The other night I mentioned "existential crisis" in passing. Frank snorted. "I don't think those words have ever been spoken in this pub." Des, a devout Catholic, raised his eyebrow. "What do you mean by 'existential crisis'?" I rolled my eyes, wishing I hadn't mentioned it. My husband says you should never discuss religion or politics in a pub.
I answered, despite my best intentions: "It's that moment when a person questions the meaning of their life."
Des huffed, alarmingly bug-eyed. "Oh really?! An existential crisis, my dear lady?! Existential crisis!"
Now he keeps bringing it up in conversation, mockingly. I don't know how to address it. I'm an atheist, but lack zealous fire. Whereas Des is cocooned by solid faith. It feels like we're on opposite sides of an abyss.
Des, by the way, believes Ireland is an emphatically Catholic country and sees no reason to scrub the education system of the Church’s considerable influence. Nevermind the Church’s historical crimes against people in their care… or the Church’s recent opposition in the UN to the human right to freedom from religion. However as Ireland becomes more secular, the entanglement between Church and state will hopefully become more tenuous and ultimately impossible to maintain.