Fun at Parties
We are quickly approaching the fifteen year anniversary of the day I met my man. How did he I get so old?
September 25th, 1997. I was a naïve, impressionable, trusting, freshman in college. And Ryan…was a man. Like, a full grown man. No, he wasn’t some forty-eight-year-old creep preying on fresh college meat. But, he is five years older than me. So, when I, the ignorant little eighteen-year-old-girl met the wiser twenty-three-year-old man…the age difference made an impact.
I mean, he like paid bills and stuff.
Hey. I did have a brand new, never used checkbook. And I had gotten a speeding ticket before. Oh ya, and I could see R-rated movies, too. So, there. But, really…I was still a kid.
Our connection was immediate though. Much more immediate than I let on when I was interrogated by my rightfully concerned parents. After that crisp fall day, my heart was his. I’d recently sworn off guys after being played like a fiddle by one.
But clearly that didn’t apply to Ryan.
The more serious our relationship got, the more we opened up our worlds to each other. I remember the very first time I was going to meet some of his ‘grown up’ friends. On the way there, I nervously questioned Ryan quite a bit.
“What are we eating?”
“What if I don’t like it?”
“Am I going to be the youngest person there?”
“Do these girls and boys actually live together?”
But mainly…”What have you told them about me?”
His response to this question has proved to be the butt of many joking reminders to him over the last fifteen years.
“Uhhh, I dunno. Brilliant. I think I told them you had a great personality, you loved kids, you had a heart of gold…”
I didn’t even let him continue.
“Ryan??! Are you serious?? What were you thinking??!? A great personality?? I love kids!?! And I have a heart of gold!?! Dude, that means I am fat and u-g-l-y!!”
He stared at me blankly.
He had absolutely no clue what I was talking about.
He tried to defend himself, insisting that I really do have a great personality, love kids and have a heart of gold… “but babe, you are fun at parties, and…”
Stop. Just stop it right there.
Suddenly I remember being completely appalled at my wardrobe choice of new tag still on it college t-shirt and jeans. Lovely.
Poor guy. He has heard that story retold and retold and retold and retold so many times over the years, he doesn’t even tune in and try to defend himself anymore.
And while those aren’t the characteristics you should use first to describe your new girlfriend…they really do describe me fairly well. I do have a fun personality. I could make friends with a tree stump. I have a ton of energy and therefore always loved being around kids. But then I had my own. And I guess I really do have a heart that loves people.
In fact, I know those things pretty well about myself. I’ve heard it my whole life.
You know those personality profile tests you can take that tell you if you’re green or orange, or a lion or an eagle? You know the ones. You fill out twenty questions and all of a sudden, you have a complete profile of all of your best and worst characteristics.
They all say the same thing about me.
Intuitive – Feeler – Extrovert – Leader – Playful – Funny – Competitive – Trusting – Warm – Friendly
But as I’ve gotten older and have been continually humbled by the God who made me this way…I seem to find less joy in my positive traits, and instead focus clearly on the negative ones, aka, the ones I skipped right over when reading my personality profile.
Judgmental – Impulsive – Overbearing – Superficial – Dominant – Scatter-brained – Manipulative
Ouch. Those aren’t fun to read. So, generally, I didn’t read them.
But, as a real-life grown up of my own now, I have been reminded of them quite often. In marriage. In motherhood. Lord, help me. In friendships. In life.
I guess it’s only fair to note that I also was never described as Trustworthy – Honest – Hard-working – Disciplined – Faithful – Consistent – Wise – Submissive
But hey, I’m fun at parties, right?
In case you haven’t noticed, I haven’t posted a blog in six weeks. Seriously. That’s like forty-two days, friend.
That is unreal for me.
I remember, during my couch time fighting back the urge not to annoy people by posting twice in one day.
I have lately, however, been teaching preschool summer camp three days a week… and mainly just enjoying my babies and my man quite a bit. In fact, in the last forty-two days, we have been swimming, hiking, fishing, swimming, reading, playing baseball, watching shows, swimming Abigail’s blonde hair is green, taking vacations, and having a BIG. FAT. BLAST. TOGETHER!!
I need to take a minute to say “THANK YOU, GOD!!!!!!!!”
For those of you who have kept up with my story over the past four years, you know this does not describe normalcy for me. My normal life for years now has been lying on the couch, peeing, taking a bath, and lying back on the couch. Repeat the next day. Repeat again the day after that minus the baths. And so on, and so forth. But ever since I became a Mayo gal, I’ve been sealed and healed and free to live life again. To God alone be the glory.
And while I am most certainly not apologizing for spending tons of fun time with my family, I am sad and sorry about not finding time to write. Yah sure, it was easy to find time when I was lying on my couch all day, every day. That was cake.
But, now that I am upright again (wahoo!) I have been hit pretty hard in the face with one of my greatest personality weaknesses. You ready for it?
Hello everyone. My name is Caroline.
(Imaginary group responds in unison) “Hellooo, Caroline.”
I have not yet figured out how to balance Mom and wife and writer. So…for the last forty-two days, I haven’t balanced them. Wife and Mom has trumped every.single.time.
But, I do feel God has called me to write, or teach, or speak, or something. He surely knows I have way to much plenty to say. Somebody said amen. So, here I am now coming before you, if there are any of ‘you’ left, and saying – “Hi! Let’s still be friends!”
After all, I am fun at parties.
No really, though…I’ve missed you. Forgive me for being gone so long??
Let’s still do life together.
Let’s still laugh and cry and thank Jesus for both, together.
Let’s stand in awe as He flat out shows off His majesty by taking the Queen of Slackers and reigning Mrs. Procrastinator 2012 – and turns her into a loving and submissive wife; a patient and humble Mom; and a disciplined and faithful writer.
Hear me…God is bigger than our personality flaws, my friend.
He is bigger than our past. He is bigger than our birth order tendencies. He is just plain bigger.
If He can make me disciplined – you can be darn sure He’s able to change any trait you don’t love about you.
So, I guess all that’s left to say is…Hellllooooo…anybody still out there???