The church was not welcoming, though it offered something the world couldn’t. Why is it that we turn to God, only when we have exhausted every other option? -Intellectual Shaman
I was there to see Father Jacob. The church was almost completely deserted. It caused me to wonder how a building like this stayed open—the heating costs alone. God must support his church because the world didn’t care. Rainbow light shined through the stained-glass windows, giving the sanctuary magical qualities; however, I would never say this to Father Jacob, as magic was a heretical offense 300 years ago, punishable by burning, and they still didn’t smile on it today. No, I had to be careful when I talked to the Father; I couldn’t mention my strange beliefs or my understanding of the universe.
Now I was completely alone, and I started to feel holy while simultaneously getting creeped out. God was there, I suppose, but he felt enormous—definitely more like the Old Testament God, and not the kinder one of the New Testament. I was less than perfect, so I cowered in His presence.
“Can I help you?”
I nearly jumped out of my skin, thinking it was God. “Father, you startled me.”
“I can tell you have something on your mind; otherwise, you wouldn’t be here.”
“What about the others, I saw earlier?”
“Oh, they’re here every day, hoping to get their dose of God, but I’m not Him. Now tell me, what troubles you?”
“It’s the dating market.”
“They call it a market these days, huh?”
“Yeah; it’s horrible. I’m not entirely sure what my SMV is; maybe you can tell me.”
“Sexual Marketplace Value.”
“I’m not sure that I want to know what that is.”
“It has to do with your rating from 1 out of 10. I would give myself a 6, so that means I can only date 4s or 5s.”
“Why only 4s or 5s?”
“Because women only date up. They call it hypergamy.”
“Son, I think you might be overthinking this…”
“I don’t know, Father; it’s a different world out there today.”
“Well, what do you want me to do about it?”
“Basically, how can I tell the good ones from the bad ones?”
“Awe, now I understand; a timeless question, and you know what, the church has been able to help young men like yourself for centuries.”
“Well, men are primarily visual creatures, so they need a buffer against that. I have a pair of glasses you might like to try on. Just a second; they might be in my office.” He walked away, and left me waiting.
I just stood there; what if the answer to my problem was in the church all along? They didn’t seem hip, but Father Jacob said this was a timeless issue. I’d tried YouTube advice, but I couldn’t reconcile myself to sleep with 300 women in order to find the right one. According to the latest research, almost every woman in America had an STD and was mentally insane, which was definitely something I didn’t want to tangle with. Women are difficult to deal with as it is, but they are a whole different problem to solve when they’ve been damaged, and I didn’t want to be their therapist. The world suggested that a man should stick his appendage into an electric socket to check if there was a charge, and I thought, no thank you.
“Ah, you’re still here,” Father Jacob said.
“Father, I’m not going anywhere, you’re my last stop before Hell.”
“Hush, we don’t say the H word in the halls of God!”
“Well, as long as you really are sorry. Here are the glasses I told you about.” He handed them to me.
“The last guy who wore them, did so in the 1960s. I guess the free-love movement got him down, and he wanted to be sure the girl he married wasn’t a monster.”
“Yeah; one of these so-called feminists.”
“Oh, that makes sense.”
Father Jacob fondled the horned-rimmed glasses like a sacred object, like a relic, like something to be cherished and taken care of. “Sorry about the style, it’s a bit out of date.” He dusted off the lenses with his handkerchief and gave them to me.
They were heavy on my face when I put them on, like a burden. The lenses were tinted red.
“The truth weighs heavy on you,” Father Jacob said.
“I’m sorry, I don’t see anything different.”
“That’s because you’re still talking to me. Why don’t you go out on a date, and look at the girl through rose colored glasses?”
“I can’t go out on a date with these. I’ll get rejected before I sit down at the table.”
“You’re probably right. I can alter them. It’s the lenses that matter. What would you like them to look like?”
“James Bond. You know, the sunglasses he wore in Specter.” I didn’t expect him to get the reference, but he smiled.
“I’ll see what I can do. Why don’t you come back tomorrow?”
I had a date that evening. She was smokin’ hot. I wish I could’ve looked at her through the glasses, but by the end of the evening, I didn’t need to. We had the same things in common. She told me that she hated feminism—that all of those ideas about equality were hogwash. She was a conservative, and she only watched Fox news.
When I got to church the following day, I was going to tell Father Jacob to keep his glasses.
“I found the one,” I said.
“Yes. She’s perfect. I’m going to marry her.”
“Don’t you think you should court her, for a while?”
“No; it’s like God is talking to me. I’ve been waiting for her my whole life.”
“Well, I guess you don’t want these?” Father Jacob held up the glasses. They were identical to the ones Daniel Craig wore in the latest Bond movie.
“I’ll take ’em,” I said. “Father, I really appreciate this.”
“Don’t mention it, my son; and be sure to wear them on your date.”
And I did.
She was waiting for me at Baskin Robbins, but there was something different about her. As I got closer, she came into focus. Her eyes were red, like a snake’s, and her smile was a sneer. Her skin was covered in scales, and her breath smelled like a thousand rotting corpses. I cannot put words to my revulsion. It was like looking at Hitler or some demon from the underworld.
“I got to go,” I said.
“But Andy, you just got here; what’s wrong?” Her once angelic voice was the sound of Satan. I didn’t look back until I made it back into church.
“Father Jacob, these glasses are something else. I’m so glad you gave them to me.”
“Just remember, they’re on loan until you find a good girl. I know there are a lot of monsters out there, so it might take you a while.”
“Just out of curiosity, what do the women wear?”
“Oh, Sister Sandra takes care of that, but no one has been to see her in some time. These modern women prefer the bad boys anyway, so if they get a monster, it figures into their plan. They want to tame the beast, if you know what I mean?”
“I’ll never understand women,” I said.
Father Jacob smiled. “Why do you think I’m a Father?”