Life or Something Like It

Milestones of Life

Milestones of Life

Milestones of Life

In every person’s life, there are milestones. My first milestone was the age of 13. This was when I could wear a little bit of makeup (think French whore) and I could get my ears pierced. The next milestone was the pinnacle for me. Sweet 16. This was the ideal age to be.

It was a magical age that was filled with promises of lollipops and rainbows. I could finally be a part of the conversation, instead of the person looking in through a window. I waited my *whole* life to get to this age. I waited 16 years! Why? Because this was the age at which my daddy said I could date!

Going Steady and Dating is Not the Same

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve gone steady with a boy. I was going steady with a boy when the boy didn’t even know we were going steady. I have also been asked to be someone’s girlfriend by another friend who handed me a note, from the boy, which had “check yes or no if you want to be my girlfriend” written on it.

Before 16, the boyfriend scenario was limited to the halls of my school where I would *gasp* wear his necklace or his jacket. We would secretly hold hands underneath the lunchroom table or even better…the library. We would sit together in the lunchroom and eat off each other’s trays.

The Greatest Thing about Going Steady

The greatest thing was sharing his gum. That meant forever because our spit was forever intertwined. The first time I was REALLY kissed was at a middle school dance. Billy Rich.  I wore a powder blue polyester dress. I was sporting matching eye shadow and as an added party favor…my mom put baby’s breath in my hair.

I didn’t kiss my “date”, I kissed my secret love. Well, he kissed me…I ran to the bathroom to look in the mirror because I thought there was moss growing on my tongue. I couldn’t figure out, for the life of me, why someone would stick their tongue down another person’s throat.

Rules of Engagement

I lived at home until I was 20 years old. In that time, my limitations never varied. I was not allowed to call boys, there were never phone calls past 9:00 pm, and my curfew was 11:00 pm. I never went anywhere, so the curfew problem was never an issue. I had no friends, so the phone calls after 9:00 pm were not an issue. There was, however, an issue with the no-call boys rule.

How am I supposed to maintain my girlfriend status if I can’t talk on the phone with my boyfriend? So, phone calls were done in secret. I would grab the ginormous black receiver (still attached to the kitchen wall), dial the number of my boyfriend, run to my room, hide in the closet, and whisper “hey, call me back so we can talk.”

I would run back to the kitchen, hang up the phone and then run to my room and pretend to be reading or cleaning. When the phone rang, I let my mother answer. This was to protect my covert operation. I was so stealthy and an expert dialer. I did all of this while my dad was sleeping and my mom was taking her one bathroom break for the day. I, simply, was a rockstar in the secret boy calling the department.

The Pinnacle of All Things

Now that I have turned 16, I still couldn’t call boys because that was inappropriate but the world became my oyster. That oyster had a name…its name was “The Mall.” Oh. My. Goodness. We could go to the mall and hold hands and kiss while standing in the appliance aisle of Sears.

There was another oyster…its name was “The Park.” Only the coolest kids cruised the park and that is where you went to be noticed and for people to revel in your newest relationship status. We could go to the movies and sit close to each other. It was the greatest age in the entire world. I was so excited. I finally had a purpose. I had status. I was going to catch a guy and I was going to go to the mall with him. You cannot get much great than that!

Rules of Dating

I remember, distinctly, knowing the rules of dating. You have to be 16 and when that special someone comes to pick you up, that person has to come to the door and meet my parents.

Meeting the parents for some kids was no big deal. In my house, however, that meant someone meeting my dad. My dad was a police officer and he was extremely protective of his children. He also had a gun on him or near him and he was never famous for using his words. The thought of a boy meeting him sent a shiver down my spine.

I had it played out in my mind. I would somehow arrange for the “meet and greet” portion of my date to happen when I knew my dad was sleeping or when he left for work (he worked midnights). I could totally avoid him altogether and as long as my mom met this person, I was off the hook. My mom was a piece of cake. She loved everybody. Her goal in life was to hug and feed people. She has always been a person who never meets a stranger.

Siblings

I do not remember my brother dating. He married young and was out of the house by the time I was 10 years old. I do not know if the standards were different because he was a guy. The only real memory I have, of my oldest sister dating, was a prom where she looked like a Farrah Fawcett rainbow child. Her dress was made of tulle and the colors were powder blue with rainbow stripes. It was very risqué because it was off the shoulders. The dude had some kind of 1980s bouffant hairdo that looked a bit like a bird’s nest. This was the beginning of the mullet hair….business in the front and party in the back. The business part was also a feathered Farrah Fawcett hairdo. She was extremely popular and her hair was the bomb!

Tera

I have memories of my other sister when she started dating. She had “boyfriends” and then there was “the” boyfriend….the one that would last. She was giddy and annoying. He was preppy and fun to be around. We would sit around the table and play Rook and lick the cheese off of Doritos. They held hands, she would sit on the floor and put her chin on his knee. The looks of love would flit in between them. I remember thinking “when I get my boyfriend, and he comes over to visit, I’m going to offer him the chair and I’m going to sit on the floor next to him because that is what girlfriends and boyfriends do.”

My Big Day

When my big day arrived and the thrill of the knowledge that it was “my time” to date was almost unbearable. I felt a bit like the chick in “The Scarlet Letter.” I felt like when I walked into that school, that there was a giant red “D” on my chest and that, of course, stood for DATEABLE. My vision was that I would enter through the giant double doors and there would be a wind machine in the common area.

That wind machine would be blowing my massively large permed hair. The giant red bow, holding back my locks, would flap in the wind. My baby blue eye shadow, which was applied with a spackle knife, would radiate my big, brilliant, brown eyes. My mustard yellow pants, perfectly pegged at my ankles would highlight my brown Robin Hood shoes which perfectly matched my deep, purple shirt. I was hot AND I was 16 AND I was officially dateable. Who would not want all of that?

What I Envisioned

I envisioned the boys standing in line…waiting to get the first shot at me as I walked through the doors….were not so much standing around. They were flitting back and forth between classes, lockers, and the bathroom. There was not one, single, solitary person who knew it was my BIG birthday. What. A. Letdown. My scarlet letter “D” had fallen off my shirt and I stood there thinking “Seriously, people, I am 16. Ask. Me. Out!”

I was devastated. To offset my devastating, I went to the bathroom, fixed my hair, reapplied more baby blue eye shadow, reapplied my “D” and headed out to the halls to casually announce that I was 16 and I was on the market. Fresh meat. Excited to be alive and ready to say YES!

Doodling for Attention

As I sat in class, I would doodle “today is my birthday and 16” all over my paper. I doodled and doodled and doodled. There was not one person, male or female, that noticed what I was doodling. Dangit. The next step…tell people. I would get a half-smile or some people would actually say the words “happy birthday” but other than that, no one was excited.

I went home, full of sadness. I looked in the mirror and thought “you look hot, you look 16, you look like you are ‘of age’ to date, the outfit is rockin’…what the heck is the problem?” I vowed to try again tomorrow. I wanted to be noticed. I wanted that boyfriend. I wanted the title of girlfriend. I had no idea what it meant other than kissing freely, holding hands, and being able to ride in the car with them.

What to Expect When You are Dating

I talked to daddy about what to expect in the dating world. I needed to be prepared. Daddy just looked at me and gruffly said “go out with boys for free food and movies.” Alrighty, then. That is your great sage advice. He also would tell me “when all other boys go to the barn, I will still be there for you.” Now, that piece of advice was sweet. The other…not so much.

My mom, I never talked much to her about dating. I never talked to anyone about dating. I was one of those kids that didn’t have a lot of friends because I didn’t fit in with any crowd. There was not one person, at my school, that did not know who my daddy was and what he did for a living. I was never told where any parties were because my dad was the one to bust the parties. When your daddy is a cop….it limits who you hang out with to nobody.

In the end, I never dated one single person at my school but I did marry a hottie from college 🙂

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How It Began

My guest blogger today talks about How It Began between her and her “first” boyfriend.  In it she reveals the emotional abuse, manipulation, and pain that she endured during the almost 3 years of dating this boy.

How It Began

This is Something That is Considerably Difficult for Me to Write

I still have not been able to let it go after all these years. But I feel like now is the time to write about what my experiences were like when I was dating someone. I had not been in a relationship (or at least a serious one) until I met him. Online dating is the hip and cool new way to meet possible relationships.  You can talk with random people all over the world.  I was sadly one of the suckers that got sucked into all of the fun profiles and nice looking men.

 

How It Began

 

He showed up in my Facebook messages.  Then he told me that he found my profile on the dating website.  Sadly, he did not have the premium services.  Because of that, he had to message me via Facebook. He was a nice-looking man and I thought, why not? Maybe I should open myself up and see if this might go somewhere. We started talking and we talked online and eventually started texting and calling almost daily for quite a few months.

Eventually, We Met and He Took Me on a Date

 

He was incredibly tall, 6’5 which seemed like a dream come true to my 6’0 tall self. Our date went really well and I invited him to come to church with me the following day. We started dating even though he lived in Alabama and we shortly declared ourselves in a relationship after only dating for a little while. My friends, family, and church family were so supportive of us and our long-distance relationship. It was so hard for him and me to only see each other every two weeks for only two short days. And sometimes I would go months without seeing him because of him working two jobs.

 

The Honeymoon Phase

 

I was in such a “honeymoon” phase that I did not truly see how screwed up our relationship was at the time. Honestly, I made it very clear that I did not want to do anything further unless we got married. I made a choice a long time ago to wait until marriage to have any kind of relations with a man since that is what God says in his Word. After about a year of dating, he kissed me and touched me even though I did not say yes or no. And from there we continued to make poor choices and follow fleshly desires rather than focusing our eyes on God and working on our relationship.

 

Being “In Love”

 

I wanted to make him happy because I wanted to be in love so bad and I wanted him to care about me as I saw in the relationships of my other friends. I had never felt that feeling of “being in love” and I did not see how dangerous it was for me to continue in that sin pattern. Eventually, I told him that we could not continue like this anymore and he agreed to stop. From the beginning that we started dating, I told him that if he ever laid a finger on me that it would not end well for him, which he didn’t but he also treated me in a way that is not acceptable in the way a man should take care of a woman.

 

Manipulation and Emotional Abuse

 

He would yell at me and be overly possessive over me for no reason. I told him that I was considering, not even stating I was actually going to do it, but that I wanted to possibly join a sorority. He freaked out and told me he did not want me to join because I would leave him for a frat guy that was better than him. I assured him that cheating was not something that I take lightly and that I only had eyes for him.

He would yell at me even in front of my family to the point where I had to leave the room in order to stay calm and keep my composure. Yet, I still said nothing because I did not want him to leave me. He would emotionally abuse me and refused to communicate with me when we would fight. I tried to put a bandaid on the issue or smile my way through it and say that we were alright. I refused to listen to wisdom from my church family, my mentors, and my family, especially my mom.

Part 2:  Coming Tomorrow

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Courting Questions

Courting Questions

Courting Questions on Faith

Courting Questions is a list of questions with some Biblical support on each.  We have used this to help in the “dating” world of each of our children.

What are your habits with regard to Bible study? Bible Study

What is your opinion of personal witnessing? Witnessing

What would you say is your spiritual gift(s)? Spiritual Gifts

Do you show a regular willingness to serve others?  In what ways? Serving Others

Do you tithe? Tithe

What is your practice regarding personal prayer? Prayer Life

Also, do you tend to be more of a leader or follower in life?

In making decisions, what role does God’s Word play? God’s Word

What are your thoughts on family worship?

What would be the key attributes of such a practice in your home?

Describe a typical Sunday in your life from start to finish.

Family

This set of Courting Questions is all on the family.  When you marry a person, you are marrying everyone!

Describe your relationship with your father?

Do any mental or emotional illnesses that could affect your children run in your family?

Describe your relationship with your mother?

Can you describe your relationship with your grandparents?

Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should protect a wife and children?

How do you see your future relationship with your in-laws working out?

Are there any unsettled issues with your parents?

Friendships/Relationships/Commitments

Now we come to the Courting Questions of friendships and relationships.  This can be a sticky topic sometimes.

Can you describe your relationship with your friends? Friendships

Have you ever had to deal with a broken relationship? If so, please provide the details of that relationship, how long ago, the situation, and how did you handle it? Relationships

Men & Women, what is your attitude towards them?

What is their purpose?

Can you talk about your prior experience with dating and romance? Dating

Have you ever kissed or been physically intimate in any way with a girl/woman? If so, explain the circumstances. Premarital Sex

Are you consistently faithful in fulfilling your commitments? Commitments

Self

These Courting Questions are all centered around you, as a person, and how you handle things.

In what ways is self-centeredness expressed in your life? Self-Centeredness

Are you ever manipulative of others? Manipulation

What kinds of situations cause you frustration?  How do you respond? Frustration

What circumstances might make you impatient or angry? Impatience

How do you handle anger? Anger

Have you ever been violent?

Do you raise your voice when angry?

Are your spending habits disciplined?

What is your discipline in studying?

Do you read regularly, and if so, what?

Who is your favorite author?

Outside the Bible, what would be your five favorite non-fiction books?

Five favorite fiction books?

What are your habits regarding sleeping?

Are you lethargic?

Are your sleep habits irregular?

Do you follow a regular schedule?

Are you organized?

Would you consider yourself neat or messy?

How do you feel about guns?

Do you use offensive language? Speech

What is your attitude toward pets? Indoor? Outdoor?

Do you have political leanings?

How is your general attitude toward the civil government?

Favorite sources for news?

Do you have any interests, hobbies, talents?

What do you value most highly in life? What next?

In your spare time, what do you tend to do?

Do you prefer to live in the city, suburbs, town, or country; farm, seaside, mountains, or desert? Why?

Describe a typical weekday in your life from start to finish.

Describe a typical Saturday in your life from start to finish.

Health & Social

Here are some Courting Questions on health and social aspects.

Do you have any physical or mental disabilities or diseases?

Any allergies?

Prior or current health problems?

Do you drink alcohol? If so, what and how often?

What are your views on alcohol?

In addition, do you smoke?

What are your views on smoking?

Do you watch television, R-rated movies? PG-rated movies?

What were the last five movies you watched?

Is there a kind of music you prefer?

Do you find any music offensive?

Money & Work

The next set of Courting Questions revolves around money and work.

What is your view of debt? Debt

Do you have any financial debt? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

How would you describe your work ethic? Work Ethic

Do you have a high standard of excellence?

Do you tend to be either slothful or a workaholic?

How many hours per week do you work?

What are your income-producing (vocational) skills?

Marriage

Now, we face the Courting Questions on Marriage!

How have you prepared yourself for marriage? Preparing for Marriage

In what ways do you think you may need to grow before marriage?

What does “leave and cleave” mean to you? Leave and Cleave

Are you prepared to put your wife first, before all others, including your parents?

What are your views on women working outside the home?

Can you tell me your thoughts on how a man should provide for a wife and family?

What is your view on the role of a spouse? Role of Wife Role of Husband

What are your views concerning divorce and remarriage? Divorce

Do you have a personal timetable for marriage? If so, what is it?

What type of education are you hoping that your future spouse will have?

List the five most important characteristics of a spouse (for you personally).

List any characteristics or personality traits that would bother or irritate you in a spouse.

Parenting

Typically, parenting comes after marriage and these Courting Questions are important.

How do you relate to children?

How often are you around children?

What are your thoughts regarding birth control and family planning? Birth Control Family Planning

How many children do you hope to have?

What is your attitude toward adopting children? Adoption

What are your views on child training, including corporal punishment? Discipline

What are your views on homeschooling? Homeschooling

If “your” daughter were marrying “you,” what cautions would you have?

What are your thoughts on alternative medicine?

What are your thoughts on immunizations?

Hot Topics

These Courting Questions are a little bit more personal.  Remember, regardless of the answer, God loves you!

When you fail someone, what actions do you take to rectify the situation? Forgiveness

Are you honest? Honesty

Do you ever slant the truth for your own benefit? http://www.openbible.info/topics/lying

Have you ever been in trouble with the law? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

What tendencies do you have toward prejudice or racism? Prejudice Racism

Have you ever had periods of rebellion? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

Have you ever been exposed to pornography? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances. Pornography

What are your views on homosexuality? Homosexuality

Do you currently use any type of drugs? Have you in your past? If so, explain the extent and the circumstances.

Courting Questions Conclusion

Realize, these questions were first found at Your Sacred Calling.  However, I edited some of them and I added Scripture.  This is an amazing group of questions that can help you or your child.  Also, this is completely Biblically based.  In addition, you must realize that God loves us all, regardless of the answers to these questions.  We are called to love everyone, in all situations.  God is our Judge.  We are called to love and bring joy to others.

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You Know There is a Problem When

You Know There is a Problem When

You Know There is a Problem When

You know there is a problem when the boy who is interested in your daughter

shows up at your home

with an envelope in his hand

asks to speak to you

and says

“Ms. Brandi, I was dishonest with you, on Sunday.  You frightened me when you asked me if there was anything you needed to know.  However, now I want to tell you and show you my

ARREST RECORD!”

Yes, people, he handed me his extensive arrest record.

I had friends at this dinner, who love my daughter like their own.  The look on my face, as I’m sure priceless, but looking across the table at their faces was a sight to behold.

I believe at one point, as speechless (yes it does happen) as I was, that John John looked at this young man who had an interest in my daughter..he stared him down and said: “Uhm, no….just no.”

We fed the young man.  Oddly, he asked for a photo op with Big Daddy and me.  We opted against that.  However, we were nice.  Oh, and we wished him well.  An executive decision is a heck no techno you are NOT dating my daughter.

“I’m a Christian but I will punch you in the face” LOLOLOLOL

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Let’s Just Say that Someone is Interested in Your Daughter

Let's Just Say that Someone is Interested in Your Daughter

Let’s Just Say that Someone is Interested in Your Daughter.

In Let’s Just Say that Someone is Interested in Your Daughter, I describe a strange event that occurred in my home.  He comes for dinner.  An unexpected guest.  He is a hugger…this you did not know.  Large, strange man hugging you.

Weird.

With great wonder, he comments on how *wonderful* and *large* your home is.  Then, there is a moment of “ma’am, may I please speak to you.”

You sit so he can speak.

In a previous conversation, you asked questions such as:  “What was the last book of the Bible you read?”

Answer:  Psalm 91

“What is your favorite verse?”

Answer:  Uhhhhh….the first one.

“Have you read the book of Habakkuk?”

Answer:  It is in the Old Testament, right?  If it is short, I will go home and read it.

“If I searched your name on Google, what would I find?”

Answer:  “Ah, nothing ma’am…I just watch Godtube.

Then the truth comes out…..

He walks into your home and hands you a manila envelope.

He states that he wants to be honest and hands you his arrest record.

You must give the boy props for coming clean.  Hold no grudges, everyone can change.

“What are your intentions with my daughter?”

Answer:  I don’t want to have sex until I’m married.

**choke back the vomit, ask for a coke and possibly a valium**

“No, we are not talking about sex.  What are you wanting from knowing my daughter?”

Answer:  Oh, ma’am, they tell me in AA that I can’t be in a relationship until I have been sober for a year.

“You are an alcoholic.  Okay.  You are in recovery.  Good for you.  How long have you been sober?”

Answer:  Not a year.

Conversation over.

The supper was eaten.

Boy exits….after another hug and a surprise photo op because he wants the “memory” of being here.

Seriously.

Is it *just* my life?

There was more to the conversation.  So.  Much.  More.

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