Office Space Romance

At the end of a first date there’s that moment, that sizing up space where you’re both considering if you want to see each other again, and then you’re considering if you think they want to see you again. And how do you find that out without sounding like you really want to see them just in case they don’t want to see you?

How do you treat your date with appropriate casualness so that you don’t appear vehemently opposed or obsessively interested?

Honestly, I don’t know why we bother with the theatrics at all.

Tonight I sat down for the first time and watched Office Space and I know, sure, I should have seen this like fifteen years ago when it was relevant, but I’ve only gotten to it now which is fine because the life lessons are still timeless (eh, this could be debated).

My favorite scene is when Peter finally asks Joanna out on a date. He walks in, goes up to her directly and asks if she wants to have dinner with him. He’s fine if she says no and he’s fine if she says yes. Either way, he’s having lunch.

I can’t help but wonder if the trick to dating and relationships is just being excited about having lunch. She/he might come, they might not, but you still get to eat, and isn’t that what’s great? I think we often get so fixated on who may or may not want to eat with us that we lose sight of the enjoyment we can have in life on our own.

We often get so caught up in the “do they or don’t they” that we don’t let ourselves consider what we think and how we feel. Maybe we think it’s too rare, that it’s too special to meet someone that we like and can connect with, but is that the case? Or is it that we selectively try to connect? And that in those selections sometimes we miss and we take those misses more personally because they’re so few?

What if instead we approached dating like Peter does? Just ask her out. If it’s no it’s no and then you go and eat a nice lunch and find someone else to ask out. It’s better than fixating, mentally embellishing and idealizing in your own mind until that other person is so great there’s no possible way they’d ever date…you.

So don’t be afraid to profess interest, to do the asking. And then don’t be afraid to ask someone else. And in between, grab a sandwich. Because nothing in life makes you feel better than a good sandwich (this is just a personal theory, but please test it out).

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“Dear Future Husband” Phenomenon

There is a wealth of crap that happens in a Christian environment under the guise of purity and chastity that is simply an outlet for personal desires or personal fantasy. In other words, we cloak selfish impulses with religious over-spiritualization. It’s gross.

If you’ve ever heard someone say to you, “God really laid it on my heart for me to pray for you about [that thing you do that I find personally annoying]”, you know what I’m talking about. Using God as authoritarian wish-fulfillment isn’t okay.

One of the worst ways I see this is when we urge and encourage young girls to write “Dear Future Husband” letters.

Young women, pre/during/post(?)-puberty, are urged to write letters to the man they’re one day going to marry. These letters are often a prayer for their future husband or a relating of current difficulties. They’re supposed to be designed to help women safeguard their hearts (and virginity) for their once and future husband. They’re also supposed to be designed to help the premature bride be mindful and in prayer for the spiritual strength, stability, and well-being of their future husband.

Some women keep this practice up through their teen years, some till the day they marry. And then there are those other “some” who don’t have a cut-off date. Those whose letters are never going to be delivered.

These women who were let down by God because he clearly promises, in the Bible, marital stability and protection for as long as you —

It’s not in there? Huh. But you wrote letters! Why didn’t God answer your letters with a husband? After all, most people do get married. Why not you?

The problem with this letter, is that it seeks to bind God to a desired future outcome. It aspires to dictate to God (through a pure desire for marriage!) that you will eventually definitely have a marriage. It takes youthful insecurity and assuages it with a promise of fulfillment. If you’re writing the letter to someone, then that someone must exist!

Trouble is, I could have written a thousand letters to my future self. My …traveling archaeologist self. The self I wanted to be when I was fifteen. And reading those now, what would I think about it? After all, my dreams were pure and good. I was going to travel and uncover God’s truths hidden in the earth. I was going to witness to many around the world! Why doesn’t God want that for me?

By attempting to tie God down to a future world we miss out on the incredible future he has planned. One that’s unknown, scary, heartbreaking, definitely disappointing in some ways, but jaw droppingly amazing in others. We miss that when we’re busy trying to get God to keep our self-promises.

Marriage IS something that you shouldn’t walk into blindly, it’s something you should enter with consideration and prayer and preparation. In this regard, it is right and good. Praying for your spouse is an excellent idea. Keeping your own heart saved for your marriage is also an excellent idea.

Never be afraid to prepare yourself for good things in life. But remember that what God considers good is not always what you consider good. Don’t bind God to your small vision of future happiness.

If you truly do insist on writing letters (and who am I to stop you? I love a good letter). try writing “Dear God” letters. Tell him your hopes and dreams and wishes and watch how he uses them, changes your heart, and gives you answers to dreams you never could have written.

Myth-Busting, Girl Edition: Pillow Fights

I haven’t been in a pillow fight in at least … a few years, let’s say since college, but I’m sure the elements are pretty much the same. They’re probably not the elements YOU are thinking of if you’re a “red-blooded male”, but that’s what I’m here for. To shatter illusions and make fantasies less fun. Yay women.

  • Girls don’t pillow fight in their underwear. Sorry/not sorry. Women don’t start any game with the intent of being sexy. Never underestimate a female’s wish to dominate everyone else at the sleepover, and the perfect fighting clothes she needs to wear to win. If there’s a pillow fight happening we’re all in pajamas, but more like onesie pajamas with funny characters on them and retainers in and scrubbed clean faces displaying acne and dry patches and hair in messy but unattractive ponytails.
  • Feathers don’t fly in a pillow fight. This is such a waste of a pillow I can’t believe I have to spell it out. Also, feather pillows don’t pack the punch that other pillows do. In a pillow fight you want the un-floppy pillow so you can really knock the crap out of everyone. Oops, myth three. Did you really think girls did this in fun?
  • Women may fight with pillows, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t vicious. If you’re in a pillow fight, you’re in it to win it. And win it by a lot. I don’t know how to actually win a pillow fight, but I think, from past experiences, that winning includes knocking the other person to the floor and senseless.
  • You’re going to get hit with an actual pillow about 60% of the time. To get maximum smack from your pillow you have to be close to your opponent. Guess what else is close at that point? Your knuckles wrapped tightly around the edge of the pillow. I think I’ve been more accidentally punched in pillow fights than I have been in earnest in my whole life.
  • Pillow fights do not end with everyone giggling on the floor, out of breath. Sure, it starts out fun, but there’s a reason why women don’t resort to physical violence very often. It unleashes a real blood lust in us when we do finally get physical. All those petty slights and minor issues you thought were in the past? She hit me so hard. It’s probably because she thinks I’m a slut. Well guess who got busted for dress code last week? NOT ME. WHAP. Mostly the pillow fight ends with quiet seething rage as everyone settles in for murderous dreams.

That’s right, the aggression and the quiet building rage may be one of the most compelling reasons available why women SHOULD engage in pillow fights more often. Of course, there’s also the possibility that you’re risking numerous tenuous friendships, and permanent disfigurement, but violence has worked well for men for centuries in getting past their issues. Right?

Maybe it’s men who should use the pillows.

Moss Guy

I usually don’t get hit on. Or actually, it’s more like I don’t know if/when I’m being hit on. Biting humor is my flirt language, which works on like 5% of all people. It’s also my standard speech pattern, so it’s really a puzzle trying to figure out if I’m interested too. Point is: life’s hard.

I was in a wedding a while ago (as happens often these days), and by the end of the night I was helping clean up the reception area when the moss showed up on a table.

Guys, real life is weird.

I don’t know why there was moss on the table. But it was an impressive, very lively pile of moss and so I shouted “whose moss is this?” because, I don’t know, maybe it was a table decoration I didn’t know about (wedding tip for those brides-to-be: moss is big on Pinterest and in “Good Housekeeping” for use as a table decoration. Not. making. this. up).

Suddenly there’s a guy in a brown shirt standing next to me. And he says, “it’s pretty cool.”

He was right. And yet, it did not answer my question. So I tried again. “Yeah, but seriously, why is it here?”

And he says (I’m paraphrasing because I had been drinking a little and can’t EXACTLY remember), “well, you know, it’s pretty, like you.”

THAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED.

Now, I’m a bit witty, most of the time, and I’m always mentally preparing for the next round of conversation, but I was not prepared for this. I don’t know anyone that COULD be prepared for this.

But it was awesome.

I’m sure that makes some of you wince, some of you feel sad for me, some of you laugh at me, but the truth is he sounded sweet, eager, creative, and just a little goofy. It’s a winning combination of not-expected in a compliment.

Any time someone can surprise me with something (and it’s not horror-movie-worthy) it’s good.

Unfortunately, while I was busy trying to process what had just happened, he left. You could chalk it up to the bridesmaids whispering and pointing, his own mortified shock at what he’d said, or assume he just wandered off, but it’s a compliment that will stick with me for a while.

So thanks brown shirt guy. Thanks a moss.