Monday, July 23, 2012

"You're the One that I Want" : Toxic Relationships in "Grease"

The other day, the song "You're the One that I Want" was playing through my head, and I was humming along and singing the only real part I knew: "You better shape up,'cause I need a man
and my heart is set on you." Then I stopped, not in my tracks, but mentally. I pushed paused, reversed, and replayed those lines. These lines had "bad advice" stamped in red, bold letters all over them and screamed, "These are lies!" I realized this was true. More soberingly, I realized I had been guilty of Sandra Dee's mindset towards getting a guy. Let's take a closer look at the fallacies that jumped out at me.

1. Line 1- You better shape up
2. Line 2- 'Cause I need a man
3. Line 3- And my heart is set on you.

#1- "You better shape up." You? Who? The guy. Now I've never indulged in missionary dating (aka dating a non Christian with the idea that you will "save" him), but I have wallowed in a different kind of dating I call "I-like-you-a lot-despite-the-warning-signs-I-see-but-God-can-work-on-you." And I've done this with Christian guys. Ladies, if the man your "heart is set on" does not fit your major qualifications, besides being a Christian (which is not enough), don't date him! Don't settle, and don't expect him to change. Know the things you will not settle on, and hold to them. Most importantly, date a growing Christian, a man who is actively pursuing God now. A growing Christian will be working on his imperfections and striving to be more like Christ and the man of God you should want to marry some day. I'm not saying the man you meet will be perfect (Christians have flaws), but if he has character flaws that are glaring or lifestyle differences that are incompatible, JUST SAY NO!

#2- "'Cause I need a man." Ahem...what? You do? Last time I was in science class, the necessities for life were food, water, air, and shelter. Of course God and His love is a necessity, but my school textbooks missed that important fact. NEED is a strong word. Ladies, which would you rather hear from a man you love, I NEED you, or I WANT you? Ideally, it should be the latter. A man may desire female companionship in addition to his relationship with God, but he should be self-sufficient and content in who he is. Also, which is more flattering to the lady? I NEED you, or I WANT you? Once again, the latter. Do you want to be a man's glass of water or bowl of soup? I didn't think so. You are a lovely addition to his life, like icing on the top. Proverbs talks about a wife being a gift from God, something that should be treasured and that is given, not a necessity. So, this all falls into place from the female perspective as well. Do you "need" a man? If so, sister, I advise you to stay single a long time, until that need becomes a want, because God meets your needs. You're setting yourself up for extremely unhealthy relationships when you reach this area of desperation, often lowering your standards to relieve the loneliness. Abusive, clingy, and heart-wrenching matches are in your future if you believe you have a NEED. Just wait. A little longer. You don't need a man.

#3- "And my heart is set on you." Once again, much like number one and two. Guess what ladies, there is not ONE man right for you. In fact, there are many that could be right for you, that fit the best qualifications that God sets and that you've set. Don't cling to a guy who is not clinging to God. Run. Flee. And wait for something better. As my friend once told me, "Good is bad when it keeps you from the best." Be patient.

So, now that I've thoroughly ruined the musical enjoyment you got out of this song, I want to leave you with some guidelines I found helpful in my "dating" life: Don't settle, maintain your standards, and embrace God's love before a man's.

Don't be a Sandra Dee, ladies! Something better is out there for you if you practice patience and seek His face, not his as in the lifeguard on duty, first.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Post-Grad Reflections on College Life: A List of Do's, Don'ts, and Whatevers

So, as a recent college grad, I feel compelled to share some of my deep set wisdom acquired from my four years of undergraduate life. These are bits and pieces of advice, thoughts to ponder, and some helpful hints that I gleaned from my experience and probably wish I had known before hand. Therefore, I will spare you the drama of not knowing ;)

1. It's wise to NOT date freshman year.
2. Invest in a pair of rain boots. You're walking to class in and out of buildings, and your soggy Toms will get old really fast.
3. Stake out your seat for the rest of the semester towards the front of class. It makes it less difficult to let yourself take a nap, text, etc and generally promotes a better learning experience.
4. Bring a boat-load of quarters for laundry.
5. The whole "I can have close guy friends, it's no big deal" is a lie, especially at a Christian school where many men are looking to bestow the MRS. degree on an eligible female.
6. Make friends in class, even if you don't like them. They may be your study buddies and help you out when you miss/skip/etc.
7. Contrary to popular belief, you DO NOT ever need to pull an all nighter if you plan well (I never did)
8. Beware of caffeinated beverages. Approach them as products for medicinal purposes to stay awake when need be, but don't overdo or you'll be hooked and get the headaches. No good.
9. If you have big-spending "friends," find new friends that don't kill your bank account.
10. Get water every time you go our. It will save you $2-3 dollars.
11. Don't go out, hardly ever, for dinner.
12. Living off campus is worth investigating because housing costs are ridiculous.
13. If your roomie does not like Rihanna and Lady Gaga, be courteous and put in those ear buds. Common sense.
14. Going off 13, overall, use ear buds all the time unless your roomie and yourself are sharing a musical moment together. It helps keep the peace.
15. Find cheap forms of amusement.
16. Treat your room as a sacred zone of silence, unless your roomie is not a studier and does not care.
17. DON'T have friends over in your tiny dorm room and cackle and giggle and talk and such with your roomies trying to get things done in the same small space. Rude.
18. DON'T bring all of your hobby nic nacs. It will take up space and you probably won't have time.
19. DO go to thrift stores, but DON'T go so often that your closet begins to overflow with tops and skirts...ahem...guilty.
20. If you go to a Christian school, being in a Christian environment with required Christian activities is no substitute for you and Jesus time one on one.
21. A TV is UNNECESSARY. A laptop can play DVDs, and it will save you space.
22. Leave your extra furniture at home, unless you plan on having no walking room.
23. Agree to be cold and put on a jacket if your roomie likes is cooler. You may have a lower cold tolerance and this will go far in encouraging goodwill.

Number 20 is the most important. And I can't think of anything else humorous to say. So, that is all, unless I come up with a part two.