An Exclusive Excerpt of Finding Mr. Righteous
By Lisa De Pasquale on June 20, 2014
A few months ago my first book, Finding Mr. Righteous, was released on Kindle and hardcover. A Christian-in-name-only, I dated freely in spite of my insecurities. An Atheist. A Catholic. A Quaker. A Preacher. A Jew. Some gave me the answers I yearned for, while others left me with more questions. As my star rose in the political movement, my quest to find my Mr. Righteous led me down a path of religious confusion and discovery. Will I find my soul mate or save my soul? Is it too much to ask for both?
In the excerpt below exclusively for BlogHer readers, I tell the story of how one "man" finally opened me up to the possibility of God. Enjoy!
I’ll never forget the first time I saw him. We met online in 1999 and I fell for him instantly. He had the most beautiful brown eyes. Then he was just known as number 81 by the Washington Humane Society. He was a beagle and chocolate lab mix. The adoption process took a bit of time. When I visited him at his short-term foster home, I sat on the floor and he came right up to me and licked my face. It was true love.
Even though I had only met him once, I fought for him. The woman fostering him didn’t seem to want to give him up despite having me go through the process. She even changed his name from Brandon (dumb) to Player (dumber). It was obvious to me that he was a Buster. I think it was more likely that she just didn’t care about anyone’s schedule but her own. Four days before Christmas I showed up unannounced and took Buster home. He was now my Buster.
Since it was near Christmas, my sister was visiting my mom and stepdad, who lived nearby. They were all waiting in the car when I left Buster’s former foster home with Buster following behind me. On the drive back to my mom and stepdad’s house, my sister and I sat in the backseat and Buster sat on my lap.
“You’re going to have no problem getting a boyfriend now!” my sister said.
Not two seconds later, when we were stopped at a light, a guy in the car next to us looked over at Buster staring out the window and smiled.
“See! I told you!” my sister exclaimed. It was nice to think about, but even I knew it wouldn’t be that easy.
The difference between Chris the Atheist and Joe the Catholic was most pronounced when it came to how they dealt with Buster. Chris was a cat person. But having one view wasn’t enough for him. He had to denigrate the opposing view. Chris’s cat versus dog views were like his views on religion. It wasn’t enough to just accept that some people are religious and some people are not. You had to be an atheist or a true believer. And if you were a true believer, you were ignorant.
Chris talked disdainfully about how when scared, a dog’s tail involuntarily covered its genitals. “How can anyone respect an animal that does that?” he said.
My reaction to this was “who cares?” To make his case against dogs, no reason was too small.
Years after we broke up, I’m still haunted thinking about the time I spent away from Buster to spend time with Chris. I frequently would drop him off at my mom’s house for a night or two, so he wasn’t really alone. I never left him alone overnight by himself. But it was time I’ll never get back. I’m also haunted by the fact that I chose to spend time with a person who didn’t love me as I was.
Unlike humans, a dog’s best quality is that it forgives easily, even when we don’t forgive ourselves.
Buster liked Joe. I think Joe also liked Buster. He never complained when Buster slept with us or when he wanted to sit between us on the couch. Joe was a dog person. During most of the time we dated, his dog, Minnie, a German shepherd mix, lived with his ex-girlfriend until he moved to an apartment that allowed dogs.
Unfortunately, Minnie and Buster did not get along. Before Minnie came back to live with Joe, I frequently brought Buster to his apartment. He was well behaved, and I wasn’t as guilt-ridden about spending time away from home. When Minnie was able to live with Joe, I was back to dropping Buster off at my mom’s house. We didn’t date that long after that.