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Posts Tagged ‘Singles’

Can I tell you a story?

Of course I can.

Would you like to hear it?

Of course you would.

Once upon a time (yes, we’re going with this intro), there was a young woman who moved from the MidWest United States to the Nation’s Capital to seek her fortune. She targeted many positions at some glamorous companies and organizations, attending interview after interview, constantly searching for her perception of the ideal job. Friends, former coworkers, former employers, and college professors recommended her highly. It was an exciting place to be at one of the most exciting, freest times of her life, and she was determined to see her dreams come true.

Unfortunately, time after time, her applications were so often denied, or she reached the top of the interview process only to be passed over for someone else who had just a liiiiittle bit more to offer. After months of such disappointments, the young woman began to wonder if anyone would ever want to hire her. She had a variety of talents, recommendations, and passions, although perhaps she lacked experience—but that could be changed, if she were only given the chance! Maybe there was no place in existence that could use her set of skills. Perhaps she had made a terrible mistake by moving there in the first place. Perhaps there was something wrong with her approach, or her resume, or her interview skills.

Then, one day, this young woman went in for an interview at a small, unassuming company she had never heard of—except for an ad it had placed in an unexpected location, seeking someone with just the sort of skills she could offer. She liked the people she met there, and the office had a nice atmosphere. Over the course of the interview, she began to think she liked the sound of this job. There were a few things that made her balk—a start time of 6:30am, for one thing, and a low starting salary. It definitely was not the sort of work, or sort of office, she had anticipated when she had first begun to seek adventure. But she liked her would-be boss, the work sounded interesting enough, it matched her skills, it would give her experience, and after all, she didn’t have to stick with it forever, right?

Suddenly, the young woman woke up and realized that she had been at this job for well over a year. What had happened? Well, she had made friends there, and learned new skills and new information, received raises and bonuses, and learned to appreciate the shift of 6:30am to 2:45pm—especially in the winter, when she could leave the office and still have daylight left. She had more than enough money to get by, and an easy commute, and a job that provided somewhat interesting dinner-party chatter. Of course, there were things she did not like about her job all the time, such as a 10pm bedtime and 5am wakeup call, but they were simply part of the whole package, and she considered it well worth the trouble. She was not too far away from friends and family, and had weekends and holidays free. Of course, she had made some sacrifices, but her life was far from over, and she knew that other adventures would soon come her way. Some days she would wake up and think, “What am I doing? I hate this. I’m so bored,” but that would change after a while, and she would realize she was right where she was supposed to be, and that it was all going to be okay.

Now for, as Paul Harvey would say, the “rest of the story.”

Yes, that young woman is me, and yes, I went through all of that in my process of moving to the DC area and getting a job. Occasionally I think, “How did I get here?” and it’s pretty clear that God’s grace was fully involved.

So, what’s my point? Why did I tell you this?

Well, I started thinking how my job search is kind of like my “search” for a boyfriend, a husband, a significant other. Of course, I’m not actually ready to be married, and I don’t intend to be for a while. But most days, I think that I would at least like a boyfriend. Some days I think, “Why would anyone want to be married? Being single is ridiculously great.” Other days I think, “When will this terrible season of life-sucking singleness end?”

The thought that dominates in these times, though, is: “Where is he, and why haven’t I found him yet?”

I often forget this, but I believe that, if I do get married, or enter into a long-term relationship of some kind, it will be similar to how I got my current job. I had no idea what was going to happen and I was about to give up, and it just kind of worked out over time, often in unexpected ways. There are things that are difficult about it, of course, but it has benefits that go hand-in-hand, and other great things that I never even expected.

For example, I’m not a morning person, and I hate that I can’t go out too late (at least not often) and I hate that it’s difficult for me to sleep. I hate waking up before dawn every day of the year. BUT … if I had the option of starting later and getting out later, at 5:30pm with everyone else, I wouldn’t do it. I like being able to have a couple hours of daylight left, even in the winter. I like being able to go to the bank, get a haircut, or go to the dentist during normal office hours without having to take off work. And I love being able to leave and drive to visit family and get there at a reasonable hour, and not having to deal with the brunt of rush hour either in the morning or evening.

The scariest part is that the 6:30 start time had not been posted in the ad. If it had, I would not have looked twice at it, and would have kept searching for something else. Not until I was at the interview did I find that out, but by then I realized that I did want the job, and I was going to have to make it work somehow.

When I think about that, I remember that God has it all worked out, even in the boyfriend department, even in the lifetime-single-or-not department. Even if I have an idea of what I want to do, it may not work out that way. What does happen is not going to be perfect, but it’s going to work out in ways that I didn’t even fathom.

If I am going to get married someday, he is probably not going to match my idea of what is perfect for me, and he may not be someone to whom I would otherwise give a second look. Maybe he will be. But ultimately it’s in God’s hands, and he knows what’s best for me, and how it’s all going to happen. It will probably not be what I thought I wanted, or should have, but it’s going to be fantastic in ways I hadn’t considered. There will be things I don’t like about him and our relationship, but taking the bad with the good is what life is all about.

ULTIMATE LESSON(S):

1. Trust God.

2. Don’t give up hope, but keep an open mind.

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I know that we said we would try to be better about posting, and I did intend to post an FF last week. (And I actually do have two new posts in progress.) But sadly, in the span of exactly one week, Bethany and I both experienced family tragedies. Needless to say, these events put neither of us in the mood or state of mind to post anything new. I hope this can be rectified in the coming weeks. But don’t cry for me (Argentina), and enjoy your Friday instead, starting with this (admittedly small) FF revival!

(Based on my own personal experience, this looks pretty accurate, actually.)

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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Oh, you guys. I almost posted this on Wednesday, because I was so excited about it. But I exercised patience, and here it is.

I didn’t do a FF last week. I have MORE than made it up to you, dear readers, this week.

Instead of photos (although there are many I could have posted here), let’s look at some of the great lengths to which the men of eHarmony will go to impress us, i.e., me, since I have no source of mockery other than “my” matches.

To be honest, I’m just killing time and having fun until my subscription runs out. I gave up on eHarmony in about September, but I have a six-month subscription. I’m not saying other people haven’t been successful at it, it’s just not for me. Allow me to provide some reasons why.

Oh, but I have to say this first: Yes, I’m a bit of a grammar Nazi. Yes, I minored in English and majored in history, both writing-intensive areas of study. Yes, I am a writer by profession and by hobby. Even so, I do not expect everyone in the world to have the same level of skill in this area. I fully realize that is impossible. My irritation comes from guys who do not seem to understand that their online dating profile is the First Impression. If you have typos, textspeak, errors, contradictory information, sentence fragments, etc., you may come across as unintelligent and lazy. Perhaps you are brilliant and industrious, but one might not get that impression from your profile.

One omitted letter? Passable. A profile ALL IN CAPS WIHT BAD SPELING? Reject.

What I’m trying to say is: PROOFREAD. And if you aren’t sure how to spell something, YOU ARE ALREADY USING THIS WONDERFUL TOOL CALLED THE INTERNET. WEBSTER AND GOOGLE ARE YOUR FRIENDS.

All right, let’s proceed before I have an aneurysm.

Take note, I have not edited these except to remove the names for the protection of their identity. I can’t make this stuff up.

Bachelor #1:

The one thing [he] is most passionate about: I AM PASSIONATE ABOUT RELIGION,FAMILY,FRIENDS,MUSIC,ALL SPORTS,WORK AND LIFE. I LOVE LIFE AND GOD AND IM A VERY OPTIMISTIC PERSON.

I AM ALSO PASSIONATE ABOUT NOT USING MY SPACEBAR OR APOSTROPHES!!!

Bachelor #2:

The one thing [he] wishes MORE people would notice about him is: my inner heart is filled with feelings about me and others

My heart … it feels the feelings …

Bachelor #3:

I get to travel the country for the next year as a field engineer. It’s a way for me to travel and see different things and get paid to do it.

So, then, you are on eHarmony looking for your soul mate WHY???

Bachelor #4:

Some additional information macncheeseplease wanted you to know is: I consider myself to be a nice and caring individual. This online dating thing is new to me, but an interesting experiment. My photo is available for viewing after entering guided communcation.

That’s great. How about providing other information, too, like, say, your name???

Bachelor #5:

The most important thing [he] is looking for in a person is: Honesty

The first thing you’ll probably notice about [him] when you meet him: Personality

The one thing [he] wishes MORE people would notice about him is: Nothing

[He] typically spends his leisure time: Playing golf, going out with friends, watching movies or tv

Goodness gracious, buddy! Let’s get to know each other first before you get all TMI on me. Scale it back a little. It’s all too much, too soon!

Bachelor #6:

The most important thing [he] is looking for in a person is: I am seeking someone who is gentle, compassionate, and sweet

Drat! And I thought I would catch guys by being abusive, hateful, and bitter!

Bachelor #7:

The most important thing [he] is looking for in a person is: First off, (and with so many matches this is taking on a key initial significance) I need to be attracted to you physically. However, looks to me are just an obvious first stage that frankly take on little significance once a relationship is established. The most important quality is an intangible; does the person bring out contentment or adversity?

This one is less “Ha ha!” and more “Huh?” I seriously don’t know what to do with this. I kind of get what he’s saying, but he still comes off as incredibly shallow and confusing. If looks eventually take on so “little significance,” why do you have to be attracted to her “first off”? And if “an intangible” is the “most important quality,” why did you list attractiveness first? As I discussed before on this blog, I have considered many guys (and girls, though not in a sexual sense) to be more attractive upon better acquaintance than I initially thought they were. If I had disregarded them immediately because I wasn’t attracted to them “first off,” I wouldn’t have gotten to know them. And when you get to know someone more intimately and still like them, they usually become more attractive to you, which means that physical attraction is still important, but it’s all wrapped up in one complete package of a person. If that makes any sense. Gah. It’s stuff like this that makes me wish eHarmony had a way to immediately message your matches just to ask one or two questions for clarification, rather than jumping hurdles and weaving through a maze to get to Open Communication just so you can say, “Hey, your profile kind of makes you look like a jerk. Is this really what you meant?” All right, sorry, I’ll get off my soap box now.

Bachelor #8:

One thing that only [his] best friends know is: I have a chainsaw cut on my leg.

This guy wins the grand prize in the category of “Things To Say That Make Me Want to Know More.” I would love to hear the story behind that injury. Was he being chased by Christian Bale? Creating a dolphin chainsaw sculpture?? Baking a cake??? WHAT IS IT???

Bachelor #9:

The first thing you’ll probably notice about [him] when you meet him: I appear much younger than 35 years old.

That’s good, because his profile says elsewhere that he’s 37.

Bachelor #10:

Some additional information [he] wanted you to know is: Mom has been telling me for years to try to find a good christian girl on here so I’m finally giving it a try.

I foresee a lot more relationship input from “Mom” in the future.

That’s all for now, though you can expect another FF of eHarmony pictures sometime in the future. I hope this was entertaining for all of you, and enlightening for those curious about the “quality” level of online dating. I hope this speaks for itself.

You know the drill: Have a happy Friday!

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Holiday season is upon us, and it seems to be the second-most popular time to be pressured into having a date or Significant Other, whether it be for Thanksgiving and other family get-togethers, for Christmas parties, for New Year’s, etc. (The most popular, of course, is wedding season.)

For me, however, the annual headache of divvying up my time among my parents’ families, stepfamilies, friends, and so on, makes me think, “How do married/serious couples do it?” There’s always the debate of whether to spend Christmas or Thanksgiving at his family’s or her family’s, or somewhere else entirely. Double the stress if there are divorced parents who have remarried, creating several families for each spouse/partner.

This got me thinking how happy I am to be single and not have to worry about in-laws. It naturally followed that I started thinking of other reasons why I’m glad to be single. Here’s what I have so far, in no particular order:

1. No divvying up visits between more families (and it’s hard enough for me to see family, step-family, and “unofficially adopted” family)

2. No in-laws to worry about any time of the year

3. Don’t have to worry about another person’s nutritional wants/needs. I can make all my meals to my own specifications, and no one else’s.

4. No need to be concerned about kids—having, raising, etc.

5. Ogling guys with zero guilt (unless they are engaged or married)

6. My paycheck is my responsibility. Although this is half-blessing, half-curse, as I’m not a fan of budgeting. But I am a big fan of personal responsibility and having sole possession over the fruits of my labors that the IRS deigns to permit me to keep.

7. I get to decide where I go on vacation!

8. I really do enjoy my solo activities. Although I don’t like cocktail parties or going out to eat by myself (unless it’s Panera and I have my laptop), I do enjoy going to movies and museums alone.

9. If I ever decided to get a pet, I could get whatever I wanted. But judging from my less-than-stellar ability to keep houseplants alive, I probably should avoid any responsibility for the well-being of another living creature.

10. I have the freedom to move residences and towns and experiment with my life and job without having to be concerned about how it affects a romantic relationship.

11. Freedom to learn about myself and get to know myself as a person.

12. Time, space, freedom, etc. to build up and explore my relationship with God.

13. No worries about abandoning girlfriends or disappearing from everyone’s radar because I’m in a relationship. (Seriously, why does this happen?)

14. No risk of making anyone feel squicked out by our PDA. (Again, why does this need to happen?)

I may add more to this list as things come to me. But I thought I should post it now, since I’m not sure if there will be a Friday Frivolity this week, as I will be out of town for Thanksgiving and Internet access will be limited. If that is the case, have a wonderful holiday to our American readers, and I wish a wonderful week on everyone!

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I’m posting this in a quick-like hurry because I get to leave work early today and head across several states to pay my native state of Ohio a little visit. Of course, I couldn’t neglect FF again, so here is one of my old YouTube favorites: Wonderful British instruction for women who want to keep their virtue and find a suitable husband (AS SHE MUST!).

Now you know what to do—have a Happy Friday and a great weekend!

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During a recent dark period of “NO ONE WILL EVER LOVE MEEEEE” stupidity, I decided to try eHarmony (again). A few months later, I am utterly, mind-crumblingly bored with the selections and the entire process. When I realized how many of my “matches” eHarmony photos were giving me some good laughs, I thought I could use them to give others a laugh, and perhaps teach a brief lesson on online “dating profile photo etiquette.”

Note: I’m not making fun of these guys’ characters, or their looks. They’re all quite good-looking guys, and I’m sure they’re perfectly decent people. But in a time and place when one wants to give the best first-impression possible, using only the written word and a photo … well, you’d think they might have tried a little harder. Also, I did not edit these photos—color, cropping, etc—except to take measures to protect their identities.

Rule #1: No ex-girlfriends. And if you do have photos with girls, THIS IS WHY THEY HAVE CAPTIONS. At least explain who they are—friends, sisters, cousins, chem lab partner, etc. Don’t lazily half-crop them out. We’re not stupid: WE SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE. A sloppy crop fools no one. You look lazy and cheap.

Proof:

cutoutgf

For some photos, I did not need to take any measures to protect this man’s identity. He did it himself, providing a vague idea of his interests (mechanical things? ropes and tubes? boating?) but pretty much no clue about what he looks like:

onriverinshadow

Always keep in mind, this is eHarmony, not MySpace. Use of deep, emo pics when you are clearly neither is funny if you like irony, but not if it’s the only picture in this guy’s profile:

poutysepia

For THIS photo, I really wish that I didn’t feel obligated to protect the man’s identity, because you really have to see his full expression to understand why I consider this photo a fail. His eyes, looking directly into the camera, coupled with this infuriatingly smug grin, just SCREAMS, “I am holding this baby so I can look more attractive to the women who want one for themselves. Yes, I am a completely smug, manipulative man. Take it all in, ladies. Bask in the glory of my man-with-baby attractiveness.” But you can at least still see the smug grin.

(This method, obviously, doesn’t work on me. That’s probably why the photo so enraged me rather than making me laugh.)

yeahigotababy

But one thing to remember is: strangling puppies is not usually attractive.

puppystrangler

As always, happy Friday!!!

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