my journey with truth

Archive for the ‘boyfriend’ Category

You know how I know I love God?  Because there are times when I’m talking about God that my heart starts racing and I’m tingly all over and I start to smile and cry a little at the same time the way I imagine I’ll smile and cry a little on my wedding day (if that day ever comes).  I’m sure you’re thinking “Barf” to that in some ways.  And that’s ok.  But for a girl who has done a lot of pining for a companion, dare I say a boyfriend (I always feel like that must offend God for some reason… “You have me, God of all that is seen and unseen and you’re whining about a boyfriend???), it’s kind of a big deal for me to sit here and remember that I really do love God in a way that fills my being up, not just my brain.

If nothing else comes of writing this commissioning paper, and despite all the complaining I’ve done about my commissioning work and the questions and guidelines etc., I will be grateful for the moments of writing when I was able to pour out on the page how much I love God.


If I’m completely honest, I should say that sometimes I wonder if I’m going to end up alone.  And sometimes I wonder if the only way I won’t end up alone is to settle for not being alone as opposed to being with someone who truly delights me.  I’ve been thinking of these things especially since moving to Smithville.  At times it seems like the balance for loving this little town is that I have to give up finding someone while I live here, and so the more I long to stay here in this appointment for a longer duration, the more I feel like I am giving up some piece of my hope for a partner in this life.  Because we all know that you can’t have everything, that nothing is perfect.

Then I met my friend Tina and her husband Andy.  They are lovely.  I mean, Tina is my friend and all, so of course I like her.  And you’d think whoever she’s married to would have to be great.  But no, really.  They, together, are lovely and wonderful.  And their love story is delightful.  And everything about their story actually sounds like a sweet, sweet story you couldn’t write better, and Tina has said that everything she wanted in a partner she has in Andy – so they seriously are like the closest thing to perfect for each other.

One night, I confessed a little to Tina that there are times I feel like I should give up dreaming of some “perfect-for-me” guy.  And that at times the dreaming I do sort of feels like that scene towards the beginning of Practical Magic where Sally makes up characteristics about a man who is to be her true love, but all the characteristics are too much or too silly for one person to actually exist with them all.  So that even if I kept dreaming, what good would it do?  What man could fulfill 26 years of dreaming?  It’s not just unfair to me, it’s unfair to men, right?  So sometimes I think I should give up dreaming up with whom I want to share my life.

That’s when Tina was all “Bullshit.  Keep dreaming.”  And I thought of her and Andy.  And so I confessed to her that I actually had written a letter to Santa a little over a year ago, sort of as a catharsis as writing exercises often tend to be (hello, blog).  I said I should probably tell her the list because she’s obviously got good man mojo (and she actually kind of has generally good mojo for getting things done or bringing good to her when she’s made up her mind about something).  So here’s the letter for you all.  Judge me all you want.  Or find me this man:

Dear Santa,
All I want for Christmas is a man to share my life with.  He doesn’t need to want to get married right away, but I do not want a man who does not want me for the long-term.  It would be great if he could have as many of the following characteristics as possible:

  • wears a good cologne
  • calls me ‘sugar’ or any variation of ‘sugar’
  • perceives me as sassy and/or feisty and likes that about me
  • frequently be found to be wearing a dress shirt and tie, a dress shirt with a sweater over it, a dress shirt and sweater vest
  • have played football or soccer when younger, maybe baseball
  • be a really good kisser
  • doesn’t back down and is passionate about what he believes and loves
  • preferably not an only child
  • knows how to tease me about stupid stuff
  • holds my hand
  • has a dog, but not a crusty small kind (not required, but doesn’t like animals is a deal-breaker)
  • has a little bit of a fix-it gene of some sort, even if it is computer-related
  • gets me flowers every now and then
  • is Methodist? that may be asking too much.  Could you find one that understands my vocation and still loves me?
  • likes to dance
  • loves his family
  • likes to go out and be with friends
  • pushes me to be more outdoorsy
  • cares about broken things in the world
  • likes to travel and explore new places
  • cooks and likes to cook together, preferably with loud music in the background
  • lets me sit in his lap to do the crossword together
  • tells me lots of stories from when he was younger
  • likes to argue a little bit

I know this is a lot to ask, and I plan to keep thinking about it.  Of course, it’s probably too late for this Christmas, but maybe you could try by next year?

Lots of love and I’m trying to be a very good girl,

Note: there is a fire blazing less than 4 miles from where I live right now.  I have evacuated (not mandatory), driven with a cat in my lap (he spilled water in his carrier and while I tried to wangle cleaning it up while driving, he got out and nestled in my lap), returned, gone to volunteer only to be turned away til later tonight, and can’t get much or any cell phone reception so I’ve texted the people most interested in my whereabouts.

What did I turn to do next?  Oh that’s right – like many days of my life, when not sure what to do now, I started googling old boyfriends.  By boyfriends, I don’t mean boyfriends.  And by that I don’t mean friends that are boys either.  A startling truth I’m not really quite willing to fully spell out here just now is that I’ve never had a real boyfriend, but I’ve been in several long- and short-term relationships.  That being said, let’s just say they are ex-boyfriends or at least ex-interests for the sake of a simpler post (I promise calling them that is not really an un-truth).

So yes, you read correctly.  I just spent 30 minutes looking up the current whereabouts and jobs and pictures of an old flame.  I have no idea why that was my inclination just now.  The bigger picture here being I don’t really understand why that’s ever my inclination.  Especially when I confess to you that this person in particular is always a painful recollection.  Ok wait.  As I typed that, this little part of my brain said in my head “yeah, but he was also a particularly wonderful moment albeit a blip on the radar.”  Which is true.  I mean, when I think of this guy, I have such funny stories to tell, all of them vividly – how we met, what he said at dinner that night, what I was wearing, where we were and which table we were sitting at in the Green Leafe when he first brushed my hand with his hand and then took it, the voicemail he left the night of the 2006 midterm elections asking me if I wanted to come over to eat spaghetti and then all that happened when he came over to Meg and my election party.

But the point is I also remember watching him walk out the door of the Leafe many months later with a married woman (though I don’t know what happened next but I know she was throwing herself at him while wasted the week I met him), and I remember him walking into sorority court to watch the queen’s visit with a brunette, and I remember him never calling me back after winter break, and before winter break I remember the night we got dinner at Ukrop’s and went by his apartment to pick something up and when he tried to kiss me I pulled away because I’d had a cold and didn’t want to give it to him before finals and I’ve spent way too many hours wishing I’d gone ahead and let him kiss me then because I loved all the other kisses so much and was that why he stopped calling?  Did he think I was playing games?  I also remember how I found out he was married (which is actually a pretty ironic story).  And I remember how during homecoming a couple years ago I had to stop and catch my breath with Charlotte when some of the guys said they’d just run into him and his wife and did we want to meet up and part of that was the messed up fact that I knew I was in the same place as him basically.  He was the kind of guy and the kind of fall that made it hard to breathe when he walked into the Rec Center I was so nervous and excited and hopeful we’d have another date.

How can a person who was in my life for only weeks, who yes, shared a lot in common and was incredibly charismatic by nature but was on the complete COMPLETE opposite side of the political sphere – well, wait.  That’s not true.  He was passionate.  And engaged.  And that’s not the opposite of me, and I know I am much more attracted to a person who is passionate about what they believe in and advocate than someone who technically shares my beliefs and is apathetic or inarticulate.  Point being, how can a person who was in my life for only weeks have such a hold on me in this way?  I saw his picture and broke out into a huge grin.  I saw his picture and my heart rate sped up ever so slightly.  And then I thought “He probably has children now” as though that is what makes this so messed up.  What?

It’s almost as though I open and reopen the wounds from old boyfriends or whateverfriends because if I don’t leave them alone then I won’t get scars.  Why else would I drudge all of this up at random?  What is the point of reminiscing on this?  I mean, part of me thinks it’s worse to act like none of the good, none of the whatever it is that still sort of makes my heart speed up, can be good anymore because of the bad or the hurtful or the left undone.  I don’t want to become the bitter version of this where when I bump up against a memory of this I can’t even think of it fondly but act as though whole chunks of time were lost or wasted.  But part of me thinks it’s INCREDIBLY disturbing that I waste time on things and thoughts like this and him and us.  And don’t even get me started on the time wasted on what I’d say or do if I ran into him at the airport, at homecoming, at random anywhere.

So, how does one heal from love wounds?  By keeping reminiscing (without generating new stuff by way of the magical interwebs) until the heart just keeps on beating and you can laugh about the funny part without wanting to tell people the story?  How do you embrace scars without becoming scarred in the embittered sense?

P.S. I’m hoping this post will help keep me accountable to never googling or searching him again.  Or at least for like 10 years.

Dear Beatrice,
How are you?  I [sic] just gonna jumble everything together.  I miss Comfort so much.  I miss Kota and Jesse and Don and Susan and Andrew and Casey and Lois and David and Brittney and the football field and the church and the 4th of July parade.  I miss fireflies and jumping on the trampoline.  I miss life being perfect.  I miss the time of my life when boys and girls were friends.  I want a boyfriend.  I want someone to like me.  It’s not fair.  I miss Pawpee and Mimi.  David and Lance were in a car wreck today.  We only have 2 more days of school left.  Tomorrow I’m going to Celebration Station.  I just want to give Jesse and Kota a big hug.  I’m scared to grow up.  I feel like 6th grade has flown by all too quickly.  I made 1st chair for 7th grade honor band.  I also tried out for advanced choir.  Miss Altrogge said I made a perfect score.  I was confirmed on Sunday.  I want a boyfriend so badly!  Next year I’m going to knock ’em dead!  I also like ____ ______.  He seems really nice but once again I choose to like someone that I have no chance for.  He’s in 9th grade.  Today in P.E. I jammed my middle finger on my right hand.  It’s bruised but I think I’ll be OK.  I gotta go take a shower.  Maybe I’ll write again later tonight or tomorrow.

:`) [my attempt at a smiley face with tears?]

Well, guess what.  I still want a boyfriend.  And I can’t believe I used the phrase “I’m going to knock ’em dead!”  Like, I actually wrote out an apostrophe-em.

Most telling to me in this entry is the deep truth that growing up is chaotic.  I don’t think I’m alone in that.  And I don’t have any illusions that my experience of growing up represents either an extreme or a “normal” (I hate that word) version of it.  It was my own.  That’s all I can know about it.  And yet, as I have loved children all my life (including while being one) and have worked with children and youth through college, seminary, and the real world, I think that it has a universal element.  The chaos of growing up, that is.  And in the midst of that chaos, we humans will grab at anything that resonates with order, simplicity, and comfort.  It just so happens my version of order, simplicity, and comfort includes capital “C” Comfort, Texas.

I assume I felt really crummy that day.  I’m bad at consistent journaling (uh, hello blog) and always have been, so usually if there’s an entry it either means I’m in a crisis mode of some sort and am trying to sort through things by writing it out… or it’s about a boy.  Whatever brought me to the low point of that day, it’s interesting that in the very middle of it (seriously, sentence 16 of 30) I say “I’m scared to grow up.”  Oh, sweet little 6th grade Lizzie “Holden Caulfield” Wright.  You have no idea what growing up is in one way, and yet I know you are hurting so right then over the growing up you’d already done by then.  Part of me wants to say “Get back to me when you truly can’t keep straight what day it is” or “Get back to me when you’ve said ‘I love you’ to someone and they say back ‘OK'” or “Get back to me when you’ve had a friend betray you for a job promotion” or “Get back to me when you have to swallow everyone telling you how you’re too young to really understand and yet you’re the one with the masters degree between the two of you”.

But I also remember what it felt like to ache for Comfort, TX.  It was life before any of that stuff (or any of the stuff that feels like it can never be named, never have that truth sounded out for fear of what might come of it) happened.  For one thing, it was probably life before you knew what days of the week even were.  But then isn’t it all the more strange in a sense that Comfort ends up getting translated by my psyche into order, simplicity and comfort?  So much so that the “jumbling” I do in this journal entry moves from missing a former hometown to self-worth defined through boyfriend (not that I declare that in the entry, but I kind of have an ‘in’ on what was going on there…) and then to the grief of lost grandparents to the danger of potentially losing friends (the car crash).  The chaos of growing up gets lumped in with deep grief, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Well, I guess to be fair, little just-finished-sixth-grade Lizzie could turn right back around and tell me to snap out of it, too.  She could say “Friend, you may have dealt with some deep grief and deeper grief, some anxiety and some depression, some low self-esteem and some terrible terrible life decisions made out of it, but you have also created some order (I said some), sought out simplicity, and given comfort.”  And she might remind me it’s ok to cry.  Some things change over time, sometimes we learn from ourselves, sometimes these “sometimes” take a long time.  And some things never change – like I need to go take a shower.

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,  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.

I did something bad tonight.  Bad. Bad. Bad.

I bought a bridal magazine impulsively while heading toward the check-out line at the grocery store.  STUPID!  Bad. Bad. Bad.  Bad girl.

I am not getting married in the near future.  I do not have a fiance.  I do not have a boyfriend.  Bad. Bad. Bad girl.

The crazy thing is that I’m not itching to get married right away.  I’m not saying I wouldn’t marry my next big relationship, I just would like more time actually.  If possible.  But you know, I would really like a big fluffy dress and pretty pretty flowers and a handsome nice-smelling man standing at the end of an aisle.  And I kind of secretly think “Sparkplug Minuet” from the soundtrack to The Royal Tenanbaums would make an amazeballs processional.  But not-so-secretly, I want to get married in a church, and I don’t know that soundtrack music flies in a church.  And it would be kind of hard to acquire all the musicians and recreate it.  And besides all that, a song from The Royal Tenanbaums soundtrack kind of looks/sounds stupid logistically or whatever in the first place.  ANYWAY.  Bad girl.  Because, and this is a big truth for me to tell, when I say that I kind of don’t want to marry my next big relationship but would if it was right, it is because I’ve never had a big relationship.

I’ve been on many stereotypical dates.  I’ve given out my number and been called.  I was in college once upon a time, for crying out loud.  I’ve smooched some (read: a lot of?) boys.  I’ve played the role of girlfriend for at least 3 boys, long-term, without ever actually being their girlfriend.  Which they made clear in what was I guess our non-breakup breakup talk.  I’ve also been what felt like a fake girlfriend to 2 guy friends, one long-distance, one close-up.  And by that I mean that people thought we were dating.  And there were times with those boys I was confused and thought I might have feelings for them, and it finally made sense to me that actually I had feelings for real dating, which we were only faking.

So I’d like a real, live boyfriend that wants me to be his real, live girlfriend.  And it may end up that we have a real, live breakup.  And that’s ok.  And it may end up that my first real, live, long-term relationship ends with a wedding, which might freak me out more than a breakup, actually.  But in that case, maybe it wasn’t so bad that I was bad tonight – that magazine might come in handy after all.


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  • 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