This is the last blog in the “girlfriend” saga. Don’t worry, I won’t be posting thousands of these.
My third “girlfriend” experience began just a few weeks after being dumped on the dodge ball court, by “girlfriend” # 2. At this time, I was listening to a lot of Live: “Lighting Crashes”, Counting Crows – “August & Everything After”, and Spin Doctors: “Pocket Full of Kryptonite.” There was a three-headliner show that came to the Morgantown coliseum that year where Cracker opened, Gin Blossoms featured, and Spin Doctors headlined. I had sixth row seats, and decided I needed to practice guitar more.
I remember she was “popular” – tall, blonde, athletic, and in the NINTH grade. Woh, slow down, a whole year older!?
The phone calls were going well, and there was a lot of hand-holding. At the time, I thought hand-holding was first base. She was in Young Life, which I didn’t know would pose a problem.
The more we talked, the more God came up, which was all well and good, but I didn’t have a lot to say on the topic – good or bad. It’s kind of like if someone brings up NASCAR, or opera, or foreign films, I’ll listen and maybe ask a few questions, but I won’t have anything good to contribute.
I remember one phone conversation very clearly – probably because it was the beginning of the end of the relationship:
“Joe, what’s your denomination?”
“No, what religion are you?:
“Oh. None I guess. Spiritual?”
“No I mean (laughs like I’m a silly goose), what were you baptized as?”
“Oh right. Well I wasn’t baptized, to my knowledge.”
(thinly veiled gasp)
“I don’t think so. Is that bad? Don’t you just get dunked in water?”
“Well, I mean… you can still go to heaven… it’s just, you won’t be able to see God’s eyes.”
“Oh, well that’s not too bad right?”
“Wouldn’t you want to see God’s eyes?”
Once it was revealed that I wouldn’t be able to see God’s eyes, it did make me a little curious. How would God’s eyes be different from regular eyes? Aren’t eyes just eyes? Blue, green, brown…there are irises and pupils, etc. If they’re that much different from regular eyes, it seems like it might start to get weird. I mean, wouldn’t different eyes, be creepy? Unless they’re just super huge, and adorable, like Puss & Boots eyes on Shrek.
I considered getting baptized, just to play it safe on the eyes thing. Then I saw a baby get baptized, and the dude-man held the naked baby up in the air, in front of the entire congregation, and then dunked it in a little bath tub. I figured that must be how it works for all baptisms, and pictured myself having to strip down in front of two-hundred strangers on a Sunday morning.
“Sorry guys. I know, I should have done this when I was a baby.”
The minister’s going, “Could I get some help lifting him? Jesus, what do you weigh, 150?”
After weighing the risk/reward of seeing God’s eyes, vs. the humility of being naked in front of my entire town, I opted for an eternity of no eyes… nor young life girls.
I was always curious about how God would hide his eyes from the non-baptized. This was before Google, which means you had to do some guess-work. At first I imagined he went around wearing dark sunglasses, and only took them off for the baptized folks, like, “Hey you’re baptized? Cool, I’ll take off the Oakley’s…” I eventually decided the eyes must be pixellated, like some of the faces and brand names you’d see on COPS – censored out like the nipples in girl’s gone wild videos.
Years later, I Googled “God’s eyes” and “baptized” and couldn’t find anything – not a single hit. Where did she come up with the eyes thing? I suppose “Baptize” rhymes with “eyes,” so maybe it was a lyric in a christian rock song, or a rhyme in a Sunday school poem. Either way, I certainly could have used some Google. You can’t find those kinds of answers using the card catalogue of a public library.