Sinner and a Movie

Story Sent in by Lina:

When I first started online dating, I signed up for several dating sites, including a Christian singles dating site. I was a lot more religious when I was younger (back when I attended a school where you were essentially graded based upon the fervency of your belief) and now I had different life priorities, although I still sought people with common experiences.

Enter Chris. He found me, oddly enough, on one of the non-affiliated sites. However, he had also attended a private, religious junior high school and seemed, based upon his emails to me, to have a similar outlook on faith. I liked what he had to say, and he apparently felt the same about me, as he asked me out on a date a little less than a month after he had first contacted me.

Dinner at the restaurant went well enough. All seemed normal until our food arrived. He then asked me, "Would you mind if we said grace?"

I was taken aback, but I said, "No, not at all."

We folded our hands and he began, "Lord, thank you for this food and this drink, and for the good company in which we sit."

I could be on board with that. I thought he was done, but when I opened my eyes, I saw that he was still eyes-tight, hands-clasped. I closed my eyes a bit, but peeked out so that I would see when he was done.

After a minute, he was still silently praying. I whispered, "Chris? Um…"

He kept his eyes closed, but then murmured his words out loud, as if trying to drown me out, "…and for Malachi and for Joel, for Samuel and for David…"

He kept going. I waited another minute and said, "Chris? I think God's got it."

Again, he upped the volume of his silent words, "…for Paul and for John, for Peter and for Thomas…"

I said, "I'm just going to go ahead and start," and I did.

I was about done with dinner by the time Chris had finally finished. He looked at me, then at my plate, then back up at me with shock in his eyes. "You didn't wait for me?"

I replied, "Chris, I asked you multiple times if we could start. I've never seen someone say grace for that long, not even my priest."

"I thought you said you were Christian," he said, "Your priest is a lousy Christian, and so are you."

"So much for 'judge not,' Chris–"

"That doesn't count here and you know it! Someone who breaks a law can still be judged."

"It's not the law to say grace."

"Shut up! Now I have to rush through my meal because you just couldn't wait."

I sat in silence as he shoveled forkful after forkful into his mouth, like a dog with a fork. Finally, when he was done, he belched loud and declared, "That was delicious! So much more so after waiting for it."

I asked, "Isn't gluttony a sin?"

He belched again and said, "I wouldn't know."

I asked, "I take it this is your way of saying that you're not at all interested in me."

He looked shocked. That caught me off guard. "No, I–"

"Because that's fine. I agree."

"What are you talking about? One slip up doesn't mean that we're not a good match! How can you tell from just one date with someone?"

"Oh, I can tell."

"But what you just said, about not judging–"

"It's 'judge not lest ye be judged,' and I'm perfectly willing to hold myself to the same standards as you. I judge that you're not good for me, so let's just split dinner and call it a night, all right?"

He muttered to himself as he fumbled in his pocket for his wallet. I put down a few bills, then stood up and said, "Have a good night."

"Wait," he said, turning redder, "You wait for me, this isn't done. This is never done…"

I left as quickly as I could. He rang my phone nearly off the hook over the next day, and I never picked up. He finally wrote me a message with one line. It read: "I'm better off without you." He then followed it up, about three hours later, with a longer message that enumerated the reasons why he wasn't at all better without me.

I was better off without him, so it didn't really matter.


  1. Wow. Makes me glad to be an atheist.

  2. People like that don't just give christians a bad name, they give *people* a bad name!

  3. I have a hard time believing he was truly shocked when he noticed she'd cleared her plate. He could clearly hear her when she tried to talk to him, I doubt she managed to eat completely silently.

  4. "now I had different life priorities, although I still sought people with common experiences". I really liked the way you phrased it. Thanks.


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