Had you passed by my office at lunchtime yesterday you would have heard a good deal of snickering. Not because I was watching the live feed from the White House press briefing (zing!) but because I was working my way through the 172-question online premarital survey required by the Catholic Church these days. A lot of the questions were oddly worded (although to their credit, not in Latin) and the inability to go back and change an answer meant that one stood a good chance of accidentally clicking the wrong answer when asked, “I agree that it will not not be problematic that my spouse enjoys murdering kittens and blowing rails during the workday.” I wanted to answer truthfully, but I also didn’t want to unwittingly send a federal marshal to my or my fiancé’s office.
Right from the get-go, the whole operation was dicey. Especially when considering that the survey wasn’t for like, Cosmo, but for the entity that claims to have God on speed dial. Particularly ominous was that I had to indicate that I needed the “cohabiting” survey. This was going to be a sticky wicket.
What is your age?
Drat. I didn’t want to have to lie on the first question. OK, fine, 30.
…Crap, then there’s that business about life begins at conception. Well forget it, I’m not writing “30 and nine months” and that’s that.
Are you confident that you will have a fulfilling sexual relationship with your spouse?
Yeesh. Second question? Get to know a girl first why don’t you, Catholic Church. Maybe take her out for a drink before you ask her about the no-pants dance. Oh and don’t think that I’m not well aware that this is a trick question.
Is the previous answer based on your current relationship?
See. I wasn’t born yesterday.
Do you agree or disagree with the statement “My spouse’s gambling will be a barrier in our marriage?”
Only if he’s betting against the O’s! Am I right, O’s fans?! Eh? Eh?
Do you agree or disagree with the statement “My spouse has sexual desires that make me uncomfortable.”
Huh, that’s odd. They don’t specify whether they mean emotionally or physically.
Do you agree or disagree with the statement, “My spouse watches too much television.”
Well the guy who watches football every Saturday certainly isn’t going to have any stones thrown at him by the girl who watches The Hills every Monday.
Have you discussed how many children you will have?
I suppose they’re not looking for “Yes, zero, because babies will make me chunky and irritable,” as an answer. I mean I suppose that because my only two choices are “Yes, enough for a baseball team,” and “Yes, enough to start a small cottage industry producing rosaries and pocket Bibles.”
You are having children, right?
OK, now you’re just being snippy.
The real rub on all this is that when you’re done slogging through all 172 questions, you don’t get any kind of score. No harp-strumming angel icon and a “Congratulations! You’re destined for a lifetime of happiness!” or head-shaking devil saying “Yeahhhh, you might want to not throw away the receipts for those wedding gifts just yet” accompanied by the Price is Right overbid noise. But I guess it takes the Pope a while to tabulate everyone’s scores. I’m assuming they go right to the Pope, as the email they were whisked off to was VivaIlPapa54@yahoo.com.