Foster the Papal

Story Sent in by Jordan:

I took Bess to a farm that had a greenhouse, petting zoo, and homemade ice cream. She was a gardener, loved animals, and ice cream is always terrific. Struck me as a slam dunk first date.

We had a good time at first as we talked about our pasts. When she was younger, she had been in a foster home. It sounded rough, but she was equal to it. She said, "It's an inspiring story, especially given where I'm going."

I asked, "The greenhouse?"

"No. I'm gonna be pope."

"Pope... as in head of the Catholic Church?"

"The one and only."

I laughed a little, as it was surely a joke. But she wasn't kidding. "I'm not kidding. More than half of the popes ever were raised in foster families. It's always those with the most humble beginnings. Ever notice that?"

"But you're a woman. And on a date. And not a cardinal."

"Which makes it all the more unlikely, I know. But I can do it. But the pope doesn't have to be a cardinal. It can be any Catholic who the College of Cardinals elects."

I didn't know that. It's apparently true, but she had more to say: "And I've already written to two cardinals and they wrote back."


"So I'm already making friends and alliances. Mark my words: I will be pope."

"Okay. Can you make me a saint?"

"What do you want to be the saint of?"

"Ice cream."

"Done! I really can't wait to be pope and do things like that for real."

I asked, "Will we still be able to date if you're pope?"

She laughed. "Of course not! But I can still saint you."

I shrugged. "I guess that's a good alternative."

She said a blessing over the ice cream before we ate it, and she made the sign of the cross over the animals at the zoo and over the produce and plants in the greenhouse. What a fine pope she'd make.

Once the date was over and a few days had passed, I wrote her an email to thank her for the nice time out and to wish her luck in her dream.

However, she didn't pick up on the "not-interested-in-a-second-date" implication in my message and she wrote back to ask me if I wanted to visit a few local non-Catholic churches and "secretly turn them Catholic." No thanks, Your Holiness.


  1. She might have to pull a "Pope Joan" in order to reach her goal.

  2. This actually sounds like a fun wacky date. I kind of understand why she wants to be pope.

  3. Eh, harmlessly quirky. It's sad that the fact that she wasn't homicidal or otherwise crazy counts as a good date around here....
    Even if you weren't attracted to her, I still would have kept her around as a friend. She sounds fun!

  4. How do you secretly turn them Catholic? Pretty sure if this could be done my Mother-in-law would have already done it to me.


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