Solemmetellya a little story about Liam the Filthy Calvinist. Readers should note that Liam the Filthy Calvinist is not Liam Neeson, today’s Monday Hotness, rather Liam is a pseudonym I’m giving this guy because he’d be relatively easy to track down and I’d rather that not happen because I still see him on a pretty regular basis.
It was Sunday evening just about this time last year and I was volunteering at my church bookstore. The joint had been empty for hours and I walked up to the front desk to ask our receptionist if she had a hip flask (she didn’t) when I froze dead in my tracks.
It’s Liam Neeson. In white linen pants.
Okay, it wasn’t Liam Neeson –he was younger and blonder– but I thought it was for a second and I actually stopped breathing as our eyes met. Of course because I’d only shaved one leg that day and had a weird rash on my chin, Liam walks in to the bookstore to do a little browsing.
In the four years I’d been volunteering in that bookstore, precisely ONE copy of Lesser Feasts and Fasts had been sold: mine. Until that night.There is probably one person on earth to whom a relatively arcane liturgical text is a total panty dropper, and that person is me. I know. I can’t help it.
ANYWAY, he scurries up to the service in his gorgeous pants and as soon as I’m sure he’s gone I run into the foyer, execute a couple of Hills Are Alive spins and pant to the receptionist that I’m going to marry those pants someday. I didn’t know his name, I didn’t know what he did. All I knew was that he bought a copy of Lesser Feasts and Fasts, he’d been to an ivy league divinity school and he “secretly wanted to be Episcopalian”.
The last part threw me. Why couldn’t he be Episcopalian? What was stopping him? He went to a protestant divinity school so he wasn’t Catholic, and although I don’t really spend a lot of time among the other denominations, I don’t think the Lutherans and the Methodists make you “jump out” like prison gangs.
Then the penny dropped. He must be clergy in some other denomination.
Now, for reasons which I shall not explain, my number one all-time personal dating rule is NO CLERGY EVER. I don’t care how good the sex is it leads to nothing but heartache and that’s a gospel (see what I did there?) truth.
But it all made sense. He was sneaking into a late service, he’d gone to a non-Episcopal divinity school, he had a German/Dutch accent…he was *GASP* a CALVINIST! I very nearly needed my smelling salts.
By the time he came back, I’d reasoned to myself that Calvinist ministers weren’t really clergy (I was just that desperate, they were really good pants) and it would probably be okay if we got married and had a million imaginary babies. We chatted, or mostly he chatted at me and I tried not to fall over except for the time I literally (yes, literally) shouted “I’M SINGLE” and waved my hands in the air to show that I was not wearing a wedding ring. Then, mortified, I sat down and tried to remember to breathe.
As he was getting to leave he looked straight at me and said: “You have the most striking blue-gray eyes I’ve ever seen. They speak to my soul.”
Now, not for nothing, but I’m fairly used to getting variations on that kind of compliment, so I usually have a funny line or two worked up to break the tension. What I meant to say was “well I’m glad they’re pretty because they sure don’t work that well!”which would’ve been hokey, but cute.
What I actually said was:
“Thanks. They don’t work.”
At which point –English not being his first language– he looked at me as if I was a high-functioning blind person, made his very kind excuses and walked away.
Over the next few weeks he was around a LOT. He even came to a service where I’m the soloist and sat right next to me, in a space usually reserved for other musicians and stared at me all googly eyed. I was twitterpated beyond the endurance of a block so, when I discovered his last name, I –like a psycho– googled him, found his church, read his bio and HOORAY no mention of a wife.
A few days later –after a wax appointment and a push-up bra that came with a three-day waiting period– I called my aunt, who just so happened to go to his church.
Now until that point I’d never voluntarily called my aunt, well, ever. However, under the pretense of thanking her for a birthday card, I casually mentioned that I’d met her minister and thought he was some great shakes.
“Oh yes, he’s DELIGHTFUL.” she said –she totally had my number– “just delightful…and he’s getting married next month!”
And thus Liam the Filthy Calvinist was born.
The REAL Liam Neeson would never do that to me. The REAL Liam Neeson would never introduce me to his six foot tall willowy wisp of a wife whom he met at a vegan restaurant as “my beloved” (seriously!) and then tell her “this is Plum, who I’ve been telling you about.” Which is why –after that inexcusably long story– the REAL Liam Neeson is today’s Monday Hotness.
Oh, and this: