Living the questions and trying to think theologically... and practically. Learning that these things are more synonymous than I once thought.

Location: Dallas, TX

Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Let's Hear it for the Boys

Ever since I was little, I have loved boys. As a four year old, my first crush was on my sister’s friend, Douglas Coleman. He was the cute nerdy guy. He actually reminds me of George O’Mally on Grey’s Anatomy. He was also an older man, but when he was 13 and I was only four, we went to the Justice of the Peace booth at the Kossuth High School Fall Festival, and we got married. I even had a blue plastic ring. My sister signed our wedding license.** A few years back, Douglas married a pretty blonde named Katie. I guess that makes him a bigamist. Go figure.

I’ve always thought that men were more fun and less drama than girls. It’s always been easier for me to spill my guts to a guy. It seems like they don’t judge you as much, and they know how to keep secrets better than we ladies do, or maybe they just forget what you tell them in the first place. Either way, men are mostly laid back and easy going. I appreciated that.

The problem is that men don’t seem to stay in the picture for me. It’s true that I’ve been Miss Single Mingle for the entirety of my adult life, but that’s only part of it. Over the past few years, many of the prominent men in my life have somehow disappeared. My dad passed away in 2002, and I was devastated. I didn’t know who was going to hold me, give me money, take care of my car, help me move, or call me baby. It was hard. It’s still hard, but I’ve learned to cope. He raised me to be strong and independent, and I’m thinking he didn’t do such a bad job.

The semester after he passed away, I read The Story We Find Ourselves In. I love so many things about that book, but my favorite part is when Neo is telling Carrie about creation, and he talks about how God created the opposite sex to help us rediscover a lost part of ourselves. Basically, he says we need each other. I remember feeling the truth of that statement, and a relief swept over me. I was okay. You see, somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that it was some type of sin to need anybody other than Jesus. I tried to convince myself that if men were going to abandon me, I could abandon them. They didn’t need me, and I sure as heck didn’t need them. Although I learned I could do many things for myself, I couldn’t shake the longing for a person with testosterone, no matter what kind of crap I tried to sell myself. Brian put things in perspective for me once again. This time he wasn’t so much teaching me about how to be Christian, but how to be human. Sometimes, that is the more important lesson.

Things in the guy arena have not been perfect since then. There are definitely times I get lonely, depressed, and bitter concerning men. Last night I was reminded that even though there’s nobody for me to make out with right now (which sucks in its own right), I still really need men. They remind me how human I am. They are opposite, and in being so they help me to know myself. They remind me I am a girl, and even though I’m “egalitarian” these days, I still think that’s a good thing.

My thorn in the flesh is my tendency to equate my self worth with the amount of attention I receive from men. I think that’s at the root of my bitterness. I’m tired of it, and I want to share with you my personal remedy project. I’m making a list of all the guys who are in my life, and what they mean to me. It’s hard being a gushy person, and not feeling you have the freedom to gush over people. It would be weird if I wrote you a note to tell you how I feel. You might think I’m a stalker or a home-wrecker since some of the guys on this list are married. I assure you I am neither. I’m just trying to live fully and appreciate the people in my life. There really are great guys in my life who care about me, and I'm grateful. It's good to tell people what they mean to you. Good for you and for them. So, I figure if I appreciate you publicly and all at once, it wouldn’t be so weird. For time purposes, I’m going to limit tonight’s list to those who I know read my blog from time to time. So here you go:

Josh- Our friendship has been a rollercoaster, but in the end, there's no doubt I'm a better person for it. You are my brother, for better or for worse. You know me better than anyone and you still put up with me. All the meals I cook for you could never adequately say thank you for that. Don't get excited. I'm still waiting for my gourmet feast.

Vernon- You truly are George Castanza, and we wouldn't have it any other way. I can't wait to read your novel. We really love you whether you know it or not.

Jeff- I would not like my job half as much as I do if it weren't for you. Everyday, I see your compassion and gentleness, and I think about what a fantastic person you are and I know that you are going to be a great minister, husband, and father one day.

Tina a.k.a John Young- You are hands down my favorite llama. You are crazy, and I absolutely love you for it. You challenge me to be real. You teach me how to be a good friend. I love your heart and perspective on ministry and following after Christ.

And while we're at it....

Jonathan Potter- You are the coolest boy I know that actually talks to me. I love hanging out with you, but of course, most of the ladies do. You are straight up chill, and I think you have a calming effect on people. John needs a friend like you, and so do I.

More fellas tomorrow. These guys are just the beginning. Stupid blogger won't let me put any more pictures in this post, and Starbucks is about to close.


Anonymous John "Tina" Young said...

Hey girl, I feel so cool that I made the list. You're a sweetheart and you know you could've seen some action if you had come over last night. ;) Lemme know if you ever need anything. You're a blessing and a rad chick.

(Did you get those pics from my xanga?) :)

7:42 AM  
Blogger Vernon Bowen said...

Thanks, Janalee ... though there are better pics of me, I'm sure of it. This is a wonderful post theme you've got going here, and I am honored beyond measure to be a part of it. Thank you thank you ... I can't wait to read it too ...

11:45 PM  

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