20 reasons I was single in my 20s, plus a few more

During my senior year of high school, I started compiling a list of things I’d love to have in a mate. The list started with broad characteristics that were must-haves. Things like Christian, patient, good listener, thoughtful. Had the list stopped there, that would’ve been great. It’s smart to have some sort of criteria when seeking a friend for the end of the world. More specifically, a best friend to spend the rest of my life with. But the list didn’t end there. It went on. And on. And on. A total of 45 things I wrote down that defined who it was I was looking for. No prob. No prob? Yeah right… no wonder I’ve been single for so long!

I don’t think there’s ever been a woman on earth that could measure up to that list.

I might as well have created her from a computer, like these guys did. But Kelly LeBrock aside, this “perfect girl” isn’t out there. A girl I was dating years ago surmised that (and this is as we were breaking up) I’m looking for someone just like me. Mostly because of how and when it was presented, I became defensive. But she was right. Now comparing her comments to the list from high school, I’m about to blow your mind, so make sure you’re sitting down for this.

The list isn’t who I was looking for, the list is who I wanted to be.

Booya. Mic drop. You’ve been served. Insert any other overused phrase here. Even as I sit here typing I’m looking at this decades-old list and it’s blowing my mind. All these things I wrote down are either characteristics I already have, or ones I’m striving towards. If there were a girl out there that had all these qualities, I don’t think I’d fall in love with her. I think I’d be super jealous of her!

Then it makes sense that what I’m looking for in a mate now, now that I’m in my 30s and so much wiser and so much more mature, are much less specific. Less specific and not about me!

I look forward to finding this person. That is, if God’s ideas for me include a woman that can put up with a guy who made a list in high school of 45 things about her that’s really about him but at least he didn’t try to make her on a computer but maybe that was only because he didn’t know how because he was more into playing sports than computer programming.

-Out of the Wilderness

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Alive and I Know It

What do you get when you cross feeling deflated with yellow police tape? It’s one of those moments that will be remembered for a long time. I was driving home late one evening after losing a flag football playoff game. I had mixed emotions because on the one hand, the team I play for is good. On the other hand, our season was over. Constantly reviewing what we could have done different, what I could have done better, how we could have won the game, the usually calm 30 minute drive home was suddenly interrupted by flashing lights and one lane traffic. By the amount of commotion, I knew something was different. It wasn’t a fender bender or a speeding ticket. As I inched toward the scene, I was clued in a bit more by the yellow tape. I couldn’t make out all of what was printed on it, but I clearly saw “crime scene.”

There was a large area cordoned off including 3 lanes and in one of them, illuminated by the nearby streetlight, a covered body lay motionless. No one near it at the moment. Authorities reconstructing events. Emergency staff coming up with a plan. A 33-year old passer-by realizing the value of just being alive. I caught the news the next morning and found out the guy was 25 years old. Somewhere there’s a family that will be in mourning. There’s a parent who won’t believe it. And actually, there’s a driver responsible that fled the scene. A selfish move after an event that will haunt them.

It’s moments like this that I won’t soon forget. On the one hand, I was just an outsider looking in on an event I was not involved in. But on the other hand, I have a better appreciation of a gracious attitude, a more realistic perspective on life, the mystery of death, and the insignificance of losing a flag football game.

Late Night Cable (Goodbye)

He said goodbye without saying it exactly.
But that’s definitely what she heard.
It was all in the way he acted.
Blaming as if the fault was hers.

Having control must be such a high.
That’s all she can figure.
So instead of trying last night
she wrote on one of her favorite pictures.

She bought some time on late night cable
And for thirty minutes straight
Was the picture of him sitting at a table
With the words “Goodbye cheater! Good luck getting a date.”

She said goodbye, she said it exactly.
And that’s definitely what he heard.
It’s all in the way she acted.
Laughing as if the fault was hers.

Las Vegas, Jimmie Johnson, The Bachelor, Carrot Top, And More!

“The Bachelor Brad Womack: Women Tell All” episode has more drama than a Las Vegas casino. But a lot less alcohol. I was in Las Vegas recently and went to the Las Vegas Motor Speedway. If you remember from the group date in episode 5, this race track is where Brad found out about Emily’s past relationship with Nascar driver Ricky Hendrick. At the track, I didn’t notice any lingering effects from the episode. I only noticed fast cars, cool drivers like Jimmie Johnson, and plenty of Kentucky waterfalls. Click here for 10 signs your date was a contestant on the Bachelor.

Jimmie Johnson in the #48 car in Las Vegas.

“The Women Tell All” is a unique episode in that it’s the first time the girls are “in real life” and can talk about the first 9 episodes of the Bachelor… because they’ve been watching each week just like you and me. But before the show gets started, Chris sets up how things are going to shake out in the next two hours. He starts by tossing to an interview he conducted with Brad. Brad talks about the more notably events of the season including Chantal O.’s slap, Ashley H.’s carnival date, Madison’s fangs, and Shawntel’s funeral directing skills.

Brad about Shawntel asking him to lay on a death bed: “It’s a little awkward. It really was.”

Chris Harrison reveals there will be season 2 of “Bachelor Pad” which includes a cast that throws the craziest parties ever. Then we watch a Bachelor reunion party with lots of familiar faces. Ali and Roberto are there. The tattoo guy Kasey is back and still looking for love. Why hasn’t Kasey found anyone to guard and protect his heart? You mean to tell me his heart has been exposed this whole time? Darn. Maybe Roberto and Ali can help fix it, or just show up to be the example of how winners, win. Winning! Duh! What doesn’t mesh together in my head are the comments from past contestants saying they are all like a big Bachelor family and the some highlights we see of them kissing in the pool or in the mansion. Just call it what it is, “The Bachelor: Sodom and Gomorrah” or “The Bachelor: Kiss and Tell” or “The Bachelor: Kentucky.”

Coming back from a commercial, we are reintroduced to Sarah P., Lisa M., Melissa, Alli, Britt, Marissa, Raichel, Meghan, Stacey, Ashley S., Jackie, Ashley H., Michelle, Madison, and Shawntel N. Over half these girls give some kind of butterfly double hand wave. Weird. The girls reflect on the first night, getting out of the limo and meeting Brad for the first time. Cut to highlights, strictly limited to the backstabbing comments the girls made throughout the season. Back in the “live” studio, Stacey confronts Michelle. Other girls chime in, too. Jackie drops the bomb by telling Michelle she’s not funny. Whoa, Jackie, back off. You can accuse her as a mother, tell her she’s two-faced, even admit you gave her the black eye, but how dare you reject her inner Carrot Top.

Carrot Top before and after steroids.

Also check out: Deal Breakers in a Dating Relationship

Melissa takes the hot seat next to Chris Harrison. They discuss her feud with Raichel. Raichel wins the award for alliteration… friends, frantic, frazzled, freaking everyone out. Jackie pleases the audience by calling Raichel out for blaming Melissa. Ashley S. trumps Jackie with a comment about what kind of behavior guys like and don’t like. The crowd grows tired of clapping. But never tired of these verbal slaps.

Michelle is next to take the hot seat. Chris Harrison gives her a hug. She says she’s suffering from the ugly cry today. She’s unsure what the pretty cry is, though. Michelle fights tears through the interview as the scowling Jackie watches along. The gaggle of girls on stage share their opinions of Michelle, who’s still crying. Michelle explains her sense of humor, and how she’s so misunderstood. Chris Harrison calls her sarcasm a self-defense mechanism. Reminds of Kip learning self-defense in the hilarious movie: Napoleon Dynamite.

Kip trying Rex Kwon Do self-defense.

Stacey attacks Michelle then goes in for the kill. Chris Harrison whips out his man card and tells the girls to shut it so Michelle can regroup and finish the hot seat interview. Are you serious Chris? He just said the hot seat Michelle is sitting on is the hottest seat ever. Is anyone else growing tired of Chris Harrison exclaiming that this next whatever is the most whatever ever? Who does he think we are? Growing up I was told that if you have to keep telling people something is a certain way, it probably isn’t that way. It’s like a joke you have to keep explaining. It’s probably just not funny so it’s not a joke.

Here’s how to be funny.

Jackie, Stacey and Sarah P. are hounding Michelle, but hey girls, jealousy is much less attractive than you think Michelle is. Bam! You just got consulted. Britt tells it like it is, says Michelle is funny, no one should’ve thought she was really the kind of person she acted to be. After all is said and done with Michelle on the hottest seat ever, she comes off rather normal, don’t you agree? Well, normal for an actress trying to get her name out there. She knew, like we did, that Brichelle just won’t work. It sounds like Michelle but with nasty chest congestion. Brantal or Bremily for the victory.

Ashley S. takes the hot seat next. Is she wearing a silly band? That’s silly.

Ashley S. about Brad saying she wasn’t wife material: “That was such a dagger to my heart. I can’t tell you how bad that comment almost hurt.”

I’m confused. So you’re not telling us what again? I’m going to find out from Chuck Norris if daggers to the heart hurt. Or better yet, I’ll check with his enemies if they hurt or almost hurt.

Chuck Norris.

A tanning bed and a hair makeover later, Ashley H. is next on the hot seat. Let’s see how many words she adds the letter ‘a’ to… secand, upsat, axit, laft, defanse, knaw, yas, mysalf. Ok, that was almost bearable.

Now the man we’ve all been waiting for, Brad takes the stage with Chris Harrison. He wonders who that girl is over there. Haha, I just made you say overwear. Wait… that doesn’t work. Darn. Anyway, the new girl is the new Ashley H. complete with brunette hair, ruby red lips, white teeth and no more “mom hair.”

Brad talks about his relationship with Ashley S., Michelle, and Ashley H. Has Shawntel said a word yet? It’s time for her to say something. She’s the best one there. I wonder if Brad will talk to her. Nope, Chris Harrison tosses to clips of he and Brad at a school in Africa. They donated some kind of solar generator that gives the kids hot water. Amazing. Chris said it right, “A kid is a kid is a kid no matter where you go in the world.”

Brad talks about his relationship with Chantal and Emily. He’s the happiest he’s ever been with those two girls. He won’t say who he proposes to, but he says, “She’s changed my life.” He’s in love and falls more every day. A nice setup for next week’s season finale. Check back here next week for a riveting review of a rose and a rejection. See, I can do alliterations, too. Bam! Winning! Duh!

The Needle Test

A few months ago I participated in an activity known as “the needle test.” If you are unfamiliar, ask a female and they’ll tell you it’s about finding out the gender order of children you’ll have. Some swear by this method of revelation, others are more sceptical. Whether it’s reliable or not  I can’t say, but in three separate tests, it gave me the same results. According to the test I will have a boy, then a girl, then another boy; Three children. While I find the results interesting given my current situation (single and barely dating), you may find it interesting that a 31-year old male participated in such an activity. Rest assured that your interest is well-grounded. I sometimes take part in things better suited for baby showers or bachelorette parties. But I’m still all male. I’m not ashamed to say my favorite movie is “Elizabethtown” and in rotation for second place are “500 Days of Summer” and “The Notebook.” I’ve been created with a soft heart, and most of it reserved for family so naturally, I was curious about what results the needle test would give for my future family. I’m also curious why we scream when something hurts, what it means for good people to have bad habits, and how fame and fortune affected Alex Rodriguez. As an 8th-grader at Westminster Christian School, I didn’t see A-Rod often (he was in high school then), but he seemed nice enough, except for one story my brother told me. I wonder if A-Rod has ever done the needle test? Alex if you’re reading this, let me know what results you got. And if anyone else reading this knows why good people have bad habits or why we scream when something hurts, feel free to share.

The results of the needle test are something I’ve thought about since then. If it’s accurate, if I will eventually have two boys and a girl, when is it going to happen? Who is it going to happen with? My parents would have loved for it to happen five years ago. Back then it would have been in Tallahassee, Florida with a girl I’m no longer friends with. She’s a great person from a great family, however not fit for the role of my wife or my children’s mother. Just a passenger on the road for a short while, but not for the long haul. Speaking of roads, a local Nashville pastor once used the illustration that if you’re in Nashville traveling on West on Interstate 40, you will go to Memphis. That’s where you’re going. You can’t travel on Interstate 40 and hope to end up in Ohio. It won’t happen. The pastor then applied it to life, saying if you’re on the wrong road, you’ll end up at the wrong destination. I love that illustration because of it’s simple truth. As I apply it to my own life, I wonder what I want my destination to be. If I want the needle test to be accurate, then the destination is marriage. If the destination is marriage, I need to find out what road takes me there. Once I find the road that takes me there, I need to find out if I’m on it or not. Road signs tell the truth. If I see a road sign labeled “friends with benefits” I’m on the wrong road. If I see a road sign labeled “compromising what I want most” or “settling” I’m on the wrong road. However, if I see “Godly,” “great,” “blessing,” “gift,” “faithfulness,” “challenge,” “don’t give up,” “right,” chances are I’m on the right road.

Chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now.  ~Zig Ziglar

Pet Peeves 2

A few more of my current pet peeves.

8. Olive Garden commercials.

9. Songs about songs (exceptions: Listen to the Music/Doobie Brothers, Party in the USA/Miley Cyrus). In the example below, Kid Rock is basically telling us not to listen to his song, but listen to “Sweet Home Alabama” or other rock and roll music.

10. The following buzzwords: bully, trending, and hun (as used in girl-to-girl conversations… “Hey, hun!” or “Thanks, hun!”)

Spongebob and Flats the bully

11. Furniture Warehouse commercials in Nashville, TN

12. Pens that don’t allow a smooth flow of ink. Being left-handed, I push the pen accross the page and need a smooth flow of ink.

  
13. Any statements that end with, “That is all.”


14. Unity candle in a wedding.
After the candle is lit, the audience has to wait three more minutes for the song to finish while staring awkwardly at the bride and groom who are whispering and giggling.