Sister Odelle had a point

“I’m gonna tell you how good God’s been…”

In The Kings of Comedy, Steve Harvey discusses an elderly church friend of his mother, Sister Odelle. In addition to being senile and mixing up gospel songs with television theme music, Sister Odelle has a knack for making some very unChristian pronouncements about her fellow congregants. During one hilarious incident, she refers to a deacon she dislikes as “this stupid m_f_.” While I would never refer to one of my deacons with such vulgar language, there are plenty of people on my last nerve who deserve that label.

Bi-Polar Wannabe is an old flame. He was interesting for about a day. A published novelist with a slight resemblance to Clark Kent, he name-dropped famous Chicano authors and soon ended up on the “do not call” list due to his bizarre antics and relocation. (I should have learned from that experience that long distances are a good thing but I digress.) BPW had no qualms about farting or burping in public. He also loved and loves to talk about his favorite subject, himself. It’s beyond arrogance. It’s a mania or an obsessive compulsion or a compulsive obsession. Tell him you have two dogs and he’ll tell you why he doesn’t like dogs. Tell him you’re part Moroccan and he’ll tell you why he has never seen Casablanca. Tell him you have menstrual cramps and he’ll tell you about the time he had to buy tampons for his girlfriend. (That last one is the truth.) He continued to call and email me even after I made it clear that I was talking wedding plans with He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named-Lest-I-Retch. But the Internet, as I know only too well, is a very public place and our paths cross again and again.

BPW is to me what the annoying deacon was to Sister Odelle. He is exactly what she said. About a month ago, I sent a terse three-line reply to one of his countless ramblings. I dusted off my hands, happy I had finally rid myself of him. Imagine my chagrin when I came back from a retreat in the Santa Cruz mountains to an email from him. I sent him a terse four-word reply. Not even complete sentences. To my growing irritation, I got a paragraph about him, concluding with a convoluted line about all the organized religions he dismisses.

I spent the weekend with nuns. I know I should be thinking holy thoughts. I should be a good Christian and forgive BPW. After all, he is immature and has self-diagnosed as bi-polar. But I’m no nun.

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