Archive for the ‘Vents’ Category

A Tale Of Movie Theaters, Popcorn, Texting and Disrespect

I’m so intrigued by this Florida movie theatre shooting incident. The one where the ex-cop, Curtis Reeves, shot the guy texting. On one hand, what an over-reaction. On the other, is there anything more fucking annoying than someone on a cell phone during a movie? No one in the world is that important they can’t stay off their phones (or walk out of the theatre to take a call). Since when does anyone get a life-altering text? And I realize it was just the previews. But the lights were down. Just shut off your phones, people. Shut them off at the movies. Shut them off at church. Shut them off when you’re actively playing with your children. And shut them off when you’re out to dinner with someone. Spend time in the moment. Stop putting the person on the other end of the phone before everyone who’s present with you. Even if it is your three year old daughter… Wait. Seriously. He wasn’t texting his child.

OK, so the real deal here is I think this guy is crazy. But I know how people get pushed to crazy with inconsideration. For example, I hate standing in lines. People are rude and selfish. They don’t want to stand in lines either. But rather than just doing it, they find a way to cut. This infuriates me. No one wants to wait, but you’re not any more important than me. If someone kicked someone’s ass for cutting in line, I could totally relate. If I were tough, I might do it, too. Instead, I’m passive aggressive.

The only people who say texting during a movie isn’t distracting is the texter. A few years ago I went to a movie with a group of girls. I got talked into that terrible move, Magic Mike. I didn’t want to go, and didn’t give two shits about the movie. Yet, when my friend kept checking her phone during the movie, I wanted to punch her. First, because it was distracting me from the terrible movie. Every time she’d turn her phone on, I’d be distracted. What if I missed one of Matthew McConughdhsychay’s ab muscles? OK, seriously, I did not care about this movie, but it was still annoying. But worse than that, every time she’d pull it out EVERYONE around us (it was a packed theatre, seriously, why do women love this stuff?) would get annoyed. She did it several times. One person behind us asked her to put it away. Kindly. Just tapped her on the shoulder. She pulled it down into her lap more. In a dark theatre, the glowing light of a cell phone is still a distraction.

About 20 minutes later a movie theater employee came in and said she needed to put it away or she’d be asked to leave. She said, “OK.” Acted annoyed, and put it away. For about fifteen minutes. It was like a compulsion. Her sister kept reaching over, putting her hand over the screen and saying, “Put it away. I don’t want to get kicked out.” She’d act put out. And put it away for a second. Then take it out again.

This woman is no one. Not in a “you’re not important” sense, but in a self-promoted important way. She can step away from her job for a few hours. Or a few weeks for that matter! Her family is perfectly capable of taking care of themselves. And Facebook wasn’t going to shut down. So why couldn’t she stop? Even when her friends and sister told her to stop. When someone behind her asked her to stop. Even when threatened with ejection.

I found out later she was lucky to get a warning. That theatre has a zero-tolerance policy.

This is the same woman who told me her screaming child is “cute.” In the Midwest, customers are always right. She got kicked out of a Mexican restaurant for her relentlessly screaming child. That’s how disconnected she is from courtesy. She is also consistently late to meetings and is a terrible parker. But she’s a very nice person. Honestly. She’s a good friend and a dedicated mom. She cares about her family and has rescued her nephew from essentially being put out on the street. But she’s somehow devolved into this self-important person in public. It’s embarrassing.

If someone approaches her and asks her to stop, she thinks THEY are wrong. She was appalled a theatre employee had time to come in to tell her to put her phone away. And declared she’d never re-visit that Mexican restaurant. She would never violently approach someone with big words or aggression like Oulson appears to have done, so it’s unlikely she’ll ever get shot. But she’s so unaware of how she acts and how she comes across. And doesn’t think anything she’s done is wrong. And is appalled anyone could tell her what to do.

Now, she doesn’t deserve to be shot. Neither did Oulson. But with this inconsideration running rampant in society, and so many people thinking they are the only person at the center of the universe, it’s bound to happen. Is it right? No. But any grown person should know better than to aggressively approach someone. Or throw popcorn. Or to be texting at all in the first place. Once the lights go down, cell phones should be turned off. I don’t want to leave the theatre ten minutes into the movie to report you. Just turn them off when it’s dark. Easy enough!

If we’d all take a little more time to think about anyone other than ourselves. Or calmly say, “Hey, just texting my daughter’s daycare before the movie starts, I’ll put it away now/after the previews/I won’t use it during the movie” it would all probably be fine. Just like taking your screaming toddler out of the highchair to coddle him, or take him outside, or get your order to go would stop you from getting ejected from a restaurant. And a lot more people would be a lot less angry for being disrespected or slighted or for wasting their money paying for something that you’ve ruined.

Again, no one deserves to be shot. But we all deserve to be treated with more respect than we are. All the way around. In all facets of life.

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An Open Letter To Newly-Divorced Men – Spoiler: Tough Love Ahead

At the risk of sounding insensitive…. Oh screw it.

Disclaimer: I will be a bitch in the upcoming memo to divorced guys. Trust me, it’s for your own good.

Dear newly or almost divorced guys,

Once upon a time I was going to weddings every weekend. Some weekends I’d have more than one wedding to choose from. Open bars were fun. Some of the other wedding stuff (especially the showers) got old. At one point I was complaining and my mom said, “Be thankful. You’re in the early phase. Right now you’re going to weddings. In a few years it will be baby showers and divorces. And baby showers for people trying to avoid divorces. Then it’ll be second marriages. And then you’ll start going to funerals. So you’re in the blissful stage now.”

Well, folks, the train has officially stopped in Divorceville. Population: One million awkward guys.

I write this with love. And a little out of fear. But mostly out of social discomfort.

You guys are freaks!

There, I said it. Divorced guys. It’s like they went into some weird brainwashing cult, and came out minus any social decorum. They say, “It’s been awhile since I’ve been single.” But the behavior they display was NEVER OK. Not in college. Not in high school. Hell, the guys that were lucky enough to be my “boyfriends” in middle school had more tact and self-control than these guys (and there was no sex-having or anything in my middle school – so this truly was the sweet, innocent, first days of learning about love).

My point is, since you seem to have no social decorum, I’m here to help. The awkward you create is awkward for all of us. You will never find a good catch as long as you act this way. You’re not showing interest in someone, you’re showing blind, sweeping, desperation for ANYONE.

So, here are some ground rules. Continue reading

Des and Brooks – Typical Doomed Relationship

I swore I’d never speak of The Bachelor(ette) again in writing, but I can’t resist. Someone drag my soapbox over here because I need to put all this poop in one generalized group and tell you what’s wrong with people in the dating pool.

  • People like Des want what they can’t have. The person they like doesn’t like them back, so to make up for it, they love harder. This makes them feel like they’re in love. What’s really happening is over-compensating. In Des’s case, this is compounded by feeling like she’s in a position of power. Don’t get me wrong, falling in love in like seven or nine weeks (or whatever the other sucker whose unrequited love for Des will send him on a spiral next week, and probably in real life as he watched how little she really cared said) is totally unrealistic. But I do think it’s possible in seven or nine weeks to know if you’re not the right fit. Hell, I think it’s possible to know in tow or three dates, honestly. If you don’t feel it you don’t feel it. Anyway, Brooks has always been unsure and distant, less emotionally attached than the others. And Des has always been drawn to this. Why? Who the hell knows, but I see it all the time.
  • Continue reading

    Boston Police Sergeant Sean Murphy Should Be Reprimanded – It’s Not OK To Level The Playing Field

    Oh my God. Most Americans. So extreme. So short-sighted. So stupid.

    Alright, that’s not fair. I’m basing my stereotype on the shit people write in the comments section of an article. But for real, what’s wrong with people?

    They don’t want a police officer reprimanded for breaking one of their internal policies? Do they understand what policies are for? Do they want policies broken “because it was OK this time” when their family member is in jail? Do they want policies disregarded when it’s their child’s case? Do they want little policies thrown out now, and then in five years, those policies forgotten, it’s not such a big deal to break bigger policies?

    Plus, in my opinion I think proved nothing.

    Continue reading

    In A World Of Extremes – Are People All Good Or All Bad?

    In an upper-level psychology class I took AFTER getting both my undergrad and graduate degree in business, I learned when a person sees other people as all good or all bad, it’s a type of psychological disorder. Seeing any situation as black or white, and ignoring the gray, isn’t healthy. For the record, and to go off on a tangent before even starting this post, I think everyone should take far more psychology classes. Endlessly interesting and educational, assuming you want to learn and grow from it. As a person who tried to get into management, then decided I wasn’t ready, my biggest weakness was understanding others’ motivations (or lack thereof). So my intention wasn’t to understand myself so much as to understand others.

    Anyway, in that class, there was a discussion of people seeing others as all good or all bad, and failing to see the gray area. This is an issue because it’s rarely ever true. There aren’t generally people who always do the right thing, or never slip up morally or emotionally or physically or whatever. For example, I think my parents are genuinely good people. They set a standard for doing the right thing because it’s the right thing. That said, they’ve both said mean things to me. My mom especially. Things that seem mean spirited and don’t have any purpose. Things that probably hurt a lot because it’s so rare. And I think my brain has a hard time wrapping around that they aren’t all good. But I remind myself of that, and feel like that helps me be less critical or harsh.

    The same thing can be said for people who do bad things. Really bad things. For example, serial killers. BTK specifically. He was obviously a bad person. He killed people across decades, and was able to cover it up. He had a psyche he hid from his family and friends. So, was he a bad person? Yes. Was he all bad? I’m not sure. I’m not sure how you know. It sounds like he was a good father and husband, even being a stickler for details. I know lots of fathers and husbands who are very anal. And I think they’re good people. So was he motivated to be that person on the exterior to cover up the evil? Or was there actually good and evil in him? Was at one point he an all good person, and he devolved into these evil characteristics? Were there layers? How do you know? When someone like this is arrested, they’re vilified, and it seems we never get a real understanding of the person. He volunteered at his church. Was that all a cover-up? Or was he trying to make up for the bad things he had done by going above the standards for a general parishioner? I don’t know that we’ll ever know. But it’s popular to turn these people in to all bad. To take away any redeeming qualities. And maybe they have none. I’m not sure. I’m just trying to explore that from the perspective this teacher gave.

    And specifically when talking about Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev. We want to believe they’re all evil. We don’t want to see any human or sensitive qualities. We don’t want to make excuses for them because we fear those excuses will be used for future bombers and terrorists. But should we understand? Or try to understand? Why are we so scared? Are we scared of passing off blame? Because despite understanding, I feel these two are 100% accountable for their actions. They’re adults. And while Dzhokhar probably doesn’t have a fully developed brain, he didn’t act in a moment of impulse. He acted in a methodical, thought-out, slowly progressing manner. He’s responsible for his actions, and no precursor makes it OK to kill strangers.

    But I do want to explore and understand. I do want to have some perspective of how this all started. I do want to consider not only what led up to, but what warning signs there were, if any. What could be done, if anything. Maybe nothing. There will never be a way to rid the world totally of evil. I realize and respect that. But you take someone like the Tsarnaev brothers and wonder if it could have gone another way.

    This is why I was interested in the Rolling Stone article.

    I don’t think Dzhokhar is glamorized. I don’t think he’s raised to rock star status, whatever that means. Hell, I don’t even know why there is such a thing as “rock star status.” Maybe Americans should consider why it’s OK to idolize rock stars or movie stars or sports stars at all. No, seriously. These are just regular people. Also shades of gray as far as good and bad goes. Many are indulge in lives of drugs and alcohol, or cheating, or deception or scandal. They’re no better than the guy in the cubicle next to you, aside from an artistic or performance talent. Maybe the guy next to you has a different talent. One that popular culture doesn’t garner the same media attention, or the same over-inflated paycheck. But I bet he’s a good dude. Smart, motivated, interesting. Or maybe he’s as boring as he seems. I don’t know who you sit next to. But I sit among some smart people with a variety of talents. Some smarter than I could be, even if I stopped writing drivel and started trying to be smarter. And I don’t idolize them. But I also don’t idolize fame. Or even money. I’d like to have money so I can get out of the corporate world hamster wheel, but that’s all. And what would I do then? Who knows. But working is a part of life, so I do it. What did I take away from the Rolling Stone article?

    1. First and foremost, it saddens me that Tamerlan came to his mother, the person who should always protect him, with fears of a second person inside him. Instead of seeking medical help, she pushed him toward religion. And when that became obsessive, she didn’t step in. She encouraged it. At fault here, if blame falls anyone aside from the brothers, is the mother. It’s harsh, but as a parent you take on certain responsibilities. She failed. And I hate to think how this would have turned out with proper concern and care.
    2. Second, the article lays out a life where the brother was worshiped. A life where the family was disconnected in seeking happiness or fulfillment for any of the children. A life where daughters were sold off in arranged marriages when they started doing things that weren’t acceptable. As a woman, I am sickened that this happened (luckily both daughters got out of those marriages, unfortunately, it resulted in severing ties with the family). So the structure of the family wasn’t traditional. A lot of pressure was put on Tamerlan, as well as a lot of probably unsought pressure through hero-worship. Do people like to be looked up to? Sure, but I know I’d prefer to be me. Not me as a role model. Again, this fault falls on the parents.
    3. Third, Dzhokhar was left seemingly alone to figure out some of the most complicated parts of life. When he should have been developing friendships and had the guidance of his family, he was at a college he didn’t love and wasn’t challenged by. When you’re the smartest guy in the room, it’s tough. I’m not saying he was smarter than everyone, but he definitely wasn’t challenged. And he was looking for somewhere to fit in in the world. Cue his brother, who is obviously suffering from a mental disorder.

    The article didn’t state specifically when Tamerlan’s worry about another person inside him started. So it’s hard to tie how that might relate to Dzhokhar. Many mental diseases are genetic, and often time these things show up in young men in their late teens and early twenties. Maybe Dzhokhar had some of the same issues, and he went to his brother, who helped him the same way he was helped.

    Maybe not.

    Maybe Dzhokhar simply was involved in the same her0-worship discussed above, and put his brother’s opinions above logic.

    Maybe not.

    Maybe Dzhokhar was just a bored, entitled kid who was looking for something selfish to do.

    Maybe not.

    I don’t get religious extremism. And I’m talking any religion. I don’t understand throwing logic and empathy out the window with the purpose of seeing only one way. And often that way is jaded and foggy and, well, wrong. But even through the murk, that’s all these people see. And it comes from worship. Many people believe religious worship is the only kind of worship that’s OK. And in America, where worship of all kinds of shades of gray people are worshiped, I suppose it should be OK. But much like how we need to see that sports stars aren’t infallible, we need to see religion isn’t always perfectly right. And extreme religion is a way of helping people belong, giving them a purpose and allowing them not to think. In a time when Dzhokhar was claiming to want to think, he was allowing someone else to think for him. In a time he felt alone, he was making companionship out of manipulators. This isn’t unlike any other religion or group of extremists. But it’s still sad.

    Was there good inside Dzhokhar or Tamerlan? I bet there was. Was there any left in their darkest moments, it’s hard to see it. But after all of the darkness is washed away, is there any good left? I don’t know. That’s what I’m trying to understand. For someone who was good at one point, is it all lost and gone forever? Is it all drown out by anger and hate? Or does that good still dwell inside? And does it ever swell up again? I have to hope so. Because Dzhokhar is young. And even though his life will probably be spent in prison, I hope he finds peace. And I hope the prison system has some way to help him deal with any mental disease he has, assuming he has one.

    And we keep getting richer but we can’t get our picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone!

    I think, as usual, Americans are over-sensitive, and over-reacting to the media. I’ve been watching a lot of West Wing lately, and have determined that media, no matter how profit-driven or egotistical, is one of the greatest things about America. The media is allowed, and encouraged, to uncover, expose, tear apart and report on anything they’d like. If the media gets a hold of a scandal, they’ll do the right thing – write about it. This is the reason I wanted to go into journalism in high school. (Ultimately, I was talked out of it by a guidance counselor who said there’s not much money, a lot of hours, and a lot of grinding to maybe never get where you want to be.)

    That said, I have absolutely no problem with Rolling Stone putting Dzhokar Tsarnaev on their cover. And writing about him. Who he was, what parts he hid, when he started to change (if he did), and what family and friends knew and/or ignored. Ultimately, I find this stuff fascinating. As much as I get angry with people in general (mostly for being lazy, stupid and incapable), I have never desired to blow anyone up. So it intrigues me what pushes someone to do such a thing. And during the stages of planning and carrying out, how do they act? Are there signs? Are there things we can learn? And above all, I find it fascinating that it’s generally young men. Are there take aways for parents of young boys? Are there things to be aware of? The hard part is, these changes seem to happen just as these boys are moving into college, and away from home. For awhile I thought maybe it was the freedom that allowed them to do these things. But the more I read, it sounds like it’s not necessarily the freedom. But maybe an age range where mental disorders are triggered, despite the social circumstance. For example, what about the person who never left home? I believe the kid who shot that congresswoman, didn’t he live at home? And in this case, Tsarnev had been on his own far longer than most young people, so why did he suddenly turn a corner during his college years?

    There is so much to learn about the human brain. Rather than being scared of it, embrace it, approach it, understand it, be sensitive to it, be aware of it. Mental diseases aren’t going anywhere. And, much like body shaming, the more you shame mental diseases, the more people are ashamed of them and try to hide them or hide from them.

    I feel like the public has earned the right to understand. I feel like once a person commits one of these acts, they owe the state their mind. And the results that come from discussions with doctors should be public knowledge. Scientists should be able to do brain scans, pull microbiome from the gut, and observe those who commit these acts. If, ultimately, they’re found not guilty by reason of insanity, part of that discernment should be more public awareness and data on these diseases.

    Does this mean it excuses Tsarnev or Loughner or Holmes. But I can’t help trying to read everything I can to understand more. It is so strange to me that others are so blind with outrage that they don’t want to understand. Anger isn’t going to stop this from happening. Only knowledge, understanding and prevention will. And even in that case, there will never be a world free of seemingly meaningless violence.

    Beyond that, I think it’s important for people in general to realize the way someone looks doesn’t depict who they are. I follow local murder, rape, domestic violence court cases when I can. And I’m always appalled that people look at someone and say, “No way he did that. He looks so nice. He’s so good looking!” We need to help each other see that a person isn’t defined by what they look like. This reaches far beyond violence (into things like choosing a partner, hiring people, determining ability, etc.). But for the moment, focusing just on violent crimes, I think it’s important to address. You look at Tsarnev, and he’s good looking up until he becomes violent. Hell, even now people probably think he is. Same thing for Scott Peterson, Ted Bundy, and Charles Manson. Sometimes putting a face with a crime is important. People need to find a way to close the disconnect with stereotypes (which are simply shortcuts the brain takes). Our stereotype says good looking people are nice, more capable, more motivated, more trustworthy. This isn’t the case. And for that reason, I don’t have a problem with Rolling Stone, or any other media outlet, putting a face with these offenders. Especially when society in general looks at them and says, “Look at him. No way he did that. The government must be behind this.”

    tumblr_lfwuuxZP6E1qgb85ao1_400Charles Manson Rolling Stone Cover – 1970

    164224_10151725869739539_1435805511_nDzhokar Tsarnaev Rolling Stone Cover – 2013

    Edited 7/19: I didn’t realize the whole article was posted online. I assumed RS would keep the article to only those who bought the magazine. Hell yes! Anyway, read the article here, then form an opinion. Don’t base your reaction on a picture alone. Use your brain to decide whether you think the magazine is glamorizing mass-murder or terrorism.

    Expectations Versus Reality: Why Marriage Is Hard

    I replied to this post this morning, but didn’t get nearly enough characters. That never happens, right? So here’s my expanded response. And beyond that, how I feel about marriage, and that it often comes down to an expected image versus the reality of what it is.

    I think the issue with marriage is multi-dimensional.

    First, women feel like they’re a failure if they don’t get married. Or like marriage is a goal. It’s not a goal. But many of my friends have been searching for someone, anyone to marry them. For some, they wanted to be married as soon as their early 20s (or even in high school, I guess). For others, they figured they’d be married by their late 20s, so as the mid to late-twenties creep in, they start to panic. Then, my favorite group of girls are those in their 30s. Clocks are ticking. Emotions are running high. “Why doesn’t anyone want me?!” The whole thing is absurd.

    Ladies, you are not a failure if you don’t get married. It just means you haven’t found the right one, yet. You don’t settle for anyone who comes along. Or you’re running off the good guys with the crazy you’re carrying around, only thinking of marriage and children. Relax a little. I promise life’s not that much of an uptick when you’re married. Don’t you have any friends to witness? You do? Why do you think it’s going to be so much better for you?

    Beyond that, “rewarding” marriage with this huge wedding that’s “the best day of your life” only exacerbates this issue. Why doesn’t a girl get “her day” unless she gets married? I think this is one of the stupidest popular things in the world. Don’t reward something you don’t want abused. Reward exercisers with an open to post all the time on Facebook? They’ll abuse it. Reward heroin addicts with “the best high you’ll ever feel?” They’ll abuse it. Many girls have dreamed about their wedding day since they were children (I can’t relate, honestly). But when you dream about something that hard and that long, you want to realize it. Stop making it about the wedding. And for Christ’s sake, parents, tell your daughters you’ll throw them a party for just them if they want it (this is assuming you’d finance a wedding anyway). Go all out, wedding style. Give them the same budget, etc. But tell them, “You get one wedding. Whether you get married twice, get married after your single party, etc. this is all we’re paying for.” Takes the pressure off. And maybe will make the wait worth it. Just like finding the right guy.

    Second, I think there’s a huge image versus reality issue with marriage (and children). Mind you, this is also exists with things like careers, buying a house, etc. Throughout our childhood we’re overwhelmed with “true love” and “soul mates.” Almost as if it’s easy if you find “the one.” Is any relationship easier/better/more enjoyable if you find the right one? Yes. Obviously. But there’s no magic person that if you find him, marriage is easy. Some things make it easier like finding a good match who agrees on high-level things like beliefs (both what’s right and wrong and religion), how you want to live, money, traveling, etc. Do you have to match up perfectly? No. But if you agree on right and wrong, and approach life the same way, it’s a heck of a lot easier. I’ve met guys who get me, but they like do smoke pot on the side. I don’t have a social problem with pot, but since it’s illegal, it’s not something I’d want in my house (until it’s legalized). Does that make me a prude? Sure, but it’s something I’m not comfortable with. I don’t want to have a record or not be able to keep my job because of some casual habit. Again, I’m NOT judging the use. I simply don’t want it in my house. Therefore, it’s not really a compromise I want to make. The same thing can be said for religion, for those who are very religious. Do you need to have the same core beliefs? Probably if you’re going to raise a family together. It’s not impossible to raise a child Jewish and Catholic, but if you’re both very religious, it will be hard. I mean, look at Andrea and Jesse on 90210. That’s all they fought about until they both cheated. OK, they were also young. And annoying. Anyway, my point is, you need to have a baseline. Now that I’m older and have a financial process that works for me, I know I couldn’t marry someone who believes in credit card debt or financing almost anything except a house and maybe a car. I have absolutely no moral objection to debt, but in general, it stresses me out. I need someone who looks at money, saving, spending and retirement similarly to me. Or we’ll fight. Probably a lot.

    But when you’re 18 years old, or even 22 or 26, you look for romance over compatibility, and yes there’s a difference. I had a boyfriend who did everything right on paper. He was so romantic. Grand gestures, small things, sweet things. The best thing that ever happened to me was him dumping me when he realized we weren’t a match. He will be the same “perfect on paper” guy for every girl he dates. And the girl he ends up with will be lucky for that. But he’s smart to have realized he could find someone better than me. And the good thing for me is I also realize how good a boyfriend CAN be. And that it’s not too much to expect of a 30 year old what I got from an 18 year old. So you learn and grow. And I honestly believe someone who really loves and is right for you won’t ever walk away. If he does, he doesn’t love you THAT much.

    Beyond that, someone saying, “Marriage is work” doesn’t resonate with a 20 year old, who generally hasn’t “worked” at anything (I know I hadn’t). You don’t realize how hard it is until you live or witness it. I’ve learned a lot from simply getting older and seeing friends who had fun dating grow apart when they share responsibilities. It IS hard. It’s hard to raise kids inside or out of marriage. It’s hard to maintain a house or keep track of money or have a job. So sharing these things with someone else can sometimes magnify issues. When you’re alone, it’s all on you. When you share stuff, sometimes a messy person makes it harder. Or a less present parent. Or someone spending money you don’t want spent. But at the same time, you also have someone to work through issues with, hold the ladder as you climb onto the roof, or help clean up puke at 2AM. So it’s give and take. And having the right match in a person who truly loves and is committed to you is what makes marriage better than being single. But simply being married doesn’t guarantee that. It has to be the right person. And even then, there will be days it’s harder than others.  But try telling that to 20-year old me.

    Finally, I don’t think saying, “You don’t understand how REAL commitment or covenant” works. That’s like the argument we keep having about abstinence. We’ve all found it’s hard to make that work. I mean, sure if you meet the right person when you’re young and both are on the same page, and both are mature enough to get married, it can work. Or if you have willpower of steel and can deny yourself basic human pleasures. Is it possible? Yes, everything’s possible. People give up gluten and sugar every day. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy. And honestly, when you love someone, it’s hard to say no. Especially when you’re a teenager or in your early twenties when you have so much going on hormonally. Much like I think we should be teaching kids to at least respect themselves, and be safe, and to wait until they’re actually ready (not pressured) and really love someone (don’t just want to get him to stay), I think marriage and relationships should be approached the same way. Can you white knuckle out abstinence? Yes. Can you white knuckle out a marriage? Absolutely. But who wants to? I think waiting for someone you trust and love is the more important thing. I have friends who have gotten married just so they can have sex, which is such a bad decision. And I don’t mean so they could have sex with anyone, but because they wanted to do “the right thing,” but waiting IS hard when you love someone.

    And sometimes marriage actually makes people think, “Welp, married now.” like it’s a reason to give up or worse, as if you possess something. But I honestly think this is in the minority. People joke about this, but those first years, they’re always sneaking off to be alone because they want to be because it’s new an exciting. The “work” part is when the “new” becomes the “norm” and it seems silly to have a “date night,” but still totally necessary. As children come into the world, they have to be a high priority, but your marriage still needs to be first. Or at least your spouse shouldn’t feel second to the children, and chores, and work and whatever else.

    I’m not expert, I’ve never been married. But I’ve witnessed a lot of marriages run the course. I’ve witnessed people being letdown with reality versus their expectations. I’ve seen people consumed with having children when they can’t, then being overwhelmed or let down when they do. I’ve heard people fight about things they knew existed when they were dating, but either ignored or it didn’t bother them because it wasn’t “forever.” Perspective changes as your reality changes. Expectations change as you live more life with a person. And when your reality doesn’t merge with the image you had of your future, it can be a big letdown. Those who move past this are the ones who realize not realizing your fantasy mate, life and future doesn’t mean you can’t still be happy.

    Or that’s when you finally realize you made a mistake.