February 28th is my father’s birthday. It’s also the day the Pope will step down. Gift-wise, this does not work to my advantage. A blender, weed-whacker or soy candle will no longer suffice. Because deep down I know that if I really want to make my father happy, I’ll step forward to fill the Pope’s shoes.
To be clear, this isn’t a matter of ego – providing my father the opportunity to say, “I hear your son made it into Harvard, Phil,” then puff out his chest and crow, ”My daughter’s Pope!” Rather, I believe it would be the fruition of a dream that’s danced in his subconscious since the day he decided to procreate.
Don’t get my wrong; my father isn’t dogmatic or preachy. But if his foot was run through a chipper, he’d still sweat being late to mass. Growing up, this applied to my sister and me as well. Plus, wherever we went on vacation, there just happened to be a church (if not Catholic, something close) right around the corner from where we were staying. Plus, I was made to attend CCD until I was 17, by which time 98% of my peers had been liberated for upwards of 3 years. And most illustrative, I am a proud product of the rhythm method of birth control. (“Come on,” my mother urged. “Cheating once won’t matter.”)
So yes. If I was Pope, my father would be delirious.
I assume the job comes with perks. Superior medical insurance covering both optical and dental. Minions poised to make a Starbucks run anytime you wish. The chance to go to work naked under a robe. An inviolate, collective delusion that you’re patient, tolerant and composed.
It sounds lovely, but I’m not sure I can go through with it.
Please don’t judge me for this. Popedom is just so. . .involved. I’d have to
figure out what the fuck Twitter is improve my Twitter skills – a task daunting in and of itself. More, I’d have to familiarize myself with the Bible, ditch my beloved cat-eye glasses, and be nice to children.
My personality simply isn’t conducive.
Compounding all of that is my host of unanswered questions. Can you buy tampons in Vatican City? As Pope, can you say fuck? If not and you slip, are you whacked with a ruler and whisked off to confession? Can you wear nail polish, go shoe shopping or read “The Joy of Sex?” And, most importantly, can you blog?
This, my friends, is the pivotal question. Even if I was allowed, I’m not sure how “The Neurosis Files” would be received. Posts like, “The Mystery Of The Blue Ass,” “I Wouldn’t Kick Obama Out Of Bed,” and “My Cat’s Pussy” spring to mind. I suspect they’re more popular in New Jersey than they would be in Rome.
In my worst nightmares, my posts would assume a discernibly Papal tone.
That I could not bear.
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