I didn’t expect to be single and 30 either, but please stop setting me up with fifth-century Irish saints

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I know saints are the type of guys I should want to date, but I can’t help it: I’m just not that into them. Maybe it’s their “holier than thou” attitudes, or the fact that they never even offer to pay for drinks. One saint I went out with shrugged and said, “vow of poverty” when the bill came, so I had to pick up the whole tab.

Sure, saints are dependable, but they’re also boring. Why do you think they’ve been around for centuries but their earning power has barely increased? They don’t invest in anything except relics and rosaries, and no one ever made their fortune by cornering the rosary market.

Sometimes I think the friends who set me up with these saints don’t know me at all. With my most recent setup, I’m pretty sure they saw that this guy had a section on his Wikipedia page labeled “dating” and decided this would be a good idea based just on that.

My therapist said I have a tendency to fall for unavailable guys because of unprocessed past heartbreak. But unlike your classic bad boys, saints are unavailable in all the wrong ways: they’re too self-righteous, too badly dressed, too old. There’s something to be said for the maturity gained from age, but it’s also possible to be TOO mature, you know?

Take the last saint I went out with, this fifth-century Irish dude with some generic white guy name. When I said something about being nervous to date in the age of coronavirus, he shook his head sadly. “This virus has nothing on the bubonic plague,” he said.

“That doesn’t make me feel better,” I told him.

“That’s not my job,” he snapped back. “My job is banishing snakes.”

The whole night, he kept complaining about being kidnapped as a child, and it was like, yes, I get that trauma lasts a long time, but that also happened 15 centuries ago.

When I asked him where he was from, he said “Chicago,” in the way that people from hours away from Chicago claim to be from Chicago. In his case, he actually meant Roman Britain. Also like everyone from Chicago, he claimed he was 100% Irish.

I believed him about being Irish and from Chicago after I watched him drink eight pints of Guinness in two hours. “Beer used to be a lot stronger,” he told me, as if I’d never tasted a stout aged in a whiskey barrel for 10 centuries before.

He also kept trying to explain things to me with three-leaf clovers — he must have had dozens of them stashed away in the pockets of his robe. At one point, he pointed to the baseball game on TV and pulled out a clover. “An inning of baseball is like this clover,” he said. “Just like there are three leaves on the clover, there are three outs in an inning.”

“I know,” I said.

“Three strikes make an out,” he said. “On this clover, each leaf represents a strike. When there are three strikes, you have a whole clover.”

“Do you have a four-leaf clover for balls?” I asked.

“Not with me,” he said, looking annoyed. “They’re quite rare, you know. It’s not like I can just summon one.”

He might not have been able to summon things, but he definitely got a kick out of banishing them. At one point a bunch of drunk frat boys in green polo shirts sat down near us. He wove his staff in their direction. “Begone!” he said, and the next minute one of them puked on top of the bar, and they all got kicked out.

“I hate this holiday,” he said. “Worst day of the year.”

He then proceeded to mansplain sainthood to me. “They’re just better at their jobs,” he said when I asked why there are so many more male saints than female saints. “It’s about finding the most qualified people — if there were some kind of gender quota system, that wouldn’t be fair to all of the really holy men who would lose out to less holy women.”

By the end of the night, I was starting to think that maybe I should have been listening to the public health experts recommending social distancing. When the saint told me he’d love to see me again, I told him I was busy, even though he hadn’t specified a day.

He nodded knowingly, as if he understood, and just when I was thinking maybe he wasn’t so bad after all, he waved his staff in front of my face. “Begone!” he said, and reader, I was.

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