Whether you’re attending a Dinner party, birthday party, wedding celebration or baptism in Ireland these days, there are two popular topics of interest, which will definitely be mentioned at some stage over the course of the conversation, Katie Taylor and Fifty Shades.
Any red-blooded Irish man or woman couldn’t help but get an uplifting feeling and deep sense of pride in Katie Taylor when her name was called out after an agonizing 8 second wait to see who won gold. To win gold in the Olympics is a real fete for any athlete but for an Irish female, from not a particularly advantaged background to go forth and win gold in a sport that failed to get recognition from the Olympic camp and deliver the very first women’s lightweight boxing medal to Ireland, is history making stuff. Katie was the hero and the pride that I felt, was in her personally, she was her own boss, an empowered woman, no master, she was the mistress of her own fortune and future, and so her acceptance speech let me down. I, never accused of being humble or unassuming, sat poised at the edge of the sofa, ready to hear the triumphant words and inspiring one liners to be delivered by Katie, which would surely make national headlines in the newspapers. Alas, there was no “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” moment but several expressions of thanks to God and Jesus, neither of whom I noticed at the opening ceremony nor the previous matches. Such a selfless acceptance from this spiritual girl totally blindsided me. I thought that her victory was well deserved through hard work and natural talent and maybe that kind of determination would be something I could emulate, not in boxing in 2016 per se but perhaps to get me out walking in order to lose half a stone. However if it was all down to God, then this Thomasina would have to look elsewhere for inspiration cos me and God don’t ever happen to bump into each other, ever since I handed him the blame for any negative and took full and exclusive credit for all positives in my live.
It was then that it dawned on me. What if I gave God a little credit, not all, still kept some for myself but let him think he had responsibility for at least one positive thing, perhaps I could work on an incentive basis and maybe he would deliver more, more frequently if I gave a little back. So I started, Thank you God for this sunny day, Thank you God for the food we are about to eat, ( shoving the Tesco online receipt deep into my pocket), Thank you God for my lovely children, (I didn’t mention the stretch marks and varicous veins) All week I thanked him for everything I could think of, dishing out the credit willy nilly. If this incentive scheme was ever to work, it would be this week after my sincere efforts. By Friday morning I expected results, I had played the game with God all week and now it was his time to deliver a tangible result, I didn’t expect a gold Olympic medal but I had wished for a 3kg weight reduction. Standing on the scales and witnessing the needle cockily rise to its usual position, I shook my hands and look to God, “Why God, why, I thought we agreed, you did it for Katie, not for me?”, I pleaded, hoping our Lord would give an answer sooner rather the later, as the bathroom was cold. The mighty voice boomed back “While Katie was knocking fifty shades out of the punch bag for months before her fight, you sat back with Fifty Shades and a bottle of wine, expecting results by Friday, do you see what is wrong?” Of course, I could see what was happening, God was going to punish every woman that read Fifty Shades, but halfway through the mucky book , I feel I have no choice but to submit, I will have to take the punishment, cos I ain’t leaving down the book. No sir.