Monday, February 25, 2013

You're comparing us to THEM?! (Love like the movies)

As promised, I am answering questions you're asking. Gabe asked a super good one: "If what girls really need is a strong dependable man, why do some girls love chick flicks where the guy and the girl get in these big heated fights. Do they long for that??" Great question! So great, in fact, that I wanted to take my time in answering it. So here you go!

There are a few reasons girls love the big fight scenes in chick flicks. NOTE: none of those reasons is because she wants to be miserable, fight all of the time, or be with a guy who picks fights with her or is just plain bad news (and here's my two cents on THAT). These reasons are not listed in any particular order.

1. We love the drama. Movies/musicals/plays/dramas/etc excite the psyche. They are entertaining, and that is precisely why they call it the entertainment industry. It is a story, with a building tension, leading to a climactic fight. If the writers did their job right, the viewer has gotten to know the characters, and if out of curiosity than nothing else, we want to know what happens! And as much as they might hate to admit it, I'm willing to bet that at high percentage of guys at least are a little curious how movies like that end.

2. We can relate. Well, to some extent, depending on the person being entertained and the story that is being told. Often times great stories mirror situations that on some level are real, and the conflicts are situations real people experience or fear.

3. We see characters they love (and in romcoms, characters they love together) argue about something that threatens to tear them apart. In the movies (at least of this nature), the couple works it out and still lives happily ever after, even though there might be lingering issues, a little collateral damage, or repercussions of their irrational emotional actions/mistakes. They are things the couple will have to work on. Overall, they give us HOPE that we can work things out on our own lives, that some mountains are not too big, and that obstacles aren't always the end.

We want to be happy and we enjoy seeing others happy, even if on some deep/subconscious/shallow level, we are living vicariously through them. There is a danger there that these movies can romanticize conflict and can have a subtle influence over real-life experiences, but we must not lose our own sense of reality in real-life conflicts. Instead, we keep in mind common threads that make real life relationships/friendships work and last, and hopefully in the heat of those moments, we can understand the difference between love in the movies and love that is real, raw, and rewarding.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

At this time I'd like to open up the floor...

All right ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. Thus far I have been one of those bloggers who has just ranted and raved and mused and meditated and speculated and so on, but the time has come! I want to hear from you! Comment or message (or email, snail mail, telegraph, text, etc) me topics about which you would like me to write or share about or offer my two cents (and for once I actually have change outside of my savings jar, so that's something). I want to know that you're there, I want to know that you're reading, and I want to do my best to be of service to you.

**Note: this is not because I have not been posting recently and it might seem as if I am running out of ammo, which I can assure you, is not the case. I just want to try something new! And don't worry... if I don't hear from any of you, you'll still be seeing plenty of posts from me. That's just how I roll.

***And this is me (photo courtesy of Miss Jessica Foti) rollin at the 56th Commission of the Status of Women, an annual conference held at the United Nations in New York City. Shout out to the group of amazing people whose group I crashed to go... y'all are awesome and I have no doubt you'll change the world (fun fact about this picture: the meeting was in another language and I couldn't figure o

So let's hear it people, and in the meantime, you'll be hearing from me! ...and whoever writes other articles I find interesting and pass along to you, as I've been doing thus far. God bless everyone, let's talk soon.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Captured Little Heart

I wrote this article as a part of a Valentine's day essay contest 2 years ago. Apparently they liked it, given it was published in the online newsletter (the original post is here:

Happy Valentine's day, to all the single ladies!!

Captured Little Heart
Everyone loves a good fairy tale, although many believe that they are something to be left for children—a fantasy too far from real life. This is a real story about a princess, her capture, and the fight to win her heart by the perfect prince. This is my love story, and it is entirely true.
I was born on the east coast and lived there with my parents, older sister, and younger brother for six years. My loving parents announced to me just after first grade that we were moving closer to my mom’s side of the family, to the Midwest. I, the outgoing, spunky middle child was excited to make new friends. We made the big move, and as far as I knew everything was wonderful.

A year after the switch Dad left to visit his side of the family. I found out soon after that he wasn’t planning on moving back. He still loved us and wanted to see us, but it just wasn’t working out for him to be out there, for reasons unbeknownst to little me. I don’t remember much about that time, but I do remember one thing: Dad made Mom cry. I made a decision that night with no idea how it would alter my life. I chose a life without Dad.

The three of us kids spent the school year with Mom and the summer with Dad, which worked out fine. For years I was civil to Dad, but I had always felt like he didn’t just leave Mom, but he left us too. I secretly wanted to let him in, but my stubborn pride had too strong of a hold on me, and it grew stronger as time went on. The wound was too deep for me to let go.

I am forever grateful to Mom for teaching us the Catechism and to love the Lord with all of our hearts, and the grace we were given through her is immeasurable. Although I knew Christ as the Son of God who died for my sins, I hadn’t yet known him as someone who could fill the hole I had in my heart. I tried to make up for it elsewhere. I thrived on attention, especially from boys. I loved flirting and learned to use my feminine wiles to get whatever I wanted. It seemed like I couldn’t keep good girl friends for long, but that didn’t bother me as long as I had some guy to remind me periodically that I was pretty or that someone was thinking of me. When I was 15 I got my first boyfriend and was swept up in a whirlwind romance. He was 2 ½ years older than me and leaving for basic training for the Army. We made up for our time apart with intimate visits and phone calls that only fed our infatuation for each other. The whole affair spun out of control and I ended it multiple times, but he was the most constant man in my life at that point—and I couldn’t let him go. We were on and off for years, and I filled his absences with late-night hookups. I fell into habits of grave sin, but I needed affection, and boys gave it to me. They made me feel beautiful, appreciated, and wanted.

My lows were balanced with spiritual highs from Catholic conferences and retreats, where I could see the error in my ways and promise God that I would change. However, my broken heart needed that physical person to whisper he loved me and give me kisses. I entered as a freshman into a wonderful Catholic college, surrounded by holy, attractive men who knew how to treat a woman right. It was there that I met a man I thought would be my future husband. He was everything I could have wanted. He respected me; I could see it in his actions. We were chaste, we went by the book, and we even prayed together on the phone! Betrayals and broken hearts in my past made me hesitant, but after much coaxing, I gave him my entire heart. I had a new home in him.

The emotional honeymoon didn’t last. Just over six months into our relationship, he flipped a switch and everything came to a bitter crashing end. I cried and screamed to God, begging for no more pain. I was blinded by my hurt and flung myself at the feet of the Eucharist in adoration. Slowly, the flow of my tears slowed and my breathing began to slow. I heard no voice, felt no touch, saw no apparition. But I calmly returned to my room and listened to music. A song began to play with a soft pace. He sang to me:
“He is jealous for me.”

The words struck a chord in my heart. Someone is jealous for my love; he wants it for himself first. I kept listening.

“Loves like a hurricane; I am a tree bending beneath the weight of his wind and mercy.”

I pictured a tree, swaying back and forth by strong but gentle winds. The beat reminded me of a waltz.

“Oh, how he loves us.”

Jesus does love me, but it’s not the same as a man in front of me that I can touch, feel, or taste.

“And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss and my heart turns
violently inside of my chest.”

All of a sudden it all came together for me. Heaven met earth when God became man, and Christ meets me at my lips in the Eucharist. This was the dialogue of love that I had been longing for: the man to meet me at the altar with an incarnate kiss. Christ is my beloved, the rock upon whom I build my days and spend my evenings dreaming of. I was captured by pain and freed by the Prince of Peace who sacrificed his life for this princess.

Happy Valentine’s Day, from this little heart captured by Christ.

Monday, February 11, 2013

‎"The human heart is not wrong in wanting love; it is wrong only in thinking that a human can completely supply it." - Fulton Sheen

Saturday, February 2, 2013

A smile for you!

I'd only wear them in public if I was sick, about to work out, just woke up, and/or I know I won't see people, and I do love wearing jeans more than any other item of clothing, but yoga pants are a close second.