So, here I am! The beautiful mother of three, soon to be divorced from the man my mother
dreamed of marrying, when the phone rings, and, it is her.
“Marjorie”, she says, and I always know when she calls me Marjorie to pay attention. At all other times she calls me “Midge”, the nickname she gave me. She goes on, “I was at a Bar Mitzvah last night and met a delightful man who lives in your town. I gave him your address and asked him to stop in. You don’t mind do you? ”
“Will he call first? I ask, even as I am wondering what this is all about. She is furious I have separated from my husband , a man she says most other women would kill for, and now she is fixing me up?
“I don’t really know,” she replies, but, don’t worry, he is a very nice man.”
It doesn’t make sense but I don’t ask any questions. No sense stoking that furnace. Still, I am curious.
The following weekend the children off with their Dad. I am relaxing at the pool, wearing a bikini, my top off so to tan without lines. A chilled glass of white wine and my cigarettes sit on the table next to me. I have been reading, but close my book, feeling myself drifting off for a nap. At that moment I hear the door bell-Ding dong dang ding- but decide not to answer it. I am not expecting anyone.
Whoever it is, is persistent. At the third ding dong dang I yell over the rooftop I am coming. I tie my top up, race through the glass sliding doors to the front door, peer through the side window, and see a stranger.
Yes, I say, may I help you.?
He smiles, introducing himself as Patrick Kelly, saying he met my mother the other night. She assured him I would not mind if he stopped by. He hopes he hasn’t intruded.
Patrick is tall, dark, and not at all bad looking. He is wearing a short sleeve shirt, khaki pants, and holding a brown paper bag in the shape of a wine bottle. Something is off and then it hits me. He is wearing a clerical collar! I can hardly stifle the laughter threatening to overwhelm whatever dignity I am trying to maintain in this situation.
Feeling naked, and I almost am, I open the door and invite him, almost unable to stop myself from saying, “Oh My God, my Jewish mother sent me a Priest!”
We share the bottle of wine and talk. His tells me his mission is not to talk sense into me, rather to ask how I am doing. He says my Mother is really worried. I assure him I am fine. He tells me he is a Jesuit and an academic. He is looking forward to his new post teaching at a Jesuit college in the fall. When he leaves he gives me his card telling me to call him anytime I might need to talk.
I never do, but I am charmed.