Monday, April 10, 2006

Blue Like Monday Mornings

Blue Like Jazz Chapter 13 – Romance: Meeting Girls is Easy

Here’s a tip I’ve never used: I understand you can learn a great deal about girldom by reading “Pride and Prejudice,” and I own a copy, but I have never read it. I tried. It was given to me by a girl with a little note inside that read: “What is in this book is the heart of a woman.” I am sure the heart of a woman is pure and lovely, but the first chapter of said heart is hopelessly boring.

Hmmm…I’ve never heard that before; nor have I ever read Pride and Prejudice (but I think we might have had to watch it in an English class in high school—not that I remember paying any attention to it). I suppose if it is apparently “the heart of a woman,” I might need to read it and see if my heart is in the right place…HA!

I’m sure some of y’all out there have read it, seeing as it is a classic and all. Do you agree? Is it what you would call “the heart of a woman?”

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I kept talking with my stupid mouth. I told her that love, or what we call love, is mostly teamwork and that, quite possibly, I would get a crush on another woman after I had been married for a while. I also mentioned that my wife might become attracted to another man. The stuff that attracts us to other people doesn’t shut down just because we walk down the aisle, I said. I was going on like this, being a realist and all, and I suspect I was saying stupid things like this because I have not read “Pride and Prejudice” because it turns out these ideas are not the keys to a woman’s heart. Julie believed that there was such a thing as true love and she would be in love with her mate forever and that he would be in love with her forever too.

I think there is two good points from that passage…

…one. I know all about saying the wrong things at the wrong time. HA! It isn’t necessarily that they are “stupid” things, because honestly, I think he made a great point there (which is my soon to come point number two), but honestly, that probably was not a good place to bring up that point, being a first or second date with this girl. HA!

He was probably nervous and knew he had to converse. I get like that. When I am nervous and know I’m supposed to be saying something, I say some of the most “not fitting” things sometimes. HA! I’ve always been so much better at putting points and thoughts into written words, rather than spoken words. If you haven’t noticed sometime, try to catch me in a “you are supposed to say something” situation, when I’m nervous—but just don’t laugh…HA!

…two. Miller is so right. Just because “we walk down the aisle” does not mean we will no longer see people who we are attracted too. If and when I ever get married, I’m pretty sure Tim McGraw will not suddenly turn into the Hunchback of Notre Dame, with the ring of my “I do.” I suppose if that were the case, weddings might be a lot more interesting to go to. You would never know what would happen to people in the wedding party and the audience with the pronouncing of husband and wife. HA!

There is no doubt that myself and my spouse will still find people who are attractive, whether it is by looks or personality, following our vows. But I suppose what is not typically spoken of in the vows is the art of discipline that comes with a marriage. I guess it is then that we are expected to be disciplined enough to no longer act on our attracted desires. Circumstantially, this can be easy or difficult for one person to the next. This might possibly be one of our largest disciple tests we as a society are faced with.

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I think if you like somebody you have to tell them. It might be embarrassing to say it, but you will never regret stepping up. I know from personal experience, however, that you should not keep telling a girl that you like her after she tells you she isn’t into it. You should not keep riding your bike by her house either.

Been there…

Done that…

Did not, and still don’t, regret it…

…didn’t ride my bike by his house though.
[the above statement was made for clarification purposes only]

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I’ve had about fifty people tell me that I fear intimacy. And it is true. I fear what people will think of me, and that is the reason I don’t date very often. People really like me a lot when they only know me a little, but I have this great fear that if they knew me a lot they wouldn’t like me. That is the number one thing that scares me about having a wife because she would have to know me pretty well in order to marry me and I think if she got to know me pretty well she wouldn’t like me anymore.

That interesting to me. It isn’t really that I feel like I feel that way, but I know I’ve heard that said—or something to the extent of that—a lot. And though a first thought might be that someone is putting on a different act, not being their true self at first, which might be why many might be attracted to them initially, but that really does not have to be the case (though it could be, in some cases).

While not in a lot of my peer interactions, in a lot of my interactions with individuals who are older than me, I find myself slower at warming up to people, so to say. With this being the case, it is easy to see that I could come off one way at first to people, but later been viewed as someone totally different.

I think also, a lot of times we choose not to share some of our more vulnerable characteristics, so to say, to people until we are closer to them. And while this of course makes perfect sense, it leaves us with the thought of “what might this person think of me when they find out this bit of information?” And though some might disagree, I think the thoughts we have following our thought of that question all depend on the level of self-esteem we possess.

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My best friend, Paul, married my friend Danielle. People change when they get married, it is true. Danielle was a fiery feminist when she married Paul; now she isn’t so much a feminist, or at least she isn’t active. She is very much in love with him, and he with her. Sometimes, when I am visiting them, they grab each other’s butts as if I am not even in the room. It’s embarrassing. People shouldn’t grab each other’s butts with me sitting there in the room.

I quote all of that to say this…

…people really shouldn’t “grab each other’s butts” when someone else is sitting in the room…

…unless, I suppose, there happens to be another couple sitting in the room, and then it just becomes a situation of a competitive nature.

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Paul is the only person I know who is completely comfortable in his own skin, completely true in what he says. He is what they call a true person. “You know, Don, marriage is worth the trade. You love all your freedom, but you get this friend. This incredible friend.”

I wondered about that when he said it. The idea of marriage is remarkably frightening to me for precisely this reason: the loss of freedom.


Ah…people who are completely comfortable in their own skin. Those types of people truly are a breath of fresh air. It can be encouraging and motivating just being around people like that. People who are honest with themselves and others about who they are. People who do not have to question how they will be or act in a particular situation because they just naturally act as them self.

As for the incredible friend you get with marriage…

…I’ll let you know when I find him.

As for losing freedom when one gets married. That is kind of scary I suppose, but I do not see why a married couple can not still respect one another’s needs for a sense of freedom in a lot of areas. Unless I am simply being misinformed, I am under the impression that ALL freedom is not lost with “I do.”

I think what interests me the most is the idea of how once individuals seem to suddenly be given the most freedom they have ever had, they are so quick to want to restrict it…

Why is it that when we get our freedom by leaving home for college, so many have the desire to lose the freedom again by getting married immediately? Maybe extreme freedom and independence can be overwhelming for some. Just a thought.

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“We learn that we are lovable or unlovable from other people,” Paul says. “That is why God tells us so many times to love each other.”

As unfortunate as that is, I think it is pretty true in most cases. Depending on our past history of being loved, our view of whether we can be loved by others or not is formed. And not only that, but I think the situations that elicit the love and types of love can be influencing in different ways. Because when one might have had a “terrible break-up” with a past boyfriend/girlfriend, or have always found him/herself in situations with abusive boyfriends/girlfriends, this lack of rejection of love, or neglect of love, can be more influential on some individuals than say love from friends or family members.

Love can be a powerful thing…

…in so many ways.


[Note: All the above text in smaller italic print has been quoted directly from Donald Miller’s “Blue Like Jazz”]

3 comments:

julesforstenholm said...

Good post. Good chapter. I'm about to go on a tangent. I can feel it.

I don't like to let people in - and I think you know that, oh wise author of this weblog. In fact, you've called me on it a number of times. There is a part of me that thinks if people don't know all about me, they won't see the part of me that's weak, weird, or whatever. Not that people don't already think I'm weird! But I like to maintain this idea that I have it all together... whether I do a good job of that is very questionable. But I can guarantee there are things about me that no one in this world, save me, knows. Faults, failures, upsets, disappointments - things I don't want other people to know. And the idea of getting close enough to someone that they will inevitably find out about these things scares the heebeejeebee's (that's a technical term) out of me. I've already learned that I can be very close to someone with whom I'm in a relationship and still protect my secrets like a madwoman.

So, I suppose I'm a bit afraid of intimacy. Understatement? ;) I like having a part of myself that nobody else knows, and I don't see myself letting go of that easily, or without a fight. I'm strange, I know. But love is strange, too. So, maybe, just maybe, I'll know when "a" right guy comes along (I use the word "a" instead of "the" because I don't believe there is one right person out there for anyone... another story).

Hopefully, someone will be able to break down this barrier that I have meticulously maintained for quite a few years now (heck, I'm almost a quarter of a century old!). But, it's much easier said than done. Maybe love can do it. Who knows?

And, oh wise author of this weblog, you should read Pride and Prejudice. I read it for the first time when I saw the trailer for the recent movie... I knew I wanted to see the movie, but didn't want the screen version to taint the story originally written by the wonderful author! It's a fabulous story about a strong-willed young woman - and my idea of the ideal love story. Don't know if it would be your favorite, but it's a classic, so worth a read...

Sorry for the novel I have just left on your comment wall.

FeedingYourMind said...

...a response comment to come...

...but for now, I just want to say that it's funny because it wasn't until two weeks ago when I was spending HOURS in a book store that I came across a book about blogging and in that I learned that "blog" is short for "weblog"....HA! [Note: allowing one's ignorance to shine through...HA!]

And what's even funnier is...a few years ago, that word would have been read with NO problem..."web-log"....but nowadays, with the new common terminology, it can easily be read as "we-blog"....HA! Okay, I couldn't help it...I had to add that!

FeedingYourMind said...

julesforstenholm: I greatly appreciate your honesty and willingness to share with the comment you left on this blog. I have chosen to somewhat "respond" to your comment through a blog entry, as a comment would be too long for here.

PLEASE understand that the blog following this one (being my "response blog") is NOT directed at you specifically, but rather at the topic you brought up in your comment.

Once again I really appreciate your honesty in this comment!

And, please do not feel pressure to "suck up" in your comments in the future just because they are going to be, what you believe to be a long comment. HA!

..."oh wise author of this weblog"....HA!