Friday, September 4, 2009

To Marry or Not to Marry

I recently came across these probing thoughts: Name five reasons why someone should marry you. And name three reasons why someone should not marry you. I mean, unless you are simply full of yourself or just really in touch with who you are, this is some deep stuff.

Not liking to back away from a challenge, I tackled each, and here is what I decided.
Marry me because ...
1. I love Jesus. But it doesn't stop there. While I am not perfect by any means, I am really focused on who I am becoming in Christ and how I am growing in Him.
2. I am funny. At least, I think I am.
3. I am thoughtful. But not in the "I remember everything" sort of way. It's more along the lines of ... I listen well, I think through things, I am level-headed.
4. I am compassionate/caring. I love people. I am fascinated by them, especially those very different from myself. I like to think that I don't see color or background or status. I am comfortable with the affluent as well as those with no voice. And my heart is always open to others.
5. I am a provider. I think most guys can relate to this. And it goes way beyond providing financially. We lead, we encourage, we advise, we love, ...

Don't marry me because ...
1. I am selfish. OK, I am not selfish with "my possessions," and I am not consumed with myself. But I can be selfish with my time. I am independent, almost too independent. And while I am definitely an extrovert, I really enjoy time alone. I like to do things "my way" and on "my time."
2. I am lazy. I work hard; I stay busy. But I have been known to waste away a Saturday, doing nothing but sitting on the couch and drinking coffee.
3. I am stubborn. I am not a fighter. I am not one who enjoys arguing. And I am open to different ideas and thoughts. But once I have something "set" in mind, it takes a lot for me to change. (My politically conservative friends can vouch for this one.)

So there you have it. And if you're wondering, the "don't marry me" list could have been a lot longer. But, alas, I was only asked for three.

So what about you? Why should someone marry you or not marry you? And married readers, you can play along too.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hank & Me

John Grogan, the dude who penned Marley & Me, is a genius … not because he is some brilliant writer or some amazing storyteller, but because he took everyday tales of his neurotic dog, turned them into a complete work, and made millions. And the truth is, if you have ever had a pup, you could have done the same. Well, at least, I think I could have.

In January of 2008, I had the bright idea to adopt a puppy. The result: Hank. When I first saw his photo, I knew he was the one I wanted, and the deal was definitely sealed when I came face-to-face with the little butterball. (Oh, if you’re wondering, Hank is a Basset Hound/Lab mix … not really sure how that happened.)

Anyway, the first few weeks together were quite interesting and quite the adjustment … at least on my end. I had grown accustomed to coming and going as I pleased. I was a single twentysomething and ate and drank of life. Then all of a sudden, I had this creature who pooped and peed where he pleased and cried and screeched through all hours of the night. On top of all of this, Hank constantly sought my attention (and still does) and constantly chewed and gnawed on anything he found interesting (again, still does).

In the beginning, our time was spent in a small, studio apartment. Almost daily, I would think to myself, It will get better once we are in a house and have a yard. I was wrong. The bigger space, the one-acre lot, and the family-friendly neighborhood have only added fuel to Hank’s fire. Since May of last year, Hank has jacked up my lawnmower … twice, ravaged the weed eater, escaped and chased many a walker, exasperated the neighbor’s cats, … OK, you get it — this could go on forever.

At this point, for those of you who don’t have a pet, you’re probably thinking that I hate my dog. And, honestly, I do sometimes. Hank can annoy me and frustrate me like none other. But, then, I’ll catch a glimpse of him doing something hilarious or cute, and all is well. He’s definitely not a well-trained dog, but we have fun together. I love our boxing matches, and I love our games of hide-and-seek. I love his insane excitement and barking when I say the name “Obama.” (Yes, Hank is a Democrat, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.) And, of course, I love his curiosity, his loyalty, and his companionship. All this to say, I honestly cannot imagine life without Hank, but I’m pretty sure LC can.    



Wednesday, July 1, 2009


So there I was, celebrating another friend’s 30th birthday. This time around, it was Paul. You see, his sweet girlfriend, Mandy, (there’s your shout-out) gathered together a few high-school buddies to celebrate our friend. So needless to say, I was excited. I was looking forward to catching up and remembering the good ol’ days. And we did. We talked about our jobs, our houses, and their kids. We chatted it up and laughed a whole lot. It was really nice. But about halfway through the evening, I thought to myself, When did our birthday parties morph into subdued dinner parties? When did we grow up? And are we really 30?

The thing is, this wasn’t the first time those thoughts entered my mind. About a week or so before Paul’s shindig, it hit me — I was 30. Between us, I had quite the moment of panic, but after a talk with LC, my rapper friend, Lil’ La La, and a few other kids, I got a grip and pulled through. But as I looked around the table that night at Paul’s party, I wondered, When did Blake become a lawyer? And when did Talley become such a serious, level-headed man? And when did Scott (a.k.a. “Sweet Daddy”) have a kid? And when did I end up with a big-boy job, a mortgage, a yard, bills, and a dog? It seems just like yesterday that we were cruising the strip in Smithville, burning up the roads between Pizza Inn, McDonald’s, and the car wash. What happened to my primed, not painted, Nissan truck with the shiny rims? And what about Paul’s fire engine-like truck? And when did we start having nice dinners together instead of piling up at Chrissy’s house or jumping in the lake on a hot summer’s night or egging cars and bashing … OK, it’s probably a good thing that we stopped some of that, but seriously! The bottom line, when did we become adults?

Alright, enough of that — back to Paul’s party. As the night grew longer, a few us ended up at this high-class establishment off of Highway 109 between Nashville and Lebanon. Much to my surprise, we were all livening up just a bit. We were beginning to get a little more loud and a little more rowdy. I actually caught a glimpse of us back in the day. And then, as Paul, Blake, and myself were belting out “Dixieland Delight” on the karaoke stage, it struck me — I still got it. Heck, we all still got it. And that night, as I laid my head on the pillow, I breathed a sigh of relief. I am 30, and it’s OK … actually, it’s great! And the next morning, I woke up and did yard work.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What's the Frequency, Kenneth?

Daddy, this post is for you. The thing is, you'll never read it … unless I print it out for you. You could care less about a blog; heck, it's probably safe to say that you don't even know what a blog really is. (And I know you're going to shake your head when I explain it to you and that I now have one.) You don't fool with computers — they're just not your thing. I mean, you don't even have a cell phone (which annoys all of us by the way). But the truth is, your dislike for technology — iPods, the Internet, texting (or as you call it, "testing") — is one of the many qualities I admire about you. There, I said it.

In all seriousness, Daddy, I appreciate you. I admire your love for a simple life. You don't worry about having this or having that. You have always just wanted to be happy and content in life, and I know that's what you want for us too. As a kid, I didn't pay a lot of attention to just how much you sacrificed or gave up for us. I didn't stop and think about your 10- to 12-hour shifts in the evenings and your all-day work on the farm. I didn't realize why you pushed us so hard to love God, to serve Him, and to be obedient to Him. And I simply hated digging potatoes, fixing fence, and cutting wood. I didn't even feel sorry for you because you drove some piece of crap truck — one that came from some run-down car lot.

But, today, as I am growing up (finally), I do see it. I see that you are what every man should strive to be — a servant of God, a faithful husband, a devoted father, and a loving grandfather. You have always put everyone ahead of yourself, and though you pretend to want us all to feel sorry for you, I know you wouldn't have it any other way. So for that, Daddy, I thank you. Thank you for your humor and silliness. Thank you for all of the whippings and talking-tos.  Thank you for hard work and dedication. Thank you for all always being there. And thank you for your love. Maybe one day, I will be half the man you are.

Happy Father's Day,


Friday, June 12, 2009

Spacehog, Doritos, & Bear Mountain

I can't speak for the ladies, but every single guy needs a married couple to call his own — a "Monica and Chandler," if you will. Single guys need a couple they can hang out with, crash with when it's "too late" to drive home, double-date with, and the like. But, more importantly, guys need a married couple to watch and learn from.

For me, this couple is Brian and Sheri. The three of us have been friends for more than 10 years now. In a nutshell, we have done life together. We took care of one another through some crazy college days, and I mean crazy. I watched them walk down the aisle, and they have watched me stumble through many a relationship. We have vacationed together, road tripped together, and pitched a few tents along the way. We have swum lakes and pools, rafted rivers, and tubed creeks. We've climbed pseudo rocks and very real mountains (literally and figuratively). We've talked, we've laughed, and we've eaten. And we've even taken a nap or two together. 

Not only have Brian and Sheri been two of my best friends, their marriage has been a solid model for me. (God knows I need all the ones I can get.) They're not perfect, but they're real. I have seen tough decisions made and lots of fun had. I have seen them argue, and I have seen them laugh. They take care of each other, support each other, and work with each other. And I feel like they're as happy today as they were back in college ... unless they're not telling me something.

But, alas, as I am writing this, my "Monica and Chandler" are riding off into the sunset (a.k.a. "moving to D.C."). And while I am bummed, I am so happy for the new life they are beginning there ... mostly because it will be a great place to visit. I, of course, will miss "Fat Boy" and "Sheri D-Light," but I do have the memories of listening to Spacehog, feasting on every flavor of Doritos, hiking to the top of Bear Mountain, and so many more. And best of all, I know that I am a better person because they are a part of my life.

So see you soon, my friends ... you better have my room ready for me!