The Deception of Beauty Enhancement

A friend had sent me a video of a woman beautifully made up. The image of her carefully painted face was absolutely stunning. Everything was perfect and she was the vision of black Barbie. In order to demonstrate how she became such a vision, the artist had to remove all her mask to start from scratch.

“Good heavens! what the hell?” was my reaction when she was barefaced and au naturel. She was no longer stunning but passed as less than attractive on the beauty measurement stick. Pimples, skin discoloration, etc. She epitomized the idea of dramatic makeover. I could not help but do a Google image search for dramatic makeup before and after and became very aware that this young lady is not the only woman who skillfully change her appearance to look very different from her true self.

Thank heavens I am not a man! One commenter on the young lady’s transformation was that it is imperative for men to take their women swimming on the first date. This is to remove everything false in order to see the true woman. There is a joke which involved a man taking a woman home from the club and in the morning, he discovered that she removed her hair extensions, spanx, fake nails, padded bra, make up and very high heels to reveal someone totally different from the woman he brought home. If you follow the entertainment news’ latest beauty trend, then one could add: fake tan, collagen for lips, butt implants/injection/padded underwear, Botox, and even temporary breast enhancement. Where does the masquerade end? What’s a guy to do when he first meets a well-groomed young lady? Do most men have to wonder if the women they see are deceptively enhanced?

When did it become okay for women to feel so ashamed of their image and are driven to falsely advertise themselves as someone completely different from their true selves? Do we really believe that false advertising is the best way to enhance one’s self-esteem or to feel attractive? While I have no issues with make up and using it to cover minor imperfections, it is something completely different from literally putting on a new face. Contouring is a new word in my vocabulary which means the ability to change enhance one’s facial features with make up – eye’s wider, nose thinner, high cheekbones, lips fuller etc. Frankly, the art of contouring belongs in the theatre and performance art shows.

There is a feeling of empathy for the single men who have to weed through the beauty façade of women. There are women who believe that a new guy should never see them without X item until they have been dating for an extended period of time. This is as deceptive as a man wearing false hair or caps to cover his baldness, a padded underpants to give the illusion of a larger manhood, removes his wedding ring when the Mrs is absent, or drives a flashy car and spend excessively to show wealth while he is in heavy debt. This is a good time to use the verse do to others as you would like to be done to you. Keep it real!

The whole deceptive enhancement creates a dilemma for the average girl next door. The extraordinarily perfect beauty that make up etc creates does not exist in nature. Very rarely will you find a woman who looks any thing close to these enhanced visions of beauty; however, when we are bombarded by these false advertising everyday, we tend to see the average natural beauty as less than. Consequently, men begin to set the beauty bar requirement high and women transform themselves in order to keep up. Take for instance the ever popular entertainment special about ‘Stars without makeup’ which is definitely a sight to behold. The comparison is dramatic and sometimes startling. Some trashy rags even go as far as to say these women are ugly without makeup. In reality, we have become so accustomed to the deception that we accept the parlour tricks over the real thing. I too had the same reaction when black Barbie transformed back to her average beauty self. I can shamefully admit that I thought the true image of this young lady was ugly in comparison to her enhanced image.

I will reiterate that I have no issues with women wearing makeup. I too will wear lip gloss and brow filler due to my thinning eye brows; however, I will never be accused of looking like someone else nor will I ever be lauded as a great beauty. As a single lass, I truly prefer men to see my au naturel state with all the imperfections of which there are many (at least in my eyes). Confidence in one’s imperfect self is a hard pill to swallow and many women were not taught this lesson.

Happy 2015! What to do?

Happy new year to my blog followers. I do appreciate your audience to the unconventional craziness that runs through my mind. I wish God’s blessings on you all. Every new year I do the same thing. I typically say a prayer of thanks and hope for a blessed year. I am not a new year resolution person because I think such things are pointless. However, I do make up goals as the days progress or as I see fit.

My friend asked me what will be different this year. I truly had to think long and hard about that. I treat the new year the same way I treat my birthday – It’s just another day that will pass in which I am blessed to be alive. However, in the spirit of friendship and conversation, I scrounged up a few things.

Here goes my tentative plans for 2015:

There is a potential major change coming in my life and with it I am hoping to tweak a few things.

I am planning to become more involved in a social life again. I have my cyclical period in which I am out and about and then other times when I am totally isolating and being an home bound lazy bum. I am in the home bound lazy bum period which means it’s time for a 180 (after the weather gets warmer).

I was asked if I wanted to date more this year. I am not a fan of dating so the answer was no. However, with the intent on being more social, I am open to meeting people of the opposite sex with the potential for … (only God knows).

I am determined to fit comfortably in my favourite jeans again and tone my body. The fat creep around my waist and upper body is unacceptable. So, decreasing my large portion food intake in combo with exercising will be an ongoing vigilance. ” According to Dr. Yoni Freedhoff, family physician and assistant professor at the University of Ottawa, “Our best evidence identifies regular exercise, a good night’s sleep, and plenty of sex as our best bets at increasing our muscle-building hormone king (aka testosterone). Try and “get some” every night. ”  :-)  Exercise – check, good night’s sleep – all depends, plenty of sex – ROFL. I think I can accomplish 1 1/2 out of 3. It’s a good start to fitting into my fav. jeans.

Minimize some bad habits I have indulged in that are adding to the barrier between me and God. This one will be the challenge of the year. Being ‘bad’ can feel so good at times which makes behavior change hard.

Quit cursing, it’s unladylike. I remember years ago when the f-word was foreign to my ears.  Now, I use it occasionally and ‘shit’ is a staple in my vocabulary.

Initiate contact with friends. As an introvert, I tend to withdraw from others into my solitary comfort zone. However, there are people in my life who have been there for years and I do not initiate contact with them. My goal is to nurture those friendships because they do mean a lot to me.

Dance more. I grew up dancing. It’s a natural part of my life; however, I notice that I had stopped. Dance more doesn’t necessarily mean dance parties; it just means putting on the music at home and dancing. It doubles as great exercise too!

Continue to honour my parents. I have been doing an intermittently crappy job with being a good daughter. I do believe it is my duty (biblical or not) to assist my parents due to their elderly nature. While what I want to offer is not the same as what I can offer, it is still my responsibility to do my best.

Blogging frequency may drop. I am running out of interesting controversial Christians-don’t-talk-about materials to ramble on about. If you have ideas, send me a line.

There it is. Those are some of the things to address in the coming year – God willing.

Declaring God Under Fire

I have been known to wake up from odd dreams every now and again. This morning was one such situation. Besides it being annoying to have my sleep disturbed, the dreams usually put me in a state of great contemplation about my life existence.

This dream in question had a religious focus. In the dream, I was in a bedroom with my older sister and we are awake in a dark room after hearing a noise. I move to lock two doors and we listen intently for something going on outside the bedroom. There is a sense of life threatening fear and in the dream, I realize that this threat was due to religion – more specifically it was our Christian belief. Apparently, we try to secure ourselves from Billy Graham who is wearing an old nazi era German uniform.

The scene jumps to me walking alone downhill on a long road and I pass an abandon car on the side with a man who looks like Denzel Washington slumped over the dash with a bullet in his head. I pass the vehicle only to see Denzel getting up to talk to me – he was pretending to be dead.  He is telling me that people were being separated and he made his escape. The dream implies Denzel and I share the same Christian belief. We see a group of 3 average women with rifles coming and we hide but not very well. The women ask us about the location of a specific person in which I vaguely answer and one woman informs us that we need to be careful and then I wake up.

My dreams are most often weird but I can usually remember a specific theme. In this dream, there is a religious persecution theme much like Hitler to the Jews. I typically wake up thinking about my spirituality and relationship with God. I could not help but think that if my life was in danger due to my belief would I deny God?

It is so easy to be a devoted Christian during times of peace. However, would that be the same if my life depended on it? Would I be one of those denying Christ just like Peter when I am under duress? We would all like to think we are the exception to the rule; however, I can truly say that I do not know what my answer would be if faced with religious persecution.

The idea of death can be very scary even for a devoted Christian. We value life so much despite having a steadfast belief that there are better things to embrace with God. I can admit to being a religious scaredy cat when it comes to death. I think the fear of death, even with a promise of paradise, comes from our value we place on this world. I think there is an underlying belief that if we are no longer present in the world we will be missing a whole lot of stuff.

The other side effect to the religious dreams is a quick overview of my daily value in life. While we still have to live in this world, the Bible does tell us to focus on things above. Such dreams usually call into question the frivolousness of my ‘important stuff’ that does not seem to have much value in comparison to what God is offering. The dreams are usually an intermittent reminder that there is a greater force in charge and I need to get my relationship with God in order.

For every one of my random religious dreams, there are many people in different parts of the world who are forced to choose due to their Christian allegiance. I do not know the true meaning of religious persecution; however, many others at this moment can attest to it or have lost their lives for it. I feel blessed to have religious liberty; however, it does behoove us to really ask ourselves the question of what would we do if our lives depend on acknowledging or deny our relationship with the Christian God.

Fifty Shades of Sexually Frustrated Women

Teddy reading 50 Shades
Teddy reading 50 Shades

I will admit to reading all three Fifty Shades books. In my defense, let me explain how that came about. A few years ago, I had heard of the first book but had not payed much attention because I stopped reading romance novels since my late teens. My sister-in-law and I were talking during a shopping trip and she was singing its praises. So, while in the mall, I passed a book store and decided to investigate.

Despite the bad writing, the first few pages whet my appetite because I had never read or thought much about bondage, dominance and sadomasochistic sex. However, by the end of the first book, I skipped a few repetitive pages, was annoyed by the writing, irritated with the childish nature of the female lead, and I became more intrigued about the psychological state of Mr Grey. This curiosity about the genesis of his obsessive compulsive personality disorder ie. super ridged controlling behaviors motivated me to waste money on the next two. After more page skipping and quick browsing, I got what I wanted.

Years later, the books are a movie and the female readers are either excited to see their mental fantasy come to life or disappointed because the chosen cast does not match their fantasy. Most people and the critics make fun that the readership is bored housewives and lonely single women. I would even further clarify that the readership encompasses both single and married non-Christian AND Christian women who could use a little sexual rejuvenation in their nether region.

People do not typically crave what they already have unless they are greedy. Sex and greedy are never synonymous. I also speculate that most of the women who read the trilogy would not entertain BDSM in their normal sex lives. However, it seems that this clamoring for a poorly written fantasy debunks a myth that most women have limited interests in sex and it awaken a dormant desire for women to have good passionate and orgasmically satisfying sex incorporated in their lives.

Sexually explicit books have been around. Years ago during my frequent visits to Barnes and Noble, there were novels in the Psych/Sexuality section for all to browse. This trilogy seem to hit a nerve and women are passively saying we could use a little more action in and out of the bedroom. I wonder if the married women who read the books ever find the courage to open a conversation with their spouses about their sexual wants in the relationship.

For years, women have been solely blamed for the demise of sex in a relationship due to lack of interest but we are learning that there is more to the story than meets the eye.  Take for instance, research is showing that more women are adding porn to their fantasy library. Biologically, it does not take much to get a man up, ready and done; however, women’s sexual engines do need a little more warming up and attention. Men are slowly starting to learn (women should be telling them) that a women’s sexual epicenter does not always reside in the feminine hole.

When people make fun of sexually frustrated women who read fantasy yet has a partner residing in the household, their jest is slightly misplaced. Fantasy from a novel or porn does not satisfy any frustrated woman but it becomes a distraction from the reality of their sexually starving situation. On the other hand, if men can take ownership of their shortcomings in the sex department, then that can go a long way in a relationship. I do agree that a woman who fakes an orgasm misleads the hubby into thinking he had done a good job for both of them. His ignorance will continue to lead to poor satisfaction for her, a deeper indulgence in unrealistic fantasies, and a long stretch of sexual frustration on her part.

God’s Plans Are His Not Mine

The Bible says very clearly that God has HIS plans for us. He is the author of HIS creation and therefore knows how it will all end. We are here to fall in line.

It amuses me when people testify that God answered their prayers or believers share an enthusiastic belief that God has great things planned for their lives. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that in HIS great plan there are some people who are destined to play certain roles in this game of good vs. evil. God already knows the beginning from the end; He sees what’s in the heart; so it stands to humanly reason that our prayers (God knows what we want even before we ask) are mere ritualistic tribute.

Prayer is comforting. I still do it and it typically sounds more like a one sided conversation. I do not go into details about what I do/don’t want anymore because He already knows. He also knows whether he will give or not give it to me. He knows if he will give me something completely different from what I have been asking. He can even give me something I never thought about. The prayer is merely for my peace of mind and trying to keep some connection. I usually end my prayer with something like “well it’s all up to you” or “if it’s your will.” This is not a flippant ending but an acknowledgement that I do believe God is in charge of everything – whether I wake up in the morning, my next job, my family circumstances etc.

Since childhood, I have been given various images of God. The one image that still lasts even until today is very closely related to a depiction of Zeus with his lightening bolt. As I got older, God was simultaneous presented like a loving father as well. As much as I have tried, I never saw God as a father or at least not in the sense that the clergy wants us to see HIM. I have no face, no voice, no concrete personal experiences to which I can attribute a father role. All I was given are Bible stories. To me, God is the Creator who requires a level of obedience in order to be on his heaven list. I respect HIS intricate handiwork which can be magnificent – take a moment to look at a perfectly crafted baby or a sunset. I respect HIS desire for his human creations to show love to each other at all times. However, feeling a sense of emotional love, which is required, is difficult. It’s the equivalent of falling madly in love with some guy whom I have never seen or heard but only received letters about his life as inspired by others. Love in the face of pure absence is HIS plan not mine.

I do believe that we are either playing God’s game, the devil’s game or a mixture of both. If I had my say, then I would prefer just God’s game – the one where he wants all to experience no more tears or death. Unfortunately, there is a sourpuss running around mucking things up (Peter did say that the devil is like a roaring lion seeking those he can devour). There is no such thing as our game or true free will. We play a part that is already controlled by one party or the other (yikes, it’s starting to sound like the Matrix).

The world is chaotic which is nothing new and the Christians are still preaching the signs of the times. Actually, they have been preaching it since ages past. Everyone seem to think they have deciphered the mind of God. Each religion and each branch of every religion seem to believe they cornered God’s absolute truth. They are so sure they speak the will of God whether in showing kindness or atrocities. If you step back far enough, one can see that the same ‘play’ has been used over and over since the dawn of time. Its HIS plan not ours.

It is still HIS plan whether we like it or not. It is his plan whether we pray or not, whether we believe or not, and whether we are on the good or the bad side. Despite my tenuous relationship with God, I don’t ever forget that he exists (that is my faith) and I will certainly never forget that HE is in full control no matter what happens or what we think we want.

NOTE: I did not add any scriptures because I do believe most Christians have scoured their Bibles and have read the references. However, if anyone do need chapter and verse, then I will be happy to supply.

Winter Hibernation or Depression?

Snowy Day

Winter is not my favourite time of the year. In all the years that I have lived in the east, this is the only season in which I had and is still having difficulty. I had taken a long and glorious hiatus to the sunny Cali and Arizona but decided to return to the frozen east coast. I had noble ideas about the reason for coming here – be close to family etc. However, the longer I am here the more I am craving, actually desperate, for the southwest warmth. While I am aware that one should make the most of the situation in which she finds herself, I seem to be falling into the winter hibernation lull.

As a single person, who is not living close to family and friends, I have noticed some recurring behaviors during the frozen tundra season. These symptoms include excessive withdrawal from the world when possible. This past week I had the pleasure of having 5 work-free days. 2 1/2 of those day I did not get out of bed except for the necessary bathroom breaks and easily prepared sustenance.

If it was not for a Thanksgiving invitation I accepted, I would have slept away nearly three days. I had plans to do minimal exercise while being a shut-in but the most I accomplished was a fantasy exercise routine in my mind while half asleep (Yes I know that  does not count). When I am awake, my mind is bored and therefore idle which leads to random crazy internet searches until I am mentally tired and ready for another nap. Other symptoms include the lack of energy to do anything which includes my normal routines.

There is limited daylight which definitely contributes to the tired ‘I need to be in bed’ feeling,  experiencing irritation if the phone rings, hoping no one knocks at the door and foregoing daily hygiene practices (after all it’s just me at home). For me, winter is also my sick season. Obviously, even if I am mildly sick, I use this as an excuse to stay in bed. Leaving the bedroom is unwise because the rest of the apartment/house is not as warm and cozy as being under my blanket in bed. The thought of getting dressed to go out is as exhausting as doing a 1 hr worth of intensive zumba.

Winter months have never been kind to me. As mentioned, I do get sick during this time of the year, my skin is so dry I could bathe in Vaseline and that would only last for a bit. I do get mild nose bleeds from the dry air (it’s always fun putting lubricant in your nostrils), never feeling warm no matter how many layers I wear or feeling nauseous and faint when I easily over heat because of all those winter accessories. According to the Mayo Clinic, Seasonal Affect Disorder includes the following symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Tiredness or low energy
  • Problems getting along with other people
  • Hypersensitivity to rejection
  • Heavy, “leaden” feeling in the arms or legs
  • Oversleeping
  • Appetite changes, especially a craving for foods high in carbohydrates
  • Weight gain

As I have noticed, I do exhibit a few of those listed, however, I am not ready to diagnose myself with SAD. I wonder if I would be this affected living close to family and friends?  Social interaction does help to decrease the need to isolate and minimize the vegetative symptoms like over sleeping and tiredness. However, the thought of entertaining anyone makes me want to go back to bed and pull the covers over my head – a vicious cycle. I realize I could blame all of this hibernation behavior on my introversion but that would be blatant denial. I am looking outside my window (from my cozy bed) and the sky is overcast, the ground is covered with snow and it looks dreary. Oh yeah, it’s only 3pm. In an hour, it will be dark which tells my mind and body that it is time to go right back to bed.

I have yet to find a solution to combat the winter hibernation/depression except to move back to a year round sunny and warm place. For typical depression, engaging in outdoor activities is recommended – yeah! that will never happen in winter. My most feasible solution, like before, is to wait it out until the spring comes or I finally pack and move back to the southwest.

Getting The Temple Into Shape

“…Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost….”1 Corinthians 6:19; 2 Corinthians 6: 16 is a very well know verse in the Christian world. People tend to use this verse to rebuke things such as premarital sex, drinking, drugs, certain food etc. However, I thought a twist on this would help motivate the single men and women in waiting.

When I started blogging, I was in my early 30’s and as time passed, I have moved closer to my early 40’s. This aging process has taken its toll on my body. Being single, I do not have the luxury of ‘letting myself go’ in case I decide to do a late in life husband hunt. My metabolism have slowed significantly; the muffin top is not only here but expanding; I am noticing cellulite;  and the c-cup breasts are requiring very sturdy bras to keep them looking perky. I am watching my caloric intake more often than I desire and I am working out longer and more frequently than was needed prior to my 30’s.  Taking care of my physical sexiness has jumped steadily up my priority list because aging is not very kind to the body. What makes things worse are that these changes are so much more highlighted in this appearance-obsessed generation which makes people like myself a bit self-conscious. So, what’s an aging woman to do?

Exercising and eating right have not been a big emphasis in Christendom. Besides references to gluttony in Catholicism, many Christians do not spend enough time getting their temple into a fit and  healthy shape. In all my years, there have only been a handful of sermons that taught the followers of God to be mindful of what they eat or discussed the importance of consistent exercise.

Being single gives you more time to do nice things for yourself. What is better than getting healthy and turning that body into a good-looking temple? Please note that I did not say women should be thin or men should be muscular. I have admitted that the healthy in-shape body is attractive to me. If that is my preference, then I too need to make a good effort to maintain a healthy and in shape body.

In the US, consumption of food is no longer just for sustenance. Eating has become so out of control which has resulted in anorexia, bulimia, binge eating, emotional eating, and food obsession. There are low carbs, no carbs, low fat diets and every day someone discovers a super food or a new product/diet  that will help transform you into a runway model. The pathway to being healthy has nothing to do with being a bobble headed women on a stick body. The pathway to healthy is choosing a lifestyle that will benefit inside and out.

While I do support the big is beautiful campaign, there is a line that many women cross from being healthy to unhealthy. Years ago, I was walking behind a former coworker who could only fit in stretchy pants. I could not help but notice how much she waddled and her derriere was so large I knew that I could fit into one leg of her pants with room. It does both disgusts and saddens me to see men and women in this state. There are only a handful of people who can legitimately claim an illness for their current defilement of their temple.

Choosing the right foods, eating in moderation, and engaging in exercise takes motivation, work, time and energy. There are times when I am so lazy that weeks have passed without working out or I was not consistent with my exercise schedule. I do become bored with my routine-I have done kickboxing, zumba, spin, yoga, taebo, belly dancing, walking and other regiments in order to mix it up and keep it interesting. Like many people, I absolutely hate to exercise. However, while in my 20’s, I decided that I needed to start taking more interest in being healthy so it would be less hassle to stay in shape as I aged. This idea started a trend that involved incorporating mandatory exercise (gym or home) one specific day and time once a week into my normal routine. The rest of the week was flexible. This worked for many years until I became lazy within the last year. This idea ensured that at least one day out of the week, I focused at least 30+ minutes on my health.

Eating is something we have to do every day. The problems with eating are our food choices and portion size. I am a main course eater who likes larger portions. In times passed, I could afford to eat for two without weight gain; however, those days are gone. I have now incorporated words like ‘doggy bag’ and ‘salads’ into my vocabulary. I absolutely refuse to give up complex carbs and good tasting foods but I have learn to curb my appetite. While I am not a calorie counter, I am mindful of my consumption and accepting that there are times I will ‘fall off the wagon.’

All this attention is for me. This is not to conform to the outside pressures of physical beauty or mate attraction. It is all for me, myself and I. If I feel good about my temple, then I feel more confident. While society is more focused on the difference between size 4 and size 8, taking care of the temple is about healthy lifestyle choices. It’s about being the sexiest you can be with a healthy and beautiful body.

The Pedestal Christian

I recently traveled to visit a friend and her husband. The couple is in their 60’s, very active, and is a devoted Christian. They reside in a primarily Christian community with a Christian college in the vicinity. During this trip, I learnt a few things in relation to practicing Christianity.

I broke my sabbatical and did attend church partly as a courtesy to my hosts. I had always liked the church, which was located on the school campus, so it did not take much prodding to go. I am going to list a few thing that stood out to me during my visit.

1. Practicing faith without being obnoxious. The couple was more than ‘one day’ Christians. They were always generous, ready to help, giving, and accommodating whenever possible. This is impressive because many religious people do not see the need to be Christians apart from the day they worship or during church sanctioned engagements. I like the fact that their ‘works’ were integrated in their personal lives and they did not feel the need to be at church 24-7. There are Christians so addicted to the building that they forget their Christianity exists outside of those walls and they are meant to share their knowledge with others.

2. Christian hypocrisy is so blaring we sometimes do not recognize it. According to one of the students, the Christian school was so insistent on their students not ‘touching’ alcohol to the point that they have pushed things to the extreme. The new students were taught that if the college authorities find out that they were in the presence of alcohol (not drinking) or if they were found to have used alcohol, then they can be suspended. The funny thing is the school is surrounded by many wineries. You can not ‘spit too far’ without hitting a vineyard. While I understand the school rules regarding no alcohol on campus, they should have taken this opportunity to educate these young adults on abstinence from alcohol AND drinking responsibly (off campus) while using an accountability buddy. The Christian school is setting up a false sense of security that does not exist in the real world unless you belong to the Duggar family.

3.  Hypocrisy continues. I was in the company of a group of people and the topic briefly referred to homosexuals. There was a late 20’s young male who was very quick to make disparaging statements and what he would do to them. Interestingly, this young person was recently baptised but the kicker is he is a recently recovering substance addict, whose family is still addicted, and he has a child with a woman out-of-wedlock. He really missed the plank in his eye and the lesson about love. Teaching Christians the ways of God in practical sense is very important. I think he truly believed that his statements were religiously justified and sadly most believers would support his views without recognizing the hypocrisy.

4. Religion teachings need to reflect the changing times.  The sermon was about showing kindness and the pastor told two stories in which Christians had failed miserably. The first was a young unwed woman who became pregnant and the pastor of her church refused to bless the baby due to the mother’s status and to add insult another ‘good Christian’ referred to her child as a ‘bastard’ in the presence of the baby and a family member. The second story was of another pastor who refused to bless a baby because his/her parents were of the same-sex.

I was so moved and impressed by the pastor when he said that the Christians in those instances had failed in exemplifying God’s teachings of kindness. As a pastor, he would rather have everyone in his church in which he can continue to preach God’s love. He pointed out that if each of our lives were opened to the public, then many ‘good Christians’ would be shamed. We (I include myself) are so quick to throw the good book at people who make mistakes or those who do not fit in a religiously perfect category but instead we need to use God as an example when he called all the sinners to Him and ignored the self-proclaimed religiously pious.

5. Ssshhhh Sex . It seems I am not able to run away from this topic :-) . During the same conversation about the Christian school’s stance on alcohol, I asked what did they say on sex. The new student said they barely even mention anything on sex. Of course, I find this funny and not surprising. I noted that during my enrollment at the school, there were two girls who were obviously pregnant and there were occasional condoms found in parking lots. I would like to clarify that the pregnancies were not virginal insemination and human males were identified as the fathers. I would also like to note that none of these girls were married. Ignorance is Christian bliss.

6. Sex is nasty even to married Christians. I was having a conversation with the married friend which was in reference to visitors to her home being respectful according to her religious beliefs. She was telling a story that she did not allow her daughter, who was engaged at the time, to be under the same roof with her fiance in order to deflect temptation to do “nasty stuff.” I chuckled to myself by her choice of word to describe sex. Even though I found it funny, it did sadden me because she perpetuated the same ‘sex is dirty’ idea that most Christians believe.

I do think that Christianity teachings need to be more applicable to the current stressors that we face. While the abstinence (from evil) message is good, that does not help those who are struggling with being faithful.  I in no way am stating that we need to change the Bible to suit our needs; however, it’s a pastor/teacher’s duty to quit hiding in the dark ages and preach applicable messages.

I had the pleasure of enjoying my time with people I consider to be good solid Christians. While they are not perfect, it is nice to have a living practicing example of what good Christian character should resemble.


Security in Singleness

Yep, I admit it. I am going to be a life long old maid bachelorette and I am not shedding a tear. As I grey in places that shouldn’t have grey hairs , as each year I move closer to the 40’s, as my body struggles to drop the fat it’s holding to for dear life,  and as body parts start to creak and pop when I bend, I realize that I am becoming more and more settled within my lifestyle.

Recently, I was up to my ear in small children, married couples and first time pregnant women. I may have been the only one who noticed that I didn’t belong to either of those groups. I chuckled to myself as people introduced their children and significant other and I wanted to jokingly say “Hi, I am …. and it’s just me.” I refrain from doing it because it might have made the others uncomfortable with my plus 0 status. To make matters more comfortable, the wives were not clutching their husbands in fear that I might lure them away as a single she-devil.

I happily joined into the family centered discussions because despite my old maid bachelorette status I had stuff to say about pregnancy, young children, and marriage topics. I did not feel out-of-place or bothered with my plus 0 . The grass did not look greener on the other side. The grass just simply looked different. I was secure in my status knowing that I was the odd person out in that group dynamics but being aware of it did not change the fact that I  felt secure within myself and what I had to offer to the group. I was relaxed and it resulted in a great time. Would I do it again? Absolutely.

I recognized that many singles in the same situation would have left early, felt very out-of-place and exhibited that behavior, felt bad for themselves, and perhaps swear off groups with 2 or more couples/families involved. Frankly, I don’t have the mental capacity or the energy to get myself in such a depressive tizzy. The self-pitying can only go so far before it becomes a useless tool in the single person survival kit. I was invited to that gathering and I was there to celebrate an occasion for the host; therefore, my self-centeredness was not welcome when there is fun to be had.

So many singles are afraid of such gatherings because they fear they will feel bad. They will be reminded of what they are lacking. However, my view is that there is so much more to life than one’s single status in such situations. I had the opportunity to be around really ‘good people’ and it was a great way to spend a few hours. There is nothing wrong in feeling secure in your singleness because it shows security in oneself.

Is Long Term Monogamy Natural?

To quote from the Princess Bride “…Mawwage that w(bl)essed arrangement, that dweam within a dweam and w(l)ove, true wove will follow you foreva…so treasure your wafe….” Yep, I do love that movie and Mel Brooks is a comedy genius. Even though marriage has become some what of a farce in pop culture, I still believe in its sanctity and intrinsic meaning. I still believe that marriage stands for something. However, in order to weather the passage of time, many married couples face the challenge of staying in long term monogamous relationships.

My initial post was entitled “So how many ex-wives do you have” and then a friend texted me with a note on whether monogamy is truly possible. It got me thinking about the correlation of long term monogamy and the number of exs. Do people with more exs have problems being faithful or sticking with only one?

Within the last two years, I have met two men with multiple ex-wives. Guy #1 is probably in the process of seeking wife numero 4 and Guy#2 is 3 years in with wife number 4.  Ironically, I was also sitting across from a Guy #3 who started his married life in his 20’s and is still married to his wife of 16 years. What they have in common is that all three men started their marriage journey at a young age. What makes these men so different is the way they managed their relationships. When Guy #1 first told me he had 3 failed marriages I actually started laughing because I thought he was joking. After all, these sorts of things was for Hollywood types.

Long term monogamy, the ability to stick to one partner over an extended period of time, seems to be very challenging for so many people. Is the idea that the grass is always greener with someone else? At least  until the new person gets old. Even our religious forefathers had difficulty holding on to one person.  King David, in his old and dying years, took a very young wife for his comfort. What happened to the “old wives?” The greatest evidence for the difficulty of monogamy is prostitution. The word on the street is that it’s the oldest profession which has endured the test of time and many marriages.

Is it natural to wake up next to the same person every day, sharing the same space every day, being accustom to this permanent fixture in your life until death? How do you stop yourself from getting bored or disinterested?

Monogamy is relative. It’s relative to the people entering in the relationship, their frame of mind about the relationship and their resiliency to be committed. Divorce happens because of a failure from both individual. Monogamy is possible (without infidelity). Monogamy is a realistic expectation for those people who are honest and committed. Our culture has bred an instant gratification generation. This has spilled over into intimate relationships.

Men can be faithful. Actually, the good men are faithful in the face of temptation. Even  though many people are opting out of marriage, they are still involved in romantic relationships which are very short lived and probably doomed from the first hello. The point is monogamy is very natural; however, not everyone chooses to be.