Monthly Archives: March 2012

Friends?

Standard

Boy likes girl. Boy says sweet things. Boy buys nice gifts. Boy spouts deep dreams. Boy opens car doors. Boy is sooo handsome. Boy is sooo charming. Boy is sooo respectful.

Boy, it feels good to have all this attention. Boy, it feels good to be on top of his world. Boy, it feels good to be treated like a princess. Boy MUST be Mr. Right.

Boy gets girl. Boy abandons friends. Boy ignores acquaintances. Boy only talks to girl, only thinks about girl, only spends time with girl, only cares about girl.

Boy, it feels good to be the most important aspect of boy’s life.

Why does boy care about girl? Because he is in love? No… Boy cares about girl because girl makes boy feel good. Once girl stops making boy feel good, boy will stop caring about girl.

We’ve all seen it. We’ve all been stung by it. Our friend enters a relationship… and we lose said friendship. It is completely unhealthy. And it happens way too often.

Unfortunately, people seem to think that two people who shun the rest of the world so that they can spend every waking minute together are in a healthy relationship. They say the couple is “in love” and move on. They mistake this kind of obsession for devotion.

In all reality, at the core of any healthy romantic relationship is a strong friendship. A person who walks away from all other friends to “devote” himself or herself to his/her love interest does not know how to be a good friend. If a person does not know how to be a good friend, s/he cannot be a good boy/girlfriend. My example above showed a man interested in a woman. It can go opposite ways just as easily. This isn’t a dig against men.

If he cannot be a loyal friend, he cannot be a loyal spouse. If she cannot be trusted around other men while you are dating, she cannot be trusted once you are married. If she cannot keep a friend’s secret, she cannot keep her boyfriend’s secret. If he lies to his friends, he will lie to his wife. If she interrupts her friend during arguments, she will interrupt her husband during arguments. If he blames his friends for his problems, he will blame his wife for his future problems. If she twists others’ words, she will twist her husband’s words. If he doesn’t listen to others while he is mad at them, he won’t listen to his wife when he gets mad at her. If she walks away from friends without explanation, she will walk away from her husband without any explanations. If he walked away from a perfect God whom he claimed to love, he will walk away from his imperfect wife whom he claimed to love.

It’s how relationships work. If you want to know if the person you are dating has what it takes to enter a healthy marriage, take a look at how s/he treats friends.

List of Things to Do When You are Bored and Alone

Standard

I recognize the fact that not every single woman has the advantage of living on  a street like mine. When I get bored, I simply open my door and saunter outside.

Bloodcurdling screams? Check.

Drug deals on the corner? Check.

Drunk boxing matches on my neighbor’s front porch? Check.

Intoxicated men of all ages eager to hit on me and drool all over my… um… motorcycle? Check.

All this AND pizza next-door!

Nonetheless, other singles feel plagued by boredom on a regular basis. In order to help out anyone who may fall into that “bored” category, I have devised the following List of Things to Do When You are Bored and Alone:

  1. Need spark? Pour a bucket of ice water over your television set. TV is a waste of life anyway. Not only will this action create incredible spark (and perhaps some smoke), it will also make for a great story later on!
  2. Would you like to let out some pent-up frustration? Perhaps you recollect some not-so-fond memories with an ex-boyfriend. I do not condone shooting people. But… a paintball gun, a Target store with a well-lit sign, and a healthy imagination at 3am may relieve some of that frustration. Worried about being arrested for vandalism? Don’t be silly. The store’s name is Target. They are begging for it. And besides – even if you do get arrested – vandalism charges are not nearly as big of a deal as manslaughter charges. This may save your ex-boyfriend’s life.
  3. Devise super heroes an super villains based on yourself and a group of your friends. No friends? Any random group of people will suffice. Make a comic strip and post it on Facebook with all individuals tagged. (If all else fails, use politicians; maybe you will be able to pass off your work as political cartoons and get paid.)
  4. Go to Pizza Hut. Find a head cook named James. Or Josh. Whichever. Burst into tears and tell him you will never forgive him for cheating on you. Then give him back some random tee shirt that you say was his and walk away with disgust. Cry out over your shoulder something about how he will never get to meet his daughter. Then call his mother and tell her that “Operation Prank-My-Son” is complete.
  5. Drive to a local bar or a street like the one I live on. Find a man who is passed out drunk and paint his fingernails to look like ladybugs. Bonus points if you find a man who has not yet passed out and he agrees to let you paint his nails! (Paint the conscious man’s nails to look like smiley faces rather than ladybugs.)
  6. Hitch a ride with a cab driver. When it is time to get out of the car, tell the driver that you are desperately lonely. Explain that you would have called a shrink, but you cannot afford one. Don’t leave the taxi until you’ve shared a story sad enough to make the driver cry.
  7. Grab a tambourine and join the local heretic on the street corner.
  8. Drive to a gas station and pretend your car has broken down. Wait for guys to show up. If an ugly one wanders by, assure him that you’ll be okay – help is on the way. If some cute ones stop, milk that “damsel in distress” routine for all it is worth. 😉
  9. Stand outside the local pound and sing “Who let the dogs out?” If anyone asks you to leave, explain that you are trying to launch your career as an animal entertainer. Sing to the dogs because they are more enthusiastic listeners than most other pets.
  10. Walk around town blowing bubbles. Do not avoid other people you know.

I hope this list serves you well. Please let me know the outcome of any ideas you try from this list. Feel free to offer your own input.

Damsel in Distress

Standard

Arthur

60 degrees Fahrenheit in New York State at the beginning of March. Not normal. Needless to say, the warm weather draws out bikers. I passed three motorcycles on my lunch break yesterday. I returned to work only to watch and hear more motorcyclists drive by my window. By the time I finished my workday, I was beginning to feel desperate. I missed Arthur terribly.

Unfortunately, Arthur sat in my parents’ garage a half hour away, deep in hibernation. With his seat taken off and laid aside, his battery hooked up to a tender, and his engine loosely draped with a sheet, Arthur was prepared to rest for another few months. Although some salt lingers on the roads and another snowfall is likely before spring commences, I could not resist the urge to wake my motorcycle from his slumber.

I drove to my parents’ house and aroused my sleeping motorcycle.

After piecing him back together, I hopped on and headed for the nearest gas station to fill his depleted tires. I filled his front tire without a problem. Then I went for the back. Suddenly I remembered this episode from last year. His back tire’s spokes are too close together. The hose on the air pump does not fit easily. After struggling for about ten minutes I called my dad and asked for his help.

While talking with him on my cell phone, two young men approached me. They started with friendly conversation, asking about the size of the bike and such. Seeing the frustration on my face, they proceeded to ask what my trouble was. I pointed toward the back tire and whined that I could not attach the hose to fill it.

They stepped toward the bike and squatted to make their own attempts. I called my dad to tell him I did not need him anymore; Others offered me help. I smiled, satisfied that they also struggled to hook up the air hose to the tire. That assured me that the process really is difficult. It’s not just my own ineptness. After about five minutes of pulling and adjusting, they told me to put the quarters in the machine and the air began to pump.

As they worked on my tire, they told me stories of their own motorcycling experiences. I smiled half-heartedly as they described past accidents and wicked injuries. Nonetheless, their love for the hobby remained.

I thanked them once they finished, and they began to chat further. They had already mentioned how rare it is to see a girl with a motorcycle. Now they emphasized that they really came over to help because I was cute. I almost stopped them to inquire if they would have helped me even if they were not attracted to me. But I decided to let the comment slide. I didn’t want to attack their honor when they had just done me a favor.

The more talkative of the two declared, “It’s always nice to help a damsel in distress.”

Just like the cute comment, I almost interrupted him to argue. Instead I paused and considered how much easier these guys had made my task. I know that eventually I would have gotten that hose hooked up to Arthur’s back tire. But I also know that it would have taken a lot more time and effort than I wanted to give.

I smiled back at them both and replied, “It’s always nice to find help when you are a damsel in distress.”

A few moments later we said our goodbyes and I hopped on my bike. As I journeyed home, I couldn’t help but appreciate how fun it is to be a girl.

If I were a guy struggling in the same situation, I highly doubt they would have sauntered over to lend a hand. Although the whole situation seemed rather minor, I felt as if that scene reflected God’s natural plan for men to act toward women. They sacrificed their time and energy to take care of me in my moment of need.

So now I am issuing the appropriate biblical response. I want to honor these guys. I started by fighting the urge to argue with them or accuse them. Ultimately, I want to honor every man who gives something up to protect or provide for a woman.

Girls, listen to me! Fight your selfish pride. Fight your ungrateful attitude. Train yourself to treat men with respect and to recognize their noble deeds – no matter how small or insignificant those deeds seem.  Just by being kind, we can encourage healthy interactions with men.

Deep down inside, every damsel in distress wants to be rescued and every man wants to be a hero. It’s not such a bad thing.

Stereotypical Man

Standard

“Men are pigs. They can’t help themselves.”

 

I hear the sentiment from all kinds of women in all kinds of places. This stereotype shoots across cultures and religions. Men cannot control themselves around women. Men are lustful. Men only think about sex.

 

I’m sure this is a real problem within the male race. However, this stereotype implies two falsehoods:

  1. Women      do not wage a similar battle against sexual temptation.
  2. Men      should not be held accountable for sexual sin because they have no control.

 

The other night I stumbled across Proverbs 7. The author (Solomon, I believe) recounts a situation with a seemingly clueless young man and a crafty, seductive woman. The woman spends the chapter luring the man into her home to have relations. The man spends the chapter being lured. Simple enough. Although the man in this scene falls for this provocative woman’s tactics, Solomon does not speak of any stereotype indicating this man had no control. He, instead, points out this man’s lack of wisdom. Then he warns his own son, and he teaches him that wisdom will protect him from women like “her”.

 

He says, “Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” (v. 25-27 KJV)

 

Tell me: If  men were not able to control their sex drives around women, why would Solomon even bother with this statement? Solomon knew that saying “No” to a woman like that would be difficult for his son. But he also knew that it would be possible.

 

I thought it was interesting that men, in general, take most of the heat for being sexual aggressors while this woman in Proverbs made all the moves. The man was an almost-innocent bystander. No, he was not completely innocent. But he was also not the leading offender. She dressed up like a harlot. She caught him. She kissed him. She perfumed her bedroom. She invited him home while the husband was away. She did most of the dirty work.

 

Next my mind wandered back to the story of Joseph. Joseph was doing his work, taking care of Potiphar’s household when “his master’s wife cast her eyes upon Joseph; and she said, ‘Lie with me.’” (Genesis 39:7 KJV)

 

Joseph, being a man and everything, lost all control and screwed around with the beautiful woman… Oh, wait – that’s not what happened?

Once again, the woman victimized the man. She pursued his affections. She did everything in her power to seduce him. When Joseph turned from her advances, she became angry and framed him.

 

It seems to me that modern society turns its head from scenarios like the two above. These are definitely not the only instances of sexual sin referenced in the Bible. Throughout the Bible, men and women are shown battling sexual temptation. I referenced these two specifically because they seem to embody the issues that are often ignored these days.

 

Let’s face the facts: Both genders are guilty. Humans lust. Humans struggle with sexual temptation. Enough with this “He’s a man; he cannot help it.” Enough with this “She’s a woman; she can’t be in it just for sex.”

 

Once we quit pointing figures, we can begin to work on solutions.

Take the Hint

Standard

“So what’s your favorite dinner food?”

I looked at the man questioning me. There is only one possible reason he wants to know. I didn’t dare respond.

He asked again, “Seriously, what kind of food do you like? You like steak?”

“Uh… I like to fast, actually. Yeah,” I offered him the lamest answer I could come up with. I have already refused invites for coffee, dinner, bowling, and a trip to the movie theater. By no means do I lead this poor man on.

“Oh, you like fast food? Like Burger King or McDonald’s?” he enthused.

“NO!” I started to panic. “No, not fast food… I meant I like to fast – as in, I don’t like to eat.”

I would say ANYTHING to get out of this situation – to cause him to give up and move on. He ignored my hesitant and completely non-informative reply by asking again in a different way. I looked at the seven year-old boy sitting nearby. He had been watching our exchange in silence.

I realized he could be my scapegoat. I smiled at him and said, “What do you like to eat?”

Before he could respond, my interrogator jumped in and countered, “I didn’t ask him! I want to know what you like to eat. I have something up my sleeve.”

Here’s the thing: He’s a very nice man. But he hasn’t a chance in the world. I’ve denied his offers countless times. He cannot take a hint.

I’ve told him I am not interested in a relationship. I turn down each and every date. Recently I turned down yet another dinner invitation – I think it was the fourth one. He asked if I would change my mind if he sent flowers to me at my workplace. I looked him in the eye and declared the gesture would not help. I would still not date him. He shook his head and mumbled something about, “All I can do is keep trying…”

I was flabbergasted. Or you could give up….

How do you react to a man who does not back down after you have blatantly rejected him several times over? I’ve already admitted that he is a nice guy. He is very sweet. I really don’t want to become vicious toward him. Unfortunately, bold and honest rejection is completely ineffective. I have never before met someone so willfully oblivious to my lack of interest. I’m not sure what else to try. Some suggest that I take him up on one of his offers. I cannot bring myself to do that. I believe it would only encourage his pursuit all the more.

In the meantime, I remain polite toward him. And I avoid flirting or anything that could possibly be misconstrued as flirting at all costs. And I pray that the perfect woman will bounce into his life and take his mind off me completely. And quickly.

Anyone else got any ideas? Why won’t this guy take the hint?