If You Can’t Marry ‘Em, Blog About ‘Em

I have been in thirty three weddings.

I am not talking about how many I’ve been to, but  how many I’ve been in. I was a bridesmaid in some. I am a full time singer songwriter so I have sang and played in many more. Unfortunately, my job in these weddings has never been to walk down the aisle in a white dress. But I tell you what, if I ever get married, I will have lots of ideas to choose from.

Let’s just look at one wedding that I went to a few years ago that is a snapshot of my single life

Two of my dearest friends were getting married. It was a beautiful backyard wedding. Before the wedding started  I was talking to my friend Shannon, a very feisty, happily married 40 year old. This is what Shannon said to me that day, as she gestured towards my curled hair and perfect makeup  and my eggplant colored sleeveless dress that showed off my shoulders

“Kate, you look smoking hot. Too bad it’s just wasted. ”

Most of you that are single are shaking the heads, putting this comment in the mental file called “insensitive things that married people say to single people.” Believe me, that mental file is chock full of comments people have made to me over the years , but this was not one of them. I  was not offended by this remark, because I knew that Shannon meant it as a compliment. What she was saying is “What the heck, Kate? You are wonderful person. I don’t understand why you’re still single. ” People say this to me often.

It is kind of a mystery to all of us.

During the wedding, I sang a love song that I wrote. My married friend Seth came up to me and said “Kate, in that dress, singing that song, any single guy here would want to dance with you. ” I felt very flattered. At the reception, thinking about those two comments as I was eating my chicken a la king, I started to feel very confident, brazen even. I was beautiful. Someone would want to dance with me.

I began to anticipate the dancing that was about to begin. One of those handsome single groomsmen would see me across the room and think “that was the girl who sang her song during the wedding. She fascinates me. I want to dance with her. ” He would walk up shyly and  ask me.  We would step out onto the dance floor and he would gently take my hand. Even that would give me butterflies, since no one has touched my hand in a long time. And then we would move together. Two peopled with different personalities, different weakness’, different strengths, moving as if they were one.

Maybe I would even fall in love.

The time came for the single men to ask the single women to dance.  I stood at the edge of the floor in anticipation like Cinderella at the ball.

No one asked me to dance.

Instead of feeling like the intriguing girl everyone wanted to dance with, I felt more like the Old Maid in that children’s card game- standing alone while everyone else paired up. I could have pulled out my knitting needles and my rocking chair right then and there. I wanted to say “Hey! Single guys! Over here! According to my married friends, this dress makes me look smoking hot! Doesn’t anyone want to dance with me?” I waited, hoping for a falling-in-love-worthy  song. Surely all those groomsmen were just being shy.

Sadly, the next song was anything but romantic. Can you guess what it was? I’ll give you one hint: it has nothing to do with wedded bliss and everything to do with an athletic club.

That’s right folks, the YMCA.

The YMCA seems to be a dance designed for people who can’t dance. A dance that you could do even if you were in a wheelchair.  If you are unable to learn the incredibly complicated 80’s dance that involves hopping up and down alone, you can at least fling your arms out to spell things. “Look at us!” we say. ” Who says we can’t dance? We are so coordinated! We can all spell out the letters for the Young Men’s Christian Association in perfect unison! ”

I was annoyed, but I still I went out there and “danced” with all the other bad dancers.  More accurately I “spelled.” But I wasn’t in perfect unison with them. Instead of YMCA, I was spelling WPCD. A little secret joke between me and myself. White People Can’t Dance.  This has been a tradition for me at weddings ever since then. *

In the songs that followed, I participated in all of the traditional dances performed at caucasian majority weddings. You know, like the squat, the point and squat, the clap point point clap point point point clap point and squat, the hip breaker, the caucasian clap, the point to the Lord, and the fat rebel.

And finally, towards the end of the wedding came the dance I really wanted to participate in, even if it was reminiscent of awkward middle school moments;  slow dancing whities. **

But there would be no slow dancing for me. Not even in my smoking hot dress.

I wanted love, and instead, I got the white man’s overbite.

Seriously God? Seriously?

That night was kind of a snapshot of my life.  The reception started out with me eating at a table with dear friends and loving life.  I laughed. I felt accepted.  I was thankful. But then the dancing came and everyone took their partner . Another pair and another pair and another pair. I sat at the table and slowly ate my wedding cake, an important stance when you don’t want to look like you have nothing to do while everyone is dancing.  I tried really hard not to cry.

I don’t want this to be difficult for me. I want to be satisfied in who I am as a single woman. But when I look at those pairs dancing, no matter how hard I try to fight it,  I don’t feel smoking hot. I feel alone.

Married or single, it is one of our biggest fears to be alone. In a 2005 gallup poll on what people fear the most, the top fears were terrorist attacks, death, failure, nuclear war, and, you guessed it; being alone. All of desire three basic things: To be loved for who we are, to feel like we’re valuable, and to know that we’re not alone. And for some mysterious reason, all of us, married or single, have a really hard time knowing how to give and receive those things.

How do we find hope that is still hope even if it doesn’t end in a wedding dress? How can we prepare ourselves if we do get married? How can we be thankful for where we are today?  What can singles and married people learn from each other to help us cope with this journey? Is a life that has no intimate witness still valuable? If a traditional family never comes to us, are we doomed to loneliness, or can we build our own family?   Does God see me alone at my table, eating my wedding cake? Does He care? Does He feel the same way at times?

These are some of the questions that I want to explore in this blog. I love the thought of you going on this journey with me. Let’s walk fully clothed along this road together.

*I looked up YMCA and wedding on the internet as “research” and found this in Yahoo Answers:

Question: “Do fundamentalist Christians do the YMCA dance at weddings? It just seems like it would be the dance of the devil. Which village people singer do they like the most?”

Best Answer- chosen by asker “The Village People are a creation of Fundamentalist Christians, so yes. They like the construction worker best because the Lord likes hard work. ”

Another not so popular answer was “Fundamental Christians prefer the Hokey Pokey, while pentacostals are hot for the electric slide.”  This is what happens when you do research on the internet.

**All of these moves and more can be seen on the youtube video “How To Dance Like A White Guy.”  Very scientific, incredibly accurate internet research.

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32 thoughts on “If You Can’t Marry ‘Em, Blog About ‘Em

  1. WOW!! Kate, ur blog brought tears 2 my eyes. Both 4 u & 4 me. Those r some difficult questions. Does He see? Does He care? If He does…..then why?????? Can’t wait 4 ur book 2 b published. Looking forward 2 ur next blog.

  2. I. Have. So. Got. Your. Back on this one. Forty-ahem-something single Christian woman adrift in a sea of church events that are all “family friendly.” ::sigh:: Which always tempts me to carry my Bible everywhere, pointing, like the eccentric madwoman I am, to Luke 14:26 “”If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.” Then I can go off, cackling to the Wednesday night supper table for the single losers at the back of the fellowship hall. Looking forward to hearing more of your take on this “interesting” life of never eating at the dining table you own because it looks pathetic… ; )

  3. Oh, Kate this is so good. What a great conversation to start. When we’re trying to rejoice with those who are rejoicing, where do we put our non-rejoicing feelings? We keep dancing, and there are moments of real joy and fun, but there is some other real stuff going on. I know SOooo many smokin hot Christian single women, and I think your blog will be a healing thing for us!

  4. You have pretty much just summarized my life. Thank you. Seriously. I always come away feeling like I’m crazy when I try to explain this to someone who is married.

  5. I’m so glad Beholding Glory sent me your way. Your transparency and humor are totally refreshing. I pray you continue to express your journey here, for your thoughts are real and very much needed. I hope, too, that at More to Be, you’ll find a place for your single voice to be heard and your value as a woman affirmed.

    By His Grace,
    Lisa

    http://www.moretobe.com

  6. I like your wide range of thinking. So many ideas could be generated from this post. I believe that we live in an age where the last best thing (besides sex) to worship is “partnering.” Somehow, if we pick the “right one” this means that we have somehow succeeded better than others. If we have trouble in our marriage or we don’t marry then we must have done something wrong. We must have failed and somehow deserve our isolation. (Lots of blogs out there who really are into karma like to perpetuate this idea).

    I have felt the painful wake of too many separations and divorces to know that married people feel the same sting. I have seen wonderful, witty, sexy marrieds be abandoned by their spouses.

    Why God?

    I actually believe that the GREATEST fear of our culture (and maybe it is because I am a woman) is to feel alone. Inside and outside of marriage.

    I am excited for your blog! 🙂

  7. “I have seen wonderful, witty, sexy marrieds be abandoned by their spouses.”

    Andrea, that is a good thing for us singles to remember. Feeling alone [and/or Being alone] and what comes with that is not just a singles problem. That will help me when people who were married at 25 or 19 say “oh, I so know what you are feeling.” Well, yes, you may have had a *portion* of it in your season, but imagine that feeling going on for 5 or 10 more years. Plus, I feel like an extra sting gets added [by our culture?] when we are 30 and beyond. What you described in your post will help me be patient and kind to the married-at-25 folks when they tell me they know how I feel. 🙂

  8. Thank you so much. This is something I have struggled with also. How wonderful to not be alone in our aloneness! I know (in my head always and in my heart much of the time) that I am never alone, that Jesus is my “date” to each and every event but what to do with those profound feelings and longings. Keep writing, you have an audience. God Bless!

  9. I appreciate this post and look forward to reading more from you. Someone recommended your blog to a friend who in turn sent the address my way. I look forward to following along. p.s. that’s a whole lot of weddings!

    • Thank you so much for this! I would really love for people like you to be reading my blog. Part of my goal is having an honest conversation between married people and single people so we can understand each other better. I love that you are concerned about it.

  10. Kate…
    I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind critiquing my thing I wrote about singleness…. I was single till 33, so it’s kind of out of my experience… I am putting a bible study book together…

    Thanks for your honesty….

    Robin…

  11. Thanks Kate…in a way you are an advocate and representative for many smokin’ hot, Christian celebates out there. Keep searching and keep sharing.

  12. I can relate, cept’ I’m a guy and guys think differently; mostly. I wrote a letter a few years ago about my position as a “single Christian” or whatever. I was somehow trying to answer the question, “What do you think?” regarding dating, courtship and whatnot. It was my “Relationship Manifesto”, that’s what I titled the paper. I think it’s funny that “manifesto” almost always has a negative connotation in peoples minds. Nonetheless, I thought it was pretty good at the time, however I didn’t get positive feedback. It must be nice to get such positive feedback. I’m not jealous.

    Anyway, keep up the good work……………

  13. Kate,

    I am 18 and along with a friend or two struggle with our not supposed to be focusing on guys stage right now. I want to thank you for opening my eyes to the more challenging struggle of those 5-10 years older than me. God’s got you in His hand is totally using you to speak to more of his children. Keep it up sista 🙂

  14. Hey girl, I don’t know you, but I think if we lived in the same town I would want to. This is GREAT!!! I am sure you get your fair share of advice and hang in there’s… haha, so I will offer none of that. It seems that God is mightily at work in your life and I have NO idea what His plans are, but luckily we both know that JESUS is still on the throne. I will say this, stop by my blog sometime http://www.warriorprincessdiaries.com (this is not self promotion – in fact I don’t usually share my personal blog publicly in comments but did not know another way to get it to you)… I am 38 years old, oh crap I keep saying that, haha, nope I am actually 39 now. And just got married last year, and this year we are 14 weeks pregnancy with our first child. I NEVER thought it would happen. I was a full time intercessory missionary in a prayer room having the Lord tell me that I was in an Esther season and I of course thought it was all about the mystical marriage to Jesus. Fun times :). Anyway, love your blog, just wanted to say Hi!!!
    Kelly

  15. Just found your blog. AMAZING. This post was incredibly hilarious and awfully painful at the same time. There’s a TV show in here somewhere 🙂

  16. Thanks for putting this bundle of emotions into words. Deep questions and longings we have…I used to feel guilty about not loving being single, since that was obviously what God was giving me at the moment. Realizing He knows all and cares so much, even though it is tough. And the friends and family and strangers’ comments. And the guys who don’t ask the girls to dance. “Bless their hearts.”

  17. so, I think you’re living my life, because I’m pretty sure I’ve had the exact same experience. Love this, and THANK you for courageously writing. keep writing. (and dancing).

  18. Love this and I can so relate to almost all of it! After I almost got married a few years ago, I was so depressed. God asked me if He was enough for me. He told me that after I get to heaven I will be so enamored with Him that I won’t care about the things that I wasn’t blessed with on earth. After that, I almost married two more times and they weren’t devastating. I was also able to withstand other tough times in my life with more faith, although imperfectly. I now see more of the whole picture and God’s perfect timing, like if I had been married I wouldn’t have been able to do this and this. Also, God has given me some amazing friends and their children to fill the need for relationship, (even though I know it’s not the same). Saying all of this, I still long for the one God has for me and it’s so hard at times. I just wanted to say thank you for being so open and honest! It’s nice to know there’s someone out there that can relate!

    • Your blog is amazing!!! I can relate I’m 30, single, struggling with a chronic disease( ulcerative colitis) just went through 6 surgeries in the past year and have an Ostomy I will have to wear for the rest of my life( making it even harder to even think about dating with a poop bag attached to you), etc. and most importantly a follower of Jesus. I too have struggled with single being thing but I have made up my mind to go through a fostering kids program when I feel better. Have you ever thought of doing this?

      • I have definitely thought about it, especially lately. If I could change my career around a bit, I would consider adopting. May God bring healing to your body!

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