Matters of the Heart

I really like using the phrase "I heart (blank)." I like saying it better than "I love" even though I'm essentially saying the same thing. I guess I prefer to reserve love for people I know. There's something whimsical about using "I heart," especially over IM and other written media. Here are some things that I heart:

I heart meat. Bacon, sausage links, sausage patties, italian sausages, linguica, chorizo, steak, ribs...

I heart sushi. I especially love hamachi and o toro when I can afford it. Bryan once told me that I need sushi like I need air...

I heart pink ladies. Really, they're the only apples I'll eat. And I'll only eat the ones from Davis' Farmer's Market...

I heart citrus. Oranges, clementines, pomelos, grapefruit, lemons, limes, blood oranges...

I heart the British. Their accents, their wit, their humor, their sarcasm, their honesty, their snobbery...

I really heart Disneyland. I can never fall asleep the night before going to Disneyland because I get too excited.

Other things I heart: spring in Davis, new hobbies, tv show "How it's Made"

PS: Readers in Davis, Saturday is National Pig Day! The Farmer's Market will be featuring piggies you can pet and piggies you can eat. I'll be there!


Looks matter!

Lately my jaunts along the information superhighway have led me towards the aesthetically pleasing. I have been looking at famous designers and their various wares: fabrics, clothing, wall paper, paper crafts, etc. It's like going to the MOMA, but at home! Here are some links for you:

Lotta Jansdotter

Amy Butler

Ferm Living

I'm also teaching myself to sew. I found a sewing machine on craigslist for half the cost, and the box was never opened! I heart craigslist! Yes, I know it's a Hello Kitty sewing machine but the reviews said it was a great beginner machine and it's pretty much a standard Janome machine with HK exterior. Don't judge my sewing machine by its cover.


Choice is overrated (Part II)

People choose out of their own fallibility. Sometimes choice is a curse. I see many people making one of two choices. They are too picky… and they’re often falling for men who aren’t right for them anyway. Or they are not picky enough and settle on men who aren’t right for them anyway. In either case, their right to choose isn’t working out.

Since I'm a fan of arranged marriages, the practical application in this day and age is to let your community into your decision of who you will date and marry. If the majority of your friends express some sort of concern about the person you’re dating, it’s a red flag.

Parents may not always be a good idea since as young adults our values may be taking a rapid departure from that of the parents. Some parents also evaluate future mates based on what looks good on paper and not on the character of the person.

In college, my roommates and I sometimes discussed whether or not we would be in the wedding or even attend the wedding of a friend if we didn’t agree with their chosen spouse. The bottom line of those conversations were, should you be a friend by protesting or should you be a friend by supporting? Which one would make you the better friend? I still haven’t landed on an answer…

I had a falling out with a really close friend because of said situation. There were definitely other things going on in our friendship, but telling her I disagreed with her choice was the straw that broke the camel's back. I wasn't invited to the wedding... well, to be fair I was invited last minute. It was fairly awkward. I had another wedding to go to that weekend, so I didn't go anyway.

What does your community think about your significant other? When's the last time you asked?


Choice is overrated (Part I)

I used to tell people I was a fan of arranged marriages, but Bryan told me I needed to stop since I was misleading them into thinking I was trapped in the Dark Ages.

Our culture values and even champions the idea of marrying for love, finding Mr./Mrs. Right, and not being forced into unions with strangers. Arranged marriages are oppressive because it pushes people into loveless, cruel marriages. Where has the priority of choice gotten us?

Statistics reveal that we are very bad at choosing. More than half of all marriages in the US end in divorce. Men and women still choose into marriages with physically, emotionally, and sexually abusive people regardless of warning signs. They are in denial over the person they want to marry because they love each other. It’s obvious to everyone that they’re wrong for each other… except the two lovebirds.

Great romances end in tragedy. Romeo and Juliet. Anthony and Cleopatra. Happily ever after is truly a fairytale. I love you doesn’t get you very far. I’m committed to you does. Add love to it and one is truly blessed.

Initial attraction/connection often begins with something like, wow, you’re also from Nebraska… you also like dark chocolate… this is amazing! What’s especially unfortunate is people who get into relationships because the other person likes them. It says a lot about how much they like themselves. It’s not much on which to build a relationship. By then emotional ties have already been forged, and for one reason or another they move forward despite all red flags. Worse yet, they stay in stalemate until marriage becomes the default.

Arranged marriages take away from the idea of a soul mate, and it removes the pressure of needing to find the connection. They also reinforce the idea of commitment being the factor that keeps people married, and not loving feelings.

Feelings change. Imagine feeling loving towards someone who does not share your passion for (insert obsessive hobby). What about loving feelings towards someone who doesn’t mind getting into bed with you without showering after a workout. Maybe this person has a hard time with showing love in your love language, with anger, with being critical, with selfishness. Maybe this person is insecure!?

As the love feelings fade, I hope commitment will keep it going.


I want my men manly

Why do I see so many women treat men as their furry, cute pets to take home, to take care of, and to train?

A few years ago a few men I knew wanted to hop on the knitting trend. My respect for them dropped even as they boasted that they were getting in touch with their feminine side. I'm not sure knitting really achieves that.

I think some men actually believe they are winning brownie points with women when they show their "sensitive" side. The reality is though, you're making yourself into the sidekick friend who will stay just that... a friend. If the men want to stay just friends, that's fine with me. If you're interested in having a girlfriend that may become a future spouse however, cease and desist all such behavior. Just say no.

A few weeks ago I entered a fellowship party that seemed pretty happening when I arrived. Some women said, "Peggy! Look at the guys' nails!" Sure enough, some of the men had allowed themselves to get their nails painted. Some had cute designs, some had multi-colored nails. The ladies had fun doing this, but it reminds me of trying to get my dog to roll over. As the men showed me their nails, they seemed really proud of themselves as if they had pleased their master. The looks on their faces said look what I was able to do!

If you ask the ladies whether or not they imagine their future boyfriend or husbands having painted nails, the answer would be decidedly no. I don't know of any woman who dreams of their future marriage and imagines themselves sitting side by side with their husbands... knitting.

Bryan loves the movie Tears of the Sun with Bruce Willis. Once I came home to him watching it and he warned me that the best part was coming up. As I anticipated the "best" part, I enjoyed a 5 minute scene that involved everything being blown up. I looked over to Bryan and his face was filled with excitement as he exclaimed, "Yes! Yeah!"

I will never understand the thrill of watching things being blown up. I can't understand why men are fascinated with UFC. I may be compelled to "tame" my husband and make an argument about how violence is bad. But experience has taught me to accept that this is in his DNA and to sit with him as he is enthralled by loud explosions. I don't believe it's my responsibility to domesticate the men in my life. I am still learning when to let it go. Every time Bryan goes skiing I know in the back of my mind he's jumping off of 20 foot cliffs. But I know better than to prevent him from doing it and I trust that he knows how much risk he can take.

This month in InterVarsity we're examining what God makes of gender. Here is my shameless plug for you to come to large group! After a talk about women and a talk about men, I will be tackling what it means for each individual to be fully feminine/masculine.

Note to readers: I think it's perfectly okay for men to be artistic and to take interest in creative projects... even knitting if they want. This post is meant for those who engage in such activities at the bequest of their women friends.


Who has permanent residence in your head?

I have been reading a new series by Don Everts. Short, to the point, entertaining, and compelling, Everts has personified the ideas living in his head and explains the way in which he thinks. The converse, they fight, they try to work it out. I'm a fan.

When is the last time you thought through why you believed something? Working with college students, I often hear opinions being firmly expressed. It's astonishing to me how people can strongly assert their belief is the "right" one. In seminary, some of my favorite professors were those who had landed on a belief but were humble enough to admit they could be wrong. Really humble... not the I could be wrong but I actually think you're the one that's very wrong kind of humility.

The ability to be adaptable and flexible with one's beliefs while being grounded at the same time is a difficult endeavor. When I encounter someone who is rather resolute or even militant about a belief, I tend to think they have a pretty shaky foundation. The need for someone else to agree with one's beliefs indicates a lack of confidence in that belief.

With our postmodern culture, most of our beliefs come from our experiences. I experienced pre-marital sex as enjoyable, therefore it is fine/okay/good. The problem with basing our beliefs on experiences is that two people can share the same experience but come away with very different interpretations. Give the experience some time and the interpretation can and will change.

Sex for the first time can be amazing for the guy... and it probably is since it's not so complicated for men to enjoy sex. First time sex for a woman however, is most likely disappointing if not absolutely traumatic. But she won't tell the guy since she doesn't want to hurt the feelings of the guy she loves. Or she doesn't know what good sex is until much later. Wow, my first time really was a D+. How do I know? Plenty of girl talk and personal experience. So... pretty much my experience has taught me that pre-marital sex is pretty lame. Who's "right?"

This begins a series of posts about the nature of ideas/beliefs... how we come to form them, how they change, and how to know you've formed them with true critical thinking.

Note to self: Post in the future about the ridiculous notion that having sex is the way to show you love each other.

Note to readers: If you want to know more about women and their views on sex, see When Harry Met Sally for the infamous orgasm scene.