Archive for June, 2010

I am not most women.


I ran into an acquaintance of mine at the gym a couple of evenings ago and was amused by our interaction. I had mentioned to him a few months ago that I wanted to learn how to skateboard. Coincidentally, my acquaintance has the same name as my boyfriend, though they spell their names differently.

Smyth*: Have you learned how to skateboard yet?

Me: No, not yet. I have too many hobbies, and thus not enough time for all of them.

Smyth: Why don’t you have a boyfriend?

Me: Actually, I do have a boyfriend.

Smyth: Who is it?

Me: His name is Smith*. He likes to skateboard.

Smyth: Hmm, he is trying to copy me.  Then why don’t you know how to skateboard yet?

Me: There is a long list of things that I want Smith to teach me; we haven’t gotten to skating yet. He knows a lot of things about a lot of things. He is extremely smart.  And awesome.  And wonderful.  And amazing.

Smyth: You are going to be married within two months.

Me: No, I won’t be.

Smyth: Sure you will.

Me: Listen, I am thirty-one, never married, no children. I am in no hurry to get married.

Smyth: Most women wouldn’t say that.

Me: Well, I am not most women.

Smyth: You’ll probably be having kids soon, too.

Me: I do not want to have any kids.

Smyth: What? Of course you do.

Me: No, I don’t.

Smyth: You will change your mind.

Me: I haven’t wanted children since I was fifteen years old. I seriously doubt I will change my mind. I have a heart for working with teen girls and would like to invest in their lives rather than having my own children.

Smyth: Well, you probably know all about birth control.

Me: Yes, my preferred method of birth control until marriage is abstinence.

Smyth: I have heard that that method is 100% effective.

Me: Yeah, except for the Virgin Mary.

Smyth: Ha ha. Okay, well, I need to get back to working out.

Me: Okay, see ya.

Within the space of five minutes, I told Smyth three things that he has probably never heard a woman say: I am in no hurry to get married, I do not want to have children, and I practice abstinence.  I don’t think he knew what to do with any of that information.  His world was just turned upside down.  Or maybe that was more because he was lying on his stomach to do hamstring curls.

*Names have been changed.

Where have you been?

A very insightful INTJ friend of mine wrote me an email over the weekend and observed, “I noticed you haven’t been blogging much lately. Can I take this as a sign that things are going well for you? I hope so.”

The three other people who read my blog may have also noticed that I have not been as prolific in my blogging output of late as in previous months.

Indeed, things in my life are going extremely well. I have a sense of joy and peace in my life that is greater than anything I have ever felt. My relationship with God is the best it has ever been. He is working in my life in amazing ways, and He has blessed me beyond measure.

I suppose that the main reason for my absence is that I wanted to keep my recent joys, struggles, and experiences close and share them only with my closest friends for the time being. I strive to be authentic on my blog (as in life), and I felt unable to discuss trivial matters, yet I was not ready to share recent events with the world (well, the four people who read my blog).

My biggest struggle of late has been that an ex-boyfriend of mine has been harassing me, and I have had to take legal action. I praise God for this struggle, because it has helped me to grow and heal tremendously. The harassment has been going on for nearly a year (longer than we dated in the first place).  

I had previously felt a great deal of guilt and shame, feeling like it was my fault, allowing my boundaries to be violated (though not consciously aware that this was happening). Actually, one of my friends (an ENTJ) said, “It probably was your fault.” But even that was so freeing to hear! His point was that it does not matter why, we are all sinful, but that God’s grace covers our sin, and in His sovereignty, He will use all things for good.

In taking legal action, I feel empowered, and I am able recognize and respond to the boundary violations because I am getting healthier and starting to feel some healthy anger. (I rarely feel anger.) I have also had to ask for help and support and prayer from others, which in itself is freeing, as I have a very difficult time asking for help in general. Through this struggle, I have had an enormous sense of peace and assurance that God is in control, that He is working, and I feel so much healing taking place, and thus, my struggle has been such a blessing.

The greatest experience in my life lately is that I have met my soulmate, who I call Smith*. God has a great sense of irony. On my first date with Smith, we discussed love, and I exclaimed on our date, “What is love anyway?” In a short period of time, God has shown me what love is in ways I never could have imagined or expected. Smith is the most amazing and fascinating man I have ever met. Everything about my relationship with him is different than anything I have ever experienced.

We are so similar; he is virtually a male version of me. If you have followed my blog, or if you know me personally, you may be aware that I am a unique individual.  I have always felt a gap between myself and others in relationships and friendships, like I have never really fit in anywhere, and I truly did not believe I would ever find someone so like-minded, someone with whom I *belong*. Yet God decided in His infinite graciousness and wisdom to bless me with this man who I respect and appreciate beyond anything I could have anticipated. He loves God, he has a wonderful and kind heart, he is brilliant, and he feels the same way about me that I feel about him.

It is difficult to briefly summarize how God has used this relationship for good; there is so much I would love to write. I will say for now that one of the most significant aspects of my relationship with Smith is my ability to completely be myself. He is so safe for me. I understand myself better because Smith and I are so much alike that being with him is like looking in a mirror (he is an INTJ, too, but there is so much more connectedness than can be accounted for solely by personality theory!). He gets me in ways no one else ever has. One benefit to being able to just be myself is that I feel like I am freer in my other friendships, so that I am able to be a better friend to others because my own insecurities are minimized.

I wake up every morning thanking God for what He is doing in my life. I hope to share more with you soon. Thank you for sticking with me, faithful reader.

*Names have been changed.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

I do not understand what is wrong with people.

I was in a popular department store on my lunch break yesterday, and I had one item to purchase. Seeing as how it was lunch time, the checkout lines were long. Everyone needed to buy crap on their thirty minute break (that they stretch to one hour and justify in their minds) from slaving away for The Man in order to feel better about themselves, to get some release from the pressures of paperwork and blackberries, or iphones/ipads, or whatever kids are using these days.

Shopping as therapy. Consumerism as crack. Materialism as an escape.

Keep in mind that I absolutely hate shopping. I needed one specific item, and I had perused similar items online prior to entering the store, so I knew what I was looking for. I needed this particular item, as the one I own is falling apart. And I generally find great sales at this particular store, and thankfully, there is no mall nearby, so the pedestrian traffic tends to be lighter.

As I went to check out, two registers were open, and it will come as no surprise to you that one cashier was frustratingly detained by a woman who had a myriad of issues, so that her transaction lasted at least the duration of time it took for sharp, young Evan, the other cashier, to ring up five sales (maybe more; she was still there when I left the store).

I had been waiting in line for approximately four minutes while Evan, a clean cut teenager (yes, I guess it is possible!) maintained a professional air of calm as he efficiently scanned and bagged for the customers in front of me.

At long last, a third woman cashier materialized at a nearby register, and sang the magical words, “I can take the next person in line.”

Evan was just getting started with the gentleman in front of me, and I was behind him with my one item, and there was another man behind me. I began walking toward the new cashier but had barely taken two steps when the middle-aged man behind me cut me off and rushed in front of me in order to secure the first place in line at the newly opened register.

Reason #467,891 why I hate consumerism: Shoppers have no respect.

I was appalled that a middle-aged man who was behind me in line could be rude enough to cut in front of a younger female who was holding only one item. What is wrong with our culture?

What is wrong with men that they do not respect women, that they refuse to honor and elevate women? What is so dysfunctional about the shopper behind me in line that he felt a sense of entitlement, a sense of priority over me?

I ended up taking my chances with Evan, who was doing a great job, and I told him so as he scanned and bagged for me.

What Are You Looking For

A friend recently lamented to me in an email about how he really wants to find a serious relationship, how he longs for companionship, a girlfriend. In one thread of our conversation, I asked him what he is looking for in a woman.

He wrote,

You would think it would be easy to find this but you’d be surprised. I would like to find my best friend and my lover. Someone that I can talk to about anything. Someone that wants to be around each other a lot but not 24/7. Someone who is romantic and affectionate.

These qualities seemed so vague as to be useless. So in response, I asked him what he was like, what sort of personality and interests he had, and how that would fit into the type of woman he was looking for. I asked him to share more specific qualities about himself and the potential girlfriend he was seeking that might make them compatible.

He replied,

As far as my personality I would say I am laid back go with the flow. I like to plan things but at the same time I also like last minute spontaneous adventures. At times I live for the moment. But I also want some planning and organization for major things. I don’t want someone exactly like me. But I do want us to have things in common. I do like to try new things and I hope that whoever I may date likes things that right now I might seem to have no interest in, but we go and do it together and I end up liking her. I am me and I feel I shouldn’t have to change for anyone.

I cannot help but think that he does not know himself well. Everything he says contradicts itself. And it still seems very vague to me.

I want to encourage him to learn more about himself in order that he might better discern what type of woman would be a compatible match for talking about anything, spending a lot of time together, and sharing some common interests but also having separate interests. Yet, I do not feel that I can give unsolicited advice.

Of course he asked me in return what I am looking for in a man, but I will let you guess how I responded.

I will share this, because I find it amusing. I indicated to him that I am looking for someone intelligent, and he replied back,

The intelligence in you! Which is also probably why you and I would never work out. I can already tell just from your emails you have a much more extensive vocabulary than I.