Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Waiting until Christmas

"Keeping your virginity until marriage is like not opening a present on Christmas."

I had to read it more than once to actually comprehend what I was reading. It's a facebook quote I read today, and it actually saddened me. Granted, I read a lot of stupid facebook quotes that I disagree with. I read a lot of stupid stuff in general that I disagree with, and it really doesn't bother me too much. But to think that this was someone's attitude really did make me sad.

I don't really care if you agree with the quote. You are free to sin however you please; that's the great thing about God's "free will" thing - it's what makes his grace a gift. But if you've even read the Bible a little, you probably know that God designed sex for marriage and marriage only, and sex without that commitment leads to big consequences.

I think my problem with this quote is that I'm not quite following how we're defining "Christmas" in this soon-to-be over-analyzed scenario.

Let's say that we define "Christmas" as your "sexual prime." You are in your early 20s, when sex is supposed to be biologically best. But you're not ready to get married yet, or you haven't found the right person. People wait longer now to get married than they used to.

So basically, it's Christmas day. The person who gave you the present you just grabbed from under the tree isn't there to watch you open it. It's not really right to open it without them, but hey, at least you'll get to enjoy the gift right now.

Do you wait until they're there to let them enjoy watching you open it? I guess that's up to you. The obvious pro is instant gratification, while the con could be hurting your friend who worked so hard to pick out the perfect gift for you by not letting them enjoy your first reaction to it.

I'd rather wait until a few days after Christmas in this scenario.

Here's my no-doubt wildly unpopular re-phrasal of the quote: "Losing your virginity before marriage is like opening a present before Christmas."

"Christmas" should be marriage. That's the way God designed it (and what a design it is!).

You could open the gifts that are sitting there under the tree before Christmas, but you choose to wait because you know that opening them on Christmas morning will lead to greater enjoyment of the gifts.

In addition, the giver of the gifts, who has also been anticipating your enjoyment of the gifts, would be disappointed with your decision to open the gift early and ruin the day on which it was intended to be enjoyed.

What will you open on Christmas day if you've already opened all your gifts?

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

And the bravery continues

This morning, right after I got up, I went outside to take a look at the pouring rain. Yes, I decided, it was pouring rain; a torrential downpour that was causing our street to flood and our grass to revive itself. As I came back inside, I saw movement on the floor in the living room, near my laptop. I turned on the light to find a startled gecko, my nemesis.

So we meet again.

This was my moment. The theme from Rocky played in my head as I marched toward the kitchen to get a glass. He wasn’t getting away this time. As I tip-toed toward him, he saw me and ran for cover under my laptop.

“Oh, no you don’t,” I said to him, as I started to tap the top of my laptop, hoping to scare him out. Nothing.

I grabbed a bottle of Downy Wrinkle Release nearby (which is my version of an iron), and tapped on the laptop again with that. Still nothing.

Finally, I bravely slid the laptop back to reveal the persecutor. He was gross and fast. He ran out toward the middle of the living room floor, giving me a chance to capture him with my glass. Slowly, I lowered the glass over him. He was trapped! I was victorious! I clapped my hands and did a little happy dance as I watched him run around inside his glass prison.

I skipped into the bedroom, where Jack was sleeping, and sat down next to him, excitedly.

“Guess what!” I said, waking him up.

He opened his eyes and looked at me confused, for it was 7:30 in the morning and no time for news. “What?” he asked, sleepily.

“I caught a lizard!” I announced.

“Wow! That’s cool!” he said, still groggy but realizing how big of an accomplishment that was for me.

“Yeah, so now I’m going to need you to come put him outside,” I told him.

He smiled that funny little smile he gives me when I’m being irrational and got out of bed to fetch a piece of paper. After throwing the demon outside into the deep waters of our front yard, he came back in to find me still doing my happy dance.

“I’m proud of you,” he said. “But I’m going back to bed.” I was a hero.

Next week – Mandy wrestles and alligator.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh, the bravery

This morning, I picked up my umbrella off the floor by the door, where I had left it the night before, and I saw a tiny little thing fall. As I looked closer, I realized it was a tiny gecko. I stared at it, wondering whether I should wake Jack to come catch it, as was his duty now that he married me. It was about 8:00 in the morning, and husband was nestled in his favorite spot in the middle of the bed that he always finds, joyfully, after I get up.

No, I decided. It was okay. I could leave it there and it wouldn't hurt anything. So I left it there. Because I love my husband more than I love myself. And because I'm brave. And because I was going to be late for work. This is growth.

You see, I'm crazy. Every night, I have to check all the bathrooms, living room, kitchen, and our bedroom (including behind, inside, and underneath all our comforter, sheets, and pillow) for geckos, which will surely eat me in the middle of the night if they find me before I find them. If I do find one, I stand frozen and call for Jack (for if I move it will surely attack), who dutifully arrives with his weapons in hand (a cup and a piece of paper) to rescue me from this menacing beast. 

If Jack cannot catch the monster, heaven forbid, because it's too fast for him, I make him continue to seek it until it is either successfully found and captured or he does a convincing enough mime of catching it and taking it outside that I am satisfied that it is gone. 

But not today. Today, I left it in my house.

Tune in next week to read about my adventures in catching one. Maybe. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

It takes a long time to grow an old friend

My friend moved away yesterday.

This weekend, I headed down to College Station to visit some friends and help Michelle, my next door neighbor, move into her new dorm at college. I had so much fun, having dinner with old friends, then staying up with Paris on Saturday night, eating ice cream and watching "The Breakfast Club," while her little yorkie, Marley, reveled in the sheer joy that I would come all the way to College Station, just to visit him.

I called Josh way earlier than college student etiquette allows on Sunday morning for breakfast, and fortunately he obliged despite my impudence. To kill some time after breakfast before the Bedenbaughs got into town, Josh and I went to the mall and I got the aforementioned awesome deals on clothes.

Then they were here. The whole family - mom, dad, brother, and boyfriend, bringing all Michelle's belongings that could fit into their Honda Pilot. It was time to move her in.

Everybody was a little stressed; Michelle because she was going to have to adjust to the complete world change that is college and the parents because they were going to have to adjust to the complete world change that is your daughter leaving for college. I helped where I could, bringing boxes up to her 4th-floor dorm room and making lists of forgotten items that we would have to buy at Target. It was kind of a nice experience for me, other than being worried about the sanity of my friends, because I got to see what it's like from the other side.

I was here a short four years prior, and standing in her little dorm room, it felt like yesterday. I too was stressed and worried and coping with the huge adjustment while simultaneously excited about what the next four years would bring. I could feel her joy and pain and was excited and worried for her all at once. From where I was, I could see it all flash by, for myself, for which already happened, and for Michelle, for which it was bound to happen.

And then we left her there. It felt a little wrong, leaving her all by herself, but we knew it was necessary. During the drive back I looked back at their car as it followed behind mine when I heard something on the radio that made me think of Michelle, and thought "Oh, I should tell her that when we get home." My heart sank when I realized that she would not be in that car when we got home.

I've known Michelle for more than 15 years now, and we've become quite close, especially during the last few years. Her whole family means the world to me, and I would pretty much do anything for them, as I know they would do for me. Michelle was one of my bridesmaids, and her mom pretty much made my wedding day happen as if by magic.

Michelle and I used to get on the bus every day together when she was in kindergarten. I was there when her little brother was born. She was at all my birthday parties. We used to scrapbook together in the summer time when I was home from college. We used to spend every Thursday night after I graduated watching Grey's and The Office together, a role she took over from Paris. I spent a lot of time sitting on her floor, and she spent a lot of time sitting on mine. We’re family. I’ve already put her winter break into my calendar so I know when she’ll be coming home.

Not only is Michelle a wonderful friend, but she’s also an amazing person. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to convince her to put off her homework when she refused (she always always ALWAYS does her homework when she first gets home! Imagine that!) She volunteers at the animal shelter. She’s incredibly kind to her brother and respectful of her parents. She wants to be a vet, so she joined FFA her senior year, when she could have slacked off, to learn more about animals first-hand. This girl is going to be wildly successful.

Goodbye for now, Michelle, and know that I will be looking forward to your return on weekends, holidays, and summers! A&M is lucky to have you!

Something to be proud of

To waste a little bit of time waiting for the Bedenbaughs to arrive in College Station on Sunday morning, Josh and I went to the College Station mall to walk around and shop a little. Here's what I got:

Skirt at JC Penny: $7.49
Dress shoes at The Shoe Depot: $6.49
Lacy cami at PacSun: $3.00

Yeah, it was a good shopping day.

Disclaimer: In no way am I trying to steal any of Shane and Cassandra's thunder for their shopping achievement

Sunday, August 10, 2008

We just used our last Target gift card tonight...

...I think it's time to have another wedding.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Close Call

Last night after work, Erin and I went to a sewing class (I'm a master now, by the way), and I got home at about 9:30, just in time to cook Jack some dinner. At about 10:15, the food was hot and I was pretty sure Jack would be home any minute, so I decided to give him a call.

One ring. Two rings. Three rings. Four rings. Five rings and voicemail.

This is unusual for Jack, so immediately I felt like something was wrong. I pressed "5" for "numeric page," because he usually calls me back right away from that as opposed to when I leave a voicemail, and I hung up and called the school to see if he just got busy chatting with some students at there and forgot to come home, as he often does. As soon as the school's machine picked up, I heard the "call waiting" beep. It was Jack. I answered it.

"Hey," he said. "Wow, I'm shaking a lot. A guy on a motorcycle just tried to pop a wheelie and wrecked right in front of my truck and I almost ran over him. Oh, I have to go; somebody else is calling."

"Wha... okay... bye," I stammered, trying to absorb the gravity of what he just told me.

Apparently, Jack was driving home, and right after he turned from Angel onto Bethany, a motorcycle came up behind him, all loud and stupid like motorcycles do, and raced around him on his right. The guy then tried to pop a wheelie, but brought the front wheel way too high and had his bike almost perpendicular to the ground. The bottom wheel went out from under him, sideways, and started skidding into Jack's lane in a huge flash of sparks.

The rider cartwheeled across the road as Jack slammed on his brakes so hard he said he thought his back wheels would come off the ground, stopping just feet from the guy's motorcycle, which was now laying mangled in the middle of Jack's lane. The rider flew all the way to the median, where he came to rest face down, with his arm in a strange position. Jack was on the phone with 911 as soon as he was stopped, and he said he thought the rider looked like he was dead. But then he moved a little. Then a little more, then he got up, staggered around, then fell down again. Then again. Instantly, witnesses in other cars were stopped and out of their cars, surrounding him as Jack talked to the 911 dispatcher.

A woman who was driving behind Jack was following the guy home, and was trying to get him into her car to take him to the hospital. Jack said the witnesses said the guy wreaked of alcohol, so I'm guessing the woman didn't want the police showing up with the ambulance. Fortunately, the police officer arrived before the ambulance and didn't let him go, then went with them to the hospital, where hopefully he'll be charged for all kinds of stupidness.

We learned three things from this accident - well, we didn't really learn them because we already knew all of them, but this was a good reminder.

1) We hate motorcycle riders. You can tell me all you want about how safe you are on your bike; I still hate seeing you on the road and being behind you in traffic. And most likely, you're going to do something stupid at some point because you can. Or, if you're right about how safe you are, somebody else will still do something stupid and hurt you because other drivers suck too.

2) Gwen, our friend who is a paramedic, said that she has seen a lot of motorcycle accidents, and her statistics about wearing helmets are astounding: in every wreck where somebody was wearing a helmet, they lived. In every wreck where somebody wasn't wearing a helmet, they died. This guy was wearing a helmet, and he lived.

3) Things happen in an instant that could change your entire life, but God is always there. Jack said as soon as he saw the guy race around him he took his foot of the gas pedal, and didn't really know why he did it. I know why he did it.

Ps - Apparently Jack had been on the phone with his mom when it happened, and he said he was getting the "call waiting" beep from me right as it was happening. If he hadn't been on the phone with his mom, he may have been digging for his phone instead because it was ringing. Say what you want about talking on the phone and driving, but that conversation may have saved idiot motorcycle guy's life.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Life's a dance

The weekend before last, Jack and I went out dancing at a fun little hole-in-the -wall honkeytonk place in Wylie with a couple of Jack's friends. Two of the ladies' husbands were out of town, so another friend's husband danced with them a few times between dances with his wife.

I remember thinking that it was a good guy who was willing to dance with all the girls who needed somebody to dance with. I think this thought comes from my assumption that all guys hate dancing as much as my husband does; it's hard enough to get Jack to dance with me, much less with anybody else. Perhaps this isn't the case for every guy, but I still think it's kind of nice to see a guy helping all the girls have a good time.

When I was going through my wedding pictures in an attempt to organize them for the scrapbook, this is what I found of Garrett:

Garrett dances with Brittany. Garrett dances with little Pheobe. Garrett dances with Brynn. Garrett dances with Sara. I also have a video of Garrett dancing with Paris. He's either a nice guy, or he really enjoys dancing. Or maybe he's just a stud.

Friday, August 1, 2008

How's married life?

It’s already August, and it seems like the time is just flying by! Our wedding seems like it was yesterday but we just passed the 4-month mark. People keep asking me how married life is, and I’m not really sure what to tell them, other than, “great,” (which I guess is really what they’re looking for with that sort of question.)

There’s really not much going on with us that I feel should be attached to the response to that question, so I usually say something like “It’s going well! Just working and fixing up the house.” That’s what we do. Work and fix up the house. And then on the weekends we do the fixing up together instead of apart, which is better. It really is kind of boring news-wise but we’ve never been so content (or stress-free!) in our lives.

On Sunday, as we were driving home from church, Jack made the comment that I’m thinking a lot of the time; he said, “You know, this really is a great time in our lives! No kids, not many responsibilities; we pretty much just get to do whatever we want.”

During high school, during our halftime marching show on Friday nights, I would look up at the crowd and around at the 599 other people on the field and think, “This is really awesome. What a great time in my life.”

Then, in college, I would be walking around campus on my way to class or work on a beautiful day and think, “This is where I always wanted to be, and now I’m here. What a great time in my life.”

And now, I’m doing it again. I’m standing on top of the bathtub, peeling wallpaper from the master bathroom’s wall, singing very badly to the blaring radio with Jack, who is also singing very badly to the radio, when we burst out laughing and feel bad for our future children for their certain lack of singing talent, and I think “This is so much fun. It’s everything I’ve ever wanted. What a great time in my life.”

People always talk about high school or college being the best time of their lives, but I kind of get there at every point in my life so far, and I’d say that’s a pretty great blessing.

So, to answer your question, married life is good.