And here I thought the flashing neon sign over my head screamed “Protestant!”
It took me off guard. My two friends from college came into town for my birthday and surprised me with a rare trip to the nail salon. The three of us were lined up getting our nails done, gabbing about marriage and children. They were poking fun at me for wanting a large brood, and I was asked by my manicurist how many kids I had and wanted. We all went through the numbers, and I told him I wanted at least four kids, and six would be a nice big number. He (no, he’s not gay!) responded with the “how will you pay for college?” question. I brushed it aside with confidence in my unborn children’s ability to get scholarships. Then we more seriously discussed cutting corners to make ends meet. I think I proceeded with a rather assured air, showing little anxiety in how we would make ends meet. I found this man shared many of our current habits, such as owning a single car and having no cable or home phone.
Then he asks me, “Are you Catholic?”
I just blurted out, “Yes.” I had to correct myself and tell him I was converting and hadn’t joined the Church yet. Then, “Why do you ask, because I want a lot of kids?” He said no. He knows Catholics have the grace of God in these things. He recognizes it because he’s Catholic. He said some other things, which I admit I didn’t understand all of due to his accent (Chinese), but the conversation died out since I was stunned enough the only intelligent thing I had to ask was which parish he attended.
Now here I am, with my freshly donned crucifix, a requested birthday present from Chris. I am becoming Catholic, not in an intellectual or spiritual decision kind of way, but with respect to who I am. My identity, the life I’m living, the decisions I’m making are screaming “Catholic!” Throw birth control out the window, welcome as many children God blesses you with, and live a life within your means whatever those means may be, and there’s not much else people can account for it with other than your Faith.