Once an old high school classmate told me at the Pappadeaux’s off of 610 in Houston that I would end up working at Burger King because I had majored in journalism.
This book is dedicated to dummies like that who don’t know when to shut the hell up.
Also: pay fast food workers livable wages.
I have to admit, I had never heard of Michael Arceneaux until his book was published. So many people were talking about it that I decided to get it from the library. However, the number of holds for this book was astronomical so I instead purchased it and fell in love with each and every word.
I Can’t Date Jesus is Mr. Arceneaux’s first book of essays, which touch on his relationships with religion, his family, dating, Queen Bey and being a black gay man in America. His words are witty, cutting, hilarious and poignant, especially since much of what he writes about is extremely relatable. He writes not to lecture or advise, but just to tell his story.
As I read through Mr. Arceneaux’s essays, I found myself thinking about my struggle with religion, which echoed his. My reasons were very different, but I too have not been in a church in a very long time, especially with the never-ending scandals in the Catholic faith. And like the author, I moved away from my hometown to find a new life in New York City. When he describes dating in this crazy city, I found myself fervently nodding my head in agreement (the men in NYC are a different breed). And when he details his struggles with coming out, I wished I could have gone back in time just to be there for him when he needed it.
But he isn’t all about just the trials and tribulations. Michael Arceneaux is hilarious, especially when he writes about his love for Beyoncé:
By the way, the person who asked this was a Beytheist. A Beytheist is someone who denies the splendor of Beyoncé. I don’t get people like that. I feel like they have a disability that’s somehow contagious, which is why I’ve developed a rule to stop dating men who dislike Beyoncé. I have tried to respect other people’s religious beliefs, but sometimes the biases you develop are well-earned. I’ve learned my lesson when it comes to Beytheists: they’re garbage human beings who don’t deserve to be around someone like me, a person with much better taste in music, a wiser embrace of excellence, and a champion of a Black woman who never let a beat bet her out. Can I get an uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no?
I enjoyed I Can’t Date Jesus so much that I found the author’s blog, The Cynical Ones, and have been reading his work like a fiend. How I didn’t know about Michael Arceneaux before his book is beyond me, but I know him now. And you should, too. Pick up a copy of his wonderful book as soon as you can. I highly recommend it.