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Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What is a Recessionista?

I'm a Recessionista. Are you?

There are many important terms being thrown around lately:
Crashing stock market, rising gas prices, increasing anxiety, tight budget, mortgage crisis.

And now a new one: Recessionista --that's a girl who now shops according to a tighter budget. Something that has everything to do with dating, looking fabulous and not breaking the bank.

I've been watching the Tyra show a lot. I shouldn't, but I sort of can't help it since sometimes I don't have a substitute teaching job. I love Tyra because she's so real in so many ways. She doesn't wear "the best" designer clothes though she certainly could with the way she has turned herself into a multimillion dollar machine with two major shows on television. This is the only woman ever who could give Oprah a run for her money. She still dresses with an I'm every woman kind of flair.

The truth is, if you've always had the mindset of a Recessionista, it's not a far fall from the Fashionista you never were. Honestly, I wouldn't have the kind of friends like on Gossip Girl where they sit on the steps to their school and judge what you wear, Are those LAST SEASON'S Tori Burch flats? Forget last season, I'd be wearing last year's that I unapolegetically bought on SALE. This isn't behavior we should EMULATE, if anything, the writers are trying to show how shallow Blair and her friends are.

The recession is no sweat for the recessionista who has always been a bargain fashionista. What does it take?

1. Basic pieces that go with anything.

2. Scarves and accessories can change your look.

3. Shopping in your own closet to be certain of what you do have.

4. Shopping on the bargain racks in the better department stores. You can find some real steals since people just aren't shopping as much.

5. Stay away from the discount places, they aren't as good as they say they are price-wise and one can often find better bargains at the better department stores.

6. Department stores are giving bonuses and incentives for shopping at trunk sales. Macy's recently gave a $50 gift certificate for spending $200 in shoes. They also have a Thanks for Sharing Program again where by making a $25 donation you can get a gift card worth 10% of all your purchases until the end of the year.

7. If you MUST have something brand new without it being on sale, save the receipt and go back to get the price adjusted.

8. Shop in locations with generous return policies so that you can return things that you never wore (within a reasonable amount of time.) Macy's is very good about that with the store credit card.

9. Avoid pushy salespeople that work on commission--especially the shoe department, they are working extra hard. You can avoid conversations like this one:
sales: Better get a pair of those UGG boots while we have them.
Savvy: No thanks.
sales: They're flying off the shelves. They come in lots of colors...
Savvy: Let them fly, then.
sales: Everyone's going to have a pair. You don't want to be left out, do you?
Savvy: Look, I'm trying to be polite. UGG is short for UGG-ly. I wouldn't wear them.
sales: But they're so popular and comfortable. I'll bet you've never even tried them on.
Savvy: UGG-ly. Over-priced. Not-supportive.
sales: People always say how comfortable they are. Give them a cha-ance...
Savvy: Not on you li-ife...
sales: I'm going to get you in them one of these days.
Savvy: I don't know how when I'm never coming back now.

If I really wanted them, I'm sure I could find a hardly-worn pair sitting in a Beverly Hills thrift shop. This leads me to the next item.

10. Go thrift shopping in the wealthy area of town. You might be able to load up on last season's goods for less. Most of us normal people can see the difference between Prada and Dolce when it's on the label, but the rest of us wouldn't know one from the other or which season is which. Some of us just wouldn't be caught dead in the gaudy "haute crapture" (couture) some high -end designers push out. Unless you're making an appearance on TMZ, ask yourself if it's really worth it. However, Tyra and her guests today bragged about fashionable outfits and how little they spent on them like the rest of us mere mortals.

11. Make it a game--do "runway" shows with girlfriends and ask each other, How much? Guess? Bring wine and snacks and make a girls night in. Trade clothes with each other when you are tired of them if you have friends near your size. Video your shenanigans and send it to the Tyra show or put it on you tube. Share your link in my comments.

I hope I've enlightened you about being a fashionista. Don't think of it as just survival, try to have fun with it.

You're the new IT girl, a Recessionista.

For more tips, visit:

Tyra's scarf tricks

I love a great SALE!!! Plus I have a 20% off coupon!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Tall Tales

If you truly stay friends with someone you dated, you may be in for an interesting surprize. Tall seemed a bit pushy and "skeezy" as one person put it. Perhaps a more apt description was that he really wanted to be in a relationship YESTERDAY and he liked ME and he wanted to move things faster than I could handle. But now that I've had a chance to get to know him, things have changed and I'm able to see more of who he truly is as a person--as have others from our group. Guess what? He's really nice.

Guys have this tendancy to fall in love quickly, to want to move things along. Then they change their fickle minds once they get what they want--or don't. Much of the discussion with friends has been to theorize WHY men do some of the things they do.

It's been nice to discover that Tall truly cares about me as a person. And that we have much more in common than I initially believed. He really likes jazz. He was very supportive of the time I had a show and drove a great distance to see me sing. We've been talking on the phone occaisionally. He kissed me on the top of my head.

Tall: I adore you. I want you to have the best. Don't give up on relationships. I know what you're looking for and it's just not who I am.
Savvy: I give up. I'm going to grow a moustache.

True, we have huge differences still, and that's what he was referring to. He's still an atheist. I'm still a Christian. Sex and when to have it in a relationship would also be vastly different. At the same time, part of me wants to rationalize. After all, I'm used to going to church by myself. What's the difference? I don't even know what a relationship with a real Christian would look like. When I was being supergood and reading my Bible and praying all the time, I was never in a relationship. And the Christians I've dated have been pretty bad ones--guys I wouldn't have dated if they weren't "Christians."

And there lies the dilemma. On Wednesday, Tall and I will be having dinner and seeing a show. Maybe a bad idea. But the idea of spending time with someone who adores you seems like a good one to me.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to Wear Invisalign (Yep, Savvy Got It)

You're an adult. You date, you have interviews, image matters alot. Invisalign or any other aligning system is the right choice. It's one thing to wear braces as a child or a teen, but as an adult removable clear aligners are the way to go. They often cost less now than other kinds of braces. People hardly notice them, even when I'm smiling.

You may not know, but there are are few other systems besides Invisalign. My system is an accelerated system that I only have to wear for a few months because only the front few teeth are being fixed.

I feel like have to explain that my teeth really weren't that crooked, but there were some increasing problem with my bite. It was/is slightly cosmetic, but I still wanted to have teeth as I age rather than grinding them away on one side because my bite was a little close.

How to wear your aligners:

1. ALWAYS, always, always brush your teeth after wearing them. If you put them in again without brushing, you may develop alot of plaque that will stick to the aligners.

2. Brush the aligners--my dentist said the surfactants in soap were actually the best and that he would brush his teeth with soap if it didn't tast so bad. He gave me a denture brush to really get in there.

3. Ice cream helps when your teeth hurt--just take the aligners out and brush after.

4. Don't drink beer or alcohol with the aligners in. Alchohol breaks down to sugar, sugar meand plaque sticking to your teeth and to your aligners... And giving you the most hideous breath ever in recorded history.

5. Soak them in Efferdent (or some other denture cleaner) to help keep them clean. Plaque will really stick to them.

6. You will have a lisp when you change aligners to the next one. Take advantage of this by saying as many words with the letter S as possible. Call friends. You might be busting up laughing while they wonder what you are on. Heyyy, lisssten... Don't be ssso sseriousss, sssweet ssstuff. Ssssee you around sssixxisssh. Sssending you ssssome kisssesss!!! Not sssso many ssssweet ssssnacksss for me. No sssalsssa, nutsss or sssalty ssstuff...These things aren't restricted, I was just having a good time with s words.

7. Save room for ice cream... Did I say that before? In the first few days after you get new aligners, your teeth will really hurt. Ice cream helps. So does Anbesol and aspirin.---Icccce cream, Anbessssol on the ssssore sssspots, asssspirinsss...

8. As part of your treatment, they will have to create space between your teeth by using a circular drill thingie. They shave off just the outer edge of a few teeth. It really doesn't hurt and it's made flossing much easier. Smells like smoke when they do it, though.

9. Your aligners double as teeth whitening trays. ssssweet!

10. Wear your aligners all the time except when you are eating or brushing your teeth. Seriously. Otherwise, why are you doing it? Some of my dates have thought it was cute to kiss me when I was wearing them. Hey, baby, howsss my sssexxxy lisssp? Give ussss ssssome ssssweet kisssssesss.

11. Remove your aligners to eat--they may break if you don't. People also don't want to see food get stuck in them either. Groooossss!!! The aligners are especially vulnerable to breaking when they are new as they don't quite sit on your teeth yet.

13. You will have to wear a retainer. Wear it. It will just be aligners. Adult teeth take longer to settle into their new place. Many people find that once they abandon their braces, it's easy to opt out of wearing a retainer--especially teen who already think they are unbreakable. Don't give in to the temptation. Many people I know are now watching their teeth slowly misalign again after paying out thousands of dollars and going through the severe pain of many years of treatment. Our teeth continue to move throughout our lives. As we age, the teeth become less stable. People who had perfect teeth and never wore braces may have misaligned teeth in middle or old age--if they have teeth. I intend to do both--have teeth and wear those aligner retainers.

14. Lastly, investigate options that may cost less than the brand name Invisalign;. My aligners are from another company and have ended up being half the amount. There was no way I could afford Invisalign. A good dentist will steer you in the right direction, not just try to make a sale. Look into Red, White, Blue, "Invisalign Express", NuBrace from Smile 90210, and Simpli5 (what I'm wearing). I give you a research link below.

15. The right dentist office will also make it affordable. My dentist isn't charging me any interest and is accepting payments over time. Yippee!! I'm set.
Are you???

And now, in honor of my alignerssss, thisss websssite is:

Ssssssavy Sssssingle Chrisssstian
(who needsss sssssome assspirinsss for her painsss becaussse ssshe got new alignersss today. It hurtssss!!)
Thissss wassss posssted by the Sssssavvy Ssssingle Herssself!!!

Nifty article that explains things. Dental Angle
Another nifty article Clear Braces
My systems is actually considered accelerated orthodontics. My last dentist refused to do aligners on me but the other issues she wanted to fix, however, were farther back in my mouth and ones that no one could see. There was no way I was going to be in regular braces. She thought she could convince me by saying Invisalign would take up to two years and regular braces would take one. But I knew there had to be something else out there, so I stuck to my guns and did some research. In the end, she lost my business. Actually, that's fine with me because I laugh so hard when I visit my current dentist. We sang that dentist song from Little Shop of Horrors together.

If you are looking for more information, please do Savvy Searching at the top of the page. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

That Takes Some Nerve

I decided to join a wine tasting group and found myself kicked out. I was both surprised and not surprised. I had a slightly negative experience the first time, and then an even worse experience the next time in which people were openly quite rude.

In some ways, I think I should learn to just not say anything when I don't agree with some people. Not only do they know better than me, obviously, they had the right to ask someone else to email me to kick me out of the group.

My great offense? Everyone started talking about marriage and sex. I chimed in.
Savvy: I just think people have to make a commitment to work things out.
Woman: Well, I know how it is when you want your partner to do something and they won't do it.
Savvy: Well, that's just one of the things that you have to compromise on to make a marriage work.
Woman: Excuse me, but I've been married before and I think I know.
Savvy: I'm just saying...It's true, I've never been married before but I'd like to be someday.

I was also $5 short on my bill and wanted to sit where I could see the jazz band. Then everyone started giving me the cold shoulder. Ironically, no one ELSE offered to give up their seat so that two people could sit together, but since they all knew each other or whatever, I got the blame for being rude.

Some friends of mine from another meetup group, of course wanted to hear all about it. They pride themselves on running a very friendly group and also didn't like the wine group because it didn't seem very welcoming.

I really did want to learn about wine, but not with these people.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Tina Fey as Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live

I can't seem to stay out of politics lately. This is one of the best Saturday Night Live impersonations and political skits ever. The writing, delivery and timing were brilliant.
Hillary--I believe in diplomacy.
Sarah--I can see Russia from my house.

Congrats Tina Fey!!!! I predict alot of work for you in the coming months!

From CelebTV.com:

I came across some bad videos out there. If you poke around, you will see what I mean, so I have collected them here for your convenience.

From Fox News:
Shows side by side video.

From CNN:
Sarah Palin has dressed up as Tina Fey for Halloween before.

From Entertainment Tonight:

Hope you enjoyed watching!!!

Here also is a picture of Tina Fey celebrating her 2 Emmy wins with 30 Rock--as writer and as actress.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Sweet Computer Success (or How to Conquer the Vista Demon)

I've had a few struggles with that Vista Demon--or so I thought it was Vista. My early troubles were actually caused by a slipping hard drive of some sort. That led to a mysterious electrical burning smell and exchanging it for another one. It turns out that not everything is compatible, but I have decided to just plain work around my troubles. Life is like that. Here I tell you what I did.

HP Printer
When I switched computers I didn't know exactly where my old program was or if it would be compatible, so I just went to http://www.hp.com/ where they have software and driver downloads. This gave me some updates I probably missed anyway. I was supposed to get a new printer as part of a rebate twice, but I always forget to send in rebates and paperwork. Oops! So now I still have the same printer and it works great. (If you have a tablet PC, there is an additional driver you must download to use the scanner. This has nothing to do with Vista and everything to do with the programming of the tablet PC.)

Sony Digital Voice Editor
I thought my case was hopeless, as I didn't know if I would be able to ever switch out of using two computers. The program was on my computer and I couldn't remember where I got it--a disk? A download? A vistit to Sony.com for my nifty handheld awesome voice recorder ICD-ST10 revealed that there is a Vista compatible update. Bonus to me, Version 3.08 also saves anything I do as an MP3 file for nifty uploading to myspace, saving an extra step in my process. You want great recording capability and transferability to your computer, go with a Sony Digital Voice Reocorder. I have used it to record voice lessons, jam sessions, practice sessions, lectures, recording the choir and I could guarantee you that the guys on Ghost Hunters use these same little recorders.

Microsoft Word
I lost the key that allows you to load the program once it has been tranferred to a new computer. But the more I thought about it, I really didn't enjoy alot of the updates to the new MS Word, anyway. I have two options:
Use Microsoft Works. It was operational without a key. I can compose a document and if I have to send it or download the free Open Office.

The reality is that people will also send documents to you. You can get MS Word Viewer, but you will not be able to make any changes to the document someone has sent you. The newest big thing is Open Office, a free office suite. It is totally compatible with WORD Documents. I have provided a link for you below.

Transfer Cable?
Just say no. It turns out that you don't need one. All you need is a jump drive, Cruzer or whatever you want to call it that plugs into the USB port. The key is to make sure you organize your files in a filing system that is meaningful to you. You must think ahead to the day that you will have to transfer to another computer. Then it is easy because you can copy whole files to your jump drive and then to the new computer. I was able to return my cable since I didn't really need the thing.

Using Yahoo Mail
This is my trickiest mess. This is the real reason why we hate Vista. We want the authority to use the program WE WANT TO USE not Micromanage--I mean Microsoft email progams. I got my nerd on today and finally finished the setup.
1. Download the Yahoo toolbar
2. Get to Internet Options either from Tools in Internet Explorer or through your Control Panel.
3. Click Programs
4. Click Set Program Acess and computer defaults.
5. Click Non-Microsoft to disable access to Microsoft Mail/Outlook
6. Save
7. Back in the Default Programs menu, click Set Yout Default Programs.
8. Yahoo Mail should be there, if it isn't, you'll have to start again.
9. You may have to select both of the options there and see what happens, that's part of the adventure of Vista. "Set As Default" and "Choose Defaults for This Program" are both places worth checking if things don't work.
10. After you have done all of this, try opening an email link in Internet Explorer and see if it works. Try restarting the program if it doesn't. Go through all the steps again and see if it works. If it still doesn't work, restart your computer and go through the steps again.
11. Helpful advice: Vista will ask your permission before opening Yahoo mail and it won't tell you what program. Try allowing it and see what program it actually opens.

It seems like a "lather, rinse, repeat" cycle. If you are persistent, you will feel like you have conquered a demon.

After all my computerized adventures, I came out on top. OK, sure it took me hours to finally get all of this stuff done. But if I think back, It took a long time to aquire all of the stuff I had on my old computer.

Don't let those dumb mac commercials fool you.
You can always find someone to help you out, change your files from one computer to the other, etc. The beauty of the Mac is that all of that extra help everyone loves is rolled into the very price--and that's even if you don't use it. That's the real reason why you pay more for anything that is a Mac. Maybe it took me hours, but I'm proud of myself and I'm passing it all on to you!!

Use OpenOffice.org

Others debunk the myth that Vista sucks.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Tall, Round 2

Round 2 with Tall lasted for about an hour and was knocked out with my famous 1-2 punch. I am way too innocent. I was hanging with my homies and Tall was a part of the posse. He made a beeline to say hello to me as soon as he saw me. I'm always sweet to him. I am, after all, a very sweet girl. Plus, he came to see my show. It was mildly flirtatious. We ended up dancing a bit, and talking.

Well, that's sort of a lie. I'm not always sweet. I did gossip about him with the girls after we ended things.

He's been kinda cool lately. We're still in touch and he came to see me sing recently. That was nice. It was a pretty far drive.

He walked me out to my car and gave me a hug. He planted a kiss on my lips. I kissed him back.

Savvy: You're a good kisser.
Tall: So are you.
Savvy: So, have you been thinking about me?
Tall: Yes, I have. How about you?
Savvy: Maybe.
Tall: Have you been thinking about you, too?

We laughed for about two minutes solid. See, not a heavy makeout session.

Savvy: Oh my, I don't know what to make of this.
Tall: You're teasing me.
Savvy: How?
Tall: You kept putting my nametag back on.
Savvy: What? I could be just standing here and you would think I was teasing you.
Tall: That's probably true.
Savvy: Are you thinking naughty things?
Tall: Yes, aren't you?
Savvy: Umm...welll...no.
Tall: Let me guess, you're thinking "My Favorite Things"?
Savvy: **Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...when the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling sad...**
Tall: Good night Julie Andrews.
Savvy: **I simply remember my favorite things. And then I don't feeeeeeeeeeL so baaaaaaaaaaaaaaad!**

I just want to be friends. Nothing has changed for either of us. He really likes me, but like most secular guys, sex is a priority. He respects me, but he's not used to dealing with my level of innocence. He's been a friend by driving a long distance to see my show. I think he was also interested in another woman who drove out to see me. But she isn't interested in him. As much as he likes me and respects me, he can't hang in there. And he's not a Christian. I can't hang in there.

Though I have to admit to having a dim view of dating Christians after dating Astro and encountering some of the other guys I've run across who profess to practice Christianity.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Guy in the Hawaiian Shirt

I met a guy at the mall--the MALL! I've gone to that mall my whole life and I don't remember ever meeting a guy there. I was walking to the bathroom at a department store and not really caring since I've never met anyone at the mall. I noticed a guy looking for jeans.
Savvy: I used to date someone that wore a Hawaiian shirt just like that.
Hawaii: Used to?
Savvy: Used to...

I left it at that as it could have been the same shirt borrowed from his closet. I was in a hurry to get to the ladies room.

When I came back out, he was still there.

Hawaii: So you used to date a guy that wore a Hawaiian shirt?
Savvy: He still does.
Hawaii: You're not still with him are you?
Savvy: Oh, no.
Hawaii: Then how do you know he still wears it?
Savvy: Well, I run into him alot, but we aren't dating. we just have some of the same friends.
Hawaii: Oh, well, that's good. Hey, listen, if you ever need anything, here's me.
I looked at the list of construction services he provides.
Savvy: Oh, is this your business?
Hawaii: Yes, it is.
Savvy: I don't need any of these things.
Hawaii: Well, then, if you need a boyfriend.
Savvy: Oh...well, that depends on how you treat me doesn't it? And, here's me. I don't call men.

I handed him a card and started walking away.

Hawaii: Does that mean I can call you?
Savvy: I suppose.
Hawaii: I guess I have your card.
Savvy: Yep, I guess you do.
Hawaii: Bye, gorgeous!
Savvy: Bye.

My alternate title for this?
Ditching the Latest Loser

Why? I found out the usual, that we are totally mismatched. I mean, sure, he was on his way to church. Turns out that he is looking for one. He never went to college. I have a master's degree. I already want to correct his English when he started a sentence with, I seen. Oof, that's like nails on a chalkboard for me.

He took pains to let me know something important.
Hawaii: I just want you to know that I've never used my flyers to meet women before. I just want you know that the boyfriend offer is a special one just for you.
Savvy: Oh, well, I promise not to tell about secret services.

I almost said it wouldn't matter if he did. I mean, I seriously don't care. I've used my card to meet guys before. What's it to me?

He may be looking for a church, but when we were talking about doing something, well, his own words damned him to the pit of never going out with me.

Hawaii: Hey, maybe we'll run into each other at the mall again.
Savvy: Well, I don't usually go to that store.
Hawaii: So, what did you go there for?
Savvy: Personal things. Things that they only have there.
Hawaii: Could it be bought at Victoria's Secret?
Savvy: Umm...no.

(I mean, seriously. VS kinda sucks. They just have great advertising.)
Hawaii: SO, we should come up with something to do. You know that hotel in town? (There are alot of restaurants there.)
Savvy: Yes.
Hawaii: Why don't we just meet there?
Savvy: Umm...
Hawaii: I'm just kidding!
Savvy: I don't find that funny.

I stayed on the phone a few more minutes, but the feelings of misgivings stayed. I'd rather not go out with someone who feels like they can joke around sexually without even knowing me. It's really not funny. I've been through this before with guys. It's an early warning sign not worth a second chance. He said he would call back after church. I didn't answer.

So, who did I used to see that wears a Hawaiian shirt?


That was warning sign enough.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What Does God Want Anyway?

I keep hearing that God has a plan for my life. Excuse me, but am I the only Christian who has doubts about what God is thinking or conspiring for my life? Why is it that plans have changed for so many of us? What I mean is, why are so many of us single without wanting to be? Is it REALLY GOD'S plan? Or are we just coming up with spiritual rationalizations for a societal neurosis?

I suppose what God really wants is for me to be faithful to him, no matter what happens--whether I'm single or married, male or female, mother or childless, DINK or SINK, rich or poor, healthy or ill. That means no matter what stupid crap people pull at church, no matter if some men are disrespectful, no matter if I don't have a date Saturday night, no matter if all my church "friends" turn their backs on me-- I should be following Him.

The thing is, I'm horribly bad at it; following God.

I've been asking God for help for years. He doesn't seem to be listening. I've been seeking true love for years, trying to find a meaningful career path, a decent boyfriend, to lose the weight that dogs me, to find greater peace and sanity, a church I want to serve in--a church that accepts my gifting and honors it.

For years I was faithful to God, but I wonder if God has been faithful to me. Has He forgotten about me? I feel like I'm still a child in so many ways--single, no boyfriend (plenty that seem to want to use me as a toy--OK, OK and some that respect me greatly but we aren't dating), no children, trying to find purpose and meaning for my life. I long to sit at the grown-up table and to understand what they are talking about.

The married people at church, pastors included, give bad advice. In fact, they look at us and just don't know what to say. So they tell us that God has called us to singleness because still dating when you are grown up is obviously selfish. We should be serving God like the married people. Even though I'm not married, I should be toiling at home waiting for my prince to call on me. He will come by with the magic glass slipper I left at the charity ball for the Christian organization supporting cancer research that fits only me...Oh wait, that's Cinderella. Or the Prince will come magically knocking on my door while I'm romantically spinning yarn for my knitting (from the lambs I raised and fleeced) by the hearth with the light of the setting sun upon my work--the same light I also use to read my Bible. Except that somehow I missed his call because I pricked my finger on the poisoned needle and fell into a deep sleep... Oh, wait, that sounds like Sleeping Beauty. Or that I'll be reading my Bible by candlight--candles that I made from the tallow I melted down--and while I'm engaged in these spiritual pursuits and taking care of seven dwarfs someone slips me a poisoned apple that...wait, that's Snow White! Or that God will magically provide the right person "when I least expect it." I'll be locked away in my room reading my Bible by candlelight again and a Prince will come by and ask me to let down my hair...oh wait, that's Rapunzel!

Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Rapunzel--the Princes found them while they were sleeping in crystal coffins or locked in a tower, so all is not lost for me. The exception is that brazen Cinderella who had the gumption to go find her prince at the ball--with a little help from her friends--and then left something at his place that he had to figure out who it was and return it. Instead of being angry that she left something, he married her!! Or I could try to transform a Bad Boy into a better man through my unselfish love...oops, that's Beauty and the Beast. Some women still believe that fairy tale. We've gone from kingdom to yuppiedom--certainly I'm easier to find in our modern age than most of those princesses!! "When you least expect it" is the fairy tale of modern yuppiedom.

But you see, I don't expect it. I'm used to not expecting it. I've already dated seven dwarfs, a couple of trolls, the Billy Goats Gruff, at least three little pigs, quite a few Beasts, some Big Bad Wolves, an odd bachelor named Jack who kept talking about stealing office supplies from the giants at work, a couple of frogs and the Pied Piper who with dulcet tunes lured women instead of children. And that's just this year!!

Where on God's green earth is that prince??? Kissing all of them did not result in a prince!! At this point, I would be happy with a brave little tailor or brave woodsman--one that might save this poor Little Red from being devoured by a wolf as she is on her way to give her Granny some medicine and read to her from the Holy Scriptures and didn't stop or go off the path--not even once to pick flowers or strawberries or talk to any wolves, frogs, beasts etc.--cross my heart. ;)

I don't think any of us understand. So, God, what's the plan? Is it Africa? Tajikstan? Uzbekistan? Married-stan? If you send me to Africa, can You make it a big city with Jazz clubs? I speak Spanish, how about a Latin American country?--one where I might Tango the night away to evangelize in the name of Christ of course! What do You want anyway? Am I enough all by myself? Do You really want just me? Do you want me here?

Maybe I have low spiritual self-esteem, but I'll take this teeny, tiny mustard seed of faith and keep watering it even though it almost wilts in the hellish cultural heat of our societal neurosis. Right here, right now, right where I am; I'll take it with me in a little pot whereever I go, whereever God sends me, whatever the circumstances, whatever work I'm doing, kingdom or yuppiedom, Prince or not.

DINK-Dual income, no kids
SINK-Single income, no kids
Yuppie--Young urban professional
Yuppiedom--urban area where yuppies live.

OK, I made up SINK.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Boundlessly Confusing

I've been reading Boundless.org, a Christian site run by a well-respected conservative psychologist, Dr. James Dobson, who founded the well-known organization, Focus on the Family. The thing is, they can't seem to get their story straight, give conflicting advice and don't realize how infested with post-modern societal neurosis they truly are.

One article says on thing, and another totally conflicts with it. In Office Hours, a fictional character named Katie talks to her professor about not being sure she is ready for marriage. The professor asks, "Why are you so sure that you're called to marriage in the first place?" Katie then reveals she's been considering consecrated singleness--like a protestant nun--so that she can work for a medical mission. Well that's very interesting. I mean, if you're going to be single for the rest of your life, make it consecrated singleness so that you can wear a habit or a robe. In fact, I'd rather be Catholic in that case. They get a wedding ceremony where they marry Jesus and wear a beautiful wedding dress. I've never been to one, but if you really want to get married to God, do it in style before they cut your hair short. (To the nun, hair is vanity.)

The next article is a complete contrast saying that we are avoiding growing up. We are now "kidults" or stuck in "adultescence"--adult teenagers, or extended adolecents.

"This is the one time of their lives when they're not responsible for anyone else or to anyone else," says developmental psychologist Jeffrey Arnett. "[Kidults] have this wonderful freedom to really focus on their own lives and work on becoming the kind of person they want to be." His advice to kidults? "Enjoy it.... Once it goes, it ain't coming back. Sooner or later, you'll have a family, a mortgage and a retirement plan."

You can't read very far in your Bible before God addresses two things at the very heart of the kidult controversy: living with your parents, and getting married. In Genesis 2, we read, "Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh" (ESV). The biblical pattern is for young people to leave their parent's household in order to begin their own.
So wait--is marriage a given or not? Huh? One article tells me that marriage, and "responsibility" go together. But what if I never marry? I'm not meeting the kind of guys I even want to marry. (One doesn't have to read far on my blog to realize that!) I only ask that he be Christian, intelligent, educated, halfway decent looking, interested in music, have a personal scent that I find attractive and be interested in me. Oh it would be nice if he didn't have 3-4 children because that's more than I could handle and I would really like to have one of my own if it pleases the Lord--however, why wouldn't it?

I'm just wondering what exactly Boundless would advise me to do? I want to be married, but if I'm not going to be, I need a better career than teaching music. Guys are taking longer to decide to marry and they might overlook me as I go on in years. Dating becomes more complicated, and even Boundless acknowledges that in My Single Identity Baggage. It's true, the older we get, the more accomplishments we have. We look for someone who matches that, but are dealing with both positive and negative baggage--the author hardly addressed serious baggage--as if we are all chronically single, so I will. There are divorces, children, alimony, players, users, all manner of accumulated items like couches, dishes, full apartments worth of things, a full trouseau of items just waiting to go with the bride or groom that isn't and bitterness to contend with--from the divorces, chronic breakups or the wait. As more guys in my age bracket are getting divorces, will they look to me to heal their hearts but not marry me? Will single Christian men seek me out for company because they are lonely and after dating awhile realize that we aren't compatible? Great, just what I need, another Non-Dating Dude! All right, so this one is fictional. I'm just anticipating because I never want to fall into that trap again. On the other hand, it's so tiresome to be solicted for sex on dates, or random men I meet as I go about my day--I don't mean at bars. One time I met a man at my local supermarket, gave him my number, but decided not to go out with him because I didn't feel comfortable. Instead of reassurance that we could just be friends or meet in a public place, he became incredibly angry at me and spewed his frustration about being single and never meeting the right person. Gee, I was just saying I didn't feel comfortable. He could have handled it better, but perhaps that's why I was uncomfortable.

Boundless recently posted another aritcle, Defending the Cost of Delaying Marriage. I have to know, are we supposed to have a life or not? Just curious. So no one comes along--who says we can't go to school while we're waiting to meet the right person. I met someone in grad school who wasn't the right person. We broke off our engagement. After that, I didn't meet anyone else from school. One the one hand, singles are told to wait upon the Lord. On the other hand, we're told:

It's not about identity. It's about obedience. When it comes to marriage, we don't need a burning bush to know if it's God's will. He's already told us it is. If we're not specially gifted to be celibate, we're called to marriage. There's no third option; no lifestyle choice to remain single because it's more fun or more fulfilling or more spiritual than being married. (Or a marriage strike, Triton.) Yes, if you're gifted with a calling to celibacy, a la Paul, then that is your duty. But if you're not -- and Scripture is clear that most of us aren't -- then our calling is marriage. Defending The Cost...
Several women in my family married late (30s to early 40s) for a variety of reasons and all had children with one exception.

Instead, she must confront the sad possibility that she might never have what was the birthright of every previous generation of women: children, a family life and a husband who – however dull or oppressive he might have appeared to feminist eyes – at least was there. The Cost of Delaying...
Yikes! How comforting! I don't want a husband who is just there, I want a man who cares about me. And honestly, in years past, the impetus to marry was enforced by parents and society--not so much today. Ladies were guarded much more carefully--if a man wanted a good wife, he had to look her mother and father in the eye and be a man--even the not so attractive ones or the slightly odd bachelors.

But if a woman remains single until her age creeps up past 30, she may find herself tapping at her watch and staring down the now mysteriously empty tunnel, wondering if there hasn’t been a derailment or accident somewhere along the line. When a train does finally pull in, it is filled with misfits and crazy men – like a New York City subway car after hours; immature, elusive Peter Pans who won’t commit themselves to a second cup of coffee, let along a second date; neurotic bachelors with strange habits; sexual predators who hit on every woman they meet; newly divorced men taking pleasure wherever they can; embittered, scorned men who still feel vengeful toward their last girlfriend; men who are too preoccupied with their careers to think about anyone else from one week to the next; men who are simply too weak, or odd, to have attracted any other woman’s interest. The sensible, decent, not-bad-looking men a woman rejected at twenty-four because she wasn’t ready to settle down all seem to have gotten off at other stations. The Cost of Delaying...
Did we really reject so many at 24? You would think that we had proposals galore. I only rejected one and that was because he was not the right man for me. We had different morals. I've since heard that he flirts with all the other teachers and has cheated on his wife--the woman he left me for as I tried to break up with him. Sounds to me like nothing changed. I thought there would be others, a Christian one instead of a lax Catholic. Nothing of the kind happened. I don't have an elaborate career. In the absence of anything else, I decided to get a master's degree. I could have met anyone at any time. No one came along. When I first tried online dating, one of my friends told me it sounded desperate. But then again, she met her husband when she was 17. After they married she said she wouldn't have married him if he had known more about him.

For crying out loud, there have even been books--Christian ones--that recommend cleaning up your life first before seeking a mate. So should we deal with our issues or not? I've always said that some could be dealt with while married. Cleaning up your financial situation first before getting married is no guarantee that there won't be financial trouble later on. Perhaps we should counsel people to look for someone who is willing work through these things; to change and to grow in partnership. Maybe what Christian authors have been writing all these years has only contributed to the problem. We've kissed dating goodbye, delayed marriage until we're financially sound, etc, etc, to what end? The results are clear, now ain't they?

And then Candace Watters wants us all to get Botox for ourselves and our bridesmaids if we are older than what, 35? As if late marriages haven't happened throughout history.

I have to stop. I'm Boundlessly Confused!!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Bass Fishing

Why do I keep running into someone I used to date? I went fishing Sunday night--an evening charter where we didn't have to get licenses. Friends were there who I hadn't seen lately. I was catching Manbag (J) up with all the happenings with Bass (the man, the myth) while J had been in Alaska--mostly my personal realizations after talking to a girl he had met through Meetup. He filled me in on hiking, etc. I teased him about only hearing from him very rarely.
J: The service up there was really awful...
Savvy: Can you believe he said all the same things to her that he said to me?
J: Gross! You have to change things up.
Savvy: Yeah, well, I'm totally over him after talking to that girl.

And suddenly, Bass was there, standing directly behind J.... SPEAK OF THE DEVIL!!!

He smiled really big and said a healthy hello to me. Speaking of having nothing to say, I mumbled a curt hello, and continued my other conversation with Manbag--who had been there as my "Replacement" the evening of the big Karaoke Stunt.

There was another boat next to ours where a wedding was to take place. Bass held a huge gift that his date had bought, both dressed elegantly--complete with pink carnation boutinere. His date also knew several people among us. For as many people as Bass could be on good terms with, he was on equally bad terms with because of what he had done--Mike and J. No one greeted him. Why would they?

Bass and his date walked toward their boat as we waited for ours.
J: That was random...but you look really good, so you have nothing to worry about.
Sav: I have nothing to say to him. He even lied to Bill about it not being romantic and not nearly as many text messages as I claimed. I'm the one who got stuck with the bill!!
J: You really seem alot better about the whole thing.
Sav: Well, after all that "I'm not a social guy" crap, going to a wedding with someone is an awfully social thing to do. Can't believe anything he says. He just looked.
J: I'm not quite sure who she is, but I'm not sure she's all there, loopy.
Sav: Whatever. He keeps looking back over his shoulder.
J: He's gotta feel bad about you.
Sav: I offered to be his friend and he didn't call me. I'm very forgiving, but he should have called. It makes me think even less of his initial treatment of me. I'm not some whore that I'm going to spend the night after one date. Remember, I kept my coat on.
J: Say, do you still call me Manbag on your blog? Cause you totally can.

We boarded our fishing boat.

Mike: WELL! That was random...
Sav: Yeah, to be sure. I didn't exactly want to see him.
Mike: I can imagine.
Sav: I wonder what lines he told her. I mean, I got the extra-special ones about wanting to help me start a band. Like he wanted me to be his friggin' muse or something.
Shelly: Why are you still talking about Bass?
Savvy: We just SAW him.
Shelly: That was HIM!?
Savvy: You act like you've never met him and I know you have. He's not supposed to even be here. He's supposed to be out of town with his band, I'm reverse stalking him, remember?
J: Websites lie.
Sav: I don't know. I'm going to check when I get home. I might drop out of things for awhile because he's supposed to be around this month.
J: You can't do that, this is our little social club. But, by the way, you aren't going to meet any dudes if you hang out with me all the time.
Sav: After what I've been through lately, I'm good with that.

We got to the business of fishing. It was fun, and I know nothing about fishing. My best strategy was having a guy who worked on the boat teaching me, baiting my hooks, and fishing for me while I went to the bathroom. When left to my own devices, I pulled my bait back up to check it. I discovered that it had been nibbled at mercilessly while I chatted away merrily with J who warned another girl not to date Bass. Is there any better way to tell the whole world that we think he's a jerk? I wonder how my lack of fishing skill applies to the dating world. You have to pull up on the line to get the fish hooked. You have to pull the bait around to get the fish to really take the bait. I suck at this in more ways than one. Ironically, I caught a Sand Bass. I enjoyed watching that get filleted for cooking. How will I cook and eat my Bass?

I gazed over at the other boat, still docked there while the last of our fish were filleted. It looked like the party was long over and I would be saved from any discomfort. As we disembarked, there was Bass with his date and big big, stupid uncomfortable fake smile on his face. I was hoping not to run into him again. Crap. I made sure to hug my friends and walked out with Mike and J. What triangulation effect had caused gravity to attract most of the major actors from the karaoke night to the same time and place?

I leaned against the car with Mike while we discussed his recent dating life and mine.
Mike: That was seriously random.
Savvy: Yeah. I just don't know what to make of it. What do you say we find his car and fish up the door handle?
Mike: Fun! He'll have a fishy smell while finishing his date.
Savvy: He'd know it was me.
Mike: Now they're parked in the same row?
Savvy: She's driving. I never would have picked his car. He just looked.
Mike: He's got to feel bad about what he did.
Savvy: Well, he knows how to use a phone and he didn't call when I offered friendship. He also didn't come to see me sing--neither did you.
Mike: So, I know what a total sex fiend you are. I'm being ironic, so I went out with this woman I met the other night...
I rolled my eyes as he described sexual details.
Sav: You're so bad. You can stop now.
Mike: It turns out she's married!
Sav: Gross!
Mike: I could have been with her again tonight. I confess that I just wanted to get laid.
While we talked, a drama unfolded before us that had Bass directing his date while she backed up her sedan.
Bass: You're good! Come on out. A little more. You're fine.

Sav: Wow, this chick can't drive.
As the car pulled past us, she stopped so she could remove her sweater--placing Bass directly in front of me, leaned back in his seat, looking at me while I looked at Mike.
Mike: Could you get any more random that than? I mean of all the places to stop, right in front of you!?
Sav: Yeah...Anyway, I'm going to jazz club now. Swing might join me. I hope Bass feels as bad as you think he does.

This is my LIFE!

If you were to click on Bass below, that would pull up all the stories that include him.