I can safely say that I’ve never before wished to be kissed by a dude.
And I had to actually think about that for a second. I’m not homophobic or insecure in the sense that I’d immediately become insulted and answer defensively if somebody asked if I’ve ever before longed to be kissed by a male. And not even on the lips. Just a soft peck on the cheek or forehead.
But nonetheless, the answer is no. I’ve admired men for their looks, don’t get me wrong, but never craved any type of physical contact besides a firm fist bump.
I’m going somewhere with this. I promise.
All of that changed today. When I was watching the coverage of Pope Francis arrive at the White House this morning, followed by a mini-parade in which he waved to onlookers surrounding Capitol Hill, I couldn’t help but notice the Secret Service bring him two babies and a young girl to kiss. I’m guessing — or rather, hoping — it was at the urging of their parents. And the pope obliged.
Those children had no idea what was going on. But how cool of a story will it be when they are older to tell people that they were kissed by the pope? The freaking pope. Basically the human version of God.
And not just any pope, but arguably the most popular and modest one ever. At least in our lifetime.
Forget needing to go to confession, or even praying ever again. If I was blessed by the pope, I would live the remainder of my life as if I could do no wrong. I’d feel immortal.
And I don’t mean that I wish I could go back in time for it. I want Pope Francis to give me a smooch on my forehead, right now, as a 28-year-old man.
In that instant, all my past misgivings would be forgiven. It’s almost like being given a free pass.
Pope Francis is here for six days, and scheduled to visit New York and Philadelphia after Washington. He’s already spoken about immigration, climate change and poverty today, and I’m sure he’ll have a lot more to share before he departs. It’s his first visit to the U.S. — not even as pope, but in all his 78 years of living — and he’s the fourth pontiff to make the trip stateside.
And I demand a kiss on the forehead.
Taylor Swift clearly isn’t going to give me one, despite my constant requests on Twitter, so maybe the “People’s Pope,” as they call him, will acquiesce.
Otherwise, him and I will have Bad Blood.