Thursday, September 16, 2010

Thoughts on Kissing - Yeah, We're Going There Again

So, the other day I posted some thoughts about kissing, and boundaries, and waiting for the right person, etc, etc, etc. Little did I know they would have the effect they did, on more than one person. Within the course of one day I had two good friends applaud me for my transparency and raw honesty, and a former pastor scold me for the bad example I was setting being so open about sexual issues (kissing? really?) as a youth sponsor, and a role model to young women.

In the heat of the moment, I took down the blog post, as I fed into the worry he generated about what the young people I love so much would think of me. But in hindsight, I realized, if anything, they'd know that they have a friend and mentor who can be honest about her desire to be kissed, her past mistakes of a few bad kisses, and her hopes that someday the right guy, and the right kisses will come along. I remembered that though a kiss is not just a kiss, sometimes, it's not the end of the world either. So I went to repost the blog entry, only to find out it was lost and gone forever. Maybe there's something good in that - because it made me revisit what I wrote, and mull over much, much more in my head.

You see, I had written that a kiss is NOT just a kiss. A kiss is something deeply personal, and intimate, between two people. Drew Barrymore, my fellow LA hippie girl, once said "Kissing - and I mean like yummy, smacking kissing - is the most delicious, the most beautiful, and the most passionate thing that two people can do. Bar none. Better than sex. Hands down." My friend JC commented the other day that not even prostitutes kiss, because of the intimacy of the act. But I think he's seen Pretty Woman too many times. Kissing, you see, is a big deal. And that's the point I think my former pastor was trying to make.

In my post, I copped up to the fact that I'd recently been kissed. Or as I like to think of it, my face had been hijacked - because it most definitely was not a kiss I initiated or invited. And in the end, frankly, it wasn't all that great of a kiss either. It was, in my very firm opinion, a waste of a kiss. A waste of a very precious, valuable thing - something I'm saving for someone who really deserves it. And it was also the end of the chances I was giving a guy I'd been seeing. Anyone who would steal a kiss from me, and not respect that my kisses are something I'm saving up doesn't deserve to date me, and would probably never respect me on other issues (such as boundaries) as well. I saw that, and I dumped him. Via text, but still.

If there is a bad example set in this moment, and in blogging about being kissed, all I can see that it would be is this - I went out with a guy, and gave him multiple chances, even though I think I knew in the back of my mind and in my heart, that he wasn't God's best for me. But I'm a pushover, a softie, a nice girl, and I believe everyone deserves a fair chance. Maybe only because I hope that someday some guy will give me a fair chance, even if I make a horrible first impression, or if at first he's not attracted to something about me. But, the real mistake I made in this situation, wasn't being kissed, wasn't writing about being kissed, it was putting myself in a situation with a guy who would steal a kiss from me and fooling myself into thinking that second best was good enough.

Ladies, my dear friends, and you young women who read my blog - know this: There are amazing, wonderful, godly, phenomenal guys out there, who love the Lord, and who will love you too. Please don't do like I did, and waste your time giving chances to guys that your heart tells you don't fall into that category. I think of the really quality guys I know - the M's and the T's and the J's among a few - and I know in my heart that these are guys who would never in a million years steal a kiss from a girl without her consent, and without a heart full of love and respect behind it. I am blessed, in an rich, overflowing way, with the example and friendship of God-fearing young men around me, and I can say, that any of them would be worth saving your kisses for. There are guys out there that are worth all the kisses in the world. Don't waste your time on the frogs who aren't.

Life is a wonderful gift we've been given. Every moment is packed with potential and possibilities to show God's love and grace to a hurting world in new and enriching ways. And all those cliches. But they're only cliche's because they're true. If I could tell the young women in my life one other thing, it would be this - don't sit around waiting to be kissed either. Go out there, and find someone hurting, someone doubting, someone without the love of the Lord, and let His love flow through you, maybe not in kisses, but in some other tangible way. Find a baby without a home, and kiss on them. Find an elderly person, in a home, and kiss their wrinkled hand. Find a way to give a kiss, your love, part of your life, to someone in need of Christ today. Those are kisses we absolutely should not save.

Psalm 85:10 says "Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other." Proverbs 24:26 says "An honest answer is like a kiss on the lips". Five times the New Testament tells us to greet one another with a holy kiss, and yet I think 1 Peter 5:14 says it best, "Greet one another with a kiss of love. Peace to all of you who are in Christ." See, kisses are such a good thing!! In the right context, with the right motives, and for the right reasons.

I have peace with having been kissed last week. Because I know I didn't ask for it, or even want it, and because it was the catalyst to remember that I don't have to settle for a guy who won't respect my views on kissing, on faith or on anything else of great importance to me. Getting kissed by a guy I was considering with hesitation and doubt, and some regret, was enough to remind me that my kisses are precious, because they can be holy, and a means for good and joy. It's those kind of kisses that I will continue to save. In the meantime, I am okay with the kisses I've wasted, and the mistakes I've made, because I know I've learned my lesson, and am moving on with an attitude of righteousness in this area. Drew Barrymore also once said "Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths." Who knew she was such a genius?

Maybe some day, God will bring along a great guy, who feels the same way about kissing and boundaries and holiness as I do. But I'm not betting the farm on it. Because even if I end up like Miss Barrymore/Josie Grossie (Never Been Kissed! Get it?? Anyone? Bueller?), being kissed is not the biggest deal in the world, nor is it the barometer for the love we have in our hearts, and are able to share. And sharing that love with the world around me is something no stupid guy, no former pastor with good intentions, no one at all, can stop me from doing. And that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

What You Can Say And What You Can't Say And Why That Sucks

There are definitely some drawbacks to having your friends know about your blog. The first and foremost being that they read it. Ergo, if I have something I want to blog about, and it's going to be pretty obvious that it's about my friends, I just can't do it, no matter how many words-onto-paper I want to get out. It's not necessarily anything negative, but it could be pretty obvious, and embarrassing nonetheless.

There are times I want to chuck caution to the wind, live a life of complete and authentic transparency, and blog it anyways. My friend Kari says I'm definitely a "wear my heart on my sleeve" kind of gal, and while it's true, unlike Lady Gaga I have no Poker Face, I would hope that I'm at least a little mysterious and subtle at times. I doubt it though. I know I show my emotions much more than I should, and only wish I could hide them, making people wonder what's going on in this ticker of mine. I'm just not that girl. Blogging only makes it that much worse, because now instead of just guessing by the look on my face, my friends can read what I'm thinking word for word for lovely little incriminating word.

This is all to say - I'm struggling with some pretty intense emotions this week, and I really want to blog about it, because I have a lot to say, and some of it could be quite cathartic, and some of it relevant to what other's may be thinking or feeling too. But if I do, I'm afraid that the people who it involves, who love me, and have befriended me and nurture me would feel bad. Not that they've done anything wrong (again, to clarify, it's not anything negative I have to say), but just because they would recognize themselves as the catalyst for what I'm feeling, and I'm afraid they'd take it personally.

All this to say, there is a lot I want to say. A lot I want to post, and to write about, and verbalize through, if for no other reason than to just process. But I can't. And that, in itself, is just as frustrating as the things that I want to say in the first place. Things may change, I may get up some nerve, I may start to be ok with being honest about my feelings, even though I know it will mean having to confront them, in the context of friendships. But for now, just know that I am spilling over like a cup stuck under a faucet for far too long. And there is nowhere for all this water to go.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Addendum to Things That Get Me Into Trouble

Oh, I forgot State Fair Food, and Memoribilia - I really didn't need those Gophers boxers two years ago, or that Dairy Pavillion apron. But did I get them anyways? Yep, I sure did.

I REALLY didn't need that second batch of cheese curds from the Mouse stand, or to split another cream puff, or even the second round of Cajun spiced Deep Fried Pickles. Or the Salted Cashew Roll. Or the Bull Bites. Or the French Meadow Bakery Strawberry topped scone. Or the Hot Buttered Corn or the 1919 Root Beer. Or the gigantic lemonade.
But did I have those? Oh, you know I did.

And this year, I'm gonna have them again, as a matter of fact. And I am SOOO pumped to lose all willpower for a few brief hours, once a year, in the name of the Great Minnesota Get Together!

Things That Get Me Into Trouble

Or more aptly titled "Things That Fry My Willpower
Like A Cracked Egg On A Hot July Sidewalk"

1. Coupons for my favorite stores. - 40% off any one full-priced item at Banana Republic. Happy Birthday, here's 15% off at Anthropologie or Take 20% off any sale item at J.Crew. These coupons are like kryptonite to my willpower. I may not need that new cardigan that I already have in two other colors, but by golly, I've got a coupon!!

2. Gelatto - why on earth do I think that just because this stuff isn't regular ice cream, it must be like sorbet, and therefore very low in calories, and actually, somehow really good for you? Chocolate Hazelnut Gelatto. Gotta be good for you - it's got Hazelnuts after all. And it's Italian. Makes sense right? Only in my mind. I might be the only person alive who doesn't get this!

3. When a guy talks books to me - Oh my god! Especially if he's already kind of a "bad guy" to begin with, someone I should stay away from. If he talks to me about plotlines, and character development, and literary influences, it's the mental equivalent of having my ears played with and my neck kissed. I'm not even kidding you. Too Much Information? Sorry, it may be, but how can I not swoon??

4. Staying in bed all day - reading, sleeping, watching movies.... 'nuff said.

5. A dare - I'm a sucker for a dare. Just don't do it, because trust me, I can't say no. "The Slap Heard 'Round The World"??? Ring a bell? Yeah.

6. Puppy Dog Eyes - you know that look that people give you when they want something? The big, sad, down turned eyes with a hint of longing sadness in them? I'm completely a sucker for it, every single time. People could ask me to watch their diarrhea infested cat, pick them up from the airport at 2 am on Sunday night, wash their stinky gym socks, make them a 12 course French meal, and I'd reply with a resounding "NO" of course. Unless they give me the puppy dog eyes. Big, sad, puppy dog eyes. Then, I just can't say no. Trembling lips are a bonus - they always seal the deal.

7. Anything labeled as "Spontaneous". One of my biggest fears in growing old is to become set in my ways, and boring. Therefore, I jump at the chance to do anything spontaneous, even if it's something I normally wouldn't do. Like drive cross-country to pick up your dog in Oregon, and bring it back in a tiny, last-leg Yugo, with you. In July. Heck yeah, you gave me 4 hours notice to get in on this road-trip-adventure-of-life! I'm in. Wooo, spontaneity!!!

8. Any opportunity to play a practical joke. My new favorite is sitting shotgun, and when you're at a light, you put the car in neutral when the driver's not paying attention. Sooo fun! Oh, I probably shouldn't have posted that here, b/c now people will be more aware of where my hands go when I'm riding in their front seat. Oops!

I try to excercise willpower, but frankly, it's not my strength. As the late, great Mae West once said "I generally avoid temptation unless I can't resist it." What a smart lady!