Tuesday, June 30, 2009

That's, um, inspiring

Roxie posted a list of how to annoy a singleton. Here's my new one from today.

I was in Institute (a mid-week gospel oriented class geared toward the 18-30 set) this evening and we had a substitute teacher. Granted, she was a little nervous throughout and she did allude to getting married a little bit older, so I'll cut her a some slack. Still, her ending to the class caused a small curious head tilt.

I enjoyed teaching tonight. Good luck to all of you in . . . everything . . . in the coming, um, however many years. Just wait until you get married and have kids. And I thought being single was hard. class laughs awkwardly In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen. rushed as she sits I meant being pregnant. That's what's hard.

So much to look forward to!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy For Their Happiness

I was talking to a good friend today about his new girlfriend, who is 8 years younger than he is. One of his other friends (a woman nearly 30) has been giving him a hard time about it, essentially saying that it isn't right that a 20-year-old woman should be in a happy relationship (with potential for marriage) when she, a woman with 10 years more life experience, isn't.

I was appalled and it took me a few minutes to formulate a response: Would this woman really, truly want to deprive someone else of a blessing just because the Lord's timing doesn't suit her plans? Would she want to prevent someone else from being happy just because she isn't? Would she want Heavenly Father to hit the "pause" button on this younger woman's life just so she could be selfish? Because that's what it is--selfish. I see how happy my friends with children are, and I would never want to take that from them just because I'm childless. I see how much calm joy my engaged friends have, and I would not want to deprive them of that overwhelming inner peace just because my engagement didn't lead to marriage. If, deep down in my heart, I wanted to take all that away just so I wasn't the only one who was lonely, I would be a very selfish person, and I wouldn't deserve any blessings God wants to give me. I wouldn't even be worthy of the blessings I already had.

I wonder....if you're not happy and grateful for someone else's happiness, how in the world can you think that the Lord would think you'd be happy if he gave you more? Does that make sense? If you can't express gratitude for the way things are, what makes you think you can do it when things finally go "your way"?

I was reminded of the parables, specifically the parable of the talents. A lord (The Lord, you know) had three servants and gave each of them a certain amount of talents and then left on a journey. The servant who was given five earned five more; the servant who was given two earned two more; the servant who was given one hid his in the earth because, as we later discover, he was afraid. He wasn't grateful enough to try to improve what he had been given so he buried it, and it was taken from him and given to the first servant. The last servant, the "wicked and slothful" one, was left with nothing, while the first two were called "good and faithful" and told "thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy [L]ord". Now, isn't that a much better thing to hear? I think so.

I get so tired of the women who can't find any happiness in their hearts for others. I'm sure if they sat down and thought about it, they'd see how blessed they are. Just because ONE BLESSING hasn't been bestowed yet, they think they aren't worth anything, or that their lives mean nothing, or that the other blessings somehow don't count. I've learned to accept my life for what it is and to recognize God's hand in it. Every day I'm reminded that He does love me, He wants me to be happy, and He wants to bless me with everything He has! He just has a different schedule than I do, and I think part of deciding to have a happy life is to make peace with that. We need to remember that WE are not Creators, WE are not Atoners, WE are NOT in charge. Yes, agency comes into play, but because of agency, we can choose to be happy or to be miserable. I simply chose to be happy with what I have instead of focusing on what I don't or being afraid to be happy with what I have. It's so much more fun to list to myself all the things that I'm happy and grateful for than to dwell on the few things I don't have yet.

People who bury that metaphorical talent by being angry or bitter about their lives may not deserve that most precious gift of all: Life. Think about it. Look at your body and how it works. Move your thumbs around. Breathe in the air. Listen to your heartbeat. Think how amazing it is that you can do so many things with this body! Look at the world around you! Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ made this world for you. They created the world, and then they created man and woman. They created a place for their ultimate work: you. What a profound realization! All of this is here so we can be happy and learn that the joy comes from the journey, not the end of it. Single or married, parents or not, we all have life. We all have this journey. The mileposts come at different times for all of us, and if someone reaches the blessing of marriage to a worthy spouse who will love and cherish them forever before us, we should be happy for them! I know I am. It makes me so happy to see my young friends finding their husbands and experiencing that joy that it sometimes makes me cry to think about it. Yes, I'm a little jealous and I feel a little left out sometimes, but if I pay attention and am prayerful and faithful, I get little flashes of insight and clarity that remind me that I have so much to be grateful for, and that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are mindful of me, that they love me more than I can comprehend. And, when the time is right, I will be blessed with more happiness than I can imagine, as long as I am grateful for my current happiness and blessings!

Really, isn't that what we learn from the parable of the talents? Make the best and most of what you have, and be happy for others who have different blessings? Be grateful for what you've been blessed with, and that will prove to Heavenly Father that you can be "faithful over a few things" and that you are worthy of being a "ruler over many things" and "entering into the joy of the Lord."

I don't want to risk losing that.

It's more fun to be happy for other people--who wants to date someone who is bitter and angry all the time? Not me!

Some back story

Having now posted how the next volume in the story of HP and I got started, I should probably tell some of the back story.

HP and I are an internet meeting gone very very right. We met through a friend of mine on an internet dating site and started sending messages back and forth every few days. Within a few weeks we'd moved on to hours of instant messaging every night. In just over a month I'd invited him up to where I was living so we could meet. He came and we had quite the first date, three days long. We went to a museum. We went to a musical. We went to dinner. We met friends and family we both had in the area. And we had our first kiss.

We saw each other a few times that year and continued to talk almost nightly.

But distance is hard, and so after a year of that things slowed down. We still kept in contact, but the frequency was much less.

About two years after we met though, I had a career change that brought me to where he lives. Being in the same city helped us pick up a bit where we left off. We saw each other more and interacted more. Our friendship grew and we started seeing each other rather regularly. In January of this year we decided that we were in fact officially dating with a capital D.

We just really fit. I couldn't have imagined someone more perfect for me. And I also couldn't have imagined meeting someone the way I did.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

It's not because you're short

First of all, congratulations to Roxie! I could not be more excited for her and HP! I've also been reminded in the last few days that wedding plans are lots more fun to talk about when they aren't accompanied by "you know, whenever".

Now, on to my real discussion point.

There's an episode of Grey's Anatomy where a man comes in with incredibly infected legs, a result of a surgery in some foreign country designed to give him a few more inches. He'd been short his entire life and is convinced that he'll have better success in his romantic life if he's taller, like his brother.

His brother, finally fed up with this brother's whiny and negative attitude, snaps. He yells something like "It's not because you're short! It's because that's all you can talk about! You're constantly whining about how short you are and no one wants to around all that negativity!"

I'm here to tell you, he's exactly right.

I've had two such experiences. One young man was a few inches shorter than me, another in a wheelchair. They were both convinced that any hesitancy they were experiencing from the opposite sex was because they were short or wheelchair bound.

I will admit that yes, I would prefer an able-bodied man who is taller than me, even in heels. But it's not a dealbreaker. Not even close. If we're a match in every other way, I will look past the physical. What I can't look past is someone who constantly oozes negativity and desperation.

We all have our physical imperfections. The difference is what we choose to do about it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

We will NOT be registering for the creme brulee torch kit

You know that feeling when all of your wishes and dreams suddenly come true and it's the best feeling in the world?

This is better than that.

You know how sometimes you wish your life could be as romantic as the movies?

They don't write movies this well.

Saturday night the Boyfriend did one of the most romantic things I have ever heard of or thought of. In the sweetest, most thought out, most romantic, wonderful, perfect of ways, he asked me to be his wife. And I said yes.

It feels like a dream, but it's real. I'm 30 years old. And I'd wait another 30 for this if I had to. I couldn't have imagined anything like this. I've been struggling since with just how to thank my Heavenly Father for answering years and years of prayers that there was somewhere a man who would love me this much. I don't know that I'll ever find the right words.

Also, he's not exactly my boyfriend any more, and I'm against French terms for engaged people, so I shall be calling him my Handsome Prince (HP) from now on. It works for him in more ways than one.

As to the title of this post, my brother and his future wife did register for a creme brulee torch kit. They're that kind of people. HP and I are not. I have no idea what to do with a creme brulee torch, and I'm a little scared of what he'd find to do with one. So when I was trying to think of a clever "I'm engaged" post title, that came to mind.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Where do I belong?

This is when it's good to have a place where I can be anonymous. Because I'm not complaining. I'm not looking for sympathy. I'm simply getting words off my chest.

About two and a half months ago I wrote a post comparing some people in the area to some characters in the Wizard of Oz. I just didn't feel like I fit in with them. The Boyfriend got a kick out of the analogy but doesn't remember the flying monkeys in the movie. He thinks they must be pretty cool.

Recently I was reading a book about communities and how they create an espirit de corps. For each group there is a type of initiation into the group. And the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I really don't belong in two of the major communities in my life - where I work and the social group around me. I know people, but I definitely am not a part of the group. And that's hard at work. And might be why I still miss my old job. But I've never really been much of a social person and so that hasn't been too big of a deal for me for the most part. There's never been any kind of initiation for me into those groups.

So then it gets to be night and I start to wonder why I'm not a part of everything. Am I really as weird as a flying monkey? What could I do differently? And even, why does it bother me? And the most important question - why isn't there any chocolate at my place?

And then I remember that I am loved. I do have friends, they're just slightly spread out across the country. And I go to bed and things look better in the morning.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

How we got a song and I announced a, um, something

I know you're supposed to think before you speak, but sometimes that isn't possible, or something.

I've never really known how couples ended up with a song. I've never known a couple who had one. It seemed a thing from the movies or days gone past or something. Yet the other day when the Boyfriend and I were driving around a song came on the radio and before I knew what I was saying I said, "Oh, it's our song!"

But it's not our song because we fell in love to it. It's our song because it follows us around. And we both like it and sing along to it because we know all the words because it's on the radio just about every time we're in the car, some trips more than once. It's our song the way a stray dog is your dog. It just followed us home so we kept it.

The song? "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz. And it's a bit fitting that the Boyfriend likes to nibble my ear when I scooch a little closer.

We prefer this version of it, acoustic with Toca and a garden gnome. He likes the skatting at the beginning. I like the garden gnome. And we both think the end does get dragged on a bit. Now we just need to find this version for sale somewhere.

As for the second time I've spoken without thinking recently -

Tonight we went to a Church scripture class together. He told the instructor (whom I don't know) that we would be leaving early (we wanted to watch "Chess in Concert" on PBS). As we made our exit, the Boyfriend in front of me, the instructor said, "Thanks [Boyfriend], and (pause) spouse?" I was already half out the door and was completely caught off guard on that one, so the only thing I could get out was, "Not yet." And then we walked to the car while I turned redder by the second and he joined me in the redness when he realized what the exchange had been.

Wish I would've taken a moment to think on that one. Although how do you respond to something like that in five seconds or less?

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Kiss De Girl

An interesting little connection occurred to me yesterday while talking to a friend. Somehow, we started discussing musicals and, after a shortened rendition of "Elephant Love Medley", we narrowed it down to Disney musicals. For whatever reason, I decided to share the following story.

It was Valentine's Day, my last semester of college. This young man and I had been seeing a lot of each other for the 2.5 weeks prior, but had to yet to do more than cuddle on the couch and we certainly hadn't discussed the feelings developing between us. He'd surprised me by showing up at work just as we were closing and we'd gone back to his place. We were snuggled on the couch in the living room, which was in the middle of the apartment, his bedroom and his roommate's bedroom were on either side.

While we were deciding that we were definitely dating and were looking forward to seeing where this was going, his roommate suddenly dashed across the living room into my man's bedroom. Within moments, we heard "Kiss The Girl" from The Little Mermaid blasting from the computer speakers. We laughed, but it took the roommate running back and forth to press play three or four times and occasionally yelling "Have you done it yet!?" for us to finally kiss. It was very sweet.

Then, I added this gem:

There was also the time that this guy I was dating in high school and I were playing pool and listening to the soundtrack from Tarzan. "You'll Be in My Heart" had begun shortly before I won the round. The guy then started the song over before coming back to kiss me for the first time. (It was also a rather awkward first kiss, but that's not the point.)

Suddenly, I realized something I'd never realized before. Two of my first kisses were to Disney songs, and while I'm no longer even in contact with either of these guys, the memories still make me smile.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The importance of conversation.

Time for another bad date story.

For a time I was semi-active on an online dating site, although most people deluded themselves into thinking it was a networking site. It isn't. It's a dating site.

One guy I started messaging seemed real interesting. He'd had some adventures in his life and wasn't as weird as some of the other guys I'd talked to. We decided meeting might not be a bad idea since we lived relatively close to each other (different suburbs of the same area).

I'm a woman. So that means in this scenario he should generally be the one to suggest the activity and set it up. He understood that much, kind of. His idea of inviting me on a date was to send me an email 3-4 hours before the start of the activity.

This failed many times. For several reasons.

  1. While I check my email frequently, the odds of me checking it within the time before the activity isn't good.
  2. I have a life. I do not sit at home eating popcorn every night, not planning things, just in case some guy calls me at 6 to see if we can get together at 7. (Exception, Boyfriend does this now, but it's totally expected. There are certain nights during the week that we just get together on. So I expect him to call when he gets home from work and then we figure out what we both still have to do that evening and work out when we can get together. But this is not how we started dating. This only works because of where we are at in our relationship now.)
  3. If he can't figure out how to ask a girl on a date, what else doesn't he know how to do?

So after doing this for a few weeks and it NEVER working out, and him not getting the idea that asking in advance means more advance than travel time, I decided to set the example.

A local theater was performing "Steel Magnolias" and I wanted to see it. So I invited him to meet me at the theater in a week and we could see the show together.

Good date etiquette:

  1. I set it up several days in advance.
  2. I had a plan!

He seemed nice enough, but we just couldn't get a conversation going before the show. It would start, but then he'd just stop, like he'd said everything he needed to say. The same during intermission.

After the show we went to the local eatery for some food. Again, the guy could not carry a conversation to save his life! One of us would start a topic, and after just a few minutes he'd just stop. He could talk about a lot of things, but only for a few minutes. It was exhausting! I like to talk, but it has to be an equal balance. I'm not one of those people who can carry the whole conversation on my own. It was bad.

The local junior high was having a dance that night, and many of the students had come to the same eatery after the dance. I was an elementary teacher at the time and knew a lot of them. It's always fun for me to watch my students see me when I'm not at school. I think in some part of their minds they really do think teachers live at school.

He and I went back to the theater so I could get my car, and that was it for the evening.

I didn't hear from him again for a couple of months. And then it was another invite to do something in a couple of hours. By that time I'd moved states. Poor guy. It looks like he never learned.

The highlights of the date for me:

  1. The show was amazing! I'd seen the movie before, and the movie pulls on your heart. But it's nothing like the live play. And the playwrite wrote it based on the lives of his mom and sister and the women in his town.
  2. Seeing my former students at the eatery. Always fun!
  3. Driving home and thinking about telling the Boyfriend (who was just a friend at that point) about it. He liked hearing about all of my bad dates.

And you know it's a bad date when they guy you are on the date with doesn't even make the top three highlights of the evening.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jaded Judging

I have a really bad habit when it comes to observing other couples. It stems a lot from this little incident, and I know it's wrong, but I still do it.

I wonder if he really loves her.

See. I told you it was bad. I really do it though. I watch them interact, I see pictures, and I wonder if he really loves her. If he really loves the life they have together, and, if there are any, the kids. I wonder if this is what he imagined it would be, or if it's better than that.

Sometimes, it's obvious. They're head over heels and life is grand. Sometimes, I'm not so sure. Then I realize that it's not my relationship and most certainly not my place to judge, so just why in the world am I even asking myself this!?

It's gotten better. It helps when I know the couple, or at least half of the couple. Still, I hate that my trust issues with the guys I date have bled over to other couples. It's not fair to them, especially if I don't even know them.

So, if you're in a relationship (dating, married, whatever) and I've judged you, I'm sorry. I would never do anything about it if I thought he didn't love her, unless, of course, the relationship was abusive in anyway. And one day, I'll be happily married, less angry about the whole dating game, and stop projecting all of my issues onto other people.

At least I hope so.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Promises, promises

I knew for a while that the boyfriend was unlikely to tell me he loves me until he was ready to marry me. And while he hasn't asked me anything about marriage yet, the way he talks, it's definitely something in our future.

The night he first told me he loved me, he also asked me to promise him something. He wanted me to promise that things would not go too far physically until the time was right. That's something I can promise without hesitation. And it's a promise I fully intend to keep.

That one small promise makes so many other promises possible.

In the mean time, it's nice to know that he's talking about "when the time is right," not "maybe sometime in the future."

Monday, June 8, 2009

For the visual learners

This pretty much sums up everything we'll ever talk about.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


I had a post all planned out for May 29th. I think I even asked Roxie way back in February if it was weird that I was planning a post so far in advance. I debated writing it in advance and just setting it to automatically post itself, but I decided to wait until that day. I figured I would be able to best describe my feelings about the day on the day itself.

The day came and went without me even thinking about it.

Until today.

And I’m actually perfectly okay with that and even consider it a victory for me.


May 29, 2005, was, arguably, one of the worst days of my life. It was the day the man I thought I was going to marry told me he didn’t think we should. I don’t remember the exact conversation, except that he did most of the talking. I was too much in shock. Granted, things between us had been tense for the two or three weeks leading up to that night, but I didn’t think he was going to end it completely.

But he did.

And I haven’t had a boyfriend since. Four years without anything lasting more than a few weeks. It’s sometimes a little hard to swallow, but I remind me that someone else loved me once. Someone else will again.

As for the day, I approached it with trepidation in 2006. In 2007, I remembered the anniversary on that day, possibly with a small dose of sadness. 2008 – I probably remembered it on or around that day, but only with a twinge of sadness.

This year? I knew the day was coming up, but it came and went without nary a thought for more than eight days.

Next year, I’m hoping for at least two weeks.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The silent majority

I want to begin by saying that I am speaking for myself right now. Not for the blog. If the other two contributers wish, they can either agree or disagree with me.

There are many blogs yesterday and today who will be celebrating the recent decision in New Hampshire. I am not. I can never celebrate the decision of governments to rewrite the laws of God. And not just that, but the dictionary as well. Looking up "marriage" in a dictionary will result in:

1. the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies, etc.
2. the state, condition, or relationship of being married; wedlock: a happy marriage.
3. the legal or religious ceremony that formalizes the decision of a man and woman to live as husband and wife, including the accompanying social festivities: to officiate at a marriage.

Man and woman. Husband and wife.
Man and woman. Husband and wife.

That is a marriage.

I know many people who are homosexuals. And I know that defining marriage as it has always been defined affects them. But that cannot change what marriage is.

Family is husband and wife. Children deserve father AND mother.

From the sound of things in this nation it would seem that I would be in the minority on this. But I am not. A recent pole showed that 52% of Americans are in favor of leaving the definition of marriage alone, of not changing it.

The majority of Americans are not in favor of allowing marriage to be redefined.

Yet it is the minority that continue to shout and beat the drum.

And it is the squeaky wheel that gets the grease. Even if it's only one of the wheels that is squeaking.

And so in my own way I cannot be part of the silent majority. I am a part of the majority, but I cannot be silent about it.

Destroy the family, the very fabric of society, by redefining it, and you ultimately destroy the society.