and her blue shawl and the pretty dapply light refracting through the stained glass windows – that it was inappropriate to choose a religion based on its imagery. And I thought, ‘okay. Breathe. Let’s be fair: I don’t like you much because you’ve made me look a fool and you have a terrible condescending voice that is in no way made more endearing by your backwards Yorkshire accent, but yes, you’ve got a point. One should not choose a religion based on its imagery.’
Having conceded to this truism I realise it’s not only religion I’ve been choosing based on imagery. It’s men as well. I now accept that this is unwise, and might well explain why romances rarely work out for me. It is not a good idea to go for men with strong features who exude an air of reckless danger, who don leisure-wear outside of their own homes or the gym, who drip with Catholic glamour in the form of crucifixes and stained glass eyeballs, especially once you are over the age of nineteen.
Just as I am an atheist because my instincts towards religion have been highlighted as wildly immature, so too I am single because my instincts toward potential romances stalled somewhere around late adolescence. Fortunately, however, though my libido and theological drive remained nineteen, the rest of me grew up – the result being that I am too sensible to give in to my damaged, glamour-hungry instincts. Thus I am destined to be single until emotional maturity arrives. Which is definitely a good thing because I have been socialising with couples lately and, while I might love one or two of them dearly, and while there are of course exceptions to the rule (yes, Amy you are the exception to the rule and the proof, thank God, that there are men worth waiting for) I would probably engage in self harm if I had to stand beside a man smiling in a simpering manner and making small talk about my domestic future with bitter but, admittedly, fabulous single people who held both my ambitions and my dress sense in contempt. Singles who were, you know, both intellectually superior to and better looking than me.
It’s like I always say: you can’t have it all.
Image by artur84 at freedigitalphotos.net