Food, Faith & Fears

* * *

I’ve found that certain conversation topics inevitably come up during a first date. I call them, “The Three F’s.” Food, Faith & Fears.

The only other thing I’ve learned from a first date is this – be yourself.

(Which is why I usually don’t have many second dates.)

* * *


“So what made you finally ask me out?”

“Huh? Oh, I passed the Chinese food delivery guy the other day on my way home from work and he waved at me. What is that all about, right? Are we friends now? Anyway, I figured I needed to switch things up.”

“Oh, um, okay. Well, you have to try a bite of this. It’s amazing.”

“What is it?”

“Pan seared Corvina with Citrus Butter and Sautéed Swiss Chard.”

“Thanks, but I don’t know what any of those words mean. I’m good with my chicken fingers.”

“Come on, it’s delicious.”

“Nah, words like ‘seared’ or ‘braised’ sound like injuries. And what’s a chard? I think someone called me that in grade school.”

“Swiss Chard is a vegetable, and Corvina is just fish. Try some!”

“No way. I’ve never eaten those things, and for all I know I’m allergic to them and I’ll die.”

“You really live life on the edge, don’t you?”

“Ugh, this ketchup bottle is stuck. Can you flag down that chard waiter of ours?”

“Ketchup is no way to go through life. You have to experience new things, Sean. Were you always this way? What were you like as a kid?”


“I’m serious. My mom was such a good cook. She used to make us try everything…after we said grace, of course. Were you religious growing up?”

* * *


“I felt guilty a lot, if that’s what you mean.”

“Do you know I still go to church every Sunday? I feel like none of my friends do anymore, but I was raised Catholic, so it became a habit.”

“Wouldn’t that be funny?”


“If all this time communion wafers had nicotine in them and religion actually is habit forming. Has anyone tested for that?”

“Tested communion wafers?”

“I just think it seems like a waste of time.”

“I agree.”

“No, I mean going to church. I have this theory that the Bible was originally written as a best-selling young-adult novel, like a modern-day Harry Potter. And over the centuries it was mislabeled and now millions of people worship fictional characters from the story.”

“So Harry is Jesus and what, Voldemort is the Devil?”

“Think about it – Jesus is this sexy misunderstood outcast with magical powers who gets bullied and ends up saving the world, right? Teenagers eat that stuff up!”

“You think Jesus is sexy?”

“To women, absolutely. Have you even seen a crucifix? Dude had some serious abs. I don’t even think it’s meant to be him dying on a cross. I think he’s mid-workout on some pre-historic Bowflex.”

“I sincerely doubt that millions of people worldwide have been duped by a thousand-year-old young-adult novel.”

“Mark my words, in another thousand years you’ll see a bunch of idiots in a building listening to the first reading from the House of Gryffindor. Not that you’re an idiot.”

“Thanks. And I don’t think everything in the Bible actually happened, but I have to believe there is some sort of meaning to life. Doesn’t the lack of an afterlife scare you?”

“Nope, this life is scary enough.”

“Then what is your biggest fear? Other than my dinner, that is.”

* * *


“Don’t get me wrong, there is a lot that freaks me out. Like adrenaline. Did you know that adrenaline is some evolutionary response we’ve developed from back when we used to be chased by dinosaurs?”

“Humans and dinosaurs never co-existed. You’re thinking of Land of the Lost.”

“Agree to disagree.”

“Okay, if you’re not going to take this seriously, I’ll start. Since I was little, I’ve always been terrified of clowns. I’m not even joking. If a clown walked in here right now, I’d totally scream.”

“Where are we, at a rodeo? Why would a clown walk in here right now?”

“It’s just an expression.”

“I know, but clowns are a very specific, limited fear. Just avoid the circus. Boom, problem solved.”

“Sure, mock my fears and then don’t tell me yours.”

“Fine, you want a fear? Dying in the bathroom. That’s my fear.”

“That’s it? Are you elderly? And dying is a pretty common fear.”

“No, not death per say – an embarrassing death. Because then the dying would be secondary to some shameful footnote. Like, ‘Hey, did you hear Sean died?’ And sure, people would be devastated, but then the follow-up would be, ‘But did you hear HOW he died?’ And then I’m just a joke.”

“But you’ll be dead. Up in that big Hogwarts in the sky. So what do you care?”

“Because I don’t want the people who find my body to make fun of me. Like, say I’m hiding in the bathroom during a storm and…”

“Wait, you hide? My dog did that.”

“Did your dog also interrupt when you were trying to make a point?”

“I’m sorry, but hiding in the bathroom is weird.”

“No, what’s weird is that we accept the fact that from time-to-time deadly bolts of electricity randomly shoot down from the sky.”

“Accept it?”

“Can I finish? The point is, when I’m hiding in the bathroom, say that nature calls, right? And then while I’m on the toilet a tornado forms outside, hits my apartment and I die with my pants down.”

“There are no tornadoes in Philadelphia. They can only form in wide open areas, like Nebraska or one of those other states that don’t matter.”

“Not true! That’s just a popular myth, like swimming after you eat, or recycling.”

“Or normal men.”

“You’re missing the point. When they’re digging through the rubble they’ll find me and the medic will be like, ‘Hey Mike, this guy must have crapped himself when he died. Let’s contact all of his Facebook friends and let them know.’ Can you imagine? So yeah, probably my biggest fear.”

“You’re kind of insane, aren’t you?”

“Depends on perspective. I’d think insane is taking a Xanax just so you can cope with the entertainment selection at a four-year-old’s birthday party. But that’s just me.”

“We should probably get the check.”

“This was fun!”

* * *


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Filed under dating, desperation, family, food, Guy stuff, love, madness, Philadelphia, positive people, religion, Sean goes insane, Sean is an idiot, women

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