Posts Tagged ‘Romance’

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,

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


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Taylor Swift’s song “You Belong With Me” is a classic tale of boy-meets-girl, girl-waits-an-eternity-for-boy-to-realize-girl-is-perfect-for-him-and-dump-his-current-girlfriend-while-girl-listens-to-him-complain-about-current-girlfriend.

By the time adulthood rolls around, though, it’s not nearly so cute.

Of course, if you haven’t heard the song, look for it on YouTube—preferably with the music video. Then meet me back here.

In response to this song, I have written a version for when the girl gains some self-respect, stops being codependent, and gets tired of hearing the guy complain about the girlfriend he won’t dump.

Note: This song is only partly autobiographical—and may not be in the parts you’d think. Except perhaps for the gun-cleaning, houseplant-killing part. That’s all me.

You’re on the phone with your girlfriend
(She’s a b…witch)
She’s going off about something that you said
‘Cause she doesn’t get your humor—no one does.

I’m in my room on a typical Tuesday night
Cleaning my gun, playing music that you don’t like
But that don’t matter, I’m just doin’ my own thing …

She wears short skirts, I like trousers
I kill houseplants, and she demands flowers.
Can’t wait for the day when you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for
Wasn’t there this whole time

If you could see that there’s no one who understands you
Stop your whining and just man up to
See you’re annoying me
(You’re annoying me.)

Sitting at the bar with you, sipping my G & T
Can’t help thinking of where else I’d rather be
Hearing you complain and thinking to myself:
“Hey, what am I, crazy?”

You had a laugh that could brighten up my whole day
But lost its charm since you asked how much I weigh
You say I’m sweet—I know I’m better than that
Hey, not my fault you’re with a girl like that

She wears high heels, hey so do I!
She likes shopping, and I do … sometimes …
But that’s not what counts when you wake up and find
That who you thought you loved has made you lose your mind

If you could see that simply no one understands you
Been here all along to try to make you see
You both annoy me!

Hanging ’round and waiting ’til you beckon?
Ain’t no way! Not gonna waste a second.
Baby, you annoy me
(You’re annoying me.)

Oh, I remember your drunk calls to my house
In the middle of the night
But you know I’ll kick your a$$ if you try that one more time
Don’t know your favorite songs
Pretty sure I never will
I don’t know where you belong
But I know—not with me

Can’t you see that she is not your only problem?
Been here all along, so why can’t you see?
You’re annoying me…

Hanging ’round and waiting for your beckon?
No way! Won’t waste another second.
Baby, you’re annoying me
(You’re annoying me.)

You’re annoying me…

Have you ever thought just maybe
You’re annoying me?
You’re annoying me…

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According to Bethany, my spiritual gift is Ranting. Hence, this letter.

Dear Valentine’s Day:

There is no sense in denying that, for years, we have lived with a powerful mutual loathing. Although I have been long resigned to this state of existence, I am aware that it was not always so. In my childhood, you were simply a random day in the middle of winter reserved for wearing pink or red, eating chalk-flavored candies with “Fax Me” printed on them, and cutting out hearts with red construction paper. Maybe there were cupcakes or cards from Grandma, but that was the general gist of it.

Upon entering middle school, however, these relatively pleasant memories were corrected, to be replaced with memories of adding to the usual 12-year-old angst reminders that I was an unpopular outcast, when I witnessed my classmates pair up to “go out” with one another (to where? McDonald’s?) and send the pretty, more popular girls carnations—with the number received clearly illustrating one’s middle-school social caste.

Sadly, this tradition was carried on into high school, though we were mature enough to at least pretend to laugh it off, and perhaps send carnations to our most beloved, still-single friends in an act of solidarity and mutual comfort. This comfort was particularly critical for the high-school spinsters who clutched the carnations to their bosoms as they rushed between Spanish class and choir practice, dodging through the obstacle course that featured more than a few couples engaged in the infamous hallway-make-out sessions.

With the progression to college, it was hoped that such unseemly acts of immaturity would be left behind in an environment of education and openness. However, the act of Flower-Based Social Stratification remained, especially perpetuated by young women whose eyes glinted like Tiffany diamonds and whose fangs dripped with brownie batter, hoping to impress the guy in the dorm across the street so that the lyrical vow of “Ring By Spring” would be honored. Such women sneered and taunted those who dared to defy the spirits and deities of Valentine’s Day by wearing any color that was not red or pink (with mercy given to those who wore white, but particular woe upon those who dared to wear black!), and rolled their eyes at those who postponed a day of celebration to take advantage of candy sales on Feb. 15.

Unfortunately, my dear Valentine’s Day, even in the “real world” after the bubble of college, I cannot escape your hatred, and you continue to cultivate mine. Although I am known as a staunch libertarian and defender of free-market capitalism, you are, with very little doubt, the one result of true capitalism that I despise over every other.

I hate everything you stand for: overpriced greeting cards, low-quality chocolate, candy message hearts (which STILL taste like chalk), shallow sentiment felt only because society has told us that it MUST be felt, pointless traditions (as no one really knows which St. Valentine is being honored on 2/14), the color pink, obligations to celebrate (much like New Year’s Eve, Mardis Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and the U.S. Fourth of July), the societal requirement either to feel bad about being single or to celebrate singleness as a way to overcompensate, bad romantic comedies, and disrespect for the (possible) death of a martyr—especially one who (may have) died in defiance of one of history’s greatest tyrannies.

This year, I was about to declare a truce and say that perhaps this year it will not be bad after all, since a dear friend will be in town to visit, and another dear friend who already lives here will be around. But now this dear friend is sick, and the flight has been canceled, as we are currently buried in several unprecedented feet of snow, and I am unable to even see ANYone, but must remain in my small and drafty apartment, without even the comfort of booze or chocolate to sustain me.

I wanted to think better of you this time, Valentine’s Day. I was ready to offer the olive branch, the white flag, but then you decided to pull this charming little stunt. And for that, I feel obligated to keep on hating you, until I am a shriveled old spinster living with my hypoallergenic cats and throwing chalky candy hearts at passersby.

With All Sincerity,


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I was going to publish a “love letter” to Valentine’s Day that I had already written and published on my personal blog and on Facebook. I may still do that on Sunday.

BUT when I came to sign in to WordPress.com, I found this lovely post on WP’s homepage: 10 Anti-Valentine’s Day Cards. Even if you like Valentine’s Day *coughbethanycough* do check it out. This one, for example, struck just the right chord with me. I may employ the unethical use of office resources and print them out to distribute to my coworkers. (Though it may be inappropriate for my married-with-three-kids boss.)

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This week’s FF comes to you courtesy of my friend Kim, who alerted me to the presence of …


As a horror genre/monster, I can’t handle zombies. Even perusing the site for, oh, 30 seconds gave me the heebie-jeebies. Give me a non-Twilight vampire, a malicious ghost, or an old-fashioned serial killer any day, but for some reason, zombies freak me out more than anything else.

I can still appreciate the humor of the site, regardless. The sad thing is that zombieHarmony provides more useful “match” information than the real eHarmony.

Sorry about the late update, by the way, but due to the ongoing Snowpocalypse in the DC area right now, I was working from home today and didn’t have time, and then when I tried earlier, my Internet was acting up. It’s all good now, though. Happy Friday!

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I’m not sure how long this has been around TEH INTERWEBZ, but “6 Reasons Bacon is Better Than True Love” at “The Oatmeal” has become my Valentine’s Day philosophy this year, and probably forevermore.

A word of warning, however: language and illustrations are slightly salty. Much like bacon. But, also like bacon, they’re deliciously hilarious.

Happy Friday!

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Hello dear readers! Today I am launching a new weekly feature, for which I am still seeking a snappy title, with the hopes that it  will help me to be with you on a more regular basis than say, once every two months. I will be sharing a quote with you that I find interesting, inspiring, or thought provoking and simply musing about it a bit, and of course welcoming your musings as well.  The patient and very brilliant Emily deserves all the credit for coming up with the idea.

This week’s quote is more on the funny side, and is in honor my–successful–trip back to the States for Christmas:

Love is much nicer to be in than an automobile accident, a tight girdle, a higher tax bracket or a holding pattern over Philadelphia. –Judith Viorst

It speaks to me, and not only because I am sincerely thankful not to have been stuck in a holding pattern over Philadelphia (‘specially as I flew into Pittsburgh).  It also speaks to me because I’m a bit skeptical about falling in love. Certainly it must be a pleasant thing (and in comparison to a tight girdle or an automobile accident, downright fabulous) but it honestly sounds exahausting, and the first throes of love are never what I’m looking forward to when I look forward to the end of my perpetual singleness. (Though perhaps this attitude is partly to blame for that circumstance – when I recently explained my disinclination for falling in love to a friend, he immediately replied: “someone’s going to end up a spinster.“ Hmm.) There is just something about the obsessive, uncontrolled nature of romantic love that does not appeal to me.  I don’t want to only be able to think of one person, want to be near him every minute, make relatively dumb decisions for his sake. My tendency towards maintaining self-control makes such a state fairly undesirable.

That being said, love is something I really value – not love as romantic, fleeting, but love as giving, choosing, sacrificing, lasting. Not love at first sight, but rather the idea that love, like friendship (to quote dear George Washington), is “plant of slow growth“ which grows through difficulties, through getting to know one another better, through sharing your time and thoughts and weaknesses and strenghts. Love in which true friendship is a large component.

So, those are my musings. How do you feel about falling in love? Tight girdles? Flying? Snow? Fuzzy socks? A title for this feature? I’d love to hear what you have to say.

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