Monthly Archives: June 2009

the list

I’ve had a really amazing soul searching journey after my little blog about dating. More people read my blog than I thought! Some comments have been very positive. Some have seemed flat out confused. It hasn’t helped my dating life, not really surprised by that.

I want to first thank Josh Kidney for his great blog on the subject (read it here! It’s good stuff – http://joshkidney.blogspot.com), and Dave for his letter, posted yesterday…

First off, Josh, I do want you to know that I don’t think bad of all men, just a few that have inspired these blogs….it’s really just a few… In fact, I would like to thank you for striving to live your life well. It’s apparent in all you do, and I’m really excited to get to meet your wife soon. Dave’s email deserves it’s own blog.

So I’ve had many conversations over the past 2 weeks about dating, good guys vs bad guys, girl’s expectations, why girls are so complicated, etc., and it’s really caused me quite a bit of soul searching. (I’m thinking that either a job as a dating counselor or a book deal must be a next step….).

Josh – never underestimate the power of a guitar to woo girls. Also, I think you are right on with the adventure statement. I think honestly all women want the man who, without wavering, will slay the dragon for the good of the world – and more importantly – who will slay the dragon, just to protect, us.

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that I still have much soul searching to do.

A friend of mine has a knack for bringing Freedom to the table. She made a comment about individually giving up things to God – situations, people, feelings – so they can be completely off your plate. Considering just what things in your life still need to be redeemed.

I’m guessing part of my past blog might have stemmed from residual marks from past relationships still lingering in the back of my mind.

So I made a list. A list of men that I dated or hung out with or just flat out shouldn’t have even finished the first conversation with. For a few of you, I’d like to note this is not necessarily about sex. Lets keep it clean kids.

While driving late last Tuesday evening, I made a list mentally. I was honestly surprised by the number of names. Granted, I’m pushing 40, but subtract that I was married for several years. So figure, this is really based on 12 years of dating.

And then I made the list physically, via Sharpie on printer paper. In the kitchen, where all smart ideas happen.

While lying in bed several hours later, I remembered one more name…so the list migrated back to my room and I left it, with the sharpie, on the bed. For 4 days. A few more names were added to the list over that time. A few more memories and laughs about awkward dates, a few more scenerios for a future script.

One morning, the summer sun was blaring through my window and I rolled over to escape its rays…only to open my eyes to a list of names. It was a strange pause to realize that I had welcomed them all briefly back into my life, and into my bed, for a few days.

Following this moment, I was on a quest. I needed to know where each person was. Granted, I couldn’t remember some of the last names, and I am unsure of 2 of the first names. But the majority I could find. I added to the initial list a detail or two that seems to be defining their existence. Family. Work. Whatever little blerb I could discovered from 2 lines on a google search.

This whole thing has been amazingly refreshing. Many of these guys have had huge life changes. 2 have dabbled in mixed martial arts. Several have kids. Some seem lost, others –found. A few are believers. Most are not. One made a film. Many seem to be in the very same place I left them.

And I prayed for them. Each and every name. Specifically. For their lives, their families lives, their past and their future.

My heart is full. I hope their lives are full.

So along the drive through the vast breadbasket of Illinois, I found a substantial creek that was crossing inbetween an unidentifiable cornfield, and I put the list of names in the river. There’s potential symbolism here – Moses going down the water, redemption, baptism. I’ll vote for baptism. An acquaintance asked why I didn’t burn the list or rip it to pieces, but I told him that was an obvious guy violent statement. I don’t mean any harm. This is about redemption. Renewal. Revival.

So now, in my pact with the ladies to only date nice boys – no, men – from here on out…perhaps now I’m a nice girl too.

A letter from Dave…more dating talk….

My friends completely amaze me, daily. This is a letter I received from my friend Dave, re: my dating blog. I will respond in the next blog. It’s fantastic. I am humbled. Ladies – we need to start paying more attention. Dave – we just wrote you in a script…hope you don’t mind 😉

So I give you my letter from Dave. (yes, he knows I’m putting it up on here)

I planned to send this a few nights ago, but felt that it might be too much of a rant. After reading your blog post, I was trying to figure out whether to sum it up in six words or six hundred. Guess which one you got.
So here we go…

Nice guys? We don’t exist.

We’re told that a woman wants a man who’s Wild at Heart, but who’s fluent in the Five Love Languages. If we have somehow come to any semblance of mastery of the two and have allowed God to do some selective surgery, we often become that guy who’s “just a friend, one of my dearest friends.” No guy wants to be that.

You’re right. The jerkier we are, the more women are drawn to us. It doesn’t make sense. Isn’t saving the bad boy God’s job anyway?

Return a call, say thank you, really pay attention – and then show it by doing something nice? You’re screwed. Actually, you’re not even close to getting that far, but that’s another story. Splurge on a world-class date just a little too early? She gets the idea that she has the upper hand and the fun is over, even if she only thinks that she has it. Don’t try to kiss her on the first date; she wonders why you didn’t want to or if you’re gay. Try to kiss her; she “isn’t that type of girl.” We can’t win, can we?

Some of us are already chairmen, doctors, lawyers – conservative, traditional, thought-of-as-heartless, life-loving Republicans many of us – who own our houses, and who pay more than idealistic lip service to the issues of community, justice, equality, and economic opportunity. We think that the church has abdicated its responsibility to the government in too many areas and are working to change that.

We develop community athletic programs, fund educational opportunities for missionaries, build churches, help buy buildings for youth centers, mentor students, and make significant relationships with other men for the purpose of growth, friendship and encouragement.

We love our families and our friends, and we show it. We visit our friends in jail, hire people who need work, and sometimes pay their bills when they get in a bind. We play hard. We pray hard – for our country, for our pastors, and to be in God’s flow – not just in His way.

We look for chances to say a word, to offer a smile or to buy someone’s groceries at just the right time. We enjoy the ‘hood where we’ve chosen to become a part of life. We look at people not as evangelism projects, but as humans. We’re beginning to “get” grace and in so doing, we understand that God works on us individually and in his time, and have become more forgiving and more patient, despite some accusing us of “losing our spiritual edge” when we’re slow to condemn others.

We’re misunderstood when we complain about the abuses of the welfare system, but would give another person anything he needed at the expense of something for ourselves. Many nights when things quiet down, we wonder if we’re trying to fit a round peg into a square hole because life doesn’t always turn out the way we expected.

We want a woman who will come along side, revel in being better together and still somehow let us be the man to whom she was attracted in the first place.

Oddly, despite what we think a woman should recognize as God’s work in our lives, we can’t shake her suspicion that time will reveal us to be “too good to be true.” We’re not overly quirky or just plain weird.

But nice guys can’t exist. Most women won’t believe that when God removes the asshole, He doesn’t take the testicles, too.

When you pray, ask God to show you who we are. We hide in plain sight and we’d ask you out in a minute, except that many of you are waiting for someone to show up at places we don’t go when we’re looking for you. Our bar-time isn’t for meeting women. It’s for whatever it is that guys do as guys. Even we’re not sure what that is.

We assume that God will deliver you to our doorstep since after all, if there is a perfect girl for us, God certainly wouldn’t have us not be introduced.

Friday June 26

So, I’m being a bit introspective, probably because I’m self-employed and so it’s not too difficult to work and have the TV on all day. Granted this doesn’t happen very often, but on days like today where there’s big news….yeah, I’ll sometimes move from the office to the living room.

All morning, the news shows just glanced over the more traditional news – that clerics in Iran are saying protestors should be executed, women are freed from trafficking at the Red Roof Inn off Harding Road, crazy guy in North Korea wants to take out Hawaii – and instead had a 3 hour memorial of Farrah Fawcett, Michael Jackson and a brief mention of Ed McMahon. Very brief.

Now the tone has changed to questions about Michael’s death, and MTV is playing videos for the first time in years. I’m remembering just how much the King of Pop truly did change the face of pop (keep it clean, avoid the MJ joke here). I’m reminiscing about driving for hours, singing along to Thriller or Bad or Off the Wall. I laugh about conversations I had about just how crazy MJ was. Sure he was controversial, but wow, boy could write a hook.

And Farrah Fawcett – beautiful in life, and graceful in death. Her strength, poise, haircut and that red swimsuit set the pace of the 70s. Ed McMahon, the ultimate sidekick with his everyman style and trademark voice.

While Ed was in his 80s, and Jacko was just 50, I still come to the same conclusions:

1 – My mom was right when she said deaths always come in 3’s. She’s a wise woman.

2 – One person can make a huge influence on the world. Too often, I think I might step back a bit and not act because the world may seem like too big of a place. But I dare say virtually every American was influenced by these three lives in one way or another. And, if the news is being reported correctly, every person in the industrialized world at least knew who Michael Jackson was. Lets not forget, MJ and Lionel Richie penned “We are the World.”

3 – Life is short. There is a lot to do. I need to let those I hold close know just how much I love – appreciate – need – want – adore – respect – etc. them. Life is fragile. “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” – James 4:14

It’s no secret that I’m a poplife junkie. Part of the reason I am, is because I’m fascinated by people who can command a culture. I’m amazed when people defy the odds and do something that gains the attention of the world. I love creativity and drive, and how people can listen to a song and feel like they just got a big hug.

I’m not sure where this is going. I guess I’m just reminded that anyone – a kid from Gary, Indiana, a girl from Corpus Christi, a war-vet from Detroit – can change the course of history. They can get people to wear 1 glove and start buying magazines in order to win the Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes.

So I’ll end on that. We’ve lost 3 icons in the past few days. They changed pop culture in their own way. Life is short. And we too can change culture, in our own way. Starting with the (wo)Man in the Mirror – “if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make that change.”

Michael Jackson

Rest in Peace.

Graduation in Ukraine.

Stephen just posted this. He’s back in Ukraine for a few weeks. Today is Graduation day from the orphanage we worked at, but that isn’t the same as in the US. It means either suddenly being alone, or often going back to a a very poor or abusive family situation. It’s a good read. And the photo is amazing. http://stephenmcgee.wordpress.com/

Thought for Today

we are what we repeatedly do. excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit – aristotle

The National – Fake Empire….song of the day.


It’s always good to have a little National added to your day…this is a couple of years old, from their first time on Letterman