With Miles to Go Before I….Sleep

While we waited at the light just before the post office, a ’78 Z-28 turned left in front of us and cruised up Washington Pike.  I startled, then sighed, “Mike drove one of those…”

“Mike, who?”

Another sigh.

“I can’t tell you.”

“Then why’d you bring it up? You can’t just do that.”

“Surely, I’ve told you about Mike.”

In the small hours this morning, I remembered Mike, again.

It was Valentine’s Day, but for my friend and I, just Wednesday.  We were taking a walk.  We paid no attention to the Z-28.  We couldn’t drive and the car didn’t belong to anyone we knew in the neighborhood.

The he must have been lost, because he passed us four times, before he stopped.

“Do you know where Joy Miller lives?”  We gave him directions and he took off.

Then he came back.  He hadn’t needed directions.

We managed not to faint as he introduced himself and asked for my number.  He was a junior and I was still in junior high, a freshman.

Valentine's Day 1982

Valentine’s Day 1982

He called a couple of days later.

We talked on the phone.  He made me laugh.  Somehow, I made him laugh, too.

“NO, you can’t date, you’re too young,” and it was true. I’d barely had my 15th birthday.

I had to tell him I couldn’t go anywhere with him.

Several calls and several nights later, after the house was quiet, the tap on my bedroom window was not a surprise.

I climbed on a chair, and opened the high window and there he stood.  Looking up.  Tennis shorts. Expensive haircut. Halston 1-12 thickened the warmth that radiated up to me.  Glad for the window, he’d never know I was trembling so I could barely stand.

We talked for a long time.  As I watched him walk back up the driveway, a strange feeling passed over me I’d never felt before.

Several nights later, we’d agreed again on the same signal.  This time, he was more persuasive or I was bolder, but I wasn’t trembling when I slid open the door, went to the gate, and let myself out.  Or him in.  Who really cares?

We talked for just a minute.  He stepped closer.  He had not come there to chat.  We could do that on the phone.

He took my face in his hands.

And he kissed me.

For an hour.

When my knees went weak, he put his arms around me.

And he kissed me.

I forgot I didn’t know how.

His hands never traveled.

Not so it’d matter.

For another hour.

“Go back in the house and go to bed,” he whispered.

And he kissed me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Was There a Victoria’s Secret in the Temple Courts?

In the Spring of the first year I blogged, a blogger I was unfamiliar with issued a challenge to “Biblical Submission for Wives”.  A blogger who doesn’t hold the same beliefs presided over a firestorm of fury the idea that a blogger would invite those of her same beliefs to join her in practicing them.  It catapulted them both to blog fame and notoriety.

I was offended by the whole mess.  I thought the blogger was a hater and if the submission gal had been of another faith her challenge would have been ignored or thought of as a beautiful expression of a unique system.    I have since re-canted this position.  I thought the challenge was legalistic and simplistic.  And with my own good reasons.

For a long time I strived to demonstrate the kind of submission she talked about.  One where I wore dull old lady clothes, made my home and family look like a photo drawn by a 3rd grader with flowers and birds and a big yellow sun.  Where he was supposed to be the one who called the shots and lacking orders I labored to apply all the “Christian” images of a happy home and family.

It’s just not that simple.  No one ever said what to do if he didn’t participate.  No one ever told him what he was supposed to want to tell me to do.

Oh, I figured out to hide behind him when there was something I didn’t want to do.  And how to get him to command my will and think it was his. Because that’s so healthy.

I even went so far as to attempt to wear skirts and blouses, rather than jeans, because it would be feminine.  I learned nothing.  I looked a lot more like Mrs Doubtfire than I’d started out to do. There is nothing holy about Robin Williams in a dress.

Finally, I abandoned the model.  It was a roaring failure and I chucked it in the bag with all my others.

It occurs to me today, as I am one big raw mess of “I’m-Out-of-Time”, I possibly, get submission a little better now.  Biblical submission is first of all not strictly for women.  Men are to submit to things, too.  That means all of us.  To God.  To the rulers and authorities. To each other within the faith (meaning don’t make conflict by hanging on to something non-essential).  Jesus, Himself, submitted to the rulers of his own people and the national government.  Even when they were wrong.

Oh.  Sometimes submission is easy.  Like in situations where you meet criteria and receive a good thing.  Like in adoption…  I fill out paperwork, collect documents, get medical evaluations, complete reading and classes, pay fees, and wait.  Then, most times, a child comes.  But I have to submit to the process.  I can’t say, “No I think it makes sense for you to do it another way.”  That is an easy kind of submission.

What do I think it looks like?

Deep in the middle of the Old Testament, is a book called Song of Solomon.  It’s racy.  It describes a couple driven by their need for intimacy with one another.  That the voices of all the other demands on their lives are hushed when they are together.  They have no fear of rejection or danger.  They are free to be completely vulnerable and unashamed.

People teach it as a tutorial for married sex.  People teach it as a model for the relationship between Christ and His church.  I am no Bible Scholar, so I am going to launch out here and get in trouble.

In the hidden life of a husband and wife, there is a moment when she abandons herself to him.  Sometimes in reverent awe.  Sometimes in teasing, raucous fire.  Even when she is initiator and taking the ministry to his need.

It is simply no different in the kitchen in the morning rush. Or the Thursday evening “arsenic hour” with overtired kids and overdue bills.

Biblical submission is the moment when I lay all of my defenses aside to let him take over the authority to cherish, nourish and help me maximize my potential.

See, when I submit to God the same is true.  When even when Mickey trusts me to guide a project, because I know more about it than he does. When a child does what a parent has told them because they trust.  Even when you work for an idiot, who can’t find their hind end with both hands, and you do what he or she says, because…  Because.

It isn’t obedience from a subordinate to a superior.  It’s letting go the self agenda for the unified purpose.

It’s serving to receive, to serve to receive, to serve to be fully known and to know fully.

Ahhh.

Everybody gets theirs.

I guess I should also note that if the Bible isn’t something you feel is for you right now, there’s no reason I’d expect this to appeal or call you to anything.  This is just to respond to something nearly three years old that’s a discussion between my own inner thoughts and the thoughts of a person of my same faith who I think has a lot of joy waiting for her when she gets free.  And you are always welcome here to agree or disagree if you’d like.

 

Lust: A Christmas Tutorial

The youth group has a question box.  You can put a question in and the leaders will take a little time on Wednesday evening to answer it.  Several weeks ago, someone asked if the word lust had only to do with sex.  Pretty good question.

Did I forget to mention that only men are allowed to teach mixed groups of people at our church?

Yeah.

So the person, who answered this, answered in the negative; that there is also a lust for power.  His example, people who run for public office.  Regardless of political party.

That was all.

It has troubled me for the entire time, that he didn’t talk about all the other drives of the flesh that we indulge.

I tried to bring the example of the desire to drive the “then-new-to-me” car on the road between Target and an adjoining suburb.  It features tight curves and ever-so-slight banking in a spot or two.  This vehicle is made to handle well and this little spot of perhaps a half mile is a delightful opportunity to sample that.  Really delightful.

Apparently, that was interpreted as me wanting to brag about the car.

I was interrupted and ignored.

There are a number of kinds of lust.  I avoided blogging it because, they’ll all find out soon enough and it was just me taking it personally.

So, in the spirit of taking it personally, I’m blogging it now.  Because I have a bad case.

You see, I have a cookbook collection.  Not like I am trying to build a library that will be donated for public use when I die.  But to use. Each one has a story and a reason.  I have hard and fast rules for selection, that even I don’t know.  I know when I see them.  I experience a kind of feeling of awe sometimes when I find a certain one.

I digress.

For Christmas, I started a little project.  I bought cookbooks for some kids (5) I love.  They are like nieces and nephews. Sort of.  Thing.

There’s the great used book store here, and I got in the cookbook section and found six (6) treasures.  I can’t decide which book to give which kid.  Because I want two (2) of them for myself.

Two.

Two.

 

Want them.

Both.

Want.

A lot.

So I’m sitting here trying to wrap gifts and looking through the books, especially the ones I want, but then I glanced through the one that was most expensive.  Now, I want it, too.

That’s what made me remember.

Lust.

Desire.

Well-engineered cars,

Cookbooks that take my breath away,

Fine leather goods, like handbags, wallets, belts and…

Yesterday, I was doing a little shopping.

I wanted to buy something for someone who reads this blog.  Who I’m responsible for dressing.  The cost was a little ambitious.  I got a little angry.

Because I wanted what I wanted.  And felt it was out of reach.

Non-essential.

There may have been some pouting.  I’m not scared, though.  Santa and I are on shaky terms right now (it’s another post).

Desire.

I’m not as tired as I was and I think I’m going back.

To be excessive in the essentials.

Lavish.

Soliciting for real connection through some other means.

Please.

Any self-respecting first-world woman, knows I’m talking about boots.

Two pair of size ten black leather riding boots.

Mm.

Mm.

Mm.

And I might buy a hot drink (with some kind of froth or something) while I’m out.

What do you say?  Is lust just a sexual term?  What do you hope Santa will slather all over you this Christmas?

 

 

 

Pick Me! Pick Me! I Can Aim Low!

Blogging, little as I understand it, has become my thing.  I am a big starter and a so-so finisher.  I’ve been blogging for nearly three years, which is HUGE for me.

Blogging walked me through the adoption of our son from China.  I started following a few adoption blogs from the agency’s yahoo group.  As I followed, I gained the courage to hold the course through the uncertain nature of adoption.  I started my own, in hopes of sharing my story for those who’d walk that path.

One day, I saw a “blogs I follow” list.  Too new, to know a niche or that I had wandered away from camp, I found this blog. I laughed until I snorted and tears ran down my cheeks.

I stay home with my kids.  It can get lonely.  In December 2009, Jennifer posted to a meme at that blog.  Since then, we have built a friendship that I care about as much as some of my dearest IRL friendships.  She has encouraged me, mentored me, laughed when I laughed and cursed when I could only cry.  Like the finest friends do.

Blogging saw me through the adoption, my husband’s miserable job situation, walked with me through some health issues and realizing what a mid-life crisis is.  I think there were a lot of laughs, along the way.

I found Aiming Low several months ago.  They sound like how I speak in real life, except I can’t use the the eff word. I  do think it.  Remember, I am homeschooling two (2) 15 year-old girls.

Aiming Low has a Non-Conference.

The first time I saw the ad…

I peeked.

Yep, it’s what I think it is.

The next time,…

I took a longer look.

It’s not that far away.”

Then, when all my blogging crushes role models went to BlogHer, I got serious.  I looked at the cost to stay at Callaway Gardens,

“…and done.”

From then on, I diligently looked from references to Non-Con.  It wasn’t expensive.  On the contrary, it’s quite reasonable.  It’s just that in recovering from our season of going without food so the company owner could vacation in Hawaii economic recession, we need to plan for  things that come next–Christmas and extra-curricular activities.

Then, I saw it…

Simply Sassy Media Wanted to Send Me to Aiming Low’s Non-Con.

I wanted to write a sassy post.  I wanted to write a clever post. But the truth is…

I’ve nearly imploded in the last three years.  The blog probably saved my life.  Now, it’s time to build a soapbox to stand on to tell my story.  If there is one thing I am, it’s smart enough to know from whom I like to learn and for whom I’d like to fetch coffee.  Non-Con is “slam-packed” with the kind of stars I’d like to hitch my wagon to.

That’s, All Y’all.

Tell, Ree, if she’s of a mind to take the weekend off, I’ll bring rolls.

 

Thanks to Simply Sassy Media for the challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Music Shapes Minds and Hearts

,A week month or so ago, Jennifer @ Momma Made It Look Easy asked a question on Facebook:

“Let’s talk song lyrics. What do you do about sexually suggestive song lyrics when they come on the radio? For example, Flo Rida’s new song Whistle, Katy Perry’s Peacock, DEV’s Dancing in the Dark. Do you change the station? Tell your kids they can’t listen because it is inappropriate? Does that open up the door for more questions? How do you explain it is inappropriate? Or do you just hope that they don’t figure out the meaning or start singing it in the produce aisle at the grocery store?

I started by trying to listen to the link to a video that Jennifer had provided.  Oops.  That’s not one I would even listen to with the kids in the room. By the time I scrambled to stop it, 24 seconds had passed.  Plenty of time.

Whistle, indeed.  It was an oral sex tutorial.

My simple answer: I turn it off.

Is anything that simple?  When your children are small, maybe you can turn it off and if they protest, say,”What?  Oh.  I wasn’t paying attention to the song. I’m just trying to find a station with the weather on.”

Not here.  Not anymore.

When I was a kid, we listened to the radio, a lot.  My husband’s favorite freakish gift of mine is that I have a nearly complete catalog of 1970s pop lyrics in my head, accessible at any time.  Off the top of my head, I can list several that are about  intercourse, oral sex, or masturbation–all hits on the Adult Contemprary Top 40 before 1985.

 I went around singing whatever was on. I wonder what boys thought.  I wonder what random men in public places thought.  I don’t wonder much.  Neither, do I wonder, now that I am an adult, familiar with idiom and euphemism, what men think, when my daughters sing along to the greatest hits of their time.

Periodically, I take the lyric of a song and parce it out for my daughters. They hate this.

Yet, I’ve noticed, if they are listening to the AC station regularly, they become even more oppositional, even more self-centered, and begin to dress with less regard to fashion or self-respect.

Some songs have to do with suicide, stalking, infidelity or one night stands. The middle ground is selfish, self-centeredness and inflated ego, mixed with tales of co-dependency and a search for meaning in mediocrity.

We become what our hearts meditate on.

It’s a parent’s privilege, not only to guard their children from too much information too soon, but also to grow those people’s hearts into unselfish, hard-working, imaginative, healthy adults.

Trouble is, the radio station is marketing to young adults aged 18-24, and they like it dirty.

The strategy that works best in our home is a full toolbox:

–Ask them to turn it off.

–If it’s my option, I turn it off.

–If it’s somewhere that the radio doesn’t belong to us– a)distract,  b)re-direct, or c)leave the area.

— “Please don’t sing that song. I know it’s just a catchy tune, but it says two things and one of them is not nice.”

“What, Mommy?”

“You don’t need to know.  You just have to trust me.”

Just like God says to me, when He asks me to relinquish something mediocre for an excellent promise I will not receive until much later.

Hunting for Sexy Beasts

People get upset when I use the word sexy to apply to things that I find personally very very….

desirable.

Men have been talking about cars that way for a long, long time.  Always.

But let me use it to refer to a handbag or a phone or a curriculum set,

and here we go.

The little smirk.

Condescending chuckle.

Get the point, please.

I feel the way about this…. opportunity.  That a man feels about his fantasy Porsche.

Or I think of this handbag.  Like he thinks of that BMW, he talks about.

SEXY.

Desirable.

Slightly out of reach.

Not in my league, but I know the worth.

Perhaps a little more desirable for it’s inaccessibility.

Leaves you just a little hungry.

Or whatever.

It’s on my mind because I’ve been getting a little practice lately.  Join me.  See if you can find the sexy beast.

No.

 

Let’s continue to search.

 

The 7 year-old, of the species, seats 7 and has an integrated child safety seat.  The children no longer have to be in physical contact at all times when riding.  Apparently, this is mine.  Hands off, Ladies.

Find your own.

Not sexy.  Just beast.  Get. Your. Own.

 

This exact one.  If you’ve noticed a four-fold increase in awkward-disorderliness-resulting-in-accidents-in-the-home, here’s what happened.  On the fourth, we got one of these( a discontinued model for $100 less).  I was ‘wonky’ from “GO!”  In two weeks, the little touchy mouse substitute thingy was o.u.t.  So I got another(30 day guarantee, and they price matched the current model since they were out of turds).

This is my first laptop.

Spell along with me… s-e-x-y-b-e-a-s-t.

Now, that you’ve been on a search for what fits the description of a sexy beast…  A quiz:

Is this a sexy beast?

photo credit: droidlessons.com

Maybe?

I am linking this post with Wordful Wednesday at Parenting by Dummies.

 

 

Valentine’s Day Emergency

I have the thing that is going around; however, because I hope to impact the world for good before I die I am keeping the life support plugged in long enough to save your Valentine’s Day and possibly your relationship.

Men, I am referring to you.

Statistically, we know there is an inverse relationship between length of time you have been in a relationship and the amount of time you spend planning Valentine’s Day.  The longer you’ve been together, the less thought you give to stoking the fire.  Is it because you get smarter, funnier, better dressed, more thoughtful, and sexier every 365 days?

I think not.

With a few glaring exceptions, you got lazy.  She takes care of everything else and you forgot this is on YOUR list.  Along with taking out the garbage and…  Well, that’s about it.

Today, you Fortunate Bassmaster, is your lucky day.

With my assistance, you will go down in history as Valentine’s Day Guy and radically increase your chances of getting lucky.

THE ACCIDENTAL GUIDE TO NOT GIVING YOURSELF THE SHAFT THIS VALENTINE’S DAY

1)Flowers.  Dear God In Heaven Above, know who you are dealing with.  There are exactly two kinds of women.
–The first type is: “Dozen Long Stem Red Roses” type.  She expects her flowers in addition to whatever else you are doing.  Like the Christmas Tree at Christmas, this is the symbolic requirement and by no means all that is expected.  You do it to show her you are paying attention. She doesn’t want daisies, carnations, or tulips.  Get. It. Right.
–Everyone else is the second type.  Our flowers must relate to who we are as a person.  If we can plant the bulb out in the yard later or if our flowers are in a framed print, flowers speak to us in our hearts.  Even if we are allergic and can’t have them in the house.  He is a lucky man, indeed, who is in a relationship with a Daisy or a Tulip girl.

2) Perfume.  We live in truly shocking times.  The classics are falling by the wayside as starlets on their way to rehab allow their name to adorn stuff that smells like a sanitary puck.

This is not your problem.

Your task is to find something that smells great and doesn’t remind you of your mom.  If you don’t know her favorite, go for a scented candle or bubble bath or a gift card to S*phora or something .  Like “Your Song”, do this right and you will make your life easier.

Forever.

No pressure.

3) Candy. Hooray for candy.  Does she love the “heart shaped box” and the crap shoot of finding a good one in the midst of the weird?  Go for it.  If you had started earlier, you might have ordered specially written candy conversation hearts. Since you didn’t, I recommend the candy store at the mall and filling a clear container with bulk candy.

Her favorite.

Not yours.

4) Jewelry.  Unless you are buying an engagement ring or already married, you are setting your self up for trouble.  Earring boxes and ring boxes look too much alike.  If she is expecting a ring and gets a bracelet…that sucks.  Seems like dangerous territory to me, but I am not a jewelry girl.

If you have a jewelry girl and have been in the relationship any length of time, your needs are beyond the scope of this blog post.

5) Practical gifts.  Depends. You want out?  My dad once bought my mom an over/under shotgun for her birthday.  He got a gun and out of the relationship.  Win-win for him.  Other gifts to avoid may include but are not limited to:  small kitchen appliances, exercise equipment, tickets to watch YOUR team, fishing tackle (even if she says it is what she wants; this is Valentine’s),  and over/under shotguns.

6) Cards, handwritten letters.  Mandatory.   READ THE CARD.  If you can cop to what is written there, you’re in business. If you can’t be bothered to read the card, hand write the letter yourself.  It doesn’t have to be long.  It has to be true. Does not include texts, email, e-cards, fb wall posts, or tweets.  If you think you rock because thousands of other people listened in to your innermost feelings, you are too young to have a valentine.

7)  Lingerie.  Only if she will be proud to wear it.  If you will never see it again, why bother?Me?  I like nice warm socks.

8)  Economy Sucks?  Time is money, Hondo.  Start earlier.  Use your imagination.  Make her life easier.  Arrange for a reliable sitter yourself.  Clean the house. Cook the dinner. Wash the dishes.  Let her hold the remote. If Hershey and Hallmark are still in business, so are you.

9) Under no circumstances should you tell her what you wanted to do but didn’t have enough time.  If there was no question of Valentine’s Day being canceled this year, you have had 365 days.  Don’t. Tell.

Hurry up, Valentine’s Day is not a day for anyone to go without.

Go.  Now.  While there is still time.




%d bloggers like this: