Small Screen Supporting Sirens

Dedicated to the “sidekicks” who refuse to be sidekicks. To the women on the small screen that don’t have time to acknowledge they’re “only on TV” and probably believe the show should revolve around their character. And by and large, they’re right. They bring serious entertainment value and incredible sparkle to their shows.

This isn’t a comprehensive list, just my personal favorites from some favorite, probably nostalgia inclined, shows.

In a side note, I’m contemplating having a daughter so I can name her “Donna”. Clearly that’d be a win.

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…”Be more like a character from a TV show?” Is that not allowed?

“I’m not into you. I’m Donna.”

Donna (Suits) played by Sarah Rafferty

Suits is presumably about two hotshot lawyers and their cases. In reality it’s about how awesome Donna is at being Donna. She may be “only an assistant” but as the show progresses,and she continues to chip away at egos and be fabulous without trying, I find I’m mostly interested in what Donna’s going to say and do next.


“I’ve got all the advantages of marriage: I got a tea kettle that whistles, a parrot that talks too much and a cat that stays out all night. Who needs a husband?”

Sally (The Dick Van Dyke Show) played by Rose Marie

Sally is a third of a comedic writing team for a sketch comedy show in the black and white era. Her other two counterparts are male, but that doesn’t hold Sally back from being a witty, cutting, clever woman. She’s not out to prove a woman can make it in a man’s world, she just does.


“Do I look like I drink water?”

Donna (Parks and Recreation) played by Retta

No one throws shade better than Donna. Just a glance puts you right in your place. She knows what she’s about and she goes out to get it. She’s got her priorities right where she wants them and doesn’t apologize for living the life she enjoys. Man or no man.


“You’re having a lousy streak. I happen to be having a terrific streak. Soon the world will be back to normal. Tomorrow you will meet a crown head of Europe and marry. I will have a fat attack, eat 3000 peanut butter cups and die.”

Rhoda (The Mary Tyler Moore Show) played by Valerie Harper

Rhoda didn’t really ever enjoy being single, or most of what was happening in her life. But despite the disappointments, she kept on trying and managed to be upbeat even when totally depressed. She was the perfect cynical-yet hopeful-counterweight to the perennial Pollyanna in Mary.


“If you hurt my best friend again, one day, in the future, anthropologists will find your skeleton in an unmarked grave with a massive, massive, life ending blow to your head, by a totally awesome chick that rhymes with frenzy.”

Kenzi (Lost Girl) played by Ksenia Solo

Kenzi is undeniably Bo’s sidekick, but she prefers being there because it lets her kick ass. She’s a one-of-a-kind original and refuses to let anyone keep her down. She’s all about defying the odds and building her own community through fierce loyalty and fight.


“Why can’t these aliens ever get in trouble somewhere decent? Like Graceland or Tahoe or New Orleans. No, Utah. Mormons and mountains.”

Maria (Roswell) played by Majandra Delfino

Maria was 100% done with aliens as soon as she found out there were aliens. Three seasons of Maria living life normally in spite of alien absurdity. Sure, she had her meltdowns, and her crying fests, but mostly because her alien boyfriend was being a very human tool. She thrives in the midst of chaos and carves her own path even when the drama gets drama-ier.


“Get in there and bust up her date. Show her you care. Ruin her night.”

Rosa (Brooklyn Nine-Nine) played by Stephanie Beatriz

She’s infinitely quotable, infinitely stoic, and infinitely having none of your shit. She doesn’t know how to relate with emotions and prefers to speak the language of practicality and violence. She’s wry, she’s tough, and she understands the practical value of an ax.


“Ah, come on Sam, you know my philosophy. If you can’t say something nice, say it about Diane.”

Carla (Cheers) played by Rhea Perlman

Carla may have been a low-brow, usually single, uneducated mother of six (and counting?) but that didn’t mean she’d just take it when other people got her down. Her fights with the always prissy and pretentious Diane were half the reason to watch the show. Carla’s always got a glib retort or biting comment that let anyone in the bar know that even if she is pint-sized, she’s definitely got a fearsome bark, and bite!


Just so we’re clear on this, all the women on this list are mostly single in the shows they’re on. They’re strong, fabulous women who have more personality than anyone knows what to do with. And they all spend more time living their life than worrying about a man (except maybe Rhoda). If they DO get married, they do so without settling and without changing their best qualities.

More than that, on shows that don’t keep them in limelight, they manage to steal it more than once and prove that even if you’re not the hero of the moment, you can still be the best thing about the moment.

Table for One

I have a really adorable, small, round table in my kitchen. It faces the windows and looks out over beautiful gardens. But I almost never sit at my table to enjoy the view, because I never, ever sit down at a table to eat.

I’m not sure it’s exclusive to single people, but the concept of communing over a meal is most certainly lost when you’re eating solo. Sitting at a table in silence staring out the window munching on whatever I’ve managed to concoct from my kitchen of “it seemed like a good idea at the time” crossed with “this is going to go bad tomorrow” is a recipe for disaster. The less aware I am of what I’m forcing myself to eat the better.

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Pro tip: When eating alone, use less dishes by drinking straight from the bottle.

In college I was a big proponent of eating in bed. Cutting off 12 inches of hair was critical for making sure I no longer got food in it while lying prone and having dinner. Why stop watching movies or TV shows to eat? What is the point, really?

And what’s the point of trying new restaurants by yourself? Sitting there in a booth or a table quietly waiting for your food and watching others who are having conversations and laughing. It’s a bit weird, and the few times I’ve been brave enough to try eating out alone I never take my phone, refusing to be one of those forever socially dependent people. But believe you me, you run out of things to look at in a restaurant when you’re sitting by yourself.

I had one friend tell me she takes a notebook and paper to solo dining experiences so she looks like a food critic. I’m sure it’s a wonderful way to ensure a great meal, I just don’t have the courage. I also believe that if I’m going to go out and be single in public I need to do so baldly and obviously. It’s not embarrassing to be single, and it’s not something to cover up.

Then again, I never eat out alone in public. So I suppose even for my own criteria I’m a bit of a failure.

There’s so many rites and rituals with eating in a group of people. Because they’re rare, Sunday dinners are a favorite time of mine, now. I sit with loved ones gathered around the table, and sometimes for hours, enjoy conversations that range over the gamut of life and experience.

There is something special about eating with others, something almost supernatural because the communication it generates happens in no other group setting. No other activity outside of a meal has the ability to catch us off-guard, make us amenable to those we sit with, make us prone to linger, to share stories, make us willing to listen, to encourage, to critique, to think broadly or in-depth. And because we’re gathered over food, and not a social activity, our interests and experiences can be more varied and the stories we share more diverse creating unique opportunities for growth.

As a kid I remember family meals mostly being defined by what happened after the meal. Eating cookie dough from a communal bowl kept in the fridge. Or, more frequently, playing pinochle and learning how to win and lose gracefully — something we all still struggle with.

Don’t get me wrong, I love eating in front of the TV. I love eating standing up and doing different things around my apartment, but the blessing that I most receive from eating alone is learning to value much more what it means to eat in a community.

It should come as no surprise to anyone that singleness can add a layer of gratitude for community. Conversely, community gatherings are often an occasion for me to celebrate the solitude I so enjoy and look forward to. Not least of which because no one notices if I get food in my hair, or on my shirt, or bothers to mention if I have two servings, or three, of mozzarella sticks.

Friends with Boys

Even before I saw When Harry Met Sally I’d been intrigued by the question of “Can men and women be friends?”

I distinctly remember hoping and praying in high school that I’d have boy friends and no actual boyfriends because I didn’t want the drama. I wanted boy friends more than girl friends too, and it took me years to appreciate the female friendships in my life. That’s a blog post for another time.

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For example, men don’t take pictures of their feet. This is a female phenomenon. I can’t get behind this. Why would I want to show off one of my not-so-great features? Women, what is this about??

But ever since I’ve had male friends I’ve been getting the side-eye from strangers and acquaintances, and even close friends. Come on, men and women can’t ever REALLY be friends.

One of my best friends in my teens was a boy. And I still remember the looks from church people when we’d sit together, and I remember the one time we wore the same clothes to church (I was wearing a skirt, version, but otherwise…) and freaking out that people would think it was some kind of sign. I remember having to defend every time we arrived anywhere together and having to cheer lead all his romantic relationships because otherwise I’d look jealous.

I remember having one of my married male friends pick me up at work to get lunch together and the knowing glance I got from the receptionist.

Going out to dinner with a man is a problem, having dinner at his house is a problem. Driving is a problem, movies are a problem…

Romance potential is literally everywhere.

I keep asking myself the question “Can men and women be friends” and I keep hearing – from women and men – that this is not possible. Even men I am actually friends with tell me this. There’s this underlying feeling that the opposite sex is too enticing once you reach a certain level of intimacy. That sex is the inevitable obstacle to co-ed friendships. That men and women will naturally fall in love when they get to know each other really well. Thanks Harry and Sally.

No matter how much adamant agreement there is on this topic, I just can’t believe that God would create men and women to have relationships between the sexes that are only passing acquaintances, familial, or romantic. I can’t buy that I’m only allowed casual friendships with men. I can’t buy that God intended me to keep all men at a distance of several feet unless we’re planning on marrying.

I’m a single woman and  I need men in my life. I need the influence of men, the conversation of men, the viewpoint of men. I need these as much as I need the influence of women, the conversation of women, the viewpoint of women. I’m aware that as a single woman it’s far too easy in this life to simply lose touch, lose connection with a large quantity of the people in the world strictly because they are male.

I need to be careful in my relationships with women as much as I need to be careful in my relationships with men. And this is what we forget. Sure, perhaps you’re guarding against different things with men than with women, but any relationship ought to be entered into with carefulness, watchfulness, and openness.

Can men and women be friends. I have to believe yes. Are there overwhelming obstacles to making a friendship between a man and a woman work? Experience and others tell me definitely, 100%, yes. Naturally, any true friendship faces some pretty tough obstacles. It’s the nature and essence of relationship.

Is it still worth it? Is it worth valuing friendship with men as more than a gateway to romance? I believe 100% yes.

Have more movies damaged this theory than assisted? Yeah. Just. All the movies. I mean Just Friends. It’s in the title! How could that go wrong? Anyway, that’s a rant for another time. Until then, as always, I’ll remind myself that movies are a work of fiction, and relationships are real and really hard work. Woman to woman, man to man, and woman to man. It’s difficult because at the end of the day it turns out, we’re all people.

Look at that. Perhaps we have more in common than we think?

Babe, Keys?

I have gotten chewed out by married people for forgetting my wallet and keys when I leave places. It falls into the list of things you simply shouldn’t do, especially if you’re single.

I quite agree. One shouldn’t lose one’s keys. Yet one does. One does more than once.

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This is the face of a duck who hides her keys in her feathers. You think ducks don’t hide keys? Look at that face. This duck probably has yours right now.

In college my roommate asked me to run with her to the drugstore real quick and I walked out the door with a jar of peanut butter and a roll of Oreo cookies and a knife (because I’m not an animal) and she walked out the door without keys.

We spent four hours on our apartment landing, vaguely hallucinating and getting dehydrated (the stairwell had to be about 80 degrees) because no locksmith believed us when we told them what happened. The giggling might have abetted the disbelief.

I would have been more upset about it, but I got to skip a class with the fantastic excuse of “I’m locked out of my apartment because my roommate.”

I once actually managed to lock myself out of my apartment in the middle of a tornado warning as I was making dinner in the oven and walking around barefoot. Drove closer to the tornado to pick up a spare set.

I’ve locked myself out of my apartment in the middle of a rainstorm wearing pajamas, and walked a mile to recover my spare keys.

When you’re single — and most especially if you’re living alone and single — getting locked out is always an adventure. There’s no reliable person who has keys who is contractually obligated to come to your rescue. And I’ve never once found a safe place to hide my keys outside my apartment that won’t be easily discovered if someone with an extra five minutes decided to rob my adorable, though hardly richly furnished apartment (you hear me burglars?).

I don’t know if it’s true that married people don’t lock themselves out of their home as much as single people, but given the surprise I’ve encountered, it seems to be a real thing.

Perhaps when you marry you get better at keeping track of your keys, or perhaps you get to take advantage of “babe, where are my keys?” something single people don’t usually say.

I mean, I could. I could say that the next time I lose my keys. But honestly, people get uncomfortable enough when I talk to myself in the Safeway parking lot. Adding an invisible significant other to my repertoire probably won’t help.

Hello, I Have a Disease

I dislike meeting new people. For a number of reasons–I’m terrible with names, I’m already “full” on people I do know (and I’m not confident how well I like most of them), I’m an introvert, I’m tired. Just, already tired thinking about it. I know I’m not alone in this. Here’s an idea: Why don’t we all carry cliffs notes around of relevant pertinent information for consumption?

I don’t mean show them your facebook page, I mean like a note card with a brief background bullet-point list.

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These guys probably wish they had pockets to carry around note cards of information instead of barking it out to each other.

So in case I meet any of you in the real world:

  • Christian (but probably not considered “Conservative” by most)
  • Reformed (but mostly just a big fan of total depravity)
  • Feminist (I really don’t feel the need to explain this one)
  • Despises small talk and bores easily with discussions of weather.
  • Also not a fan of sports and car conversations. Will purposefully derail these conversations.
  • Will purposefully derail any conversation deemed “boring” or “inflammatory” or “for fun”.
  • Rants about irrelevant pop culture nonsense. Gleefully dislikes Taylor Swift, Forrest Gump and anything that’s your favorite.
  • Does not respond well to “Get to Know You” questions like “What’s your favorite book?” or “What do you do for a living?”
  • Responds very positively to “Did you see that dog?” or “What’s your favorite form of potato?” or “I hate that guy” (insert random person here)
  • Will not respond positively to attempts at bragging or showing off on your part. Will probably attempt to hurt your feelings if you do.

This is what I’d share with anyone I have to talk to for more than ten minutes, but less than an entire day, ie. friends of friends I have drinks with.

But let’s just say we hit it off and start hanging out and getting chummy. At what point do I start detailing the intimate personal stuff? When do we begin exchanging the private life-defining information?

I’ve had arthritis since I was 13 and I’ve gotten pretty used to everyone knowing it. But I’ve had to consider this conversation a few times when I’ve met new people I’d like to keep talking to. An autoimmune disease that’s degenerative, chronic, and invisible needs to get brought up in conversation whether I like it to or not. But I’m not capable of handling this with any finesse. Usually it goes like this:

“Can you help me move that table?”

“Oh, no I can’t. I have arthritis. It’s a nice table though. Have you seen The Golden Girls?”

I should write a card for this. For the arthritis conversation. But even if I did, it’d only say two things:

  • Arthritic.
  • I’ve probably been better.

Not exactly chatty about it, am I?

It’s been my experience that telling people the thing about you – that unique thing which colors your whole world – isn’t something you can ever tell anyone. It has to be lived to be believed. This is why people that experience life with us are the ones we hold on to.

I started this post with a fun idea of when do you bring up the uncomfortable topics in life, as it turns out, there’s never a really good time. But I’ve discovered good friends, really good friends, understand the things they can’t see and never need proved. I’ve made a few of those friends over the past years and in those early getting-to-know-you times I can’t remember having “the conversation” because it wasn’t just something we addressed and moved on from, it was something we both agreed to live with.

When you reach that level of intimacy and relationship, believe me, there’s not a note card in the world that could hold everything they understand about you.

Why That Jerk is Married

 

You ever met someone who watches a Disney movie and says, “why can’t men be like Prince Charming?” Or…Mr. Darcy? Or…I don’t know, the guy from the British movie/series/play with the smolder? Or the women that look around at those who are married and evaluate their qualifications for marriage?

 

“So-and-so is married. How is that they’re married and I’m still single?” Or, and I’ve heard this twice from friends, “How did THAT person convince TWO different people to marry them??”

The root of this is “that person is insane/awful/evil/crazy/worse than me and marriage (which I see as a relational victory) is only for those who are well-adjusted and deserving and good and kind and …karma, somehow. WHY AM I NOT MARRIED.”

That’s right. Did you know that you’re only allowed to get married if you’re emotionally stable and emotionally healthy? If you look attractive, have good hygiene and all your shit together? You can only get married if you don’t have any baggage from previous events in your life, and that when you want to be in a marriage a marriage will land in your lap?

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And while I’m selling you that fairy tale, can I convince you this is Prince Charming’s horse…Clip Clop?

No I didn’t think I could fool you. There’s actually no guaranteed successful method to finding the perfect marriage partner. Which is how a lot of really “undeserving” people get married.

It turns out that marriage is not about “deserving”.

It’s important that single people really hear this. Getting married is not hard. If you only want to be “married”, if the “Mrs.” is the most important thing to you, it’s not going to be challenging to find a spouse.

*I’m not implying that all married people fell into the institution, merely that if your only interest is the institution it’s fairly easy to get in.*

Quite literally, mail order brides exist to solve the concern of “I just want to be married.” If not today, then tomorrow. And online dating is an entire sea of men who would love to skip the chitchat and “just get married”.

The problem isn’t that awful people get married (and good people, I’m not saying wonderful people can’t get married too), it’s that somehow you’re under the impression that a person you dislike or judge to be lacking for some reason found what you perceive to be “their soulmate” and you have not.

You think it should be harder for awful people to find love. Which, that’s an issue you can sort out on your own time and hopefully in your own therapy sessions.

You don’t deserve marriage. No one deserves marriage. You don’t deserve any kind of relationship. Because that’s not how relationships work.

I don’t want to get all Full House about this, but the moral of the story is that you have chosen to make something else in life a higher priority than just “getting married”. It’s what I call “standards”.

*I’m not implying married people don’t have high standards, stick with me*

To be honest, everyone has a different set of them. “High” standards are not what I’m talking about here. Some people would acknowledge they have simple standards and others would boast they have high-maintenance standards. But good luck comparing one set of standards with another. It’s like comparing quilts with avocados.

You can’t measure someone else’s marriage by your own standards of relational success.

Now, if you don’t like that you’re unmarried, you might try another look at your standards. See if they’re unreasonable, or dated. See if you’re willing to compromise on some of them.

Listen, your standard can be Prince Charming. That’s between you and your movie watching. But your standard doesn’t mean “there’s no good guys left”. You just don’t like the choices available. But don’t forget,  you have choices.

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You could, for example, ride Clip Clop off into the horizon all on your own. Or, find a real horse. Or just watch Runaway Bride one more time.

It may sometimes feel like being single isn’t a choice, but it is. Don’t take out your disappointment with your relational status on people risking everything to get married. They’ve got a hard enough time staying together without your judgment layering over them.

But I do encourage you to find a way to be at peace with your decision. It’s not always going to feel good, but staying true to your dreams and principles and hopes is something single people need to learn well and deeply. Those are the big things that make you, you.

They may not make you into perfect marriage material, but then again, no one is, so enjoy the things that make you special, and stop wasting your time caring about why that jerk is married.

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Instead, help me brainstorm a better name for Prince Charming’s steed than “Clip Clop”.

A Two-Flask Wedding

I’d like to begin by saying that I enjoy weddings. I mean by this that I enjoy the ceremony. I love the vows, and the processional, I love the unity whatever…you’re combining to symbolize your oneness. I think watching two people join their lives together forever is magical and inspiring and romantic. Okay?

That being said, I abhor receptions.

Receptions are the enemy of the introvert. It’s hard to have a good conversation at a reception. It’s hard to avoid people you want to avoid, and it’s hard to give good excuses for not getting on the dance floor. And it is almost impossible to flee a bouquet toss.

The bouquet toss is far and away my least-favorite wedding activity. This beats out even the garter toss which I find mortifying for the bride, but since she’s sitting in the middle of the room with her husband’s head up her dress, it would seem she wanted it that way. After all it’s her day.

I’ve spent years trying to avoid bouquet tosses. List of escape attempts:

  • Long bathroom break
  • Leave the reception early
  • Steal a wedding ring for my own left hand
  • Hold a drink (this backfired)
  • Avoid eye contact and remain seated
  • Shove face with cake
  • Be too busy “helping” to take part
  • Laugh maniacally
  • Look “married”

Perhaps this sounds childish to you. Like little girls who believe in cooties. But I can think of few things more humiliating than corralling single women into the middle of the room and forcing them, in dresses and heels, to compete with each other — using hand/eye coordination — for the prize of a pack of flowers that will symbolically indicate they will never have to participate in this group humiliation again.

I don’t know why women keep making other women do this. Married women, explain this. Is it a wedding hazing thing? Like…it’s fine that I’m doing it because I had to do it and it’s all in good fun? Is that the thought? If so, you do realize that not all women whom you force to the floor will get married, correct? And there is still no known way to leave a cleared floor empty-handed with all eyes on you in a classy, confident way.

Maybe with a moonwalk.

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Can’t we just all agree to keep flowers attached to their homes? They didn’t want to be tossed, I don’t want to catch them. Look how happy they are here!

It’s important to me that you understand I don’t hate marriage. I don’t hate the institution, I don’t hate the people in the institution, and I think romantic love is a wonderful blessing.

What I do despise and what I will always seek to remedy are situations where women who are not married are made to look ridiculous, made laughable or pitiable.

We all like signs. We like to think that catching a bouquet does mean marriage is on the horizon. And a lot of women do want to be married. But their odds are not as great as the odds of catching a bouquet at wedding, after wedding, after wedding.

This is a perception vs. reality debate. I perceive it as hurtful and others perceive it as fun. I have a friend who goes out every wedding season to WIN the bouquet toss and she’s very good at this. It’s impressive.

However, frequently for single women it is a reminder that someone else beat them to the punch. And they came out, they gave the requisite shower gifts and wedding gift, they ate cake and they danced, they pushed aside thoughts of their dream wedding, and how by now they thought they’d be married, and they smile and celebrate. And then they are thrown into the middle of the floor for the amusement of others and forced to attempt to catch allergens from a bride who on a good day while facing forward can’t toss a beer to a friend at a barbecue.

Or if you’re me. I came, I smiled, I hugged (I HUGGED), I smiled more, I small-talked, I smiled (dear God, make it stop), I got hugged (HUGGED) and then you said “maybe you’ll be next!” And you never even asked me if I wanted to be next. You just assumed. You just saw me in a dress and no ring and went “she wants that bouquet”.

I carry two flasks to weddings.

Christian Mingle Toward Jesus

I watched Christian Mingle over the weekend because I write a blog, love movies, and hate Christian kitsch. And it was streaming on Netflix. But I’m not going to review this two year old movie in full because that’s silly, we all know it’s not great film making. But I’d like to chronicle what I believe the film’s greatest flaws are. Not an exhaustive list, but a list of the major offenses as I see them.

Do Note: I am not an unbiased observer. I wholeheartedly disagree with the cultish “Christian” approach toward marriage, I am willing to find fault wherever I want, and I dislike “Christian media” of any variety because I feel its “safety” and “Christianness” are just a quicksand trap to avoid critical thinking in all areas of your life.

Second note: Any time I use quotes from here on out it’s me actually quoting real lines from the movie. I say this because you may find that hard to believe.

Brief synopsis: A non-Christian woman wants to find a “decent guy” so she joins a Christian website and tries to fake being a Christian to put a ring on it.

To be honest, the title should give most of that plot away. So well done title.

Here’s where we start to go wrong:

  1. Mission Trips Help White People — Sure, yeah, and the ethnic group they’re “ministering to” but that’s secondary. Mostly let’s use the natives to further the plot, drive home some good Jesus points, and definitely let the locals simple Christianity propel our heroine to Jesus. Plus who needs character development when you know our hero’s a Christian because he wants to put a bell in a church?
  2. Christian women are bitches — Our heroine is a liar, for starters, but with good intentions so let’s leave her be. Both the mother and the only viable single Christian girl in the movie are delightful windows into how awful Christians can be to someone they view as either a threat or competition. When it comes to our hero Paul, “the last of the good ones that’s for sure” (i.e. the last single Christian bachelor around, apparently — seriously the guy has no male friends), it’s really important to rigorously vet any prospective romantic partner’s spirituality, make them feel uncomfortable and unwelcome, and definitely stress that you want nothing to do with them and think they’re awful because they saw a guy they liked and went for it. More importantly, once you discover she’s not a Christian, let her know that you want nothing to do with her. Totally what Jesus would want you to do.
  3. Finding a  good Christian guy on a Christian dating website is easey peasey –The movie may show our heroine filling out her dating profile, but by no means does it show the process she went through before finding Paul Wood. According to this hour and a half long advert for Christian Mingle it really is THAT EASY. The commercials they feature in the movie (because movies should be more like TV shows) mentioned “hundreds of Christians in your area!” But then alarmingly the movie later describes our hero as “the last” and as he has no single male friends, I’m wondering where the rest of these guys are hiding. I did a quick google search of “Christian dating website horror stories” and in the first five results found two articles where women encountered either a rapist or a “monster” via online Christian dating. No search results about women duplicitously conning good Christian men into dates. I guess one man’s horror is not a woman’s horror.
  4. God and marriage have equal importance — “Jesus is there for us. All we have to do is call his name. And Mr. Right? He’s there too. You just have to reach into your heart and discover what’s true.” You hear that single ladies? God has a man out there for every woman. You just have to grossly reach into your own heart somehow. In your heart is the truth and Mr. Right. Supes easy women, don’t know why you’re still single. But actually it is probably your fault by not having a good enough relationship with God.

I like romantic comedies as much as the next girl. I’ve probably watched more of them than the next girl, actually. And I don’t mind secular society shilling this ooey-gooey, lovey-dovey, sugar-coated romance to the world. Because it’s false and I know it. But let’s not sell this tripe to Christian women. Christian women should be feasting on more substantial fare than this grossly marketed website built to woo Christian women into valuing marriage as the holy grail of relationships.

The only thing the movie got right is that the most important relationship in your life is the one with God. Good. Sold. End film there. But don’t pander to me that because I’m close to God “Mr. Right” is now around the corner. God is enough. And God will be enough for the rest of my life.

Roll end credits.

Love Songs that Make Me Hate You

Every now and again I come across a popular “love” song that makes me want to stab a pencil in my ear. I’ll grant you not all of these are what I consider love songs, but they are songs supposedly about things I associate with love. And how to easily ruin them. And because I never suffer in silence, here they are, some of my least favorite, for your listening displeasure.

Even this shell plays better music
I clearly have excellent taste in music
  • I’m Comin’ Over” by Chris Young — Ignoring that this is the worst possible song to listen to if you’re trying to move on from someone toxic, I really, really just hate the line “I’m all alone but you’re on my phone.” As if your mother isn’t also on your phone. Or a bro-buddy. And then he tops it with, “why put out a fire when it’s still burning”. But it does raise a whole host of additional questions. Like, why put on a sweater when it’s still cold? Why eat when you’re going to get hungry again? Why stop listening to bro-country when your ears are already bleeding?

 

  • Honey I’m Good.” by Andy Grammer“So nah, nah, honey I’m good/I could have another but I probably should not/I’ve got somebody at home,/and if I stay I might not leave alone.” Ah, the old romantic story of a man who goes to a bar, brags about his willpower in not having the one last drink that will result in him sleeping with someone, and then boasts to his woman later about how faithful he was while she was presumably, what? Bathing the children at home, or folding his laundry? That’s definitely the kind of man a woman wants.

 

  • Color My World” by Chicago — This is the most boring, depressing love song with the happiest of lyrics. I have no idea how someone can make “Color my world with your love” into something that sounds more like “You left me and so my life is over.”  Reportedly, this was the slow song for my Dad’s prom back in the day. I can only suppose that when it finished hundreds of couples broke up and the gym was filled with crying.

 

  • Stay with Me” by Sam Smith — I’m probably being too literal, but the whole premise of this song annoys me. “I’m not good at a one night stand/but I still need love ’cause I’m just a man”. Is basically translated to “Men need sex.” Gee, how could anyone refuse such a grunted offer? “This ain’t love, it’s clear to see/but darling, stay with me”. I personally can’t think of a more compelling reason to leave.

 

  • Every Night” by Imagine Dragons — It starts off really well. “I’m coming home to you every night, every night, every night, every night“. Well that’s a win for a relationship. Until you realize what exactly is coming home to you. “The colorless sunrise that’s never good enough”, “the wind that’s in your hair that ruffles you up”. They may as well have just said they’re your little brother who constantly pokes you and asks “does this bug you?” because it’s that same level of romance.

 

  • Marry You” by Bruno Mars — It still boggles my mind that actual real people have used this song to propose to their significant other. It’s like they picked it for the title alone and didn’t listen to any of the words before creating a choreographed routine with ten of their reluctant family members. The song literally starts with “We’re looking for something dumb to do” and then follows it with “I think I wanna marry you”. Which is the kind of confident decision-making you’d expect for a lifetime commitment. Bruno can’t decide if it’s because his girl’s eyes are sparkly or he’s drunk, but “who cares if we’re trashed”. To be honest with you, the song actually gets worse, but I’m too depressed to keep going.

 

  • When Did You Fall” by Chris Rice — Ahh, romance for narcissists. That’s a group that was in desperate need of a love song. Apparently “You’re So Vain” just wasn’t cutting it any more. After all, Warren Beatty called dibs. “When did you fall in love with me?” is just a great start because you get the romantic high ground here. And to really drive that home, “Have you been waiting long?” Because I really didn’t notice you at all. For…like a long time! Ha ha! But hey, now that I know, totally. Let’s do it.

 

  • Like the Woman I Love by Jason Mraz — Mraz makes a classic blunder here. Never use the thing you’re describing to describe the thing you’re describing. “I’m going to love you like the woman I love” like I love you like the woman I love like…oh dear God, it’s the never ending love song that gets you nowhere. I hope you enjoy having that line stuck in your head on repeat as much as I do.

Honorable Mentions:

Thinking Out Loud” by Ed Sheeran — Was I the only one grossed out by “Place your head on my beating heart”? When I first heard that lyric all I could imagine was some macabre serial-killer scene. Romance, bloody romance.

Tearin Up My Heart” by ‘NSync — This is an honorable mention because I can’t justify putting an old boy band up to critical lyric standards. But with the basic plot line of “when I’m with you it sucks and when I’m not with you it sucks” I think it’s fair to say that our poor little boy band is just plain confused with all the new emotions of their post-teen years.

Inept Sandwich Thief

I’ve gone on record saying that there’s nothing better than a good sandwich and that eating a good sandwich can transform your entire day.

Now, maybe there are things better than an amazing sandwich (you’ll have to prove it to me though), but I still maintain that a good sandwich — of any kind — is completely transformative.

A good sandwich… is completely transformative.

Every Thursday I go to my favorite breakfast sandwich restaurant and order their frittata on an english muffin. I order the same thing every week because it’s that good. I’m not saying I haven’t tried their other sandwiches, but I am saying that once you’ve had their english muffin frittata you’ll wonder why you’d order anything else.

Last Thursday was a crap-shoot, for whatever reason that is — probably because it was Thursday, but anyway. I knew this sandwich would redeem my day, but for some reason I thought to myself, let’s try the sausage breakfast sandwich instead. It’s not what I’d call a mistake, but it’s definitely where my ship started to go off course.

Ordering went fine and waiting went fine. When I’m waiting on food I’m the epitome of patience. If you could win at being patient, I’d be Michael Jordan. Patiently waiting is important because someone is making you food. Always respect people who make your food. Additionally, isn’t being un-anxious better for digestion? Probably.

In the meantime a young woman came in to order (it happens at restaurants). So far so good. As the owner comes up to take her order he brings a nicely wrapped sandwich with him.

I started getting excited.

I’m just standing there salivating.

Started. Who are we kidding? I was excited on the walk to the restaurant. I’m just standing there salivating. If I was a cartoon character my eyes would have shot out of my head and my tongue would have rolled out the door while my heart beat wildly from my chest into the cash register making it chime.

He puts the sandwich down next to her and I am slightly annoyed. We look nothing alike. Why is he giving her my sandwich?

But I’m a go-getter, a do-it-yourselfer. I’m an American. So I reach over her and get my sandwich. At which point two alarmed pairs of eyes take me in and I hear “That’s her sandwich. She called ahead.”

Mortification really sweeps over you in a succession of waves. It starts small with a “oops, my bad” and then it just grows by leaps and bounds as you replay the incident the rest of your day, into your next week, find yourself cringing during an unrelated conversation five days because you are STILL THINKING ABOUT IT.

I’m sure its been forgotten by everyone but myself, and for some reason I still can’t let it go. Even now, picturing it from her perspective, Seeing myself invading someone else’s space — a total stranger — to take their sandwich with all the authority of someone stripping away your constitutional right to a sandwich who then says, “excuse me, thank you” as you’re mentally thinking “why is that woman taking my sandwich? What’s happening here? Is there some kind of sandwich exchange program? Is this a tax? Am I being pranked?”

No, no, no. I just feel that all breakfast sandwiches are mine. It’s that simple. If I see one, I believe I should get to eat it. Please and thank you.

Also I’m considering the novelty of this whole “call ahead” thing. Space age technology to be sure, but also convenient because the next time I need a frittata english muffin breakfast sandwich I can call ahead and send a proxy so I NEVER HAVE TO SHOW MY FACE THERE AGAIN.

I spend the next five minutes melting into a puddle of humiliation…

I spend the next five minutes melting into a puddle of humiliation over the minutia of embarrassment as I wait for my sandwich.

Now, with hindsight, I’m reconsidering how to appropriately handle this situation. Not that there’s anything wrong with returning someone’s sandwich to them and apologizing. I guess that’s okay.

But I’m wondering now if instead, when the owner said “She called ahead” there had been that long awkward pause as I clutched the sandwich closer to my chest. And then if I had offered a sheepish grin, chuckled a little so that we all began to laugh at this awkward moment, waited for that delightful perfection of bonding to really come to fruition as comedic tears come to our eyes and the owner doubles over in laughter and I and my victim share friendly pats on the back, wait till it bring us closer to each other as flawed and fallen humans, and then if I had darted out the front door at a full sprint, madly unwrapping the still hot sandwich and cramming it in my mouth as I go, laughing maniacally and wheezing and panting and choking and…

I feel like my lack of interest in athletics and innate physical ineptitude really took away my ability to steal sandwiches with flair, is what I’m saying. And I’m a little upset.

Time to put on a mask and go get a sandwich.