A Lone Ranger’s Journey – Part II – The Chase

We left off last Thursday with a post from the “Lone Ranger.”  He has agreed to reveal his identify if and when he marries the young maiden.  Wishing for the best…

Let’s pick up the story at…

But no matter what I did, this third encounter had proven to be extremely difficult.  This is where it gets beautifully bogus.

While an inside friend of mine is working a set-up with Lyla on my behalf separately, last Sunday after church I stepped out to man up and make it happen.  I was on the hunt and I promise you that I had the best of intentions.

After church I knew would be the time where I would have the best chance.  I prayed the Lord would make this happen…which I’m pretty sure is a legit thing to petition for.  When the final worship song wrapped up I began to survey the crowd looking for her…no luck.

I thought maybe I’d have better luck if I just positioned myself in the foyer outside the sanctuary and strike up a conversation with someone whose name I didn’t know to give me cause for standing in the middle of the foyer.   But as luck would have it, there would be no need for the unnamed small talker.

There she was right by the exit door.  This was it.  This was when I got to, as I planned it in my head, walk her to her car, say something insightful about the sermon, make her laugh, comment graciously on her shoes.  It was a solid plan.

Unfortunately she was in deep conversation with some other girl and it didn’t look like it was wrapping up in the next five minutes.  Could I kill time for five minutes?  At the time, I could have killed time for hours if necessary.  But ten minutes came…twenty minutes came and she wasn’t moving an inch.  “Maybe today’s not the day” I thought and my legs, pushing against the will of my heart, took me all the way to my car.

As I turned the key I felt that I had given up today too easily, especially after all of that build up.  But hope sprang out and I decided I would wait till she finally exited the church, was walking to her car and then I could drive by, roll down the window and say “hey” as well as whatever else came to mind.  So I waited and waited and waited…and waited…and there she was!  But, unfortunately still talking to that girl.  They had to be putting a lid on it soon.

I started the car, I took my chances.

But, as I drove by, Lyla’s back was turned to me and my last chance was lost.  That is, until I left the parking lot, pulled a U-ee (sp?) and drove by once again…still no luck.  The final sting came when as I drove away this last time I could see in my rear view mirror Lyla finally bidding her friend farewell and getting into her car.  It had the build-up of Rocky III, but without the payoff glory in the end.  Also without the big Russian guy…and most of the other plot points from that movie…maybe that was a bad comparison.

I wish I could say my hopes for the day ended there.  I wish I could say I didn’t drive to REI, thinking “hey she’s outdoorsy. In truth she’s more likely to go there after church than back to my neighborhood in Tigard.”  So with the comparative odds in my favor, I halfheartedly went to REI.  This was a slim chance.  Hey God’s sovereign, people!  I read a story once where God made a sea part in order for people to cross.  Remember, He also brought people back to life.  This quick trip’s high hopes  were relatively small potatoes in the economy of the miraculous.

But still, she of course never came.   As bummed out as I was, I still hold high hopes for next Sunday…and the Sunday after that if necessary.  I might have to just get more creative.  Not desperate, but inventive.

Wish me luck.  The ends will justify the means.  Or at the very least just leave me with more stories to tell.



A Lone Ranger’s Journey

John’s blog post from a few weeks back, appropriately titled “Honesty, it’s a Rough Policy,” encouraged me to come out and be honest as well.  In this case, I can only be candid with John though, as the rest of you will have to answer to my pen name: Ranger. 

Sometimes when we have the “hots” for someone, and they are not readily available to pursue in house church, coffee ministry, children’s ministry (please don’t misinterpret that), communion duty, etc., we need to create/manufacture situations or path-crossings.  This shouldn’t be considered creepy.  Last I checked, society seemed to have a certain admiration for “opportunists” as I prefer to call myself.  In fact, I’m sure there are thousands of existing time-tested relationships that had a certain genesis in the guy being an unabashed conjurer of opportunities.

No regrets.   The end will surely justify the means.  In the same way you can’t judge a painting until it is completed and you cannot critique a song until the final chorus plays out, we can’t judge a guy for his tactics in pursuit of a woman.  Either way, saying this to myself makes me feel better.

Let’s get to the story:

My mom feels as though her chance to have grandkids rests entirely on my shoulders.  This doesn’t induce any undue pressure in me really.  I actually find it comical.  Nonetheless, I humor her and tell her that I trust her motherly judgment in setting me up with someone (for reference: see John’s several blog posts concerning arranged marriages). 

Apparently she and one of her church lady friends were all over it before I knew what hit me.  They had just the girl.  She was considered “sweet” and her name was Lyla (not really) and apparently had a heart of gold.  Of course, one of my first thoughts, to be honest with you, was “is she attractive?”  I gave my mom the benefit of the doubt on this one and I apathetically told her I’d look into it.

Not less than a week later I see my mom’s church lady friend in the oh-so-common post-church social circle.  I noticed she was surrounded by young ladies.  This is normally intimidating as I will always end up saying something outrageous when this particular situation arises.  But I broke through nonetheless, knowing Lyla must be in there and I had to know whether this was a go/no-go.

There she was.  Flowery summer dress…check.  Cowgirl boots…check.   Radiating joy…check, check-a-dee-check.  I was captivated and after a few short words and a nice handshake I knew I had to see her again.  However, to my chagrin, I have only been able to cross her path but one time since.  It may have only been that one fortuitous reunion but I decided the next time I ran into her I was going to ask her out.  The rain would stop, the sun would come out, the birds would chirp and all would be merry.

But no matter what I did, this third encounter has proven to be extremely difficult.  This is where it gets beautifully bogus.

(We will find out on Monday what Ranger does next)

It’s More Queezy than Easy

mmm, finding a girl, sheesh, it sure ain’t easy

the stomach turns and it gets real queezy

the mind it drifts and dreams and shakes

trying to decipher the reals from the fakes

“I’ve found the one! I’ve found the one!” said too many times before

Only to find out another broken heart was in store

How many of those can you have, I’m really not sure

But after awhile it all becomes a blur

I’m sure she’s there, just around the corner

Or maybe the corner’s corner’s corner

Because the path is real long and it ain’t getting’ shorter

And I ain’t gonna go on-line and buy one from across the border

Or even to find a date

Its just not my style but I can relate

To what its like to long for the one

And go about it any means under the sun

Together, might just be better

I don’t always hear clearly from the Lord when I like a girl.  I don’t even always feel close to the Lord.  I try.  I try really hard.  I try harder than ever.  But my head seems to get muffled.

I usually pray more.  Because I want answers.  And I want them now!  I usually even take more time alone to seek God.

I think one of the more difficult stages individually in life are the times you go through when you are single and really want to be married.  Because in that, you really don’t have much control.  I mean, you could just get married but you know… you’re waiting till you “think” it’s the right time.  And the girl, well, she has even less control.

But it’s difficult in several ways.  One, when you are pursuing someone or are interested in someone… or interested in being pursued by someone, it is really hard for your focus not to be on that someone… but continuously on the Lord.  And you realize all the time you spent seeking and praying never really got you closer to Him but closer (in theory) to what you hoped might be.

I am a pretty satisfied single.  I enjoy being single.  But I have gone through times as well when I really would prefer being married.  And when that becomes a focus, before I know it, I realize I have drifted away from the Lord and am left with whatever is rolling through my mind.  It’s usually not bad.  But it’s pretty empty in the end.

Once you are married, you get to live out a picture of Christ and His church and those thoughts are no longer empty but beautiful.  Now, I’m not saying marriage is perfect or whatever, I know its very difficult but…. For one thing, it’s no longer a problem to have your mind drifting to thoughts of a life better lived together.

With a mind drifting to thoughts of a better life lived together with no together to be had, that can be difficult.

“I lived in fantasy dating world until I was 28.” – Anonymous

I was sitting in a room with a couple of young married couples last night and remembered that I didn’t have a blog written yet. There used to be another single guy in the room too, but he left so it was just me and two married couples.  I’m not really feeling that, it’s a little awkward, but oh well, let’s ask some questions.

“What is the most overrated thing that people are looking for in a spouse?”

The reason I ask this question is because I think everyone overrates themselves…at least, this is what McCoy tells me and I agree.  We all think we are awesome and deserve someone even more awesome.  In reality, we’re just ok and most everyone else is ok too.  And there are some awesome ones, but we probably don’t deserve one.  Sorry.  We probably deserve someone ok just like us.  And you know what, when you realize you are just ok, and you find someone ok, that makes you Awesome!

Some answers:

It is so overrated to be “Looking for someone who is ‘ready’.”  Because no one is ready.  I would still be single (if I was waiting to be ready or waiting for my spouse to be ready).  You might not want to be homeless and maybe you’d like to have some food on the table but there’s too much waiting to be “ready.”

The other side chimes in, “People see ‘ready’ as the dude is set.  What they see on the Bachelor or on movies.  But ready is always different and always changes to where you are in life.”

This makes sense to me.  I like it.  I was always wanting to find the right girl when I wasn’t “ready” or “set.”  I thought that’d make the relationships a lot more challenging, fun, and interesting.  Like when I was an intern making nothing, that’d a been cool.  I was an intern for 4 years so I had ample opportunity.  What better time to meet a girl then when you are paying to work, don’t have a house, have a car in fumes, are living on a couch, and are eating power bars for dinner.  #Dreamy.

Another thing that is overrated is “The List.”

“For me, my ‘List’ went like… I don’t live up to anything on my list.”  “It took us awhile to realize that you don’t get married to be happy but to be holy.  A lot of people think they get married and the rest of their world will be happy but that’s not true.  I think life gets harder.”  And the other side chimes in ”ummmmhmmm.”

This makes sense too.  I used to have a “list.”  A literal list.  As in I wrote down everything I wanted.  Then I decided not to have a list at all.  So when people ask what I’m looking for, I say, “I don’t have a list!  I will marry anyone who is godly and awesome.”  Then they (as in Penny Stady) usually come back by asking me why I wouldn’t date certain awesome and godly girls and why I broke up with godly and awesome girls I have dated.  Touché.

A third overration (it’s a new word), is…. “the feeling.”  One of the peoples stated, “I lived in a fantasy dating world until I was 28.  When you are done with the (fantasy) world, you can actually ask someone out.”

I agree.  We are always searching for a feeling.  Maybe you aren’t but I know I have before.  And I strive not to but I know it happens.  People are searching for a feeling and not a commitment.  I think this is why there are so many failed marriages.  People are searching for a feeling to get excited about a relationship rather than searching for a person to get excited about.  Feelings go away, but people remain.

This is why arranged marriages work so well because they are based on commitment.

This isn’t the first time arranged marriages have come up on this blog.   You all are probably just waiting for me to drop the bomb and let you know that dating is out and arrangements are in.  It’d be so simple.  I even asked a lady friend the other day, “Would you let me arrange your marriage?”  She said, “yes.”  I appreciated that.  I’ll get to work on that.

So… 3 things to remember, you’re never gonna be ready, if you are waiting on a feeling – you are living in a fantasy world, and your list is dumb.  Happy dating.

Honesty, it’s a Rough Policy

I was in the kitchen of my apartment complex when I looked outside and noticed a shady character.  They were milling around our yard and they looked up to trouble.  I looked at my roommate and said, “Hey, what’s that dude up to out there?!  Looks like he’s up to trouble.”  His response, “Huh?  That’s my girlfriend.”  I look back outside and “oh crap, it is.”  Then I reply, “Oh no, not her, that other guy out there, he must have gotten away.”

I can’t imagine how honesty would have helped this situation.

I’ve heard girls say, “I wish guys would just be open and honest with what they feel and what they are thinking, it’d be so much easier!”

In theory, yes.  In reality, heck no.

You DO NOT want to know what I am thinking.  If you think us telling you what we are thinking would cause you less confusion……

Here’s the conversation in my head when I first saw you:

“When you walked in to the room, I thought you were really cute and you were on my mind for the next week…so I went on facebook but I couldn’t remember your name but I did know your friend so I looked through all the profiles of their friends until I found you and then I went through all of your photos and likes so I could create an image of who I thought you were before we had even spoken more than two sentences but then I saw some of your “likes” and preferences so I didn’t think we were very compatible but after that I noticed that your religion said “Jesus Saves” so I thought maybe I’d give you a chance and then we talked some more later in the week and I decided that I wasn’t that interested any more and that I think I liked another girl more… but then we talked again later that same night and I thought, maybe I am interested in you so I decided to observe you for awhile but the more I observed, the more  I began to find reasons why it wasn’t going to work with us….but then I read a book about how we’re not perfect and marriages are to serve and not to be served and I thought, maybe we can work this out but then I decided I might like that other girl so I probably shouldn’t be talking to you at all anymore if I’m not going to pursue you even though I really do enjoy talking to you and being around you… but then I heard a sermon of what a godly wife was like and I thought that sounded more like you so I kind of wanted to ask you to coffee or yogurt but I only wanted to get to know you without it being awkward or leading you on so I made it a group event…but then you didn’t come so I wasn’t sure if you were interested or if I should be more forward so I got your number and sent  you a text message to see how long it would take you to respond and when it took you forever to respond, I knew you must not be interested, but then I also thought, maybe she is so full of the Lord that she doesn’t need a man in her life… and I really liked that so then I texted you again and you responded right away and I thought, yes!, she is so in to me….but maybe a bit too much, maybe she just really wants to be married? does she even like me? why is she responding so quickly? she doesn’t even know me!…. so then I sent you a message back… but not right away, but not too long either, in the 13-35 minute range so that you would know that yeah, I have things to do, but you’re pretty important too so I don’t have that many things… so I invited you to another group activity even though I really just wanted to just be with you – but… I ended up avoiding you the whole evening… so I wrote a message on your wall so you would know that you were important to me despite me avoiding you at our group activity for fear of people knowing I was in to you and asking me about us before we had even decided if we want us to be an “us”, but then I saw another guy writing on your wall and I got jealous so I thought maybe I did really really like you, but then we became like best friends so I ignored you for the next 3 weeks because I didn’t think I could have a girl who was a best friend especially if I wasn’t going to marry her… but then I listened to a teaching on how you should marry your best friend so I considered proposing to you that week but I got cold feet so I decided to send you another text so I could count how long it would take till you would respond this time…and I was thinking all the while that you might be “the one” for me but I couldn’t decide if you were “the one” or if I really wanted you to be “the one” or if you were “the one” God had chosen for me or if I had simply decided to make you “the one”  …so I couldn’t decide what was best…whether to not talk to you anymore or whether just to marry you… it’s a tough decision but nothing I can’t figure out before the first real date.

Honesty?  I’m gonna skip that policy.  Save us both the trouble.