my journey with truth

Archive for October 2010

Dear Beatrice,

I really like Ian.  He is so sweet.  Sunday night I slept over at Rachel Ramsey’s house.  We had Monday off from school.  Yesterday I had supper with my faith friend from confirmation, Roxanne Specht.  We went to the Canyon Cafe.  That’s the restaurant over in Westlake with the torches in front.  Feb. 21 was a cotillion night and afterwards I spent the night at Sarah’s house.  The next day we were playing Truth or Dare and Sarah dared me to call Ian.  So I did.  Later on I had to ask Ian out for Sarah.  He said he’d think about it.  After that I asked if he liked Sarah as a friend.  He said ya.  I asked him a little more than a friend – ya.  A little more than a friend and he said that he wanted to tell Sarah but not me.  Isn’t that sweet?  He knows that I like him and so he didn’t want to tell me that he liked Sarah.  That is just so sweet.  I like him even more now.  Sorry, I gotta go.

Talk to ya soon,
Lizzie

P.S. [‘Ian’ with a heart drawn around it and ‘me’ with another interlocking heart drawn around it with lips drawn underneath]

Oh, girl.  If only twelve-year-old-self could’ve STOPPED THAT BEHAVIOR right then and there.  Instead, thus began a long cultivation of reacting to a boy’s liking for someone else (whether or not he spared my feelings or even thought about what it might mean for me to receive his thoughts and intentions toward someone else day in and day out) with more liking for him.  Because, oh girl.  I can tell you that behavior didn’t work out for us.

Dear Beatrice,
Wuz [up arrow]?  I’m sorry that I haven’t written for a while.  Yesterday was another cotillion.  The theme was western.  I like Ian so much.  I’m really thankful for the song Garth Brooks sings called “Unanswered Prayers.”  It makes me think that my boyfriends and husband are so special that I have to wait for them.  Ian likes Sarah and Sarah rubs it in.  I just wish someone nice, sweet, sensitive, funny and cute as Ian seriously liked me.  Maybe it is okay not to have anyone like you.  Besides, all most guys I know are jerks.  I should feel lucky.  Last night I spent the night at Sarah’s house.  I stayed until about 5:30 today.  Mom & Dad don’t know but I called Ian and Sarah and I talked to him alot [sic] of the afternoon.  Rachel went to see “Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” with friends yesterday night.  She’s going to babysit Cassady Spruill [Spruiell, actually] tonight.  The only change in my favorites is that my favorite songs are “These Arms” & “Unanswered Prayers.”

Lizzie  😦

Aside from the fact that I kind of threw up a little in my mouth when I read the first line about “Unanswered Prayers” and the sentence that follows it, I am drawn to the line

Maybe it is okay not to have anyone like you.

See, the lines after that are a clear, overt attempt to convince myself that it might be ok to not have anyone like me.  It’s all very ‘rawr boys are stupid rawr rawr.’  But I feel like that ‘maybe’ statement is an honest wondering of sorts.  Like for the first time in a while it seemed less than a stretch to think it might be okay not to have anyone like me.

Maybe it is okay not to have anyone like you.  Maybe it is okay not to have anyone like me.  Hmm.  Maybe.  Maybe it is o-kay.

You know, maybe it is okay not to have anyone like me.  I’ve had a history of yo-yo’ing with this.  For a while, I was on this free dating/social site, okcupid.com.  I saw it mostly as a way to widen the pool of possibilities while being able to sort of pre-screen people.  I mean, I go out (on the prowl) and I meet other people who are out (on the prowl).  But inevitably, 80% of the time the conversation goes

[him] So what do you do?
[me] I’m a grad student.
[him] Duke?
[me] Yep, what about you?
[him] Yeah, I’m insert-profession-or-area-of-study-that-the-world-takes-more-seriously-than-the-study-of-theology-and/or-pays-a-much-prettier-penny
[me] Cool, so do you…
[him] (interrupting) What do you study?
[me] (pauuuuuuuuuuse and internal reflection “Ughhhhhhhhhhh here goes)…………Theology.
[him] Theology.  What kind of degree do you get with that? (Read: Is that something people actually study?)
[me] I’m getting a Masters of Divinity, which is the practical degree as opposed to the type of theological degree which is more like prep for work in Academia.
[him] Oh.  So…um…what are you going to do with that?
[me] (smile and pauuuuuuuuuuuuse “goodbye”)…….Well.  I’m pursuing ordination as an elder in the United Methodist Church, so I’m studying to become a pastor.
[him] Wow, that’s… great (he says as he takes small steps away and points in an ambiguous direction at his “buddies” who were waiting for him) [OR] (insert some sort of statement about how he’s been meaning to go back to church and his brother-in-law chairs some sort of committee or other strange reference to churchiness) [OR] (the rare but brain-scarring instances when he actually says something about whether or not I’m allowed to kiss/getmarried/havesex/somethingelsethatmakesmethinkohmygoshpleasestoptalkingandletmewalkawaynow)

So yeah.  I saw okcupid as a chance to maybe get past some of that awkwardness and poll the field, so-to-speak.  I’d chat or exchange a few messages and then try to set up coffee or dinner or something.  And I never tolerated anyone who tried to stall the first meeting.  That, my friends, is a major red flag.  You know if he’s not willing to meet that he is either killing the neighborhood cats by night or working for the CIA, and I don’t need that drama either way.  The problem with this set-up was that I felt like I had to put way too much time and effort into something that’s ideally organic (out of probably 50 solid exchanges – not creeeper from the start ones – before I swore off the site, I went on dates with only 4 different guys partly because it seemed like the conversation went the same as in real life only even more frequently, like 99% of the time.  UGH.).

So when I go the organic route, I inevitably find myself pining away for a menu of boys who usually fit the 4 different roles of:
1. that boy who lives far far away and treats me like a bottomless pit into which he can pour his soul day after day yet also as second-string to some other girl who’s much more petite, is “unsure” of her interest for far-far-away-boy and always seems to be brunette somehow (which is just puzzling, not a commentary on blonde-brunette relations)
2. Dreamy McDreamerson who is not just the cutest boy in school or smart or witty or passionate about something incredibly endearing but ALL OF THE ABOVE and then some, including a little mysterious or something, and somehow the girl at school that all the boys like can’t even get him
3. The One with the Long-Distance Girlfriend Who also has Opposite Political Views but is a HUGE FLIRT.  Pretty self-explanatory and self-destructive when I get wound up in that one… and then there’s
4. The all-around, really great, 80% of everything is in common and the other 20% is still interesting, not-too-far out of my league, hours can be spent together, friend.  This is the one I fall the hardest for but usually avoid the most because it’s the one that hurts the worst since it seems so right but doesn’t work out somehow.  This is the one I wait a LOT longer to confide to girlfriends about.  This is the one where I end up acting like a middle school girl again.

Right now there is one of each of these types of boys in my life and occasionally (read: too frequently) on my mind.  And just like I had an “UGH! This is a total waste of time” moment with the online stuff when I felt like I was wasting way too much energy trying to make myself seem wantable to a wide audience of crappiness, I have these moments occasionally (read: too infrequently) when I think “UGH! This is a total waste of time” because, after all, I should have someone who feels like they’ve been hit over the head with a sledgehammer when they meet me (that’s a Gidget reference; fastforward to 4 minutes).

So see, if the only options are a guy that’s just not that into me (whether he’s a 1,2, 3, or 4), then maybe it is ok to not have anyone like me. It’s just not worth it to invest so much in someone who doesn’t think I’m amazing, who putzes around and makes me feel worse about myself than better.  Not to be trite, but being trite nonetheless, in the words of Carrie Bradshaw, “I’m looking for love.  Real love.  Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t-live-without-each-other love” (though maybe a little less co-dependent…).  And if that’s not what boy #1, 2, 3, or 4 is offering, then maybe it is okay not to have anyone like me.

And just in case you’re wondering, I think Ian probably counted as a version of #1, the Far-far-away boy since he went to a different middle school and he liked Sarah, who kissed him but never really liked him back and happened to be a brunette.



  • None
  • myjourneywithtruth: i had it in my office at my internship in Corpus Christi two summers ago. ellen davis is brilliant and glows with an aura of holy.
  • amy h: i love this quote. i think i may need it hanging on my wall where i'll see it daily. perhaps in front of the toilet? by the door? bedside table? i'll
  • chaz: That post made me really sad too. Mostly because I want to take young Lizzie by the shoulders and shake her (gently?) into sublime realization that sh

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