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Archive for March, 2010

Apologies for a rather sudden absence. I’ve been under a lot of stress with work lately and preparing to move (AGAIN), and haven’t had much to share here. Bethany’s brother is visiting her for his spring break, so they’re off touring Europe. Siiiigh.

I did find something to post for FF this week, at least. (And I hope next week posting will be improved.) It’s from the great blog Etiquette Hell, which I particularly like for its accounts of weddings gone wrong. Terrible person that I am, I do enjoy a dose of wedding-related Schadenfreude.

Today’s FF isn’t necessarily wedding-related, but I still found it hilarious. Etiquette Hell posted “1950s Dance Etiquette” which is charming and amusing on many different levels. I was going to post a photo from the site, but then realized it would probably not be kosher without permission. So I’ll just tell you to click on the link and find great “dos and don’ts” that include:

-Don’t be a butterfly

-Don’t pounce on a new partner with obvious delight

-Allow total creepers to cut in on your dance

Happy Friday!

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Although I dislike holidays that seem to “require” you to celebrate in a way that involves some form of “going out to party,” I am rather fond of St. Patrick’s Day. Even though, like VD, it is based on a legend that may or may not have happened.

Unlike St. Valentine’s Day, StPD involves many things I love, or at least enjoy: the color green, the British Isles, snakes, alcohol consumption, Irish folk music, breaking Lent, and Irish accents.

I’m also not opposed to good luck, Lucky Charms, or shamrocks.

But those leprechauns can get a little creepy sometimes.

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I wasn’t sure what to post for FF today, but STOP THE PRESSES! Thanks to the ladies at Manolo for the Big Girl, it was brought to my attention that today is Liza Minnelli’s birthday. In honor of that (and to get the song stuck in Bethany’s head), I bring you …

Happy Birthday, Liza, and Happy Friday to the rest of you!

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I was thinking about saving this for Friday Frivolity, but I don’t think it’s really all that frivolous.

I was cruising through my old Facebook “notes” (which are pretty sparse, considering how long I’ve been ON Facebook) and found this. It’s a copy of an email I sent to my mother years ago, when I was in college, after she claimed to have “given up” in trying to fix me up with someone.

I love my mother, but, contrary to the advice of many Christian resources (I’m looking at YOU, Boundless), I wouldn’t trust her to fix me up with anyone. Not that I don’t believe she has my best interests at heart, just that … look, it’s a long story, OK?

Anyway, we’ve had issues in the past with her trying to fix me up. Sometime in my senior year, she tried to talk up one of her nursing students, and then an employee of my stepdad’s car care center. At one point, I received this email from her:

Hi Em,

I have learned my lesson big time when it comes to trying to “fix you up”. So has Aunt Mar. Unless you send me a notarized statement saying it is Ok, I am out of the “fixing up” business. Love Mom PS, He is so dang cute though, and by the way, Jeremy at the Lube, is staying on to help when he is not at his new job. 🙂

After some thinking, I came up with a lengthy response.

From: Me
To: My mother

Subject: A Sincere Response, in the Style of Jane Austen

My Dearest Mother,

I sincerely and humbly thank you for your claiming to have learned this “lesson” as you refer to it. However, I feel the need to relate some details to you that may help to further clarify my frustration with previous matchmaking attempts.

While I, as much as any young woman, would not like to spend the rest of my earthly days with a man of unattractive features and slovenly dress, I am fully aware that this is not the first priority one must have in mind when selecting her future mate. Several things, for me, take precedence over physical appearance. The most important, with which I hope you agree, is that he be a sincere and practicing Christian. Due to the fact that Aunt Marlene cares little for the spiritual aspect of life, and is, in fact, quite hostile to it, I am sure you understand that because of this one criterion alone I feel I must disregard her opinion when it comes to single men. Though I treasure her as a close relative, I am inclined to ignore her when she serves as a judge of character, and am a bit relieved that she has given up her own matchmaking attempts and now, I’m sure, considers me a lost cause.

That being said, my second requirement for a good match would be one of at least average intelligence. However, a certain level of emotional maturity must also accompany it, for during the course of my education, I have encountered many young men who easily fulfill the first requirement, yet are alarmingly lacking in the latter. While I would also prefer to not be overwhelmed by the sheer genius of my gentleman caller / betrothed / husband, neither would I enjoy the feeling of knowing that I possess a mind far superior to his. This, of course, would breed contention and disrespect, neither of which are desirable in a marriage for anyone.

Yet another very important characteristic would be a kindly attitude toward his fellow man. An intelligent, virtous man may have a tendency to look down on others and consider them beneath him, or unimportant, and thus sink to rudeness and crassness of word and behavior. This is not to be borne, and thus I require a man of humble yet steadfast and sympathetic character. Found in this category, as well, must be a good set of manners–perhaps not always impeccable, but certainly gentlemanly.

Last of all is that infamous desire of any young woman to be matched up with a man of handsome features and excellent taste. (It is, of course, a desire not restricted to the feminine sex, for it is well known that men, on their part, prefer a lady of grace and beauty, as well.) This, however, must not be the first priority, and is only to be examined once the above characteristics have been achieved. Such proverbs that warn against judging “a book by its cover,” or the biblical verse of looking into a man’s heart rather than his “outward appearance,” have been proven time and again throughout the ages, and I believe it is not something to be ignored today. Of course, a man I may find physically mediocre is entirely different from a man I consider disgusting and repulsive, and that is something to be kept in mind. Very specific physical features, such as dark hair, generous height, and green or blue eyes, are merely what we call “perks” and not necessities.

In conclusion, I wish to say that should you find a single man possessing these above-mentioned characteristics, I would willingly consider him for a future, more intimate relationship. However, the use of such lifeless and unspecific adjectives to describe him, such as “nice” and “cute,” will always arouse my suspicions that he may indeed be those things—and nothing else. My list of traits is not exhaustive, and is certainly subject to differences in situation and opinion. I have not listed other important characteristics, such as the kind and quality of an eligible man’s family. Though important, such things are difficult to discern upon only a few meetings. All in all, I trust that you understand (and agree) that your daughter is a very special young woman, and as such, requires a similarly special match.

With All Love and Sincerity,
Your Daughter,
Emily

And after several years have passed, I’m happy to see that these views have largely remained unchanged.

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I have to be honest and say that I don’t really feel like updating this blog right now. In Adulthood 101, however, Lesson One is “Doing Things When You Don’t Feel Like It,” and I’m determined not to let this blog go into another overlong period of abandonment.

Posting is really easy when I’m content with my singleness, or when only one little thing is bothering me, or when I’ve had a Major Spiritual Epiphany and I want to share it. But when I’m just feeling down, when I think, “Hey, I’m single and not really liking it right now,” it’s hard to post.

I don’t want this blog to become a big fat whine-fest pity party, but I want to be Real, which means taking the bad with the good. (Thanks to Kristina for reminding me of this at choir practice on Sunday.)

So yeah, I’m not feeling the singleness-love right now, which happens, and that’s okay. Part of it is that I know three couples that are getting married this summer. (THREE. Just in the SUMMER.) Not that I’m not happy for them, it’s just … oh my gosh. It seems like a lot. Not only that, a couple of my friends are pairing off and dating new people. Not to the point of engagement—people tend to launch into the mentality of “OMG HOW MANY BABIEZ ARE U GONNA HAVE???!!!!???!!!!!!eleven??? LOLZ” … and I want to avoid that.

Anyway, all of that makes me feel a little more alone, because much of my single-related contentedness relies on a sense of solidarity with my other single friends, and every time one of them starts dating someone seriously, I feel a little bit of that being chipped away. That’s probably because of some deep-seated insecurity and lack of faith, or something else equally crappy. Actually, a lot of it is jealousy too, since even though I’m perfectly aware that I may be single forever, I’m not entirely reconciled to the idea, and I think “If that flawed person with all his/her idiosyncrasies can find someone, why can’t I?” (And I say that with all the love in the world.)

Unfortunately, I’ve been watching a lot of “House” online lately, which makes me feel a lot more pessimistic and hopeless in general. (Probably a sign that I should stop watching.) Last night I became convinced that I’m going to be a lonely, miserable, sarcastic, female version of House in 20 years—only without the limp and the pretty, pretty blue eyes.

… I’m sorry, where was I? Oh, right…

I think a lot of my negative feelings truly come back to a lack of trust that God has my best interests at heart and that everything is going to work out for the best, and He won’t drop the ball. Which is stupid on my part. As I said to Bethany earlier, “It does help to remember that God’s brought me through and to some pretty crazy/wonderful stuff so far, most of which I never saw coming.”

So … those are my singleness-related thoughts for today. I’ve felt better since starting to write this post, and that’s a good sign.

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Hey all!

Hope you’re having a good weekend. Sorry that I was intensely distracted by a huge number of things yesterday, and didn’t get the chance to post FF. But I have something for you today, courtesy of The Onion. Doesn’t matter what you think of Obama, this video is hilarious:

Obama Caught Lip-Syncing Speech

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My Monday-night small group, not to be confused with my Sunday-night small group (I know, I know, you are just overwhelmed by my blinding holiness — i’m so spiritual, I get to use the carpool lane when I’m on my way to heaven) is currently discussing the idea of “true beauty” and the world’s view compared to the Lord’s view. One of the Scripture passages we read was:

1 Peter 3:3-4: Your adornment must not be merely external–braiding the hair, and wearing gold jewelry, or putting on dresses; but let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the imperishable quality of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is precious in the sight of God.

This got me thinking how the world’s recommendation—magazines, websites, TV, etc.—says to work on the outside first. Get fit, get the right makeup, wear clothes that comple/iment your body, act sexy, and then you’ll feel better inside—confident, radiant, motivated!

The problem with that is that it’s so unstable. Even if you’re totally put-together, if you step outside into one sudden rainstorm, the whole package of well-done hair/makeup/outfit is literally washed away.

But when you work on the inside first—focusing on the gentle and quiet spirit and putting emphasis on outward appearance last—then not even the heaviest rainstorm can wash that away. And of course, “gentle and quiet spirit” doesn’t mean being weak, a pushover, and never speaking (fortunately for me), but having peace in the Lord and resting in Him.

And although inner peace and the love of Christ can shine out of us even on our worst-looking days, not even the most professional makeup or trendiest clothes can completely hide a harsh tongue or a broken spirit.

Proverbs 31:30: Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.

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