Monk-ey Business

Saturday night Jenn and I were sitting in a beer garden enjoying the crisp early summer air. I was drinking my usual (vodka soda tall with lime — keeps you hydrated). Jenn decided to take advantage of the wide selection of beers at this particular bar by ordering a Chimay Rouge.

I’d never heard of it. And to my surprise, it came out in a ginormous bottle (a 40) — accompanied by a thick wine-glass-shaped beer glass.

Turns out some Monks in Belgium brew the stuff to support their state of silence. (Days like this I think it would be nice to join them.) So we started talking about the lives of Trappist monks. Which triggered a memory of a date I went on about four years ago with a former Monk-in-training.

About three months before I moved to Chicago, Kristin roped me into a speed dating event in Wichita. And just coming off a 3-year relationship, I figured what the hell.

We showed up at a bar in Old Town, checked in to get our nametags and “scorecards”, and then sat at the two-person table that had our respective assigned numbers. There were 36 guys and 36 girls, and we were on a 2-minute timer to talk to each of them. If you liked one, you marked “hit.” Otherwise you maked “miss.”

After the first three people, it was clear that all of the guys there were goofy accountants who had been forced to go by their mothers. Throughout the course of the night, I only marked 3 as hits.

The next day, everyone received an e-mail with their personal results. If people mutually marked “hit”, they got each other’s e-mail addresses. The best part was seeing how many “near-misses” you had — people who marked you as a hit, though you marked them as a miss. Needless to say, among that crowd it wasn’t too hard to score.

At any rate, my first date was with a guy I’ll call “B”, whose last name is the same as the name of the maple syrup shaped like a woman (which makes the whole thing even more comical). He was a bit on the geeky side, but still somewhat attractive. We’d had a lot to talk about in our two minutes.

Later that week he called me and invited me to Borders for coffee. We made nice small talk about work and travel. He told me he was an accountant. Then he told me he’d spent two years living in a monestary studying to become a Monk.

Alrightly then. I wasn’t sure if I should be intrigued or horrified.

Apparently it was the former. He invited me to dinner at his house the next week, and of course I couldn’t resist checking out where this guy lived. So that Friday night, I showed up at his townhouse to the smells of lasagna. And entered a shrine to Mary.

Fascinating artwork, really. I felt like I was in a church in Rome. Or perhaps trapped somewhere in the pages of Angels and Demons. Crucifixes and such were everywhere. But the best was a group photo of the Monks — where he was literally wearing a brown robe.

Though you might be tempted to think of the Sex and the City episode where Samantha falls for the monk and tries to seduce him by taking a can of green beans to the alter, I assure you this was no such ordeal. I fled the scene as soon as he tried to pin me down on the couch for a smooch. Eww.

But I suppose it was better than the other guy I went out with from this event. Turned out he was going out with Kristin at the same time — we called him “Dan the Man.” To give you a clue to his quality, he’d been duped into buying his ex-girfriend a nice little gift that took her out of the Sisterhood of the Traveling B Cup. And then she promptly dumped him for his co-worker.

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1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Pastor Tom Hallowell said,

    Nelly,

    By the description of his interior decorating
    it sounds like he is a little “goth”
    Did he have a Transsylvania accent? :>)

    Pastor Tom


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