Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Blind Dating The Church


Here is what I know about myself, I like my churches like I like my men--intellectual, small and quirky. I moved recently which puts me in the church-hunting scene and I don’t know that I ever realized before how very similar the process can be to blind dating. I give each church a try based on the information that I have from a friend, a group that I belong to or, let’s face it, maybe just based on outward appearances. I think I have a good gut for what I want, but I still always try a few that aren’t my type thinking that perhaps my tastes have changed or that I should just find a few places to pass the time for a while. After all, my perfect church home is only really going to plop itself down in front of me when I stop looking, right?

That is, by the way, what married Christians are always telling single people about “church” searches.

You’re only going to find a church when you stop expecting to find one. Good churches always pop up when you least expect it.”

“God will bring you a “church” when you stop wanting one so badly. That’s what happened with me and First Baptist, here.” (Cue, oozing condescension)

AND, finally, “Did you ever think maybe this is a gift from God that you haven’t found a “church”? Now you are free just to concentrate on HIM and not get confused with the love and support and fun that you would be having if you did have one.”

Wait, that all sounds stupid in this context doesn’t it? Same goes when we’re talking relationships. If you are a married person who uses one or more of these canned lines, on your poor vulnerable, single friends, get in the bathroom, rinse that filthy mouth out with a bar of soap and immediately send those phrases to your conversational graveyard!

Now as I was saying, on my church-finding journey I always want to visit a couple of places that are refined and traditional, but after one or two “dates” I am like “Am I ever going to be able to dance around you” and “Why are all of your friends geriatric?”

Then, occasionally I visit a small, home-grown-country church because my grandmother wants me to. Always a horrible idea. She has an agenda.

Most recently, I blind-church- dated the popular one. This is the church that everyone in town talks about excitedly, assuming it is just what you want. This church is big and strong, has money and always has a lot going on every week. That’s all good, of course except that big and strong makes me feel little and fearful, rich makes me feel awkward like when I go to the Save Haiti Dinner and I have to ask which one is the salad fork. And, when, in the past I have church-dated the congregation that has the most stuff going on every week, I have found that it doesn’t seem to have a lot of time for me. I once went to talk to the pastor at a popular church that I attended at the time. I was crying, confused and in need of a little TLC. So I asked the pastor when I could come in and talk with him about some important issues I was facing and he told me he was booked for the next 3 months. “Look, you can either talk to me right here, right now, find an elder to get with later this week or get on my schedule for 3 months out. But it seems like you’ve got a lot going on here, so I would set up an appt with an elder if I were you, so that you can get the most out of your time." I do not enjoy being pawned off. We "broke up", a few weeks later.

So, in the spirit of success in both church and romance searching, I have created a list of tips for finding your dream church/partner.

1. Seek Divine Counsel. God has good things in store for our futures, period. There is no need to fret when parents are sending pamphlets for every church in town or rambling on about grandchildren. Use the pamphlets for a decoupage project and remind them that you only get to be a grandparent after you really truly stop wanting it. God loves us and is the author and finisher of our faith. If you want to know what happens next, check with the writer.

2. Know Thyself. If you want to puke when someone argues that God is a registered Republican, maybe stay away from First Republican Church in smalltown, USA and the singles group that meets there. You will never agree with everything a person or church says or does, of course but when you sense a profound disconnect (vaguely racist or sexist comments, odd money spending habits, over-emphasis on outer appearances) ask a few clarifying questions and if you aren’t pleased with the answers move on. Life is too short.

3. Be open. Although a gal (or guy) has to know what she or (he) wants, I think all of us can probably think of a time when we scoffed at someone or something and that object of our ridicule ultimately turned out to be the very best thing for us. You will never get to participate in God’s raucous cinematic adventures for your life if you insist on replaying the same stale VHS tape for the next 25 years. Maybe you hated blond hair when you were 12 but you’re 32 now dude, take a risk. Or perhaps you have historically experienced acute sleepyheadedness singing hymns in a liturgical service. But it could it be that these old hymns might have new life for the one who has ears to hear? Seek God. Know Thyself. Be open. Wacky though the journey may be, God has big plans.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Ways My Neuroses Could Be Diminished With A Husband: Essay 1


** Side Note, I have been trying to post my 50th essay for the past two weekends and kept having technical difficulties, this is not that article, but maybe one day in the near future I will be able to paste that one as well.

I am a woman of many neuroses as evidenced by the following scenarios:

1. I believe inanimate objects to have feelings such that when I was a child I lost sleep over whether it was a privilege for ice-cubes to be selected to cool my drink or a horrifying death for the poor little icey guys and gals.

2. Ever since I learned of its existence in the ninth grade, I cringe when people misuse the subjunctive tense, even though English classes have not done a great job at getting’ the word out. If I WERE a grammar teacher you can bet people would know about it! (See, since I am not a grammar teacher I have to use were rather than was…that is the main subjunctive rule, consider yourself SCHOOLED).

3. I am constantly inappropriately, unfairly and unnecessarily ranking people and things on my various mediums for list-creation,

and

4. I am known to go for days without showering but still cannot stand the thought of dust on my feet . (Don’t even get me started about long walks on the beach, as I would sooner take up cannibalism as a regular pastime than the foot-rape that occurs on the gravelly shores of Texas.)

So, I could be wrong, but I just have a feeling that having a partner in life might whittle some of these neuroses down to a level that I like to think might be barely recognizable to my eventual DSM-wielding Shrink. Let me be clear about something though, when I say a husband could help,I do not mean through some romantic and spiritual process of sharing a space and a life with another human being--the two of us gently sanding down each other’s rough edges like iron sharpening iron. That, sounds horrible! Sandpaper?! Iron!? C’mon people, I am more of a “Kill ‘em with kindness kind of girl.” But, I digress.

My current neurosis fueled dilemma comes as a result of having just bought a book of funny essays by comedian, Jack Handey (that is his real name by the way). And here is my problem. I find it really unsavory when I go into someone’s bathroom and they seem to have a permanent collection of reading material in there. Call me crazy, but do you really want to advertise to the world that your bathroom habits afford you the kind of time to breeze through East of Eden? Why not just walk around in a T-shirt that you have bedazzled with the words “boweltastic” or “I’d rather be pooping”. I myself, have an unhealthy desire to be preoccupied at all times, but when I am in the bathroom I tend to be pretty goal-oriented, not looking for anything to potentially prolong my stay in the room where people go to do everything with their bodies that they are not allowed to do in front of others.

But this book of essays is the perfect bathroom book. The chapters are just a few pages each and it is light-hearted and mostly meaningless. (You do not want to read serious stuff in the bathroom. What happens if you have the most important epiphany of your life but then you can’t share it with anyone because it would involve them getting a mental image of your underwear hanging down around your feet while you sit on the toilet? Don’t do that to yourself, dude.) Anyway, I am standing there today, gazing into my restroom, hands trembling as I tried to figure out whether or not I cared so little about Jack Handey as an artist that I could take the chance of exposing his work to the invisible but certain cloud of bacteria that is sure to linger in that room, just to give my (apparently) soft-stomached friends a chuckle. But my pride would not let me do it. I cannot have people thinking that I am in the bathroom frequently and enduringly enough to need diversion.

But, if on the other hand, I had a husband, I could just roll my eyes when it came up in conversation like I am always seeing wives do. “Oh, the Jack Handey Book”, I would say condescendingly when it came up in conversation. “I have told Mr. Gosling how unseemly that looks but you gotta let’em win sometimes, am I right ladies?” Then me and all my snotty wife friends would have a laugh at our poor husbands’ expense and go back to playing canasta. I am not sure why I picture myself married in 1958 but I just do sometimes, especially when I am feeling particularly sexist. Plus, I always picture myself using the catch phrase “am I right ladies” a lot more liberally as I will finally have more things in common with my gender about which to commiserate.

But since I am not married, I have some decisions to make about this bathroom turned library debacle, so, Should I:

A. Elope with a Stranger providing he is willing to take the rap for my Jack Handey Book Sitting next to the toilet.

B. Fashion a stand that sits just outside the bathroom door, allowing guests to self-select whether they take the book inside with them.

C. Put the book in the bathroom with a huge-fake- sticky note on the front that says this:
Hey Girl, I got this book and thought of you, but I left it here in the bathroom just to get under your skin. I know both your tastes and your pet peeves so well. Don’t you dare take this book out of the bathroom or I will break up with you. Love, Your Totally Real Boyfriend,
                                                                                                 Leif Luke Tyler McRealenstein


P.S. This is what I look like in case you forgot

Let me know what you think, because I am definitely probably doing whichever one gets the most votes.

Monday, August 22, 2011

All The Women Independent...

We created The Independent Woman’s Association (IWA) when I was a Freshman in high school, because , as I am sure you know, one doesn’t just wakeup angsty one day-- at least I didn’t. For me, angst is genetic—it has been a part of my DNA since before I was born. When I was a child I had traditional worries like being kidnapped or experiencing the death of a parent. I also had less traditional concerns like a nagging suspicion that I was a social experiment dropped into a fake family being paid to feign some level of affection for me while scientists outside the home watched my every move through the windows of our double-wide trailer. And of course, I always, always have had plenty of worries about boys.
In first grade I was in love with my neighbor, Fred Savage. He was a fifth-grader and I worried that he would let the age difference come between us.
In third grade, there was a new boy at school who looked like an eight year old Bill Clinton—thankfully his escapades were nothing like that of the President’s, but he did have his charm. We were all head-over-heels in love with him but obviously only one of us could have him. This worried me.
In fifth grade I was the only one of my friends who did not have a “date” to the annual Country and Western Dance at my elementary school so I began to think, and this is a direct quote from my journal , that I was “ugly as a gorilla and fat as a pig”.

By seventh grade, I was certain that there had never been another individual on God’s green earth who had waited this long for a suitor and I hate to be catty but some girls who were even uglier than me were already pregnant by eighth grade. The world can really be unfair sometimes.

And when the world is unfair, we as humans have to make meaning of it all somehow—it is our only shot at angst management. So it makes sense that one day, while all of our friends were presumably busy making out with their fancy junior and senior boyfriends and as Amanda and I sat there in world geography bemoaning our single ladyness we had a shared stroke of genius.

Shouldn’t we get a little credit for this consistent demonstration of feminine independence—a lifetime achievement award of sorts? I mean for all of our able-bodied lives we had been the type of women who carried our own books, picked our own flowers, bought our own stuff and taught our own selves how to kiss (shout out to all of our old pillows and stuffed animals, btw).

Yes, we should be awarded! We should get to be just as proud of ourselves for abstaining (by default) from romantic relationships as our girlfriends who nabbed that hot tuba player or chess club vice pres.. (We weren’t the absolute coolest group in the world.) And thus the IWA was created.

The Rules:

1. Each of our girlfriends, having at one time been an independent woman can be members
2. ONLY those of us without boyfriends can hold office in the IWA
3. Offices will be determined by length of time since the candidate’s last relationship. Ex:
                      President=August Angst: No boyfriend ever
             Vice President= Amanda: Boyfriendless since Kinder
                       Treasurer= Liv Tyler, No BF since eighth grade.
                        Members= Amy , Juliette Lewis and eventually Gwyneth P.
This silly little club gave us lunchroom fodder, something to be mock-proud of when we were single and some crumb of happiness to offer each other when one of us got our heart’s broken: “Well at least you will move up in the IWA ranks,” we would say each time we heard about the dissolution of one of our friends’ relationships. It was the perfect existential expression for our teenager dilemmas.
It should come as no surprise though that as soon as Amanda and I finally got boyfriends we included rule 4.

4. Boys are allowed to me honorary members of the IWA if they are single and committed to its aims OR if they are dating one of the members.
Both of those boyfriends did turn out to be gay and everything, but at the time they did wonders not only for our confidence but for our wardrobe and hair choices as well.

Today the IWA status looks like this:

Liv, Amanda, Gwyneth- Husbands
Juliette: Divorced with Boyfriend
Amy : Cohabitating with Boyfriend
Me: Boyfriendless
And if I was still 14 or if I didn’t have some way to make meaning of it all—It might really suck. But writing for you all each week makes this time of life practically angstless. And for that reason I proudly sign this essay with my full blog name and the credentials I have worked hard (by default) to earn,
Ms. August Angst, President IWA Established: 1996

And I just decided we are now taking New Members, so if you think you meet the qualifications, please "throw yo' hands up at me" in the comments section!
Also, in the mood for something a little more serious from August Angst? Check out  my recent review of The Help on a new Spiritual Cinema Page or just click here.
K

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Problem with Prayer

A few weeks ago I visited an old church of mine, I’d say I was a member there about a decade ago. I love visiting old friends, especially those who have guided me on my faith journey, but in all honesty sometimes it gets a little awkward when a defining characteristic of the relationship is hell avoidance. Here’s why…

So I walk back into this old church-building and in almost no time the correspondence secretary has found me. She needs my new email she says so that she can add me once again to the church email prayer list. Panic Strikes! I cannot be on another prayer list I scream to myself! Then again I also have too much pride to decline, I should really pray about that pride issue, but after I only if I figure out how to get out of this prayer nightmare!!!! I subtlety survey the room just to see how many people here I even know and to determine how frequently the people that I don ’t know are going to have requests.

He looks depressed about something
She is a broken hip waiting to happen
They are probably trying to get pregnant
Those four will be going off to college soon and will leave behind panicky parents.

Email lady sensed my hesitation.

I don’t send any junkmail she assured me, no jokes, no riddles, just our prayer digests, I think she gave a time-line too like “its about once a month or once a week.” It didn’t matter because I know there is no such thing as efficient prayer digests because the nature of a request is that it is new and urgent. No one says, I won’t need any divine intervention for the next 3 weeks but pencil me in for a quick one-liner around the 18th.

I can’t tell you the number of ways I’ve tried to organize my prayer life…I’ve tried “spirit-led” aka pray for one person and then fall asleep. I’ve tried day-of-the-week-prayers where Monday is family prayer day. Tuesday is work prayer day, Wednesday is church prayer day, etc. etc. I’ve tried keeping a prayer board where I pull out the names of several people from several categories of life each day until everyone is prayed for at the end of the week. And I have tried general, “protect my family, church, friends and precarious sitcom programming from all danger.” I have disappointed myself in every one of these prayer methods.

Currently these are the prayer numbers I am working with:

Family: 24

Church Family: around 60

Ministries I work with: Around 60

Friends who don’t fit in other categories: Around 30

So what is a well-meaning, Christian girl supposed to do when someone asks her to be on their prayer team? I can tell you what I wanted to do: I wanted to say no thank you I think you guys have it covered, I already have a lot of other people to pray for and unlike that show-off God, time is limited for me, you might have thought from my chaste lifestyle that I have become a nun, I assure you this is not the case though I understand the confusion. Thank you for considering me worthy of approaching God on behalf of this group but for now I’ll pass. Please don’t make me feel like I am a devil-worshipper for responding in this way. But if you do think my soul is corrupted, maybe you could add me in with all those other requests? (Flash Adorable Smile).

And I can tell you what I actually did: “Sure, of course, How can you turn down prayer opportunities, but NO jokes right? ‘Cause I hate jokes, I just want the prayer. (Flash adorable smile)

That was 5 weeks ago, I have received 26 emails. This is the problem with prayer. Has anyone out there solved this problem? Or does everyone else just have a way better relationship with JChrizzy (Jesus’ rap name) than me? LMK.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Funny Ladies: The Best Fake Friends


You know that thing where you use all your single-lady freedom to purposefully transport all of your belongings 4 hours away from most of your friends and family, making it only logical to go ahead and get a job nearer to all of your things and then to have the mail forwarded to this new , but out of the way storage facility? Yeah, well, that’s the situation I got goin’ here right now and if you’re not prepared, it can kinda suck.  Which is why, I find It very important in times like these to have a few fictional friends on which you can rely at the end of the day when you might otherwise, were it not for their company, be found writhing around on the floor in a vat of all your old, but newly tear-stained, photos of your real-life compadres.
So, I have a sort of “sista’s are doin’ it for themeselves” television programming theme to provide these little imaginary and purgatorical friendships offering me a good laugh or cry whilst my soul is being torn between two real communities—the one that I look longingly back on and the one I look eagerly toward.

Below are my 3 most current recommendations for girl-power boxed sets sure to make you feel like you have friends you can count on even when  you’ve abandoned all your friends.

1.       Gilmore Girls
You might be thinking to yourself “didn’t that show come on the CW?” You are correct oh snobby one and I was right there with ya until I moved in with my friend Taylor Swift a few years ago. Taylor was a huge GG fan and I was a huge Swift fan so I dialed down my sense of television selection superiority only to find that this little gem of a show had stolen my heart with its small town charm, bad boy love interests  like Milo Ventimiglia and a tribute to the deep affections, mild annoyances and shades and shades of crazy that characterize intimate female relationships.  Is the witty banter a little over-the-top? Yes. Is the mother-daughter relationship a little suspect and even off-putting? Yes. Will you fall in love with the show anyway? Yes. If you give it a fair shake I think you will find that Lorelai and Rori Gilmore might just become your new, fake besties.

2.       Golden Girls  & Designing Women
I think we all know that the original girls were Golden not Gilmore and when I was a child I wanted to pattern my life after one Julia Sugarbaker from Designing Women. You can catch reruns of both on lifetime if you can’t spring for the boxed set, making this the economical choice when it comes to your development of faux-friendships. But just because they are the cheapest doesn’t mean they don’t come through for a girl. You don’t think Betty White earned her fame doing Lake Placid do ya? And if you have not recently delighted in the comedic timing of Bea Arthur it is time to do so. Take a trip down eighties lane every now and again. Have fun with the ladies and see how many guest stars you can spot with old wacky hair-dos. I’m lookin’ at you Mario Lopez.

3.       Desperate Housewives
I said the day would never come.  When my sister announced that she was a fan of the show, I catapulted right onto the pedastool that I had affixed atop my high horse so that I could really do the most thorough job of looking down my nose at her. “This is exactly what is wrong with America” I screamed psychotically.  “What is soooooo desperate about being a housewife? We are all just supposed to feel sorry for the hellish existence of staying home to take care of your kids and husband? I will NEVER watch a show with such an offensive title. N-E-V-E-R.”  

Funny thing about “never”…it is probably always an overstatement when you are talking about something as inconsequential as primetime television programming.  And so, a few months ago when I was beginning  to pre-mourn my move away from  bff and landlord Laura, I started plopping down on the couch next to her despite her seeming approval of the breakdown of American society as it pertains to honoring and respecting domestic and family-centered work as a fulfilling role for women in today’s society.  As it turns out. D.H. is a beautifully written character dramedy from a fresh, unique and woman-honoring perspective.  I contend that it is more about the desperation of being human than being a wife and mother but it is well done all the same. The girls of Wisteria lane are keeping me laughing and thinking this week as I come home to an otherwise companionless space.

 So, check out these programs if you haven’t already.  Or if you still live in the same town as your gal pals have a girls night with them--celebrate one another.  Throw a party!
And if you did throw this party and invited everyone you knew, you would see the biggest gift would be from me and the card attached would say,

Thank You for bein’a Frie-eh-end.
                                        

Sunday, July 24, 2011

T.G.I.S.

I hate painting walls--especially the edging, AND I am a horrible driver-- especially in vehicles that accommodate more than 4 bodies comfortably AND I avoid shopping, especially when the products are things like engineered wood and throw pillows.

In these and many other ways I am pretty much useless. And the problem with that is that I have no default…

And by default, I mean partner.
And by partner, I mean person who ultimately feels responsible for me and to me…

 I have been noticing recently how often people are on the phone with their spouses. The conversations are exhausting but beautiful, because no matter what is happening in their life, their default needs and wants to know about it.

 Toilet overflows, call your default.
 You’re thinking about going on an Alaskan Cruise? Check the dates with your default.
 Had the worst day at work and could use a shoulder rub, default at your service!

 But for me it is different because I never really know who is going to come through for me in all my plumbing, travel and “everything is going to be alright” sort of needs. There is no one on this planet for whom, I am their number one concern.

 This used to really depress me.

After all, I am the girl who, at times, finds it difficult to be in a relationship with God because I know that I am not his favorite. But recently as I have been preparing to move, I have also been noticing something else. In my defaultlessness there has been this wave of me-centered husbandry. People have:
  • Put me up in their home
  • Given me their furniture
  • Painted my walls
  • Cleaned my toilets
  • Jumped up and down at my good news 
  • Saved materials for me 
  • Thrown me parties
  • Written letters of reference  
  • Bought me Stuff
  • Driven four hours for me
  • Prayed
  • Inquired
  • Toted my things from here to there, and
  • Said, “Please Don’t Go.”
And all of a sudden I find myself wondering if I haven’t been misinterpreting life for all these single years. Because in this moment it seems not like God doesn’t love me enough. But rather, that his love is so abundant toward me that it wouldn’t even fit it one frail little human body ( I do like my men pretty skinny, after all). So vast are his affections toward me, it would seem, that they require an abundance of human vessels to be demonstrated appropriately. So today I am saying T.G.I.S. --Thank God I’m Single so that I might know and receive this depth and breadth of love.

And, Thank God it is Sunday, the day each week when I practice remembering to be thankful for all that I have and all that I am spared.

 So, Thank you and Happy Sunday.



Saturday, July 2, 2011

Too Love or Not To Love?

So I have this beautiful, sage-ish single-lady friend who tells me that she thinks my single-lady days might be coming to a close in the not-so-distant future. I know the appropriate response is to back-handspring myself into joyous oblivion until I vomit-up and out all of the anxious and despairing remnant of singleness’ bitter footprint in my life, but the analytical side of me believes a more measured response is worth some consideration. So, here it is, my pre-emptive PRO –CON list for starting a romantic relationship should this as of yet still imaginary dream-man waltz into my life as per the prediction.


Con # 1 “Talking”

I know this term was at the time, short-lived and at present completely archaic, but it is the only term I know to describe the variable time-period of testicle less (that is me trying to church up “no-balls”) Bull-manure (I think you know what I mean) that young men put young women through as they try and decipher if they are willing to fulfill the astonishing commitments of young love including: some amount of talking on the phone, saying feelings out loud occasionally and declining to make-out with other people should the opportunity arise. These decisions take time, understandably. But, I am hoping that in the adult world this stage is pretty much bypassed. On the other hand…

Pro # 1 “Talking”

There is something to not knowing exactly where things stand. I know that makes me a horrible woman, childish even-- but how much time can you really spend wistfully analyzing a statement like, “I am completely interested in you, have no reservations about starting a dating relationship and in the appropriate amount of time I will be eager to discuss marriage which I see as a likely conclusion to this relationship.” Pardon my bawdiness, but that just isn’t very sexy. Instead, it seems that the tension between, “he loves me, he loves me not” is part of the satisfaction. Possibly even something to look forward to, so I suppose the concept of “talking” is ultimately a draw. On to the next con, then

Con #2 Listening to, Watching and Participation in “Boy Stuff”

I am just going to say it. In my opinion, sexist though it may be, a lot of boys like a lot of stupid stuff. These are things I do not look forward to when I think about committing to a dude: Video games, listening to him describe “sweet chord progressions”, camping, more video games, basketball seasons, action movies, hiking, and debates about the merits of video games. But then again…

Pro # 2 Guys are Friggin’ Hilarious.

In high school I dated a guy (kinda-sorta), we’ll call him Joe Jonas. Jonas used to leave messages on my private phone line each night. He would talk in phoney voices and say things like, “ Yeah, I’m Hiram bates down at the air-conditioner store, uh yeah I been getting a lot of complaints round your parts sayin’ that you been getting’ all heated up, bustin’ out air-conditioner units and such ‘cause of all that heat you’re putting out thinkin’ about a boy named Joe in your Spanish class.”

It was sooooo stupid.

But it made me laugh—the commitment was funny more than anything else, 3 or 4 messages in a row each far longer than they needed to be.

Then there was D.J. Qualls who I’ve mentioned before, he was famous (in my mind) for his ability to publicly and charmingly humiliate me with classic tricks like backing his butt into my and hand and then yelling with mock incredulity, “Kerri, that is wildly inappropriate . I am saving myself ma’am. Please take your hand of my left buttock, Walmart is not the place for that kind of forward behavior.”

Again, I am not saying, they are all geniuses, but a lot of ‘em seem do seem to make me giggle. So the pros have it on this one, but…

Con # 3 Single-Lady Cred

A major con that I cannot deny, when it comes to considering commitment is this: What about my persona as a single-lady-extraordinaire? This blog, for example, would take a drastic turn if I started falling-in-like. It would put me in a bit of comedic-limbo because there just isn’t a lot of funny stuff about having a boyfriend. New marriage seems pretty funny, kids are hilarious, having a boyfriend, not so much. So I kinda need to stay single for the good of my writing—this is bad news! However,

Pro # 3 Good Writing Does Come From Passion


Being in a relationship might not be particularly novel, but it does seem to bring forth a full-spectrum of emotions—and emotions create stories, which stewarding writers bring forth into the world. And, there is so much more opportunity for all manner of bringing forth within the context of collaboration. So, maybe I give up a little independent credibility for the chance at interdependent procreation. That doesn’t sound so bad, which means the scale is tipped slightly in favor of love.

But, in case the oracle is right, I should be humble enough to seek guidance on this issue. You should weigh-in. What do you think are the pros and cons of love? Desperately seeking your commentary,

Kerri

Sunday, June 19, 2011

This is Why I Love Him...

Is it cliche to be a religious single gal  from Texas who writes entire blog posts about how Jesus is her boyfriend? Yes. And I am not going to do that here. Because, Jesus is not my boyfriend and even if he were, I wouldn't tell people! Because in my opinion it is somewhat creepy to get into a romantic trist with the author and finisher of your faith.

My next-door buddy Shaun White doesn't even like it when I say that hot celebrities look like Jesus because it gives him such a case of the heebie-jeebies! And I'll admit, I think that's a fair response. But I also think that he ought to admit that Russel Brand does look a heck of a lot like our bastardized approximation of the Savior and  does happen to be a Hottie Mchotterson. Same with long-haired Jared Leto and Jim Cavezal, obviously.

But, I digress

The point is, I do love Him--J.C. that is.

And I remembered why today when I ran into an old elementary school friend of mine, who I will call 4th grade Lindsay Lohan.  Li'l LiLo as I rememeber her was always small, generally over or underclothed and seemingly exhausted. One Fall she was invited to my Halloween party and I don't know if there was a miscommunication between she and her parents or what, but I do remember that I could hear them screaming at her over the phone and that she seemed genuinely afraid to go home. But home she had to go, and we all had to share in her embarrassment as we drove up to her dilapidated, dirty only house only to leave her with an equally dilapidated, dirty old man whose tone had not softened one iota by the time we got there.

If I ever hung out with Li'l Lilo again, I can't recall it. Then she seemed to disappear in middle and highschool and though I never had proof that she was being abused I always worried and wondered as I passed her house on the street. A couple of years ago they tore the house down and I thought, "Poor Lindsay, she didn't have a chance at anything good in life."

Fast Forward to the Drive-Through at Bushes Chicken this afternoon where I see her for the first time in at least 12 years. She is driving a mini-van with a little girl in the front seat who is beautiful, reminscent of her mother and appears perfectly clothed and rested.  "Lindsay", I say " I think of you every time I pass your house from when we were little and I wonder how you are doing." I am trying to hide the terror in my voice that is actually saying "I see your old house and I weep because I was too young to know how to help you escape that hellish existence that I got a glimpse of." But she seems to know what I mean. "Things are really good", she assures me. "My husband was the pastor of  a church out of town for a while but now we are back here at New Life." 

How Fitting.

Listen, I know that going to church or being a pastor's wife doesn't mean that life is perfect. But I thought Lohan would be dead, strung-out or prostituting the next time I saw her. Instead she was casually purchasing chicken, being a mom and participating in groups like "You May not like me but Jesus thinks I'm to Die for". (Yes,I Facebook Stalked her). That scared little girl who I say a prayer for every so often is ok. Saved even! Not just in the next life, but in this one.

This is why I love Him.

Not because he is my pretend date or looks anything like one Mr. Katy Perry.  But because he offers to Lindsay and to me:

Hope.
Rescue.
New Life, Indeed.

And you?  What percentage of your (assumed) affection toward Jesus has to do with hotness and what percentage derives from something substantive like that touching story that I just recalled? Its not a contest or anything, but your soul might be in danger if you answer incorrectly.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Grandma Buzzkill Hates Hangover!

Grandma Buzzkill is a nickname I gave myself a few years back when I was desperately trying to convince my small-group to avoid the hookah smoking. I sent them all an email about the dangers associated with this "harmless" passtime and immediately acknowledged my own twenty-something octogenarianness. I can't help myself, I was born with an interesting marriage of child-like frivolity and uptight prudishness and it can be hard to know which one will win out in any given situation. As I was writing the movie reviews that I hinted at last week it was apparent that it was a GB kind of day. So be forewarned, the following are my honest but at times old-ladyish opinions about the world of film today. Here goes!

Something Borrowed:
If you love adultery and think we have not done enough to promote it in this country, then you will love Something Borrowed. It does everything possible to communicate to its audience that ultimately you should just take what you want regardless of the implications for other people. Look, I believe that art is all about perspective and I deeply appreciate a filmmaker who forces me to consider something empathically,which would typically be outside my capacity for grace; but this movie didn't really do that. And it's a shame, because the first three quarters of the film is hilarious, particularly due to the work of one Mr. John Krasinski. (Yes, he is the same dorky, boy next door character who we are supposed to believe struggles with the ladies.) Rent it if you want a laugh or are writing a paper entitled how-to become an awful  human who uses his or her own former disempowerment as an excuse for their current relational aggression. However, as an editing note, I might suggest a shorter title.

Bridesmaids
My biggest fear going into this movie was that it was going to be a bunch of women trying to one-up their (male) comedic competition with feats of vulgarity. Happily, that was only the case once or twice. I really liked this movie and considered it to be just a few depressing songs away from being an interesting indie flick commenting on the grief we each work through in all of the many non-death losses we experience throughout our lives.Kristen Wiig is very funny and relatable in this role and the writing does an excellent job of exposing, diseccting and celebrating female relationships in lots of silly and serious ways. There is a lot of  "taking it to the limit" in this movie which is how my friends and I used to describe letting a joke go on and on in order to milk every last laugh out of it. I happen to like a joke that requires a bit of endurance, so that was delightful for me as well. My only crochety caution for this movie is SPOILER ALERT : the first scene is unnecessarily raunchy and being someone who believes that it degrades us to watch other humans having sex, even for a laugh, I think you could easily go into this movie 3 minutes late, keep a little dignity for yourself and not miss any important content other than the dude is a selfish jerk.

The Hangover Part II
It pains me to say it people. I just want to be clear here and admit that I watched the original Hangover three times in the theater, and several times on DVD after purchasing it. However, part 2 just did not cut it. It wasn't very good. Zach Galifinakis seemed to have more lines and I was less annoyed with Mr. Cho now that I have fallen in love with him on Community. But other than that the movie was actually kinda boring. My BFF pointed out that it seemed more fragmented this time, it also seemed to have less urgency and also less Bradley Cooper in a suit. Why in God's name would you make a movie that is the exact same as the original in practically every way only to omit a Bradley Cooper in a suit scene? Doesn't make no sense. Never will. Also, surprise-surprise, I thought it was too vulgar and I didn't even stay for the credits which I hear is the worst part.

So, there is the movie-world according to Grandma Buzzkill. Hope it will be of help to you in your movie selection and rejection process. What do you all think? Am i right? Am I 87? Do you have any movie commentary you would like to provide? Comments Section!

Kerri

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Summer Cinema 2011

When I was growing up I found movie theaters to be the most counter-intuitive, ill-advised, and freak-fest sanctioning arenas frequented by normal, everyday people.  As a half-white anglo saxon protestant, I experienced a significant amount of distress at willingly walking into and setting up camp in a  dark room with strangers. I am pretty sure my grandmother explicity warned me about being fooled into these types of scenarios, but even my own family on the occasional thrill-seeking endeavor, threw caution to the wind and plopped down in front of that grotesque amount of screen.

What was most disturbing to me though, were the exit doors to the right and left of mega-screen. In the theater where I grew up, the doors exited immediately to the outside world and being either unaware of or confused by the concept of one-way-locks, I beleived  that people could easily sneak in through those haunting frames and thus watched each film in the knowledge that it would likely be interrupted by real-life mass-murder. Plus you can't talk in movie theaters.

As I got older, trips to the cinema became more frequent and I learned to numb-out of the experience somewhat (newer, less-horrifying theaters and boyfriends seemed to help). And I am either happy or ashamed to report that at this point in my existence a complete metamorphisis has occurred. I will watch almost anything at the movies with the right guest. As an adult I always buy concessions as a way of retroactively giving the finger to my perceived childhood poverty and the chance to shut up and just have a shared experience with someone in a higly air-conditioned room is like a gift dropped directly into my lap by one of God's most insignificant brand of angels.

And guess what, it is summer babies!!!!

I am sorry that for some of you this means nothing, but for me it means FREEDOM. And how better to use that freedom than to grab some nachos, some friends and a room of (almost certainly) non-felons to watch a movie. Below is a list of my plans for summer cinema. I have crossed off those that I have already completed and you can look forward to some reviews in the near future.

Kerri's Summer Flick Super Plans
  • Something Borrowed
  • Bridesmaids
  • Everything Must Go
  • The Hangover Part II (Seeing it Today)
  • Conan O'Brien Can't Stop
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part II
  • Friends With Benefits (Don't worry, I am ashamed)
  • Crazy Stupid Love

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Year of Angst

There is something worse than a nightmare you know. It is called a dream-- specifically a dream that can never be realized. A nightmare is terrible of course, but ultimately you wake up relieved. A dream, on the other hand,  is lovely, but you wake up disenchanted, dejected and depressed. Because, as it turns out, your couch is not made of a never-ending supply of avocados, your boyfriend did not change his mind about the break up and that loved one is still gone. In short, dreams remind you that real life can be a real sucksville.
I don't bring this up for nothing. I bring it up mostly to get your sympathy and then later to make a point. You see, a couple of days ago, just before daybreak, I myself, dreamed a little dream. It wasn't a kooky dream where nothing makes sense. In fact, I would say that everything in it was perfectly :

plausible--
legitimate --
possiby even  too legit too quit --
But you be the judge:

1. Ryan Gosling was my boyfriend.
2. He worked as a teacher for hyperactive & blind children.
3. I had rejected his love and left him heartbroken.  
4. When I walked in his classroom to ask for his forgiveness, my presence made him nervous (in a good way) And Finally,
5. I calmed his nerves by going over to kiss him

THEN, just at that very moment,  the sun crested and my stupid (but impeccable) body-clock woke me up seconds BEFORE my Gosling Smoochfest. And I know this is pathetic but the discrepancy between that dream and the world I was waking up to had me slumped over on my couchbed and crafting a poem reminiscent of Jewel circa 1996.

I had been sucker-punched by my own subconscious and it got me thinking about other sorts of dreams...

Some of the waking dreams (as in aspirations) that we have in life are quite ethereal and ever outside of our grasp so we rely mostly on divine intervention (that goes above and beyond just daily graces) to realize these desires. On the other hand, there are some dreams that we can run ahead and take hold of without a tremendous amount of "perfect timing", "connections"  "Hell freezing over" etc.  I like doing that---
running after,
grasping for,
hurtling toward.

I've decided to keep doing those things in this life of profound single-lady freedom. It was one year ago yesterday that I went to a Conan O'Brien show, ran into old friends and found the voice for August Angst. In a very short time, I realized that I loved these little essays more than mostly everything else that I did. I only hated that I could  give it but a fraction of my time and thus ended up wtih work that quantitatively and qualitatively reflect that amount of energy.

So I want more. It has been my experience that all that running, grasping hurtling stuff can be off-putting in the romantic realm as men seem to frighten easily. But everywhere else in life it has served me quite well. So, as most of you Angsters know. This August, I am moving to the country, taking a breath from the over-commitment that is my way and taking hold of some lifetime dreams to include a few major writing projects.

I am not 100% sure what that will ultimately mean for lil Baby Angst here, but for now just keep reading this summer!  Regardless of the future, I do want to thank you for reading and thus being a part of one of the most clarifying years of my life. Now go have a piece of birthday cake in celebration of this momentous occasion. I recommend something with salted caramel.

Con Mucho Amor,
Kerri

Sunday, May 8, 2011


These are our Mothers

A soft place to fall,
a bed to crawl into
on thunderous Thursday mornings when lightning collides with the earth—

A curvaceous glass pitcher
of iced mint tea
refreshing souls on sultry Sundays in June.

A well worn ladle
delivering steaming soup to hungry little bellies around the room,
chicken noodle, minestrone, creamy potato—

The unsolicited advice
that we can’t help but follow,
the women we unwittingly become.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Need Help with a Wedding?

You know, the economy is precarious at the moment and it wouldn’t hurt any of us to take a look at our experiences and qualifications should the need to make a creativecareer shift arise. After another smashing vow swap and dance party last evening (thanks Brad and Zoeey, formerly Silverman) I realized my (back-up) calling in life, although how I am coming to this entrepreneurial realization so late in life is beyond me.

I have served proudly in weddings all across the state of Texas and beyond. I have worn countless (10) dresses, but just for the one time. Sorry Brides you are not fooling anyone with that “wear it again” line. And all these years of showers and ceremonies and receptions and reflection has not left this girl without a pretty hefty Wedding Party skill-set. I think I am now ready to take this show on the road—systematize it, sell it for profit and de-intimatize it as is a custom of my generation. Check out my new Vitae and let me know what you think!


August Angst Vitae

Wedding Party Participant Extraordinaire

 
Previous Positions (Some dates and Locations Approximated)

• Jr. Bridesmaid (and sister of the Bride): Temple Texas, September 1996

• Jr. Bridesmaid, Copperas Cove Texas, Summer 1998

• Bridesmaid, Temple Texas, Summer 2001

• Bridesmaid, San Antonio Texas, March 2004

• Hostess with the Mostest(aka: House Party Crew): Houston Texas, Summer 2005

• Maid of Honor, Brownwood Texas, February 2006

• Bridesmaid, Wimberley Texas, Summer 2006

• Bridesmaid, Albanyish NY, Summer 2007

• Maid of Honor, Belton Texas, Fall 2007

• Bridesmaid, Austin Texas, March 2011

What I Do:

Emotional Pep Talks & Reality Checks-Brides sometimes get the jitters – Do you think my mom’s alright? Should we do cake and then speeches or speeches and then cake? Can you even tell I’ve lost 35 pounds? Can you believe how great I look since I lost 1.5 pounds? How many more pounds do you think I can lose before the wedding?

They need a wordsmith around to reframe and affirm as needed, i.e.

I think your mom is overwhelmed with the love she has for you right now sweetie and isn’t it a gift for all of us to witness such profound affection from a mother to her child. Speeches first, cake second. You are tiny, I can barely see your waist. I am so glad you didn’t overdo it with the dieting---you look like freaking Kate Winslet on Titanic. I guess you could lose a pound a week or so but let’s keep in mind that you are pregnant so maybe we should just showcase the boobs. They can’t all be fairytales, people!

Awkward Garment and Body Arranging- Brides cannot do a d**n thing for themselves. Not because they are ignorant or slave-driving but because they are in a corset (that you put them in) with wet nails and a fragile up-do. So you can’t be afraid of a little necessary groping or of helping another grown woman go pee. And I am happy to report that each and every one of my ten brides have walked proudly down the aisle absent of any urine stains. And most of them have made their sojourn to the altar comfortable in the knowledge that their severe discomfort (what with the two bras, spanx and 3 layers of itchy petticoat) has made this the most beautiful day of their lives.

Crazy Relative Mgmt and Damage Control- Brides, for the most part, have a crazy relative or two whose blood connection has granted them access to be near the bride in the intimate and sacred moments of her wedding day. For this reason, they need a regulator. Someone has to tell Aunt Janice that she cannot bring her cat to the reception as her niece has a blotch inducing sensitivity to dander. Someone has to keep the divorcees apart and flirt with grandpa so that his old people tears (sweet though they may be) do not send the bride into ugly-cry right before her groom first lays eyes on her. That person is me, I am not afraid to send someone out of the room, ban pets or to use my feminine wiles for the greater good.

• Reception Dance Promotion-It is hard to get your reception on when nobody is getting krunk. I don’t know what that means, but I do know it is best when people are getting’ jiggy wit it at receptions. And I jig. I will two-step until I am body rolling and body roll my way all throughout the cupid shuffle. I can’t promise 100% attendance on sappy slow dances, but listen the groomsmen have got to be responsible for something. The point is every party needs a designated dancer and I am happy to be that for you. ( As long as we are still talking reception here. I do not do Bachelor parties. And speaking of my what I don’t do…)

What I Don’t Do: I will keep it short and sweet.

Encourage Stupid Purchases- You will not here me tell a bride that she NEEDS a third dessert for her 2 vegan cousins that might fly in from Vermont. It is your day and they are used to it. Forget about miss manners, think about how starving children in Burundi might view this moral dilemma.

That Juvenile Lingerie Shower Game: You know the one where whatever the bride says later comes back as a double entendre about the wedding night. So she describes the negligee as cute and little and everyone is expected to keal over in laughter when you think about if the bride had really been saying that about her new husband’s genitalia instead. Yeah, I won’t laugh. This is a non-negotiable. It is a stupid game and I cannot encourage its proliferation.

Pretty Much any Details: If we were to use a film analogy, bridesmaids are the “character actresses” in a wedding. They are meant to deliver snappy lines, look interesting rather than pretty, bring a little diversity to the pictures and get sassy as needed. It is really more of a performing art, less roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty kind-of-thing. So, if you are looking for someone to recount the programs a milliion times or make sure the chairs line up evenly, I think you are looking for a stage manager (wedding planner) or some child actors (little siblings).  Otherwise I am happy to be at your service.
Areas for Growth-there are a few positions I have not fulfilled in my 14 years of wedding participation, but I am willing to learn and work hard in each of the following roles:

• Flower Girl

• Ring Bearer

• Reader

• Singer

• Officiant

And it seems like there is one more still floatin’ around out there,

Oh yeah!

• Bride

So just if you know anyone expressing a need for any of these positions, send them on over. Thanks to everyone who has helped build my resume along the way!

Kerri

Sunday, April 3, 2011

The Happiest, Saddest Day

There is this episode of Friends that Amy Adams and I like to quote when pals of ours get married. In this particular scene Phoebe and Rachel learn of Monica’s engagement and tabulate their percentage of happiness versus their percentage of jealousy beginning at a promising 90% happy to 10% jealous and (through a journey of neurotic self perseveration) ending up at around 60/40. As two relatively long-time single ladies Amy and I can relate. Occasionally you think to yourself how in the world did that mustachioed dictator of a woman get a ring on it before I did?!?! But sometimes you are really not jealous at all (okay maybe like 2% but that hardly even counts just like in milk).


Sometimes, like last night when Amy’s brother got married you are just in soul shaking shock. Amy’s brother (whose celebrity pseudonym should be Conan but I reference the real Conan too frequently for that to work) has been a friend for the last 22 of my 28 years. We have seen each other toiling and searching and laughing and loving. We have made fun of each other and stood up for one another and then made fun of each other some more. We have had water wars, trampoline contests, secrets, surprises, lake-house trips, haircuts, cross-country moves, and divine moments on the big front porch when God sent extra portions of food and conversation with a gracious breeze to hover over us in our communing.

And I thought about all those things and when everything had quieted down at the rehearsal dinner I said to his family: “I think I’ve changed my mind. Maybe we shouldn’t let him get married tomorrow.” And his mom nodded in understanding “We just don’t like change. It has been this way for a long time.” And it is true. That is the problem with some of these weddings-- It isn’t so much that you want what they have so much as you want them—unchanged untampered with for worse or even for better. You want them to be in your personal collection of people or at the very least be available for checkout in some sort of shared human library—and here they have gone and been claimed permanently by someone else. And it doesn’t even really matter that the person doing the claiming is kind and good humored and willing to share the appropriate parts of your old pal with you (such as the case with this particular marriage). It is just the idea that the way it has always been is gone from one joyous moment at the altar to the next making this the happiest, saddest day.

And I have a lot of experience with things getting even better than you imagined in new chapters of life, so I have faith that the same will be true as my earliest and closest family of friends marry off without me. I suppose I will have to find a few more solitary single-lady adventures to keep up with all the rampant 100% happiness in the air. And I believe those adventures might be just around the corner.

Wishing you all more august and less angst as you navigate the joy and pain of change,

Kerri

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Getting to Know You

The other day I was hanging out with 2 of my Neighbly kids talking about life and choices and relationships and as we chatted and questioned and laughed at one another a theme seemed to emerge in our conversation--which is to say they both think I am boy-crazy. I think this is hilarious since they have never actually seen me with a boy, but nevertheless they rated me just slightly more evolved than a junior high girl when it comes to my affections for gentleman.

I won't deny it.

I have said it before and I will say it again. I love boys from cradle to grave. They are gorgeous, hilarious and fascinating little creatures and I don't think I will ever fully get over their existence on the very same planet that I inhabit. What Luck!

That said, I am also pretty impressed with women (never fear this is not an  inapporopriately executed out of the closet type announcement) I'm just saying that there is this profound strength and beauty that eminates from so many of the women that I have admired, befriended, stalked, or mentored that it makes me want to know everything about them.

Out of this desire, I collaborating with 2 of my single-ladies from Angry Young Rockstars (our small group), created an "Interesting Lady Interview Form" last spring. We scheduled interviews with various women from our lives in an attempt to honor and to understand. It was an AMAZING process and I thought one worthy of sharing.

I think we live in an age and culture which is painfully remedial in its storytelling and in its discipleship efforts. We want efficiency (give me the high points of your narrative and move on) and we want to live in the illusion that our stories do not overlap. But they do!

Sooooo

 I know I am little late here (INTL Women's day was March 8th) but I encourage you to hear someone's story in the next week or so. Even if you think you know it. Take them out for coffee or a treat and you might be surprised how a new angle uncovers a gem or two.  If you want to use our format go ahead! If that seems overwhelming just choose one or two questions that peak your interest.  Try it out  and let me know:

1. How it went!
2. Any questions you added!
3. If you want to be interviewed!
Okay here goes!

Dear Interesting Lady,

You have been selected to be interviewed by a few female “rock stars” or so we have been called. Our selection method for this process is quite simple, to be interviewed you must be inspiring, and if you are reading this letter, then we have already decided that you are. Therefore, you should see this interview as a chance to be honored and nothing else. We want to sit at your feet and hear your story. Whatever story you tell is the one we have been waiting to hear. We realize that you are imperfect and we do not come to you expecting the formula for a pain-free life. We do suspect, however that you each have something to offer that might speak to us on own unique journeys. We are including a set of questions that we would be delighted to have you answer, but there is complete freedom in this process. Some interesting ladies will jump at the chance to give an opinion on each and every subject. Others will feel more drawn to a few inquiries and, of course, none of us can really plan the trajectory of our conversation, we can only ask that God will be among us in all of the silliness and seriousness. Look over the questions if you’d like, or ignore them if that is more your style. Thank you for having already inspired us. We can’t wait to have you all to ourselves!
Lady Rockstars
1. What is your Story? (This could be memoir-style, testimony, stand-up comedy)
2. Look at the topics below: What have you found to be easiest/loveliest/hardest/ugliest and most surprising about each area that applies to you?
-Work
-Children
-Marriage
-Christianity
3. Do you have a motto, mantra or life-verse?
4. If you are married what do you think initially made you fall in love with your husband?
5. What has kept you in love with him?
6. What have you most grown to love about yourself?
7. Who do you admire?
8. Finish this thought: “This I used to believe…”
9. What is the best advice you have ever received or given?
10. What question would you like to be asked?

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Worst Wife Ever

I have been avoiding posts on showers (bridal not actual) for some time now due to the elevated numbers of friends who currently find themselves in nuptial preparation and realization (let me pause here to say that I feel I should be commended for selecting the word "realization" rather than cleverly using the word "execution" and thus subtextually aligning the action of sharing vows with something aggressive, depressing and undesirable. I will thus hold for your applause in absentia.)

I didn't want to say whiney and offensive things about these little celebrations whilst participating in them each weekend, but yesterday during my first (yes , first) shower of the day the bloggods sent such perfect manna style provision for this post, I feel it would be on some level unholy to continue my shower silence. And so I speak out.

Now, in defense of showers I will say that  the food is delicious (afterdinner mints, sausage balls and some kind of sherbet punch will never leave me dissatisfied)

Plus, any occasion to wear a cute dress cannot be all bad

Plus, I am in the 5-10% of the population who thoroughly enjoys most shower games. Give me a little Bride-Groom Trivia, some version of steal the clothespin, and a round of name that tune (love-song edition) and I am thrilled. Believe it or not, I have a competive edge.

Which is why, when Silverman's sweet aunt indicated that I would need a purse if I had any intention of winning the next game I declared loudly that I most certainly had every intention of dominating the next game and bolted out of the house to my car stopping only to grab a handful of refiller mints and a mini-quiche.

Out at my car I convinced myself that it would not be cheating to add a few more things to my purse since technically I treat my car less like a vehicle and  more like an oversized purse than most individuals.  I proceded to throw in an extra novel, a pen, a half consumed soda and a screwdriver because I seemed to remember this game probably had to do with who could provide the zaniest or largest amount of items from their own bag. Those other suckers inside were toast!  They probably don't even have one melted chocolate bar in the bottom of their clutch, I thought, proud that my disheveled artsy way of toting would prove to be an asset in this instance.

Into the house I swaggered just in time to hear the game facilitator announce that we would be rummaging through our purses for the most wifely items. Every item was something "every good wife should have" and would be worth 5 points. Perhaps my confidence took a slight hit at the understanding that I, not being a wife, could be at a slight disadvantage, but my deep wells of unmerited self assurance led me to believe that I would still prevail as the game's ultimate victor.

This ladies and gentleman is the list as it was called out and my subsequent defensive responses:

Item #1 a lipstick ("because every good wife should be prepared to look good for her man").  Ok that seems fair enough and I do have a lipstick in my car (I am not a complete barbarian) its just too bad I did not grab it for this game.
Item # 2 a shopping list (self explanatory) also something I might possibly have but just don't at the moment.
Item # 3 Reading Glasses ("to read your grocery list") Now I am starting to get a little incredulous, am I being penalized for being neither old nor visually disabled, because I don't believe in reverse descrimination but if I did I think I would be filing a bridal-shower lawsuit.
Item # 4 Tums ("because your husband always needs them") Ok, this is probably the reason why I will not get married. I am not even 100% sure what Tums do, but it sounds like it has something to do with something gross gone wrong in your body and I am never going to want to carry around somebody elses gross body problem medicine.
Item #5 Coupons ("because good wives are always looking for a deal") I too am always looking for a deal but I am not doing it in 1982. Who (other than my mother) clips and carries coupons around with them in the technological age?
Item # 6 a picture of your husband, boyfriend or parents.("because you need a reminder of your love" or somthing like that). Ok now I am raging a bit because as is clear from my ineptitude on numbers 1-5, I have neither a husband or boyfriend and If I were carrying around framed pictures of my parents I think that would explain why. Again penalized for finally beating the separation anxiety that crippled me for so many years? This is just getting cruel folks.

and finally,

Item # 7 A credit card ("because every good wife should have credit") YESSSSS I not only have a credit card, I have 2, Booyah I think to myself. And then ("however every good wife should also be prudent, so if  you have more than 1 credit card give yourself negative 2 points")

So, despite every effort on my part I ended the game husbandless, dignityless and in point debt. Here is the proof ...

This is my list along with single-lady Christina. The winner had 40 points.

Should we go ahead and join a convent now or maybe just start clipping some Tums Coupons? These are the sorts of questions that I take home with me at the end of each shower experience.

 What about you ladies and gents, how do you size up on this good-wife game? How many of the items do you have in your current purse, murse or genderless tote?

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Give it up for...

So here's the deal. I've been having a hard time posting every week lately because I am currently working approximately 17 (or at least 3) jobs.  However, part of the reason for taking all those gigs is to ultimately make more room in my life for writing. So never fear fodder friends. A day is coming when words will be my number one priority, but until then sacrifice is a necessity.

And speaking of sacrificice...

I felt strongly about getting a post up today no matter how finesseless, because it is FAT tuesday which means tomorrow is the beginning of the Lenten season, of which I wanted to make everyone well aware.
Lent offers us a time not only to sacrifice but to slow down...because each sacrificial moment expands such that we might decide how we will behave differently now that some of our old vices have been taken off the table.

"If I can't watch T.V. how will I use those 4 hours?
"If I eliminate carbs from my diet, to what or whom will I turn for love?

I love lent for this reason. For the opportunity to investigate those things that have taken hold of us. For reclaiming a thought-life instead of maintaing habitualized action. And for ultimately filling the voids with prayer rather than potatoes or porn or some other p-word that is basically bad for you.

I hope you might quietly consider, if you haven't already, some form of abstinece or action that God might guide you through during this season.

Keep quiet about it, so as not to become like your friend who constantly brags about not having a T.V. (we get it dude, you are SO sophisticated) or how often he yogas (we get it dude you are so flexible)...Jesus knew that would be annoying so he commanded against it.

But try it.
Give it up for the least sexy church season of the year . Give it up for Lent!