baby development

Friday, March 25, 2005


When my grandmother died, there were Bibles found all over her house. There were study Bibles, King James Bibles, new Bibles, and old Bibles. Many were marked and written in, highlighted, and well worn. There were emery boards in some - emery boards were found all over her house, as I suppose they now are in mine as well. After her funeral, my mother wrote about the scriptures that were marked or highlighted in those Bibles that were still left open by her chair before she died.

"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain...having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better" (Philip. 1:21-23). This was one of the scriptures she had highlighted, and one that she made mention of often. I know my grandmother prayed for me, and for my then-husband. I know she knew he (and I, then) did not live a Godly life. She never stopped loving me for this.

I've often longed to have the devotion to Christ that she has, and the kind of marriage-in-Christ she had with my grandfather. I was 7 when my grandfather died, but I feel like I know him well from all I heard about him over the years. When I was married before, my heart ached for someone who would worship and pray with me, and be my spiritual partner. While that never came, the storms did, and we chose to end our marriage of 9 years. Despite our relief and desire for a fresh start, it was a painful experience. As I attended my gradmother's funeral, the paperwork was at the lawyer's office and my then-husband sat by my side. He helped carry her casket, and I was grateful he was there. But I longed for someone to pray with me and to talk with me about her love of Jesus and how she shared His love with everyone.

Before I married my husband last year, we tried to do everything right that we knew how to do. We talked through as many different issues as we could. We debated, discussed, prodded, and quetionned. We talked about our relationships with God, our preferences for styles of worship and doctrine. And we prayed together - over the phone, and in person. We prayed during the wedding ceremony, and knelt at the alter while the minister sang the Lord's Prayer. We were sure we were set spiritually, but we were wrong.

After we moved in together in Lexington, KY, things grew tense from time to time. Space and privacy and time and work became issues larger than life. There were nights one or both of us climbed into bed miffed and fell asleep. There were mornings one or both of us went off to work miffed, and failed to invite the Lord into our day. Worse, we failed to invite the Lord into our relationship. We visited several churches, but we did not go every Sunday. Sundays became filled with "getting-ready-for-Monday" work, and Sunday night frequently bled into Monday morning as my husband pulled long-nighters (now too old for all-nighters). I felt less like a newlywed and more like an old hag.

Around the new year, I saw an ad for a church service that was a continuation on a theme of renewal. It sounded interesting, and I committed to go. My husband and I were not completely happy with each other that morning, but we went anyway. And we liked it. The next Sunday we went to Bible study before the service, and liked it too. The group was reading Optimizing Your Marriage. "Ouch", I thought. Did I really want to optimize this new mess we were in? Didn't I have other things to work on? Wasn't newlywed bliss supposed to come before the work part? I swallowed hard. As the class started, th class members went around the room telling about their "highs" and "lows" from the week. My mind raced to find a high. I wondered what my husband who was sitting to my left would say. He opted to pass. "Oh, great", I thought. So, I'm sure I said something close-to-appropriate and class began. But through all of the things I didn't agree with in the text, several Biblical truth kept emerging. I did not like the pressure God was putting on my heart. I wasn't sure how my husband would respond. He had rejected the notion of the male head of the family being the "spiritual leader". He was a marital separate, and relational immeshment was not his forte.

I decided to compromise with God. My husband and I had fallen away from a routine prayer life for a plethora of reasons. I went on ebay with a sigh and a short prayer. "OK, God, lead me to a book." I think the prayer in my head was a bit sarcastic. But I found a book called "Night Lights" by James and Shirley Dobson. It looked alright and the description said it could be done in just a couple of minutes together each night before bed. I could handle a couple of minutes! The book arrived several days later and I introduced it to my husband. I think he said something profound like, "Cool". That Sunday night we started our reading. It wasn't bad, but it felt a little weird reading about God in bed, then turning off the light and thinking, "That was a real mood killer." But we did it every night. We even took the book with us when we went to Atlanta for my conference, and even read from it in the hotel room after our trip to the E.R. We've even read it when we didn't feel like it. It has started to feel really nice. Now, if there is something on TV late at night that we want to watch, we'll do our devotions earlier in the night. We've rad about true love, serving each other, and prayer.

In the weeks ahead, we are going to work on our prayer life together. We honestly feel a bit awkward when it comes to praying together, and I'm ashamed to admit that. My husband wonders if the weird feeling comes from feeling like you are talking to your partner at the same time you are talking to God. I wonder if the awkwardness comes from too much concern for self and feeling like an idiot. We wonder what we are going to pray about, even though there is a pile of things that God needs to know about.

We've agreed to start a prayer list, or a prayer journal. We are going to write down things that we want or need to bring before the Lord in prayer, and we are going to try to pray about them - together. And we are going to pray for each other more, and in more meaningful ways. FOr example, I need to work on praying for my husand in deeper ways that simply, "God, please be with my husband today as he's at work." God says "Ask and ye shall recieve, seek and ye shall find, knock and the door shall be open unto you". But I really haven't been asking for anything meaningful, or seeking, or knocking much at God's door. Yet he keeps on blessing me.

God, thank you for blessing me, even though I haven't been praying without ceasing. Please guide us in our devotions and in our prayer life so we might have a marriage pleasing to you.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005


"You really don't know when you wake up in the morning what's in store for you", my husband reflected Tuesday night around midnight. "My thoughts exactly", I replied, as we sat in a hotel room in Duluth, Georgia trying to recover from the nightmare of the past 9 hours in the emergency room in Kennesaw, Georgia.

What started as the flu and sinus problems turned into severe headaches for my husband over the course of the last two weeks. I'd given him everything under the sun in an effort to lessen the pain he felt.

I figured joining me in Atlanta for my weekend conference could be just the thing he needed to relax and get some work done with the laptop while I conferenced during the day. But by Tuesday at 3:00 when we went to leave, he was in intense pain. I wondered if he was being wimpy. But when he began shaking in the passenger's side of the car, ice to his forehead, and tears streaming down his cheeks, I knew he wasn't being melodramatic. And I was really afraid.

I had no idea of where to go, so I pulled off I-75 and saw a Kaiser Permanente building. We arrived only to find out they treated children - but they took a look at my husband and urged us to go to the nearest E.R. We had to go back south, to Kennesaw.

By the time we arrived, he could barely speak. He couldn't bear the light, and he was still in tears. The staff put us in a back hallway where he could sit in a recliner in the dark. I was scared there was something more serious than just a bad headache. He was finally seen by the doctor around 8pm, and given 2 shots (in the boo-oo-ty) that seemed to do the trick. He was then wheeled back for a CT scan, and the diagnosis - sinusitis. Really? Could sinusitis really be THAT bad - enough to make a grown man cry? Apparently so. Apparently all 3 sinus locations in his head were badly infected, and he may eventually need to have surgery if antibiotics don't work (and so far, they haven't done much good).

So, I am relieved, back at home, and thankful for the fine folks in the Kennesaw E.R. who put up with all those people sick and in pain every day at work, and are still kind.

My husband is convalescing at home with my sleep mask on to block out the light (it reads "Doll Face" and is hot pink - a real sight to behold) and a "Be Kool" cold pac stuck to his forehead, and lots of hydrocodone. I hope he is better soon. I've had enough E.R. for a while.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

I Lost During March Madness

Here it is - the time of year no lingerie can compete with. No food, no temptation, no striptease or lapdance can hold a candle to it. Welcome to March Madness, baby. In years past, I have made the mistake of attempting to visit my now husband during our spring breaks, which usually fall during the second or third weeks of March. But this time belongs to basketball and basketball alone. There is no place for me in this, except sitting silently on the sofa for days at a time. This is my husband and I's "together time" now.

Last year I made the fatal mistake of getting married on Saturday, March 20th. My husband said he did not care where we went for the honeymoon as we had so little time before we had to both return to our respective campuses to teach classes the following week. So we did not plan a honeymoon. Instead, we went to Hattiesburg, MS an Mobile, AL and found a room with a ot tub. You would think a honeymoon and a hot tub would be a great combination, but there was one thing wrong - there was a TV in the room too, and it came out of the armoire and swiveled so you could sit in the hot tub and watch TV at the same time. That same time was March Madness. So, my honeymoon was filled with basketball.

This weekend almost one year later, I find myself losing out once again. My husband and I are in a hotel room as I am attending a conference during the days until 4. Tonight we went out for a wonderful fondue dinner. We dressed nicely, but I knew he wanted to rush back to the hotel for the announcement of the brackets. As we got into the room, I took off my jacket, turned my back to him, lifted my hair, and asked if he could unzip me. Well, he unzipped me and turned on the TV. I told him that he was supposed to "cop a feel" at least while he is back there, and he halfheartedly patted my butt and went back to watching ESPN. I sulked off to put on my pajamas and painted my nails for tomorrow's conference in complete silence. Now, it took a lot of effort to be silent - it is not in my blood to do so. But I was trying to make a point. This point was not noticed. In fact, he turned to me in bed and said "Thanks for being so good to me." I was tempted to cuss, but I did not. Now I am up writing this blog, and he is snoring fast asleep in bed. So much for my romantic evening the weekend before our 1 year anniversary. I imagine next weekend will be even worse.

So, for al you women out there married to sports freaks - I feel your pain. I feel your frustration. For all you women thinking getting married over spring break will be a good idea - don't. Even if he doesn't know a thing about basketball, you never know if it might happen.

I could have picked April, but that starts baseball season, and don't even get me started on that.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Another Survey from Megan

Here's the latest installment in getting-to-know-you surveys:

First best friend: Louise Grafstrom
First break-up: Jason Elliott
First screen name: csuprofessor
First self purchased album: WHAM
First funeral: My grandfather, I was 7 and felt guilty that I wasn’t crying like everyone else.
First credit card: in grad school – from the MBNA thieves
First true love: I thought then, that it was Rick Arrigo, but hey, I was 15
First enemy: I don’t think I’ve ever had someone I’d call an “enemy”
First road trip: Took summer trips to TN with my grandmother as a pre-teen

Last cigarette: In 2004, on my patio with Elisa, at my last crazy party before I moved
Last car ride: To work today
Last library book checked out: something for the dissertation, I’m sure, but since there were dozens, I cannot recall. But, I don’t “check out”, I buy.
Last movie seen: Bruce Almighty
Last beverage drank: Diet Vanilla Coke, about 15 minutes ago
Last food consumed: Reduced Fat Wheat Thins, about 15 minutes ago
Last phone call: To my husband last night to tell him I was on my way home
Last time showered: last night
Last shoes worn: black flats
Last item bought: pizza last night
Last time wanting to die: hmmm – REALLY wanting to, never – THINKING I wanted to – probably about 3 months ago
Last time scolded: By a parent, probably at least a year and a half ago, in writing

Who are your best friends? My husband, Megan, Pam, Carol
Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend? Just a husband

Where is your favorite place to shop? TJ Maxx, Ross, Lane Bryant, WalMart
Any tattoos or piercings? One hole in each ear, no tattoos

Do you do drugs? Nothing illegal
What kind of shampoo do you use? Whatever’s on Walgreen’s rebate club that month
What are you most scared of? Being lonely
What are you listening to right now? The voices in my head
Where do you want to get married? I’ve already done it twice – the first time was in a park by the river. The second time was in a little country church in Mississippi. Where I always wanted to get married: Belingrath Gardens in Mobile, AL. Never happened. Never will.
How many buddies are online right now? 3
What would you change about yourself? My weight

Color: emerald green
Food: Greek
Subjects in school: creative writing
Animals: cats
Sports: football
Perfume: Chanel #5
Cologne: RL Romance for Men


Given anyone a bath?: yes
Smoked? yes
Bungee jumped? no
Made yourself throw up? yes
Skinny dipped? yes
Ever been in love? yes
Made yourself cry to get out of trouble? yes
Pictured your crush naked? yes
Actually seen your crush naked? eventually
Cried when someone died? yes
Lied? yes
Fallen for your best friend? no
Been rejected? Yes, many times
Rejected someone? Yes, fewer times
Used someone? yes
Done something you regret? Many things

Clothes: black pants, pink sweater
Favorite artists: Jamie Cullum, Michael Buble, Queen Latifah (“The Dana Owens Album”)

You touched: my husband, who gave me a hug before I left this morning for work
You IMed: my husband – about plans for tonight after work
You kissed: that would be my husband

understanding: about half the time
open-minded: most of the time
arrogant: no
insecure: about some things, yes
interesting: very – I’m a freakin’ case study
hungry: usually
smart: yes
moody: incredibly
hardworking: when I need to be
organized: most of the time
healthy: no, but I’m working on it
bored easily: what was this about, anyway?
responsible: usually, but on occasion I drop the ball
obsessed: sometimes, depends on the subject
angry: occasionally, when I sense an injustice
sad: no
disappointed: sometimes
hyper: when I’m excited about something
trusting: generally
talkative: yes, very

In the morning I am: groggy
All I need is: to be valued
I dream about: sex
Who makes you smile: Megan, Michael, my mom
Who gives you a funny feeling when you see them: B.E., that creepy Scott Savol on American Idol

Sit on the internet all night waiting for that someone to IM you: no
Wish you were a member of the opposite sex: no
Wish you were younger: no


Of times I have had my heart broken: too many
Of tight friends: 4
Of CDs I own: Between my husband and I, 500+
Of scars on my body: 2 major ones

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Mona and Lisa Get Smashed

Mona and Lisa are recovering from their first mamogram this morning. They were lifted and stretched out and placed on a warmed metal plate and compressed and imaged from a variety of angles. Tiny b.b. pellets were taped to their nipples so the person reading the mamogram could tell it was the nipple. (Mona and Lisa were slightly disturbed at the prospect of someone reading a mamogram who could not identify a nipple - but then again, they'd never read one either). They were pleasantly surprised that it did not hurt near as much as they had heard. In fact, they had worn underwires that hurt more than being smashed did. They were also happy that the technician was a nice, unthreatening older woman.

After Mona and Lisa were finished, Tootiecat went to the other side of Central Baptist for an ovarian ultrasound. She felt more discomfort than Mona and Lisa had, and she's more worried since her close neighbors, a nice couple called the Ovaries, had recently been diagnosed with Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS). Tootiecat's procedure was more invasive and hurt some, too, but she was a big girl and did not cry.

All of them feel slightly violated, albeit necessarily so. Mom was diagnosed with breast cancer only about 3 months ago, and had surgery yesterday to remove a lymph node and more breast tissue. Mom's mom also had breast cancer, and had a breast removed about 15 years ago. While grandma was about 70, mom is only 57. The diagnosis of PSOC means a greater risk of all kinds of cancer, especially endometrial cancer and ovarian cancer. The risk of breast cancer is a given. Now it seems like a wait for when it will occur as opposed to wondering if it will.

So, this is pre-midlife, huh? It is less fun than I expected it would be when I was the age of many of my students. I thought I would be so mature and sophisticated. I thought I would have more material possessions and that I would, for whatever reason, have more fun. I have no clue what made me assume this stage in life would be fun. I supposed I figured if I was finished with school, and had a comfortable income and a good marriage, that would cut it. Well, today was not fun. Mamograms and ovarian ultrasounds before finally heading in to work is not fun. But I will take the celebrations as they come.

My joy is in having a mother who is, for the moment, cancer free. She may now have lop-sided breasts, but no one really gives a rip. Her lymph nodes tested negative - the cancer had not spread, and the surgeon was able to successfully remove the cancerous tissue. And she will now be able to spend some time recovering. I am more thankful for my father today than I have been in a long time. And I'm thankful not for what he has done for me (although that is monumental as well), but for how he has cared for mom. He drove her to Tampa, and stayed with her, and drove her back and cares for her. The sound of his voice when he called to say the surgery went well and the cancer has not spread said it all. He really loves mom, and has for over 37 years now. How he has been these past few month, even though I am many states away, has shown how much he loves her and our little family. We are few in number, but great in love.

At the end of the day, Mona and Lisa are happy for good health insurance, and a good doctor who did not hesitate to call in a referral for these tests. And they are happy to also live with a man who does not equate beauty and attraction with their size, shape, or even their presence.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Getting-to-Know You Surveys

My girlfriend, God bless her, sends me these "surveys" from time to time, so I figured I'd just put the latest one up on my blog:

1. FULL NAME: not gonna put that here!
3. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? the sounds of the workplace
4. ARE YOUR LEGS CROSSED? just my feet
5. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? leftover Chinese takeout - pork with snow peas
6. IF YOU WERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Burnt Umber, just because it that was the coolest sounding color
8 LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? Maylissa, one of my students with a very cool name
9. FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT THE OPPOSITE SEX? If they have anything intelligent to say
11.HOW ARE YOU TODAY? Better than I was yesterday
12. FAVORITE DRINK? really sweet tea, Cosmopolitans
14. FAVORITE SPORTS? Football - and UK basketball
15. HAIR COLOUR? Reddish Brown right now
16. EYE COLOR? Dark brown
18. SIBLINGS? One - David who is 26
19. FAVORITE MONTH? December
20. FAVORITE FOOD? Greek and Mediterranian
21. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? At home - Bruce Almighty
25. DO YOU LIKE MARMITE? I just this moment learned what it is - and frankly, the Marmite lovers of the world can keep it
27. HUGS OR KISSES? Kisses
31. WHO IS LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND? everybody else
32. LIVING ARRANGEMENTS? Living with my husband and 2 cats - Callie and Macy Gray
33. WHAT BOOKS ARE YOU READING? "Little Earthquakes" by Jennifer Weiner
35. DO YOU MISS BIG BROTHER YET? I take it this means the TV show - so, NO
36. WHAT INSPIRES YOU? the beach at night, really smart but humble people, great music, the threat of living in a box under the overpass
37. BUTTERED, PLAIN, OR SALTED POPCORN? Carmel, ok, since that's not an option, then buttered so much it makes my lips shiny
38. FAVORITE CRISPS? ?? You mean, like Doritos??
39. FAVORITE CAR? Mitsubishi Spider GTS Convertible
40. FAVORITE FLOWER? pink roses
42. CAN YOU JUGGLE? Yes, but only 3 things
45. WHAT DID YOU DO FOR YOUR LAST BIRTHDAY? I think Pam and Megan took me out - maybe Carol went too?? I was packing to move, so all is a blur.
46. DO YOU OWN A DONOR CARD? My driver's license says that I'm a donor
49. WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ONCE THIS IS FINISHED? Work - for 35 more minutes.

Monday, March 07, 2005

The List - Part 2

Well - I finally finished writing something for every category on the LIST assignment my students had to complete. Some things were challenging for me to write, and add to my original list, but it was fun to think about. So - here 'its:

He will want to go out on the town from time to time.
He will have good social skills, be able to meet new people, carry on a good conversation, and not make a fool of himself or me socially.
He’ll take me to the theatre, to concerts, museums, and cultural events. Afterwards, we’ll critique every detail and laugh like idiots.
He’ll enjoy spending time with me and will want to spend a lot time together. He’ll allow us to talk about work if we want to, or not talk about it at all on days we don’t.
He will surprise me.
He will work with me to create a life full of fun, excitement, novelty, and spontaneity.
He will frequently give “romance” his best attempt.
He will do some things just because he knows how important they are to me.
He will want to go out at least once a week, and hopefully more often.
He’ll take me on dates even after we’re too old to do much.
He’ll write me love letters and poetry and play romantic music for me.
He’ll sing to me, even if it’s more funny than serious.

He will not let sports overtake his life, sanity, or responsibilities. He will turn off ESPN and FOX Sports and other assorted sporting events when there are other pressing responsibilities and deadlines to meet. He will strive to maintain a healthy balance between working and watching sports, and other aspects of his life.

He will not require me to go to sporting events with him. He will allow me the freedom to choose which events I want or do not want to attend. He will not pout or complain about my lack of enjoyment of watching or participating in any sport.

He will not be a Nascar fan.

In-Law Relationships
He will love his family and seek to maintain relationships with his family. He will want me to be a part of his family.

I hope he will like my family.

He will not be rude, insulting, or hateful to my family. If he has things to say about my family that is negative, he will reserve those comments for private conversations between he and I.

He will not discuss our relational problems with his family. He will not compare me to his mother (or any other relative). He will not expect me to be like his mother.

He’ll support me. He’ll do things for me when I can’t do them for myself, or just because he knows it’s important to me. He’ll support me emotionally by listening to me. He’ll provide confirmation and validation when I need it. He’ll encourage me to be the best at everything I find important to do.
He will be a life partner – someone who will help out with anything at all, even if it’s not his interest or area of expertise. When life’s in crunch-mode, I want a partner who actually wants to help out.

He will remember my birthday and buy me thoughtful gifts.
He will buy me little presents for no special reason.

Living Arrangements
He will work together with me to afford and buy a house that we will be comfortable and safe in, and that provides a safe and comfortable place to raise a family.

He will work together with me on the upkeep of the house.

He will not attempt household repair jobs that he cannot handle. He will call and pay for a proper expert for home repairs.

He will view housework as a joint effort. He will compromise on household task responsibilities so that together we can live in a clean and relatively organized home.

He will not leave dirty dishes in the sink longer than 24 hours.

Physical Characteristics
He will, of course, be absolutely beautiful to me.
He will not spend more time on his physical appearance than I do.
He will not have long hair, and will get regular haircuts prior to looking homeless.
He will keep his fingernails and toenails neatly trimmed.
He will not be morbidly obese.
He will not be shorter than me.
He will have the presence of buttocks.
He will not grow a beard. He will trim any facial hair regularly before food and small animals take residence in it.

He will be on time for social events and engagements by arriving by the time the function is set to begin. If the movie starts at 7, we will be sitting down in the theatre by 6:55 at the latest.
He will not make me late by failing to be ready to leave the house in time to make it somewhere.
He will do his best not to cancel plans at the last minute (literally).
He will make social arrangements well in advance (hopefully a week in advance at the least).
He will not waste a tremendous amount of time sitting around being slothful.

Extended Family Relationships
He will realize that our long-distance family situations likely make it difficult to maintain frequent contact with family members. Nonetheless, he will make a concerted effort to allow us to see our families at least once a year – if only during the holidays or a short visit during summer vacation.

He will not create guilt-trip scenarios for me if we are unable to frequently travel to spend time with family members.

He will pay special attention to his relationships with his siblings, as they will likely outlive his parents. He will also be supporting of my efforts to maintain a healthy relationship with my brother.

He will want to regularly get out of whatever city we are living in. This travel can be to another city on a day trip, short weekend trips to an adjacent state, or longer week-long trips.

He will not “count” travel to professional conferences as our vacations and will not consider that sufficient “time away”.

He will not want to go on vacations with extended family.

He will view other vacation options than just going to Las Vegas. He will want to do more on vacation than sit in a hotel room and watch TV. Likewise, he will not have to plan out every single minute of a vacation.

He will plan a trip out of the country with me for sometime in the future.

He will hate debt. He will work hard to eliminate all sources of debt in his life, as I have in mine.

He will not spend beyond his means. If he cannot afford something, he must not purchase it unless he can make the necessary payments (house, car, major repairs, etc.). He will not use credit cards for unnecessary purchases.

He will save money, both on his own and through retirement accounts.

He will tithe to his church, and view tithing and more than just a financial obligation.

Money and material possessions will not be the most important things in life to him.

Parenting Issues
If we cannot have biological children, he will be willing to try moderate levels of fertility treatment options. He will not insist that I put my body through hell to try to conceive. He will view adoption as a viable option for us. He will not view race as an important factor in adoption.

He will view parenting a joint obligation. He will take joint responsibility in caring, feeding, changing, disciplining, and playing with the children.

He will be committed to raising our children in a Christian church, and with Christian principles in the home.

He will love giving and receiving hugs and kisses every day.
He will not be stingy or selfish with the giving and receiving of affection. He will not be afraid to touch me in public, but he will not grope or fondle me in public, or engage in socially inappropriate PDAs.
He will like sitting close to me on the sofa, and snuggling up together while we watch TV or a movie, or listen to music.
He will dance with me in the living room.
He will “get fresh” with me, on occasion, in various rooms of the house.

He will not view tasks according to gender lines (i.e. that there is “woman’s work” and “man’s work”). He and I will divide tasks and responsibilities according to what we are good at doing, or what we enjoy doing. When there are things that need to get done that neither of us want to do, we will jointly devise a way to get it done that works for both of us.

He will not expect me to baby him when he is sick. He will appreciate the fact that I will take care of him when he is sick. He will be appreciative of my care giving efforts.
He will keep yearly well-visits to the doctor, and the dentist for routine cleanings.
He will not have any sexually transmitted disease.
He will engage in basic routines of taking care of his health – eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and not smoking, drinking, or doing drugs.
He will not abuse over-the-counter drugs.
He will view his health holistically – physical, mental, and spiritual health.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The List

My students have an assignment to create a list of their "Must Haves" and "Can't Stands" in a partner. So, to encourage them, I'm posting portions of the list that I've made in that same mode. Here's part of that list:

He will be incredibly honest.
He will never, ever lie to me, even if it means relational discord.
He will tell me if he doesn’t like something I cook, if he doesn’t like something I’m wearing, or if he doesn’t like something I’ve done or am doing.
He won’t wait to tell me until it’s too late to do anything about it.
Together, we will make one terrific team. Together, we will accomplish things that separately we would never be able to achieve.
He will dream big and tell me often about those dreams. He will actively work with me to find ways to make some of those dreams come true.
He’ll listen to me vent after a really bad day – even if he doesn’t feel my frustration, anxiety, or feelings are warranted. He’ll listen to my excitement when I’ve had a really good day – even if it isn’t something that would excite him.
He will have no problem asking for what he wants – relationally, sexually, intimately, or otherwise.
He will want to hear my desires and needs.
He will compliment me when there is something special he takes notice of.
He won’t patronize me. He will see me as his equal.
He will miss me when we’re apart.
He will be proud of my accomplishments.
He will remind me often that he loves me, even though I already know.
He will keep the secrets I tell him.
He will have good social skills, be able to meet new people, carry on a good conversation, and not make a fool of himself or me socially.
He will call if he’s going to be late.
He will ask me difficult questions about life.
He will think I’m wonderful, and when other people ask about me, he will have nice things to say about me.
He will be my confidant.
He will want to hear all the stories from my childhood, my teenage years, and my young adult life.
He will regale me with his stories as well.
He will take great joy in the creation of our new stories together.
He won’t do things out of mere obligation.
He’ll put me first – ahead of others in his life.
My perspectives and opinions will be important to him.
My happiness will be important to him.
He will consider my feelings when making important decisions.


He must be a born-again Christian. He can and will be fatally flawed, yet forgiven. He must be a spiritual partner who sees God in similar ways and who seeks to understand his relationship with his creator. We can disagree about worship practices and philosophies, but the core values and things we believe in strongly should match. I want a partner to support me spiritually as well. He will go to church with me every week and pray with me regularly. Together, we will have a regular (weekly) Bible study as a couple, and have a goal of praying together every day.

He must not be holier-than-thou, sanctimonious, or overly concerned with ritual and tradition (like what hymns or praise songs are sung or when the offering is taken up or if a woman is in a leadership role). He must not judge others who choose to worship God in different ways. He must not believe that because he was saved as a child, that means he’s still saved. He must not buy into religious teachings that make women subservient, second-class citizens.

Personality Variables
He’ll enjoy a good intellectual discussion as well as utter silliness – even in the same day.

He’ll laugh at everything that is remotely funny. He’ll laugh at himself, at me, and at the millions of funny things this crazy life presents. He’ll want to have lots of fun. He’ll find fun in the mundane goings-on of life. He’ll want to have lots of fun with me.

He will not be selfish, and will know how to put me first sometimes. He will share freely with others and give to those in need.

He must not be depressed and sullen a majority of the time. He must be, overall, a generally happy person. He will want to be happy.

He will be flexible.

He will have at least as much college education as I have. He’ll have common sense, and know about lots of things I know nothing about. He will be brilliant and well read, but will know that other people (myself included) are just as smart and capable. He’ll teach me new things.

He won’t take issue with the fact that there are things I know more about than he does.

He will like what he does for a living. Work/career will not be all consuming to him or me.

He will be interested in my career and future aspirations. He’ll gladly edit my work, listen to what happened in class or at the office, and support me in whatever I decide to do career-wise.

He will work as hard as I do in all aspects of his life. He will not become complacent with his lot in life, and will always strive to become better at what he does for a living.

He couldn’t care less if I make more money than he does.


He will have fastidious personal grooming and hygiene habits. He will believe in showering every day and simple things like brushing his teeth. He will cut his hair regularly before he looks homeless. He will also shave every day, and I’ll cut him some slack there on weekends and when he’s not feeling well.

He will not wear pants without appropriate undergarments. He will not wear dirty clothes. He will not find it amusing when he smells bad. He will not pass gas and laugh and rate it on an Olympic scale.

He will encourage me to be healthy - he’ll help me with healthy eating, weight loss or maintenance, and exercise. He’ll eat something decadent and completely unhealthy every now and then and enjoy every bit of it.

He will try new things – new foods, new recipes, new activities – just for the sake of variety. He’ll have lots of new things he wants me to try as well.
I want him to let me try to cook the things he likes as well as allow me the freedom to cook the things that I like and he doesn’t.

He will not be a vegetarian, or insist that we eat only organic foods. He will not be a health-food fanatic or a work-out obsessed body builder.

I want to eat dinner together as often as possible.

He’ll respect me. Despite what will certainly be frequent differences of opinion, he’ll respect my right to my own views.

He’ll respect himself. He won’t compromise his values.

He will not engage in physical violence against me, our children, our pets, or other people.

He will not engage in verbally aggressive conflict, including raising his voice, name-calling, or swearing at me.

He won’t run away from an argument (physically or emotionally).

He’ll view compromise as a necessary part of ensuring relational sanity instead of something that causes people to loose out on what they really want.

He’ll not publicly humiliate or belittle me. He’ll keep relational problems out of the public arena. He won’t discuss our relational problems with anyone who will listen. He will not discuss our relational problems with members of his family.

He’ll tell me when I’ve done something that offends him, annoys him, troubles him, or hurts him. He will be open to hearing it when he has done the same.

He’ll accept my apologies. He’ll forgive my faults. He and I will both say “I’m sorry” when we commit a wrong.


He will tolerate and be nice to my cats. He will give them food and water. I do not expect him to ever have to clean the litter box, except if/when I am pregnant or too ill to do so.

He will never hit, kick, or hurt the cats.
He will never want to own a dog.

He must be willing to become my best friend, and treat me as such. He must seek to maintain healthy connections with other people he considers his friends. He must correspond with and talk to his friends on a regular basis, and seek to do things together with people other than me. He will want us to spend time together with other people.

He must not place his friends above me. When he thinks he needs to give time to a friend instead of meeting family obligations, he should consult me first. He should not engage in inappropriate behavior when with his friends that he would not engage in when in my presence (drinking, smoking, drug use, swearing, and other assorted “actin’ a fool” behaviors).


He’ll touch me constantly. He’ll rub my feet just because and rub my back when I can’t fall asleep. He’ll run his fingers through my hair and along my back. He’ll hold my hand. He won’t be able to touch me enough.

In turn, he’ll love being touched. He will like to cuddle.

He will be passionate, intense, and want amazing physical intimacy with a partner who wants to experiment and experience new things, and who’s willing to try almost anything once.

He’ll kiss me all the time. Occasionally, he will kiss me passionately. He will love kissing me as much as I love kissing him.

When I’m in bed and can’t fall asleep, I’ll ask him to tell me a story, and he will accept the challenge.

Occasionally, he will wake me up in the middle of the night to make love.

He will meet me for lunch in the middle of the day for no reason other than to see me for just a while before going back to work. On occasion, we will go home and make love in the middle of the day and then spend the rest of our work days grinning.

He will share his fantasies with me and be delighted to hear mine.

He will not believe that sex is for a man’s pleasure alone. He will not ignore my sexual needs by frequently giving me excuses for why he’s not in the mood.

He will never, ever, under any circumstance be unfaithful to me – he will not kiss or fondle other women or engage in cybersex.

He will not watch pornography unless he is watching it with me for fun as a couple.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005


I've just finished writing the midterm exam to give to my night class - tonight at 6:30 - 4 hours from now. Once again, I waited until the last minute. Rest assured I will do this again, and again. The proof is that by typing this blog I am procrastinating at work as well. This procrastination occurs in all kinds of places in my life. So, I figured that while I was procrastinating, I could at least make a list of things I am currently working hard at NOT doing.

I procrastinate when it comes to cleaning my house. I do laundry regularly, and my husband is good about doing dishes and running trash detail. But things get piled up, and the house gets dirty in other ways. But the piles aren't going anywhere, and neither is the dirt. Neither my husband nor I are worse off due to the condition of our home. I see much worse on shows like "Clean Sweep", and "How Clean Is Your House" - shows I like to watch while sitting on the sofa procrastinating about cleaning the house. There is at least some consolation in saying, "See, I'm not THAT bad."

I procrastinate about - loosing weight, starting a Bible study, figuring out a plan to finish a PhD, making a budget, and starting an exercise routine. Now, some of these are more important than others. But I do not have the extra hours to complete these tasks. That's a lie. Yes, I do. But I prefer to play, and relax when I'm not "at work" - home is warm and quiet and comfortable. Why ruin it with trying to be productive? I am a couch potato.

It is snowing outside - this does not make me think of winterizing my home, snow skiing, mountain climbing, or even building a snowman. It makes me wish I were at home, in my jammies, sitting with the cats beside the fireplace (that we do not have - for now, it is the space heater). I do not think about ways to be more active - I think about ways to be less stressed, generally. And I think of ways to prevent strangling complete strangers who tick me off. Surely this is not such a bad thing.