It’s been too long… As I berated myself for the hundredth time for never blogging, the fireman suggested I just start and not worry about coming up with something amazing. Then he sent me a blog idea- an entire blog devoted to coffee! I’ve reposted her Coffee vs. Tea post below:)
Will this post change your life? Ehhh..probably not. But it’s fitting since I’m starting at the beginning. What gets me out of bed every day? It’s not family, love, God, or my passions. I hopefully live for those things, but truly the one thing that gets me up is coffee. In my head, I make the same deal every single day- if I get up, I can have coffee. It’s my one tried and true habit.
I try to make it at home to save money, but some days end up at Starbucks to save time. At which point I regret my decision and silently curse the folks in front of me ordering decaf lattes, or worse- frappacinos. Don’t they understand 6am-9am is about survival? This isn’t Treat-Yourself-Time. It seems reasonable that they should be allowed in past 10am.
Anyway, below are the benefits of drinking both coffee and tea. Don’t you just love anything that tells you your daily vice is good for you?!
P.S. My favorite mornings are when the fireman surprises me on his way home from shift with a coffee delivery.
Single Awareness Day is around the corner! Below is a list of my favorite breakup songs for all my blue Valentines out there. These gems (I might be guilty of playing out, through tears, in my car, all alone) are worth a listen.
Please comment your song suggestions! I’m sure I have missed some great ones that I may need in the future;)
Thanks for the positive feedback on the Red Flags! I know this is directly after a R.F. post, but I am sitting here with my roommate Melody and we can’t wait to roll out another platform for your enjoyment (and hopefully participation). The credit for the hashtag #Ishouldveknownwhen goes to Melody. We use it around our circle to describe the moment you realize it’s not going to work out with someone. (Unfortunately, all of us have ignored it a time or two) I’ve had several friends send me their #Ishouldveknownwhens and here are the first ten.
He asked me to drive an hour to our first date
He wore more jewelry than me
He wouldn’t sign-up for a trial gym membership because three months was, “too much commitment”
Thanks to Google I discovered he is famous in the gay blogging community as an underwear model
He introduced me to his cats. Plural.
At dinner he referred to me as his “sister-in-Christ”
He has a girl best friend
After our first date he invited me to Thanksgiving
He had more Instagram selfies than a fourteen-year-old girl
He said he had a special Italian spot in mind for our first date and then dropped a pin at the Olive Garden
And so the girls don’t have all the fun, one of my favorite #IShouldveKnownWhen came from my guy friend: He should’ve known when she said, “Don’t worry about all the arm scratches, they are from my bunnies.”
Now it’s your turn! #IShouldveKnownWhen anywhere you like to hash or email me:)
This goes for ultimate fighting, WWF and MMA as well. I’ll admit, I can see how a guy might think this sort of male activity would up is appeal, but trust me, there is an internal red flag that goes up when someone you’ve just met tells you they are “into fighting”. We can’t help but wonder if you have a few screws lose. Perhaps it’s the anger thing, or the fact that we don’t understand it, or maybe some weird guy in college that everyone called “Karate Joe”ruined it for us. All I know is it’s a risky move. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve killed to go to the Fun Zone with Ralph Macchio too… I’m just not sure I could have agreed to it off-screen.
From time to time friends of mine send me articles on singles/dating. Let me just walk you through what happens when I get these:
Notification. Click. Cringe. Reluctantly read.
The absolute worst is when someone posts one on my wall for the whole world to see.
Notification. Click. Horror. Delete. Delete. Delete. Why is it so freaking hard to remove from my phone?! How long has it been there?!?!
In my right mind, I’m thankful friends take the time to pass them along. I need to be up to date. So please, keep sending… as emails.
Recently I was sent one called, “What Not to Say to Single People” posted on Relevant. Let me start by saying there are helpful ideas in her blog. My goal isn’t to attack it. I’m responding because it made me stop and wonder for the first time, whydo Christian articles on singleness make me so uncomfortable?
I came up with the following: It’s the way Christians talk about singleness and dating. It’s not so much what we say, but how we say it.
Think about it; in the secular world the single life conjures up images of fun, freedom, excitement, choice, and strength. It’s hot and sexy to be a single girl. The single storylines we see in movies and TV aren’t tragic, but exciting. The plot ends when a girl gets married.
The storyline we get in church is that life can’t begin until we are married. We usually only see the roles of wives and mothers played out. Christian single life paints images of tears, desperation, cat ladies, and awkward adults gathered around a bowl of church punch playing Catch Phrase.
Why is this? Both groups are talking about the same exact phase of life. (And both have misunderstandings to be sure) But why do Christians talk about it so differently? How can we talk about dating in a way that highlights the good parts about being single?
Don’t Make Singleness a Thing
Honestly, I’m horrified by the fact that an article on on how to talk to singles even exists. (I realize I am writing one.) I’m sitting here feeling all-normal, when apparently people need help talking to me. Really? It makes it sound like we have some type of rare disease that requires special handling. I can’t imagine an article like this in a secular setting. Married or not married, it’s not as big of a deal outside the Church.
Don’t Make Singleness Everything
In my office, people talk about all kinds of things- sports, news, and job related issues. At a Christian function? Forget it. I’m constantly fielding random questions about my dating life. Since the Bible is largely silent on romantic love, it seems odd that Church is the place I feel most pressured to answer for myself.
I don’t hate talking about my dating life and I’m grateful people care about what goes on. It truly is an issue of proportion. One friend wrote me, “My pastor is CONSTANTLY commenting on how he’s praying for my future husband. However he never comments on how he’s praying for a better job or financial stability or something else equally worthwhile.”
My friend appreciates her pastor’s concern and prayers. It gets tricky when it starts to feel like the only thing people care about.
Don’t Talk About Singleness if You’re Married
I’m going to get burned at the stake over this one, but hang in there with me. Think, “I can talk about my mom, but you can’t.”
Just like finances, marriage, parenting, and dieting are often precarious and complex issues, so is dating. These are topics we build up to with people we put our trust in over time. For some reason it’s socially acceptable for a married person to casually ask a single person how their relationship is going, but inappropriate for a single person to ask how a marriage is doing.
That being said, I have married friends I love talking about my relationship with. The difference is, I’ve invited them into it.
Don’t Treat it Like a Problem to Solve
My biggest concern with Christian single articles, books, and conversations is they typically come across as “how-tos” with lots of advice. This is off-putting because it presupposes the single person is unhappy being single, and unmarried because of a lack of knowledge or effort.
You can see how this would be frustrating.
The Relevant article said, “It’s important for those who are married to remember the struggles that come with being single and do their best to walk away from an interaction with a single leaving them feeling helped, not hurt.”
Do you see the top-down innuendo? While I appreciate the heart behind this, it’s uncomfortable to read your life as a “struggle” in someone else’s eyes. Also, it assumes I need help when I don’t see finding love as a problem to be fixed; I see it as something that happens when it happens.
The truth is, I like my life. I don’t like reading things that give the impression I’m unhappy because I’m not married. If you are married, how would you feel if most articles assumed you were depressed in your marriage?
The bottom line is no one fully understands love. Poets, writers, musicians, and philosophers have tried to capture and describe it since the beginning of time. Despite all efforts, we still don’t even have a solid definition. Single people don’t like being talked to as if it’s something married people have figured out while we haven’t.
Don’t Go too Far with Expectations
Christians can be weird.
We somehow manage to get even weirder around the topics of dating and relationships. We don’t like grey areas. When you take a mysterious concept like falling in love, it’s tempting to want to put it in a standard sized box. In this case, married with children by 26.
When a person doesn’t fit this expectation, our instinct is to want to fix, help, and give advice. Which is a bummer. My single friends and I don’t want to be fixed. We aren’t unhappy with all of life because we aren’t married. Sometimes we love being single. Like Saturday mornings, when no one bugs us or needs our attention. We look at the divorce rate and know marriage isn’t going to solve any of our actual problems. In the meantime, we pursue other things and enjoy our independence. Maybe we’ll get married at 40 or 50. Maybe we’ll love it. Maybe we’ll hate it. Either way, we want to decide for ourselves.
There are so many ways to live a life. I often wish I lived outside my Christian circles because there seems to be more space for things to look differently. Which is disappointing since Jesus is the ultimate includer of the outsider. Something about the way He spoke to people made them feel welcomed and validated. And at the end of the day, that’s how we all want to be talked to.
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a red flag. We are on the letter “I” and this was inspired by two stories from last week.
A few helpful facts.
I started a new job. I’ve decided not to say where so I can talk about people without getting in trouble. Somehow that sounded moral in my head and doesn’t exactly compute now. …Anyway.
All you need to know is it’s in an office that houses three different companies. There are lots of young professionals and it’s been really fun getting to know everyone. My co-worker, we will call her Lady K, has been an exceptionally good find while navigating my new surroundings.
Me: Guess who I met over the weekend? Aaron, he said he was a friend of yours.
Lady K: Mack Attack
Me: What is that?!
Lady K: It’s his nickname because he makes out with so many girls.
Me: Oh, good.
Me: So what’s the story on Tom? (Works in the building next door. Wasn’t sure if he was my type but had a friend in mind)
Lady K: Who? Kissing Bandit?
Me: Serious?! …Is this going to be a thing??
Lady K: Well, he’s made out with three of the girls that work here already. You decide.
I’m not opposed to a good time, but when it is your reputation, it’s too much. Don’t guys know we talk?? A girl is likely to walk away when she hears he’s earned himself a frat boy nickname. What’s the phrase “Don’t ___ where you eat?” …It’s real. Be careful out there:)
Don’t forget to join the launch contest for 2 tickets to Mumford. 2 days left!
**Disclaimer: Red flags are not always deal breakers. They mean to serve as a point in which you should stop and ask yourself, “Does this signify a deeper problem?” Red flags are also limited to things people choose to do, not things in which they have no control over.
(image Michele Scarpelinni)
Book club due date- March 15. Today’s date- March 26. I’m late. I’m sorry.
Let’s get going. I’m going to do 3 separate posts for the 3 books so people can comment and get a discussion going on the books individually. Please, please reach out and talk to each other! It’s the only way this will work.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, even though it was sad. Anderson sure has a knack for showing the slow build of a relationship; it’s delicate nature, and painful demise. I thought Tink’s ability to read minds may have been a cheater way to do things, but satisfying b/c it meant we could see what Peter was thinking. What girl hasn’t tried to overanalyze the head of her crush, boyfriend, husband etc? This was the window in we all wish we had!
Takeaways and Questions for you:
(Respond and comment on any you want and throw out some of your own!)
1. Did you identify with Tiger Lily? I sure did. It was hard to read at times. Were all readers meant to relate to her, or did some of you feel more like a Moon Eye or a Wendy? How so?
2. What did you think about the interactions between females in the story? I thought Anderson fleshed out the painful and subtle side of female competition well. Interesting how they were all wishing they were more like the other girls.
3. Ch. 1 explains faeries are mute and therefore great listeners. “You turn your attention, not to babbling about yourself, broadcasting each and every thought to everyone within earshot- as people often do- but to observing. That’s how faeries became so empathic. “ Pg. 3
4. In the story, people stopped aging, “When the most important thing that would ever happen to you triggered something inside that stopped you from moving forward.” Pg. 163.
Anderson goes on to bookend the concept during her description of Tiger Lily’s broken heart, “It is just that she was fifteen once for the first time, and Peter walked across her heart, and left his footprints there.” Pg. 290
Tink also believed Tiger Lily may have stopped aging the moment she was happy and at home on the mountain with Peter. I found the concept very relatable, did you? Do you find your life sort of stops in certain ways at crucial moments when big things happen, painful and joyful?
5. Pick a side. Are you team Peter or are you team Pine Sap, and why? Everyone should answer this one:) There is plenty to draw from to support your idea, particularly in the final chapter. …Heart wrenching.
6. Did you like Anderson’s overall take on love? I felt she made a case for romantic love, that it can stick with you for a lifetime, but it’s not necessarily the kind of love you will build your life on. This is neither good or bad, it just is.
“She (Tiger Lily) said she thought there were different ways of loving someone, and there were some she used to think were the most important and now she had changed her mind.” Pg. 287
Agree? Disagree? Relate to this?
7. What did you make of the juxtaposition between Tiger Lily, a girl who had trouble trusting b/c of tragedy in her past, and Wendy, a girl who lived a charmed life and could love easily?
What did you make of Peter Pan’s choice? Is this how it is in real life? Case by case?? Did it anger you as it did me?
Have at it!
BTW- our next fiction will be Where’d You Go, Bernadette My friend Brittany says it’s hilarious and I could use a laugh after this last one:) Let’s try and wrap it up by May 1. How cute is that cover?