I bet this title has Mr. Adorable shaking in his boots and scratching his chin. I’m guessing his blood pressure just shot up ten points wondering where his little Parsley Snip might possibly be going with this one? Don’t fret honey; this is just a little family story, all about baby Jesus, his Papa, and all my crazy-assed Texas relatives.

As always, I digress. When I was either five or six, and being raised as a pious Irish Catholic Texican on a cattle ranch outside of Nowhere Texas, our family had a nightly ritual. Every evening, right before bedtime, my parents, grandparents, and whichever spare relatives with five names apiece were on the premises, had to come sit on my bed and listen to my prayers.

Laredo Porter Wagoner T————–, known to all as Big Red, needing a prayer for that threshing incident back in 1953. I could have foretold that having conjoined twins fighting for control in the cab of that thresher wasn’t going to end well. Then there’s Austin Johnny Cash T—————, fondly called Cap Tee; he need praying because, at age 47 his erstwhile music career (playing both the spoons and banjo simultaneously) still hadn’t gotten off the ground and it certainly was looking like a job down at the Feed and Seed was in his future.

Next comes Beaumont George Jones T———-, nicknamed Gator. Poor Gator had never been quite right in the head ever since that midnight skinny-dipping situation when the water moccasin bit him on his willy; no cousins would be added to our family tree from that uncle. Lastly, Laramie Loretta Lynn T————–, called by all Maria. That little filly needed our prayers most of all, since she became the very first lesbian cowgirl in our family’s history. That situation still could have been salvaged if only she hadn’t tied Grandpa’s favorite pet calf “Smelly” to her Ford F150 and pulled it all the way to Kansas before marrying her wife. Yep, my family needed a big bucketful of prayers every single night.

Once I was chock full of the holy spirit from all that praying and was safely tucked in and left alone, I always added one special little request that was uniquely my own, “And please God, don’t let me die a virgin”. I certainly didn’t know exactly what that meant, but I knew it was BIG and a really huge deal.

It was with equal certainty that I knew I would never outlive my teenage years; impending death and dismemberment lurked around every corner of that ranch. Falling from the roof of the 3-story barn, slipping out of the towering mulberry tree, slicing yourself open on rusted barb wire and dying from tetanus. Getting a fatal rattlesnake, black widow, scorpion, or tarantula bite. Really, what chance did a scrawny little kid have to grow to adulthood?

It was that concern for my future and needing to lose my virginity prior to my imminent and premature death that had me petitioning Jesus each and every night until my 18th birthday, when my BFF Mother Nature stepped in and rendered that whole situation (and resultant prayer) moot.

With those ruminations rattling through my memory, it was with GREAT surprise that I woke up yesterday morning to discover it was my 63rd!! birthday. Who ever would have thought? I am quite proud of my twin accomplishments of avoiding BOTH geriatric virginity AND premature death.

“The Catholic church convinced me that God and chocolate are great substitutes for sex. Now I’m a nun, a virgin, AND have diabetes.”

“What do you call a 13-year-old girl from Kentucky who can run faster than her brothers? A virgin”

For all you virgins out there (do you still exist??), have an amazing weekend and keep your situations intact!

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