Mar. 1st, 2010

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Christey got into an ice cream mood, and we have a great ice cream shack down the street from us. So, 50F degrees or so with a north wind whipping down the lagoon, and here I am standing in a surprisingly long line for ice cream.

I'm thinking it's tourists, except they're all shivering and dressed warmly (I'm in a long-sleeve, but no jacket, and regretting it), which would indicate locals, not tourists. Sure enough, the guy ahead of me says, "Man, this is chilly." I nod and say: "It's too cold for ice cream, but my wife wants a peanut butter cup freeze, so here I am." He looks at me for a sec, then says: "How long have you been married?" I say: "Almost four years." He looks at me some more, then says: "Are you a Christian?"

Now, that's kind of a loaded and complicated question. I'm not in the mood for a conversation about Jesus while standing in line for ice cream in the cold. Then again, I don't necessarily knee-jerk against the proselytizer stereotype. I could go on, but basically, I just said my normal response, which is pretty much the truth without getting into a lot of nuances: "Yep, I'm Catholic." Of those who ask "Are you a Christian" to perfect strangers, some accept that response, some recoil against Catholicism as quickly as if I mentioned Anton LaVey, and some consider it a good start towards a conversion to their own particular sect.

This guy looks at me for a good ten or fifteen seconds, then names a comedian I've never heard of, who has a whole routine about marriage and husbands and wives. "But he's a Christian, so it's funny, but it's cool, because he's a Christian." I didn't catch the name of the comedian (a northern gust whipped down the water, causing my teeth to chatter), then his turn was up, so he had to relay the order for his entire family and we never spoke again. I'll have to look up Christian comedians and marriage stand-up routines on YouTube, though. I'm curious.


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