3:00 AM: Wake Melissa up with a nightmare in the middle of the night. It’s the one where she forgets to say “and also with you” in response to a “peace be with you” from a boy she likes. I get her palms extra sweaty, so she has to get up to wipe them on a towel.
7:15 AM: I make Melissa change her outfit at least three times before she joins her morning Zoom meeting. Despite the fact that her colleagues can’t see her bottom half, her skirt ALWAYS falls below the knee.
9:45 AM: Melissa is scrolling on Facebook and notices a local band is hosting an online benefit for Planned Parenthood. She goes to click “Interested,” but I shut the thought down. Her old friends from Youth Group might see, and then she won’t be invited to their weddings in barns.
10:17 AM: I send Melissa a First Communion flashback. This was the time a little piece of the wafer got caught in her throat and she had a panic attack in the pew.
11:30 AM: Melissa’s work team is chatting on a call about a client who sent a passive-aggressive email. Melissa jokes, “Yeah she was really salty. Like Lot’s wife.” No one laughs. Melissa explains that Lot’s wife turned into a pillar of salt in the Bible, but she trails off as her coworkers seem confused.
12:30 PM: Melissa can’t shake the Lot’s wife thing. I thought the joke was hilarious, and they haven’t even heard her stuff on Jesus multiplying loads of bread. Like, why couldn’t Jesus throw in a little dipping sauce? Just terrific. She also has a tight five minutes on how David from the David and Goliath parable was the first short king.
2:10 PM: Send Melissa a Confession flashback from age 15. She admitted to taking the Lord’s name in vain when singing along to the song “Omigod You Guys” from Legally Blonde the Musical. Father O’Sullivan was not happy with her.
3:30 PM: Uh oh. A push notification from Tinder. I make Melissa stare hard at this “Todd” and his “Spiritual” affiliation.
4:00 PM: Melissa and Todd are getting along great. They like the same movies, books, and both played power forward in middle school basketball. I try to make her type “do you accept the Lord Jesus Christ as Your Savior” to really seal the deal here, but Melissa asks about his foster dog instead.
4:20 PM: Okay, now I’m peeved. Melissa and Todd have agreed to go on a hike for their first date and not a drive-in church service. WTD?! (What the Devil?!)
5:30 PM: Melissa is floating on air a bit too much, so I make her think about her Grammy. What would your 87-year-old Grammy think if you brought home a guy who hates Christmas? Or worse, knows nothing about it?
6:10 PM: Melissa sends Todd a winky face, implying she has sexual identity, so it’s time for mental warfare.
7:00 PM: I make Melissa add a big splash of water to her glass of wine so it tastes like Mass, and I make her forget where she put her birth control. Suddenly, she seems super eager to take it! I also force her to text “I’m sorry” and “are you mad at me” to every contact in her phone.
8:30 PM: Nothing is working. Is Todd your new God, Melissa? He said his favorite band is the Red Hot Chili Peppers, and he has a clear mustard dribble on his chin in the photo he just sent you.
9:15 PM: Melissa is dozing peacefully on the couch with a smile on her face. IT’S TIME FOR SOME SPIRALING THOUGHTS ABOUT HELL!