Adventures in Dating Land

Archive for August 2008

I was thinking about relationships this morning. It’s interesting how we spend so much time of our single lives wishing we could find someone. We mope, we pine, we try not to act like it bothers us…but it does. We see our friends with people they’re dating and we wish gruesome tortures upon them. Valentine’s Day passes, and we make excuses about how it’s a commercial holiday of stupidity, when we really want that dozen roses and candlelit dinner. We want someone to call, to surprise, to see, to kiss. We want to love and be loved in return.

I was talking to a friend the other day who was going through some relationship issues. Being in a new one myself, I’m still riding high on the joy train of life. Everything’s good for me right now; permanent smile plastered on my face, always in a good mood, everyday is a new adventure. It’s weird how just a few months ago I was in the single boat along with the rest of my single friends. We would complain about how stupid men are, how if they could just stop listening to themselves talk for two seconds they might be able to understand us better. There were days I was bitter and sad, and then other days that I was so happy I was single. Because a lot of the people I knew in relationships were miserable too…so what was the point? But mostly I was an emotional wreck.

And then I went to another college conference hosted by my church. It’s nothing I hadn’t heard before. Great speakers, great worship, a lot of one on one time with my best friend where we got into a lot of deep talks. And one night, I’m lying in my bed and I’m praying. I’m upset because I don’t want to leave the conference and go back to a half-hearted worship lifestyle, or fall back into old transgressions and habits. So I’m wrestling with God about how to stop this, and how to strengthen my relationship with Him. And then, I get a voice in my head.

A voice that asks me if I would give up the one thing I’d want most in the world, which is more or less what every girl (and many guys) want: true love. Would I be willing to sacrifice a potential husband, the future love of my life for my love for God? I, of course, went off the deep end. Crying like I never had before. This was not something God could ask of me. I mean…what the eff, dude? How could someone want to take away someone else’s soulmate? Make someone else miserable forever? Needless to say, I couldn’t accept this challenge at the time.

The next night, Kondo Simfukwe spoke, and I think he presented the gospel in the most amazing and poetic and beautiful way I have ever heard it delivered. I want to take that speech and spread it throughout the world, and I can almost guarantee that people would hear it and be like “Holy crap, I want that! I want Jesus! Sign me up!” It wasn’t just a “Jesus died for you so you could go to heaven” thing. I mean, it was in its basest form. But Kondo delivered it like this incredible epic fairytale, greater than Lord of the Rings or Harry Potter, even the Twilight series. This incredible story of a creator who is and was and always will be, who creates the universe out of nothing and forms it into this exquisite and ravishing world for us to live, and creates a people for whom to love and cherish and care for…and this bride, his church tears themselves away from him and plunges themselves into darkness and evil. And God’s plan to rescue them, to bring them back to Him so they can live together in love and peace is the most heroic and gallant act ever conceived by any mind: the total sacrifice of oneself to save the entire world. The world as it was, is, and will be. One act to pull us all out of evil. The perfect, flawless love story.

Of course, he said it better than I could. But the point was that God is our true love. God was the perfection that we long for, that one person who will never disappoint or hurt us. Who will challenge us, help us grow and find peace and joy with Him. He is our one true soulmate.

So after that night…and many more tears…I finally consented. What else could I really do? I mean, the many ways that guys had hurt me in the past, and the God that I longed to have a true relationship with…I couldn’t be half-hearted about this anymore. I can’t fully give my heart to one thing and another. My heart has to belong with what is true and real. And even if I’ve been angry with him or upset, it has always always been God.

So. Relationships. I don’t think God was planning on me being a nun…because I’m now in a relationship with an awesome guy that is thus far going brilliantly. I think it was more that my priorities can’t rest with the guy love first. God has to come first in everything. And once I figured that out, God can work out the rest of the stuff in my life in the way that has a purpose.

And I think that’s kind of what’s been messing up my single friends’ attitudes (and my own for a really long time.) Because before all that happened, I was bitter and depressed that I was alone. Going back to this one friend who was sad…they actually admitted to me that they could not be around other couples. It pissed them off and made them upset to see other people happy and together. I wanted to be offended by this, especially because it was a bit of a rain on my parade…but I couldn’t. Because I used to feel the same. And then I was…fulfilled. Complete. And I looked at things differently. I saw my being single as a chance for God to change me in a different way that maybe I didn’t exactly see. My singleness was a blessing; it gave me a chance to meet people and be independent for a while…to be completely alone in my relationship with God. And that was awesome. What’s more is that I wasn’t really looking at other people in relationships as being revolting and upsetting. They were happy. And that was cool. True, I’d still get a few pangs of sadness every now and then. But it wasn’t this constant state of depression. I had something better to fill me up, something that would never run out on me or disappoint. And honestly, that seems way better than pining for a relationship.

I guess one thing that is really important though, in linking singleness and relationships together, is that you can’t forget all the things you learned while you were on your own. I used to tell myself that when it happened, it was going to be amazing and completely worthwhile and will be so amazing that I’ll be so glad I didn’t settle. But…we know how we are. When we DO find someone amazing, it seems that sometimes after a while we forget how lucky we are. We take them for granted. We lose sight of the incredible person that we fell for in the beginning and start to just see them as a “whatever” kind of person. But if we’re lucky enough to know that we didn’t settle, to look at the other person and think “dear God, how could you have brought THIS person to me? I don’t deserve anything this good…” then we really need to remember how worthwhile holding on to that is. Because then you might end up waiting for seven years, almost marrying someone else before you see their picture in the paper for building your dream house and then you go see them and they take you on a boat with lots of ducks. And you get back together.

Or that could have just been that one time.

Advertisements

One of the first rules of a successful advertising campaign is to sell yourself. Present a product to the client or customer that will make them desire you, need you in a sense. Mr. McCain has yet to have us swooning at his feet with his own personal advertisements.
The recent campaign ads over the summer, while probably widely unnoticed by the general public during the summer, does not overcast a good outcome for Senator McCain. The tactics used by his campaign managers are cheap and tawdry at best, while highly ineffectual at most.
Their selling points against Senator Obama are an attack against his supposed celebrity status.
Unfortunately, this is not going to work. Calling attention to Obama’s wealth or standing doesn’t work, because McCain has all that in his-count ’em- six houses. It’s the pot calling the kettle black, and it’s not going to work.
Moreover, McCain’s strategy calls more attention to himself than to Obama. He is targeting Obama as being different; but difference and change is exactly what this country wants. I’m not saying that Obama is going to make the kind of difference that would be best for this country, but they are both advertising this uniqueness to Obama’s character.
McCain is trying to emphasize Obama’s alienation from our society- his picky eating habits, his frequent gym visits, his years at Harvard and Hyde Park. Even if we set aside the fact that McCain himself came from a privelaged family (and did I mention the six houses), the American people have already consented that they want change in our society. Too many people are looking at McCain as an older, less capable version of George W., and the pleas that McCain is making on behalf of Obama’s elitist behavior will only make the public respond with an “Okay…so he’s different. We’ll take arrugula over another twenty years in Iraq any day.”
McCain’s only positive point in his campaigns is the insistence that Obama shies away from confronting tough questions. He has refused to be a part of townhall debates with McCain, instead attempting to renegotiate with McCain on one televised townhall. To this, McCain refused, and his campaign managers threw this situation into the limelight to portray Obama as a coward with no stance on the real issues.
The proper procedure, gentlemen, would have been to renegotiate with Obama. I think it’s pretty obvious that Obama is a narcissistic egomaniac, and certainly wanted more cameratime. But he’s also not an idiot. McCain’s campaign’s refusal to renegotiate made them appear to be the bullies trying to catch Obama redhanded in his mistakes, making Obama the innocent victim of a campaign attack.
And in truth, that’s all this campaign strategy is really making McCain out to be: a bully. No one is going to respond in a positive way to this kind of flatulating attack when there are so many important issues facing our country.
The wise decision for Mr. McCain would be to bring those issues to light along with his plans and solutions, and see what Mr. Obama has to say about that.

I’m getting the feeling that near every twenty-something college student is becoming a political nut with this election.

The funny thing is, no one knows that the crap is going on in regards to the actual election itself.

I don’t know how many times I’ve gotten on Facebook over this summer and seen the cute little statuses of “Obama rocks!”, et cetera. What makes me smile (and frown at the same time) is that these are the same people who are complaining about the price of gas in their cars. And what does Obama want to do to solve the oil crisis in America? Push for the production of more hybrid cars.

Hybrid cars. Really? Not only would this idea be years in the making at least, but I’m unaware of too many average college students who can just trade in their hunka junk for a brand new shiny fuel efficient hybrid. I’m not saying it’s a BAD idea; a recent report showed that even if we were to extract all the remaining oil left for use as fuel, it would only last us about a decade more. New energy plans must be made, and we must for new solutions. But the key word here is solutions. As in, more than one. As in, more than one where the different solutions benefit different people, not just the rich and the privelaged such as yourself, Senator Obama.

And that’s really what makes me want to chuck every college student’s television, locked on MTV out the window. Because all I’ve heard over the last few months is what a great, down to earth guy this dude is. A man who can relate to the people, who understands the life of the everyman. Again, I don’t think the everyman can have the opportunities to breeze through Columbia and Harvard law, the funds to eat as well as this guy does, or to live a completely green lifestyle where even the gas on his campaign bus is fuel efficient.

People like Obama because he is a fad. He is a media-soaked, camera happy vaudeville genius who knows just how to work an audience, no matter what he says. At this point, Obama could do the electric slide with a squirrel while wearing a speedo and present this act as the solution to world hunger, and I’m guessing people would eat out of the palm of his hand. Wake UP, people.

I’m not saying you have to hate him. I don’t hate Obama, and I don’t dislike him…entirely. I happen to agree with his long term plan on energy issues and immigration. But know what it is you’re supporting before you support it. And in all honesty, what you’re supporting is a man who does not know himself what he stands for. He’s gone back and forth so many times you’d think his political career was a game of Pong. If America gets off their butt and picks up a newspaper, we’ll realize we aren’t a bunch of idiots, and start demanding real answers from this guy. And if he can’t provide…then I guess we know what kind of candidate we really have.

Can anyone fill me in on the term “blogosphere”? I have to admit, even for a twenty-year-old, I feel extremely outdated when it comes to the internet jargin. I recently perused the website Urban Dictionary.com, a pseudo dictionary server whose purpose serves to keep the lesser informed up to date on any and all slang terms in our cultures and subcultures. I have to ask, do people really use the term “shuffle shame”? (Which is apparently what happens if your mp3 player is on random and someone walks into the room when you’re blasting “I’m Blue” or some other atrocious guilty pleasure.) I can’t ever imagine using that in a sentence without feeling entirely too postmodern, and thus succumbing my soul just slightly more so into the pop culture society of the new millenium.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy the 21st century. Mp3 players alone, this age has given us some wonderful gifts. But maybe I’m an oddball nostalgic, but I for one see a major problem in the way the world is turning. Any science fiction movie that depicts androids taking over the world will show the same themes, and while the properties of robotics keeps me from ever fantasizing that particular nightmare into life, some of the futuristic principles that have a hand in such films are beginning to shed their own light in reality.

I’m an avid reader of the New York Times; other than New York being my quintessential center of the universe, I feel most connected with the Times. The arts section alone is enough to make me drool, and although the journalistic bias of many of the writers seems to shine through on an almost revolting level, to me it is the end-all, be-all of information. As I was keeping up to date on my ’08 campaign news yesterday, I saw an ad at the top of the screen, flickering merrily over Obama’s smiling, large-eared head. (Anyone notice, by the way, that Obama is sort of a more handsome, African American version of George W. in the physical sense? This is no bash on either one of them…but their heads and bodies are very similarly shaped.) Anyway, this ad was one for the New York Times itself…”All the news that’s fit to click.” Taking a spin on the modern cliche, I have to admit I was a little put off. I took a history of communications course last year, and most of what I heard in that class was how all mass media was moving forward into the technological internet world…that books and print were becoming more and more obsolete. It honestly scares me how much this notion seems to NOT scare people. Books are a vital, interactive part of our society. There are studies that indicate that people who read material from the pages of a book, rather than off a computer actually retain more information. A slightly less logical argument is the romance that the written word possesses. I am nothing short of astounded when I interact with people and find that very few read for pleasure anymore, instead filling their minds with “True Life” and whatever box office drag has hit the theatres lately. Not only does it lower the interest level in these people for me, making them less interesting and harder to converse with, but I notice a serious difference in the intelligence levels of people that do read for pleasure, versus people that don’t.

There is also a third group of individuals, those of which I like even less. These are the people that do not read for enjoyment; they do so solely to advance themselves in their lives (career). There is no thirst for knowledge, no enjoyment at the clever turn of the phrase or appreciation for the witty musings of the great artists of literature who have come before us. It’s all about the grade, all about the next step. It’s the world we live in, driven completely by moving up…all width and no depth.

I know I’m spouting information that’s been said a thousand times before, but it really bothers me. At times I feel like a ninety-year-old young adult, the twentysomething that’s out of touch with the new age. And frankly, I’m okay with that. I’ve got my Facebook account, my blog, so technically I am part of the “blogosphere,” whatever the eff that is. I post the pictures and write on the walls and even send the bumper stickers. I, at times, indulge myself in the mindless dribble of reality TV. So, in some ways, I should have nothing to say. But, (and I suppose this is my point of arrogance against most of the twentysomething society) I do strive for knowledge. I do read…I spend hours in bookstores, perusing the works and smelling the musty old pages of old volumes, wondering about the owners who came before me, their passions and their lives, whether or not they cared about width of life rather than the depth. And I know that there is a following of my kind, a minority of young adults who want lives filled with substance and passion and meaning. And we are the voices that need to speak out now, in whatever medium we will be heard.

Went to the Irish Festival. Nothing quite so interesting post-festival. It was a good time; good music, good fun, good people to hang out with. Overall a general success, but not exactly making for a good story.

Also hung out quite a bit with a certain…fella. Who I am not saying anything about in the public forum of the internet, considering I find that to be weird and a little unibomberish and kind of emo. But. Yeah. I’m smiling still, from the whole day. So…yeah.

I’m actually too tired to really write anything tangible, I’ll give it another shot in a day or so.

I’ve decided to pull away from Xanga…I’ve had some bad luck with that particular domain, so we’ll give WordPress a try and see if the net fates fare any better with me. On that note, hello world.

Three things I am currently obsessed with at the moment: Joss Whedon (in all his glory), Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, and line dancing.

I realize that two go together, and one seems random. There isn’t a lot of logic to that, other than to say that this summer has been somewhat revolved around my nights spent at the local country bar on campus. Tuesdays and Thursdays are the nights to go; Tuesdays are slightly more mellow and not for the faint of feet. If you go on Tuesday night, expect to be line dancing the entire time, as this evening is reserved for the serious country sophisticate. Thursdays are a little more lenient to the style, but with that comes a much more rowdy and wild crowd, which unfortunately includes a large number of suspiciously underage appearing girls, scantily clad and falling all over themselves in their stillettos (not an ideal shoe for the dancing of the lines.) But I have spent the better portion of my summer in this club, kicking and jumping and listening to songs about tractors and beer and hick chicks…good summer times.

Joss Whedon, of course, stems from my eternal obsession with Buffyverse. He recently released a new internet musical (Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog.) I could gush…but I wouldn’t want to embarass myself. This truly is yet another work of Whedon genius, and another reason for me to be infinitely jealous of that man’s talent.

Unfortunately, I feel like my summer is coming to an end. The majority of those I’ve spent my time with will be going back to school in a couple of weeks, whereas I still have a solid month before my year starts. Other than the sadness of another summer gone, I thought of something the other day that really hadn’t struck me before. This particular summer holds a certain weight to it, at least in my mind. Next summer, I will more than likely be studying abroad, or at some fabulous internship, and therefore not in town. Even if I was in town, the majority of people I’d look forward to seeing would be doing these various things anyways. This may very well be the last summer for me and my old friends. It’s a sad thought.

Sorry I’m a little scattered today…running on seven hours of total sleep within the last forty-eight hours. The rest of the weekend is looking up with potential: Irish festival tomorrow, and of course Crave Sunday night. I’m hoping to go to the State Fair at some point while it’s running, I still have yet to go. Ever. I’ve been repeatedly told I would be shot if I did not rectify this. Plus, the urge to try something entirely unique in deep friend format is always appealing.