Psalms 45 – Just a Few Things

Months and months ago I wrote a series based on the list I had created years ago called What I look for.  This all started from a few of my friends saying I needed to make my list.  I needed to know in my mind, heart, and print what I was looking for in the man I wanted to partner with in this life.  I even found a section in one of my favorite books that provided a list of things that should be asked when determining if someone is a Person of Character.  I even put it on my blog as a separate page to remind myself from time to time.

Well just as I had completed that series a blast from my past arrived on my door step.  Well maybe not my door step but my Facebook page, and these days that might as well be your front door.  After a series of conversations, dates, non-dates, community dinners, friend introductions, and the like; we have decided that a relationship between the two of us would be a bad thing (we being me).  Bad meaning unhealthy, dysfunctional, co-dependent, draining, chaos causing, and frustrating (is there anything else that would make something bad?) But I am getting distracted from the real topic, which is that I think I found a few more things to add to my list.

This psalm is referred to as a wedding song, so what better way to identify those things I WANT in my future partner than here.  Now I promise not to rewrite the entire chapter, since I realize that would be redundant and most importantly impractical or improbable. But since I get to decide what I want, and what I will pray for and what I am hoping for out of this chapter, then that is what I am going to WRITE.  SO THERE.  I don’t sound a little defensive do I? But in all seriousness allow me a few moments to share a heart felt inspiration as a piece of scripture is inspiring me to draw a connection to my life in this season. 

My heart is stirred
     You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.
          Gird your sword on your side, you mighty one; clothe yourself with splendor and majesty. 
               In your majesty ride forth in the cause of truth, humility and justice, let your right hand achieve awesome deeds. 
                    Your throne, O god, will last forever and ever; a scepter of justice will be the scepter of your kingdom.
                         You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, 
                               has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.                          

With grand expectation and hopeful want, I desire a man who will have lips that use words laced with grace and not criticism.  That God’s heart for my well-being and growth would be communicated from him as gracious items of life and not destructive points leaving me bruised and wounded at the mere mention of the words.  Not that truth wouldn’t be spoken, but that he would know that fine art of speaking truth in love to me. 

Although I do not require my man to be a card-carrying member of the sword wielding guild, he must have the confidence that builds him to a place of being the mighty one in his life.  That he know who he is in God and that he knows where he is going.  He is confident in his mind and heart to carry the sword of the spirit and the shield of faith in this crazy world of church, friends, family, and work. (Kind of a compliment to my favorite artist’s picture on my blog.)

That his values run deeper than this is what my parents taught me.  That his life philosophy includes fighting for the cause of truth, humility, and justice.  The world may not be fair and there will be injustices that will be done in front of us and to us; but that does not negate the need to do life towards those goals.  Just as there is a balance between truth and grace there is a balance between confident mighty strength and honest genuine humility; and in these I want him to know the difference and strive to achieve this. 

In the deepest core of my soul lies the belief that it is important to be fair and just in my decisions and actions.  Even if this means someone gets a benefit over me.  So reading this scripture that speaks to the scepter of justice ruling over his kingdom, really resonates with what I believe to be one of my most important life decisions.  So he must also value truth and justice above all else.  (and the American way?)  Funny how certain things end up programmed in the back of one’s mind. 

Finally, the anointing you with the oil of joy, has become so important in my life I cannot imagine living in a partnership without it.  I did not move into adulthood a happy or joyful person.  Too much tragedy, complaining, and hurt had not allowed me to embrace those things.  But as healing, acceptance, friendship, and grace has found its way into my life I began to realize that joy is an important part of everyday.  It doesn’t always FEEL that way, and I may not always express it or live in it, but it is a choice at those times for me to still allow God’s joy to change my perspective and attitude.  So he must also have that same desire to look for the joy, seek out the good, and make the best of any given situation. 

After all, I am typing this in the midst of a rainy Oregon day while camping, in a tent, by herself; if a girl can find the good in that part, well then he is definitely SHOULD be able to as well.


Remember When?

So there I was reading my daily dose of Damsel in Distress (not really more like Damsel in Dating Distress but anyway…), trying to decide whether to keep subscribing, when at the end she posed an ALL to curious question to her readers, “…I’d like to ask about your most desperate moments.  Surely I’m not the only who spends more time at the post office than I do at the gym?”  

With that, I was immediately teleported BACK in time to what I consider one of the TOP 5 most embarrassing, desperate moves of my dating career – because the love notes in Jr. High just should NOT be counted. 

My act of complete desperation was many years ago, so many that I do not believe I owned a CD player yet, and the INTERNET had not yet been invented by Al Gore.  Given that I believe I can at least blame it on my youthful innocence… or was that ignorance I feel comfortable enough to share my torturous story of humiliation.  Although, I still reflect on that action as being completely embarrassing to this day… And if I ever end up sharing the same social space with this person again, I am likely to pass out of embarrassment long before the “How ya been?” questions even start. But these are the things that make us the mature, responsible, SANE people we are today, RIGHT? Learning from our mistakes… pledging to NEVER REPEAT THEM NEVER EVER AGAIN!?!!?!?

I was young, in love (yes I have actually felt that feeling), in like, and my brain was in complete agreement that THIS was the beginning of a WONDERFUL relationship.  I was completely head over heels in complete infatuated bliss with this GUY. The words he is:  Awesome, Cool, The one, worth the wait, knows how to push my buttons, the perfect guy who was going to make all my single girl fantasies come true never had swirled around my mind so vigorously.

So when he ever so politely tried to break up with me (well-tried meaning I DIDN’T get the hint) prior to returning to military duty with the ALL to classic “Your just too good for me, I don’t deserve you” speech; I could not be deterred.  So at least a dozen letters (yes hand written letters) later, I was inspired by a SONG, that I COULD NOT keep to myself, of course.  So I did what any love struck crazy girl does I made MIXED TAPE of sorts (anyone remember those) and sent it off into the great unknown.  It was sappy, it was romantic, it was country, it was GARTH BROOKS for heaven’s sake. But what is a girl to do when she believes she has found her hero?  What does a women say after experiencing a perfect date, a sexy kiss, a deep connection, and a fantastic conversation that is beyond imagination? 

So yes, I have been the victim of the romantic gesture that translated into an act of dismal desperation.  And as to be expected there was NO reply, no response, no contact… Some how it took more than just silence to deter me back then.  I was bound and determined, collected and convinced it was just a matter or time and devotion.  Ah the amount of harassing he must have received from his buddies over this silly woman who won’t give up.  How silly I must have looked, how utterly deluded I must have seemed to not realize the truth… he’s gone and he’s never coming back for me. 

Ahhh the horror, the humiliation, the DESPERATION that I felt in performing those acts so way back when.  So much of this action did I perform in the idea of devotion and commitment.  How silly was I to believe I knew what men wanted, or what guys find attractive.  It was this exact behavior that led my sister to so graciously recommend (more like Doctor’s Ultimatum) I read a book, “He’s just not that into you”.  I laughed, ignored the recommendation and attempted to focus on other areas of my life. 

Having read that book since I realize my whole act (or acts) or desperation were in complete violation of this books recommendation because as much as women (yes that would be me) don’t want to believe it.  When a guy finds all sorts of “reasons” for not being with you…. He’s really JUST not into you, PERIOD.  End of story.  No amount of letters, begging, pleading, song sending, flirting, devoting time and energy, romanticizing, or cooking (I think I sent him cookies) will change his mind.  Such an embarrassing lesson learned.  But at least I can say I have learned it. 

Now the only guys I obsess over are famous ones… I mean I can’t get Vin Diesel or John Cusack’s REAL address so there’s no way to send them obsessively sappy love letters; or my infamous Ooeey goooey Chocolate Chip cookies either.  Oh cookies sound good…

It’s Everything and Nothing ALL in one Post

So what does one write about when there is too much and not enough to write about all at the same time?  I have over 2 dozen half posts started, but not certain I have the energy or time to sort through the emotions and deep thought it takes to masterfully craft a creative post.  Then I was reminded of a friend of mine who says that a blog is supposed to be an account of what is happening now.  What are the things I am thinking now in the moment, kicking around the corners of the mind at this particular time.  And THEN I start to get overwhelmed with all the different things that are kicking around my mind.  So maybe in an attempt to find clarity and cohesive thought a list might be in order (yes I am a list maker, it has served me well over the years, so I do it often):

I am in Sacramento on a work trip, so there are all the TO DO’s wrapped around work, plus the stress of my boss arriving on Tuesday, Go-Live (where we change software systems), Political hub-bub that comes with Regional People on-site.  Being put on the spot for all challenges and issues and questions and hoping upon hoping I did a good enough job with the training that it KINDA sticks enough for the people to do their jobs… YEAH NO PRESSURE.

I am visiting friends and their 2 kids, which is fun but at times I feel I’m in the way, not knowing if I’m contributing enough or spending enough time with them since there are parts of my vacation that I like nothing more than truly being lazy and brain dead.  It has almost become a thanksgiving tradition to do nothing and accomplish nothing; but I don’t know if that is a throw back from my student days where I would half believe I would catch up on school work during these four days… all the while being pressured to just HAVE FUN or veg.

Financially, I made a serious boo boo and paid my bills, sounds harmless, but lets just say my reimbursement check may have been “processed” but my bank hasn’t seen it yet so it might as well not exist.  OOOPS Silly Dave Ramsey, getting me ALL excited about paying my bills.

Food is always a fun topic, but for some reason I just can’t quite get my emotions to tell me the truth.  One minute I’m in complete control and the next moment all I want is 5 kinds of fast food RIGHT NOW!!! I thought I survived Thanksgiving fine, because I didn’t do sweets and I thought I kept my portions relatively in check; but the scale corrected me and it was a heart wrenching, depressing blow to my ego.  As a result Friday sucked and Saturday isn’t looking much better.  Dang it why does food have to taste so good… all the wrong kinds.

Positive health note: I went for a 1.5 mile walk today and it was easy.  I used my rain coat because it decided to be a GLORIOUSLY rainy Oregon Day in Elk Grove.  But it made walking easy and I had lovely time and it wasn’t hard and I really TRULY enjoyed the time with the iPod and my “driving” mix.  Thank you Lisa for the INCREDIBLE idea of finding songs that make the body MOOOOOOVE!!! So for the record that would be 3 times I have exercised on this trip, which is more than I have done in over 5 months.  SO THERE TURKEY DAY!!! 😛

I have been doing my bible reading just about every day and even though it is not quite the emotional high I want it to be, I am doing it.  I have been reading my Divine Mentor book and keeping on track with the meetings and discussions.  I have been praying and taking quiet time with God and not letting the television run all my quiet time.  Although I have had to fight my chatty Kathy tendencies to make that quiet time exist also.

I am away from my new community and they are having all these fantastic events that I get to hear about through email, yet I am a whole state away.  I miss the interactions and laughter that spending time with them generates.  I am hoping that I will not be forgotten (insert fake sniffle here) and that when I return it will all be the same but different.

Finally, I have been conversing with my X (yes that would be an ex-boyfriend from over a ZILLION years ago).  It’s been a roller coaster of sorts, but for some reason I’m still engaged in conversations.  Some how some way were are bringing out the best and worst of each other during our conversations.  But the more we talk the better it gets, and just when I think this is it.  This is one more chance around the merry-go-round and I AM DONE, something cool happens and it changes.  Hmmm interesting.  Yet I think we have finally reached a more grounded friendship conversation style more focused around life and God and less about US and relationships.  THANK GOODNESS.

So there it is a post about everything and nothing all at the same time.  Enjoy!

What has your journey been like?

In a confession booth that is blogging, I can honestly confess I have done my fair share of online dating.  I have a witty monologue I have shared with each of my friends, family, and perfect strangers that I will go out with ANYONE ANYWHERE – ONCE.  As I get older day by day, it has become even more like a challenge I throw out almost DARING people to set me up – blind date, online persona, friend of a friend, brother’s cousin’s best friend from high school, new random single guy at church – I’m not picky and I’m available (that’s another funny story).  Now I’m not desperate or willing to settle or have no standards; but as a very wise author told me (told me through the printed pages of his book): Get your numbers up.  The more people you meet, the more things you learn about yourself, more you experience the personalities and types of people, and the more practice you get relating with people will improve you overall as a person… The expected results being Getting a Date worth keeping (have I mentioned lately how much I LOVE this book)

Even though I am still what you would call a CHICKEN when it comes to approaching guys, flirting, touching, and engaging total strangers of the HOT variety (yes I know that is my responsibility to work on); but I am trying to communicate that I am OPEN to dating.  Almost even WANTING to date.  Now that being said I realize I may have to clarify my definition of DATE, because the world and even the Christian community at large seems to be in conflict about the definition of a date or dating. 

Date: Two people of the opposite sex participating in an activity ALONE, having not defined their relationship as JUST FRIENDS. 

Now that being said it could be stated that when my cousin and I go out to a movie together we are dating… BUT COME ON… that relationship is already DEFINED.  Family – EWwwwwwwwwwwww

I truly believe that culture, media, literature, nosey married people, desperate single people, and paranoid parents have really perverted the purpose of dating.  It should be (and can be) an activity of public nature that allows 2 people who have a curiosity about each other to casually go do an activity ALONE to experience that person’s well PERSONHOOD.  This does not imply nor SUGGEST that intimate physical activities of any kind need to take place.  AND there should not be an expectation of that (I don’t care how much expensive said festivities totaled).  It should also not come with expectation of marriage talk or how many kids does that person want to have; could I even be so bold as to suggest there be no PRESSURE from either side that another said date is in the future?  So with that pollution and confusion that seems to intimidate most men and scare off most women (each having their respective fears of WHAT DOES THAT MEAN talk); I am still baffled how ANY one gets together any more. 

So the online venue has become the method of choice for introductions these days.  Whether it is eharmony, plenty of fish, yahoo chat rooms, facebook, myspace, Christian mingle, or the like; this online process is becoming as dangerous as an actual face to face date to navigate.  First you have to write a clever profile, and since I am not surrounded by single men these days (OR I WOULDN”T NEED THE INTERNET) I cannot ask for legitimate feedback upon whether I have a clever, cute, witty, eye catching profile; so I am thinking what a woman would want but I don’t want a woman I want a MAN.  And as much literature has told us OVER and OVER… MEN and WOMEN don’t think the same – most of the time. 

So upon me responding to a guy’s inquiry (YES he contacted ME), he proceed to ask a question I had not received before in the online arena. 

What has your journey been like?

Journey?  Had we been talking about travel?  Did I mention I was returning from a work trip?  Was he talking about an alcoholic tendency I had not yet discovered?  Was he referring to an emotional hang up I was so clever to include in my profile, but had forgotten?  I didn’t mind him asking… if that had been part of the thread of conversation.  But this seemed disconnected and out of left field.  So in my attempt at sounding open and witty, healthy but not delusionally perfect I offer up my answer. 

Journey usually means struggles and trials to me… so how does one offer up their most sensitive details to a stranger?  Guess its obvious I have not completely flushed out all my issues to the point of public declaration. 😀  Most of my journey has been a battle of the mind.  Anxiety, Depression, Rejection, Failure and my reaction to those things.  Seeking out others to fill what I would not let God heal, using food as a substitution for joy and love, and letting my emotions rule every decision and thought I had. 

I didn’t have the pull to drink or take drugs to manage my pain because food was cheaper and legal. 🙂 But on this side of the mountain I can definitely see that my behaviors were the same just using a different method.  So you could say I am a believer in God’s grace, loving healthy friends, caring community, and level-headed listening counselors as necessary ingredients to navigate this mine field of life. 

Is that vague and honest enough I hope? 

The authenticity thing is an interesting debate because I was so spoiled in my 20’s to be part of a college age group that believed in honesty, authenticity, and openness that it became my norm in life.  What I didn’t realize until I moved away was that what enabled us to have that was an AMAZING group of people who established a culture of trust, correction, and love.  So that people could be open and honest and real with minimal amounts of rejection and pain.  (Then I moved out into the real world and got the slow hard slap of reality handed to me.  GOOD TIMES!!!)

How did I do? As many times as I ask questions on this blog, I would genuinely be interested in the response to this one.

The List – All that Being Said

Here I am in the midst of a new group with lots of singles and I am finding myself being BOY CRAZY AGAIN!!!

The mental massage reminded me that just because there are options doesn’t mean its the right time or that I AM READY.  So now here I am with a wanting to date, feeling that God should bring this along NOW!  I mean after all I’ve waited so long , it must be time BY NOW!!!!!

Then Tesha reminded me that I am impatient, like ALWAYS!  I get something in my mind and I want to DO IT, HAVE IT, MAKE IT NOW!!! So I was sitting in church Sunday and through the singing I began to see Jesus alive and real again my mind’s eye.  So with Christ as my companion and true comforter of my soul and FEEELINGS; How do I treat all these new men in my life as just my brothers?  How do I look at them as friends and just trust that God will make clear to me the steps I am to take and the depth of relationship I am supposed to have?  How do I balance the openness to dates, but not being consumed with the want to have something, someone going on all the time?

I mean I know how to be just friends, I know how to not interact in a liking/dating manner; that has been EASY for me for YEARS and YEARS. 

Why now is it so different?  Because I want more and of course I want more NOW!!! Anyone noticing the theme in my capitals today?  I mean I can’t seem to use the word NOW without putting it in capitals these days. 

Yet I must remind myself almost daily that I am not ready.  There are still a few MASSIVE areas of unhealth I have not gained control over; and regardless of the chronological number on my age today (38 just for the record), I need to exhibit and practice the same amount of patience I needed to use back when I was 23 – the year I could have SWORN I was supposed to get married (silly favorite number).  This patience virtue isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and besides, just when one thinks they have it in practice and in control in one area of life… IT sneaks up to SURPRISE you in another area.  DRAT!!!

I made a commitment years and years ago to attempt to go an entire year without thinking about boys and dating and possibilities and the like; yes I failed miserably.  But it was a mental and soul-focused battle at every turn and I NEVER gave up TRYING to remove this from my thought life.  I have been considering taking up this challenge again.  Some where in my thoughts about God’s changes in my life so far,  I see 1 year to finish this current work (could be wrong, but some how 1 year seems on target); so if I partner this mental focus like I did years ago – it could help me develop that patience I have been so desperately looking for. 

With or without the thought life component, I know I need to not be searching out a date around every corner.  I need to not try to make something happen with new guys in my life.  I need to not make a determination about whether a guy is in the friend zone or not; but just to get to know them as brothers and that is it.  Let that be the most important thing. 

Because if I look back to some of my most exciting times in life, it was when I was part of the college age/singles group surrounded by dozens of people who cared about me.  And in those times I had the best relationships with the guys in the group – not because I dated ANY of them – but because we were like family; and they were my brothers. 

I need to remember this and build that in my mind this time as well.  Besides I love surprises ANYWAY.  The only way to be surprised is to not see something coming, right?

  • He should be able to surprise me with phone calls, cards, LITTLE some things, flowers, words of love, encouragement, or praise, kisses, hugs when I least expect them just to show he cares and is thinking about me. 

The List – In Case of Emergency…

I saw a movie the other day 2012, just as I’ve seen other movies dozens of times before.  I don’t get nightmares and I don’t live in fear and I almost never think about the possible reality of it.  But some how in its visual effects a simple yet impacting question came to mind almost weeks after the fact. 

I was driving home on the typical Sunnyside Straight away when I was stopped at a traffic light.  And in that moment that my car and mind were idling, I imagined the ground just opened up in front of me.  You know, the kind that is seen in almost any end of the world movie, when the world is ending and earthquakes are tearing the landscape apart and revealing GIANT gaping holes down into molten lava at a tectonic level?  Okay did I mention I REALLY like the visuals in 2012. 🙂

As I was sitting at the traffic light waiting for it to turn green, I imagined this earth tearing event, taking place on this street in front of me.  And my intellectual always wondering mind asked: “So would you do if the earth just opened up before you?  What if this movie became a real life situation you had to deal with?  Would you be one of those people to survive this CRISIS of catastrophic proportions or would I be one of the dying peoples?”  OH YEAH I would definitely be one of the dying peoples but after careful consideration – I’m okay with that. 

Now don’t get me wrong I’m just as American and John Wayne (I mean Wonder Woman – Linda Carter was my hero) as the next person.  I want to believe I can over come the odds of any situation and be THE ONE person who can defeat, survive, and be victorious in the face of conflict and tragedy… but this is my brain asking and it knows when I’m lying.  Or at least the realism committee meets to discuss the finer points of my Probability of survival: my physical inability, lack of good luck, no real connections outside my area, and the fact I’m driving a 4-door economy car that just wouldn’t make the jump over a slightly steep speed bump let alone breaking apart pavement.  The Decision is in… OH YEAH definitely dying. 

But that’s not all bad, I mean not everybody gets to survive disasters like this and with my faith I’m confident about my after life agenda.  But my brain wasn’t done.  There were more questions it wanted to ask, and had I known this was the line of thinking it was going to head down I would have said “SHUT UP!!!” WAAAAAAY sooner. 

So What’s next? Where would I go?  Where would I be safe, where are my supplies (no I do not have a stash in my trunk – I used up all my 2001 rations YEARS ago – but there might still be some jerky), where would I seek refuge if I were by some MIRACLE to survive the earth opening up before me?  I thought about my family (1 brother, 1 sister, 1 dad) all spread out geographically so I wouldn’t need to go help them – besides cell phone service would be out I’m sure – and we are all very (I think the Politically Correct word is) Independent of each other.  My friends are gonna go toward their families either family of origin or spouse and kids. 

So WHERE would I go?  I honestly genuinely drew a GIANT blank.  I guess I would just try to get to my home/house/residence (safety I guess) or some shelter or something.  Man I guess I should get some more bottles of water and jerky, dried fruit, canned good, can opener – sorry I got distracted.  Ah well okay no biggie, not very heroic, humanitarian, or courageous, but I guess that’s what I would do.  Insert really boring shoulder shrug here. 

But my brain wasn’t done yet.  If it wasn’t bad enough that I didn’t feel very worthy of being a card carrying American who is destined to save the world, my brain decided to ask one last most poignant and impacting question: “So who would be looking for me?  Who in my life would see my safety and well-being as a priority? Who could I say honestly in a truly drastic  of Biblical proportions crisis would be seeking to ensure my safety, my survival, my well-being?”  

The calm, clear, quiet answer:  no one. 

As I heard those words enter my mind it was like it had been stated in a dark, empty, hollow, cold room with nothing to soften the words so they echoed into the darkness.  When my brain arrived at a place-I don’t think I have ever REALLY imagined in quite such a dramatic way-it was not only the truth because I felt no argument in me, but there were the facts to back it up as I have laid out all the facts as stated above.  How is it that simple thoughts can bring such an image into a feeling that affects every fiber of your being? 

It was in that place of realization that NO ONE would be checking on me, reaching out to me, trying to find me, calling me, trying to save me because I was no one’s priority.  I am level 3 – 4 at best to a couple of people, MAYBE.  Which in regular life is fine because I have gotten pretty good at doing this life on the solo track.  Yes I have friends, yes I have a church family, yes I have people who care about my well-being.  But when push comes to shove and something needs doing – it’s mostly up to me. 

But in this situation, my brain was so kind to construct this horrific amount of emptiness and despair in the truth.  No where in my life (recently) had I come to such a stark realization about my life, that I almost had to pull over because the tears didn’t just dribble down my cheeks, they flooded out my eyes.  This outpouring only served as an expression of the gut wrenching pain I was feeling in every joint and muscle of my body, again amazing how one thought of image can generate such a deep physical reaction. 

The ripple effect of this series of thoughts, seemed to permeate THE LIST concept with one simple solitary idea.  I want some one who will see me as a priority.  Some one who would above all else want me to be safe, secure, and rescued in such a catastrophic disaster.  Some one I would matter to so much that they would attempt to risk life and limb to find me.  Is that such a strange thing to want? 

In some of my discussions with people the words of chivalry, date etiquette, and commitment have surfaced.  What men should do for women or how a man should express himself or even what qualities a woman SHOULD look for.  But more than some of these things, I find myself wanting that person to make me a priority in their life.  Not above God and country, kids, self fulfillment, and their personal achievements, BUT a priority in such a way that I know I am not the last thought, the last idea, or the last consideration in daily life. 

Because seeing myself elevated in priority over the other things in life will communicate to me that I matter to that person.  I truly believe that if one person makes another person a PRIORITY in their life, some of those chivalry, date etiquette, do’s and don’ts will just flow out naturally because their heart and mind is really about caring for the other person. 

So it’s not that I need to be rescued, protected, treated like a princess, pampered, and adored (although respected would be nice)… but to see the actions, choices, words, thoughts, and behaviors that demonstrate I am a precious, personal, important PRIORITY to that person… is indeed priceless.

The List – Well, the NOT List

This whole THE LIST discussion brings me to the NOT LIST, I know people have them, but I don’t remember hearing anyone writing these things down.  I mean there are ways to put a POSITIVE spin on the NOT LIST, but there is simply no way to put the OPPOSITE of some of these things on THE LIST.  How much do personal pet peeves and simple things that make a girl say ICK become a necessary part of what I am looking for?  Is that putting limits on my future?  Does that make me look MORE judgmental and picky than all the rest of this silliness? 

So let’s get right to it, I have proven I have no shame right?  I am not a big fan of body hair, even though one of the funniest, kindest, sweetest, & outgoing guys I have ever known is covered in more body hair than most shag carpets I’ve seen. Can’t explain it… just is.

There are certain smells that just make a girl go ICK and it’s not a matter of how long ago the shower was or which soap was NOT used… just kidding.  I can only chalk it up to certain foods, regions of the world, and the natural scent the body gives off and there are distinct body scent I KNOW I am not meant to spend eternity with.  So my sense of smell may not be significant, but it is picky.  Most people don’t know that I have a very weak sense of smell, although I have never had it tested there have been moments in life where a group of people will REACT to a dramatic odor and I’m standing around going what smell?

I am concerned about a man who is dramatically overweight because I am going in the reverse direction.  Yet the reason is more about keeping up than just not being attractive, but in an effort to be TOTALLY honest (well mostly honest) I am not attracted to overweight men that carry their weight in certain ways.  I know it sounds quite hypocritical when I spell it out in so many words; but I am attempting to be honest.  In addition to that, I am also not attracted to Pencil style built men either, even when they have the height.  I know I know I just can’t seem to make up my mind. 

In all seriousness, there are a couple of things on the NOT LIST that are more significant.  A man of inaction, indecision, or insecurity to dramatic that I would have to move from a roll of respecting, encouraging cheerleader into the pushing, nagging, dragging mothering figure.  A man who is confident, bold, and decisive are traits I  desire because If a man is not strong enough to tell me No, and stand up to me in the moments that matter; the respect just won’t be there.  At times I have referred to these as weak or wishy-washy traits that generate a completely different sort of ICK reaction. 

Finally, I know this is the hardest to detect and the one I need to be the most careful of, since I am attracted to them.  The Manipulators, they talk good, promise everything, and use / abuse in every way they can to get just what they want.  I am most often sucked into this because I mistake their behavior as confidence and strength, but it is just their skill at being all things to all people.  My history has proven I am good at finding the manipulators and so I know I must be careful NOT to find one of them in my life, nor believe that some of their TALK is just that TALK. I must trust the wisdom of my friends, consult the list for confirmation, and allow the test of time in their decisions to truly show if they are real. 

I worry that I do what my mom did (or at least what I perceived she did), which was not see my dad’s flaws and failures, but married a man who said the right things at the right times.  Or that this was the first man who made her feel special and spectacular, so in some desperate belief that she would never be liked by another; choose to marry my dad.  (All speculation that has no method of confirmation at this present time.)

Will I be able to discern the same weaknesses?  Will I be able to get out, not get too deep, and not settle because there are moments I fear or feel the same things my mom did?  What do I do if I feel loved, accepted, desired, appreciated, and cared for… are those things enough?  Isn’t there more to the long-term relationship than just how I feel in the beginning?  Isn’t it important to actually LIKE the person and not just like them because they like you?

At some point I thought this honest evaluation of THE LIST was supposed to help me, but for some reason it is just reminding me of things I don’t have a choice in or control over.