Reflections On One Year of Marriage: 4 Things I Didn’t Expect

Next week will be my one year anniversary with John. Next week we will also be heading out on our belated honeymoon. Since I’ve made a bit of a habit of updating you on these personal aspects of my life, I thought I’d also go ahead talk about a few things I’ve learned in my new phase of life. 

1) Guys Actually Care about Stuff Other than Sex

I’ve mentioned in the past that I grew up in the purity movement. I realize you may have read some horror stories about how the purity mentality makes women afraid of sex. I can certainly see how this can and has sometimes been the case, but let me assure you, for me, it was the polar opposite.

I built up sex in my head, a lot. I had all these plans and ideas for when I was FINALLY having sex, and some of them were… a little off base.

First of all I thought that all guys ever wanted, ever, was sex. You can blame it on the purity movement, or you can blame it on media, or you can blame it on my overactive imagination, but somewhere alone the line I decided that guys just wanted sex ALL THE TIME.

So imagine my shock when John and I got to the point in our relationship where he could say things like “well, I’m actually in the middle of writing a paper right now” or “just let me finish this chapter”. Sometimes he even wanted to just cuddle (gasp)!

What was this?? This was not what happened in the movies! What was he doing? Being a person? With interests besides sex? What was the world coming to??

Don’t get me wrong, sex is still the awesomeness I always imagined it would be, but it was eye opening for me to realize how I had internalized such a common gender stereotype without even realizing it. 

2) Sometimes, Disagreement is Okay

I remember having this checklist of things a guy had to believe and want in life before I would seriously consider marrying him. That’s really not a bad thing in a lot of ways. At the end of the day, marrying someone means doing life together, so it’s a good idea to have at least a general agreement on those subjects. But I’ve realized that some of the things I thought were make it or break it weren’t actually things I could control in the long term anyways.

Individuals are always in a state of change and growth. Doing life with someone means being willing to grow together. To be okay with not always agreeing on dogma, or ideas, and being respectful of the other person as they seek truth in their individual journey as well as their journey with you.

When John and I were first together I would get worried anytime he changed his mind on anything, or questioned a previous opinion he once held. Now, I’m learning to trust him enough to want to learn from his thoughts, even when I might disagree.

3) Fun Matters

Well obviously fun matters, but seriously, fun matters a lot. I remember when I was still dating people (or rather “getting to know people” because I didn’t actually do a lot of traditional dating) I would get all worried about the “big” things. I wanted to discuss our beliefs, the way we wanted to raise our kids, what we wanted to do for work, etc, but I somehow forgot to put “fun” on my checklist.

Good thing I got lucky.

The best part of being married is, hands down, getting to have fun with my best friend. Yes, I love sex. Yes, it’s great that we challenge each other to be better people (iron sharpening iron and all that jazz), but my favorite thing is that he makes me laugh everyday. He even makes me laugh when I am furiously angry with him! It is both the most frustrating, and most wonderful thing to not be able to continue scowling at someone because they are making you laugh too hard.

Don’t worry, this didn’t happy to us.

4) Marriage is kinda like Having a Roommate

We had quite a few people warn us that “the first year can be really hard”. I realize now that a lot of what they were talking about was the actual living together part. It can be really hard to learn to live with someone when you have very different ideas about how your weekly schedule should look, or how your home should function.

This is where I would tell anyone out there who wants to get married someday to live with a roommate while still single. Seriously, roommates are fantastic practice for marriage because at the end of the day marriage is just living with your best friend… that you also have sex with. You need to learn compromise, problem solving skills, selflessness and a bazillion other things that you can start learning any time you truly invest in making a friendship (or any kind of relationship) better.

John and I definitely did Troy and Abed’s handshake in our vows, fyi.

I’ve only been married one year, but so far it’s been the best year of my life. I get to wake up next to my best friend every day. What could be better?

I realize in a few years I might look back on this post and laugh at how easy I thought once this marriage gig would be, but for now, I just want to be thankful for the things it’s already taught me.

Fergustan

One the ninth of this month Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown during a traffic stop. The subsequent days have seen massive protests in both the city and across the nation, matched only in their intensity by the crackdown of the local police.

Now while the police have just now cited that the deceased Michael Brown was the suspect in a local convenience store robbery (nothing has yet been proven), the cops have nevertheless come under widespread criticism. By all accounts, 18-year-old Michael Brown, who has no record of bad behavior- criminal or otherwise, surrendered to Wilson after a brief struggle. Despite his raised hands and his shouts that he was unarmed, Wilson opened fire anyway, shooting the teenager no less than six times.

We could talk about the struggle that allegedly occurred, the protocol in place for such events, and a host of other factors, but ultimately the fact that Wilson shot and killed an unarmed teen remains undisputed.

But we’re not here to talk about that.

We’re here to talk about the days that have since passed.

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Sure, There’s The Afterlife [But Wait, There's More!]

When deciding to write about this topic, I had to be honest with myself and admit that things have gotten pretty darn personal around here in the past. It’s not like I haven’t shared with you and potentially anyone else in the world with an internet connection that I think Ingrid Michaelson has “amazing” breasts. The main difference here, I think, is the general way I feel many of my peers [ie. fellow young Christian people] discuss faith, which is to say, rarely.

There appears to be a common sentiment of live and let live. “I’ll respect you if you respect me.” Don’t get me wrong, I think that’s great, it’s just that it all too often results in us [refer to my definition of peers above] not really talking about something that’s ostensibly important to us. All of that’s a topic to possibly be unpacked for another time, though, because today I’m going to try tackling the benefits of faith. To be more specific, the benefits of faith sans salvation. Continue reading

ISIS, Gaza, Ebola, and Robin Williams: Dealing with Grief on the Large and Small Scale

This week I emerged from my happy little language cult in a tiny remote Quebecois town.

I emerged to discover a lot of sadness.

I had already been hearing bits and pieces about the deaths in Gaza and the lives lost to Ebola before I even left Trois-Pistoles, but the last few days I’ve also been hearing a variety of horrific rumours about ISIS. Last night when I started researching for tonight’s blog, I thought I would look into the veracity of those articles.

That was a bad idea.

At the time, I had a hard time finding coverage of the things I had heard about from any reputable sources. And the things I did come across were highly disturbing and meant to be provoking. I’m not actually going to link to anything I came across in my search, because I don’t want to see those images ever again. I don’t know when or where those photos were taken. I don’t know if they are fake or real. All I know is that they made me very very angry. And they made me feel very, very powerless.

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Schedules, They are A Changin’

Last week we broke some exciting news to you, Yay! Evan has a job!

AHHHH, SO EXCITING!

While this new change is wonderful in a lot of ways (especially in the money making department), it also means that Evan isn’t able to dedicate as much time as usual to the blog.

As Gordon has already mentioned, keeping on top of our regular posts is a lot of work. Just think of writing a couple thousand word essays each week and you get the idea. We love it, obviously, that’s why we do it, but it still takes a pretty big chunk of time out of our lives each and every week. Up until now we’ve been able to keep up with our regular schedule because Evan would often pick up the slack for Gordon and me. He also tends to be the one on top of the organizational aspects of the blog. But it’s time for something to change.

I feel like David Bowie would be really proud of us.

We’ve decided that for the time being, we are going to cut back on our posting schedule. We would rather bring you one high quality post from each of us each week, than try to keep up with our regular schedule and wind up producing something we aren’t really proud of. I’ve outlined our new weekly schedule for you below.

GORDON – MONDAY
KAT – WEDNESDAY
EVAN – FRIDAY

Talking About Talking About Culture

Reader’s, we here at CWR have been at this for a while.

We’ve made you laugh, we’ve (probably at some point) made you cry, we’ve filled you with feelings of inconsolable rage, and judging by some of the search terms used to find our blog, we’ve done other things to you which we shall never speak of.

You people are into some shameful, ****ed up stuff…

Now with all that said, we’ve only ever defined the blog you’ve come to know and love as being about “figuring out” culture. We’ve never really set any ground rules, and today, I’d like to change that. Continue reading

Québec Part V: Saying Goodbye (5 Things I’ll Miss about the French Province)

I’m a pretty sentimental person, so as I think about the 5 weeks I’ve spend here in Quebec it’s easy to think of lots of things that I will miss. Since I’ve promised to try to write all my posts about Quebec in French, however, I’ve narrowed it down to one for each week.

The Food

Everyone knows that the French know what is up it comes to food. This past Sunday, for our last weekend together, several of us biked to a waterfall close-by for a little picnic. We stopped by an outdoor market on the way to pick up some bread. We bought a loaf of sun-dried tomato and chocolate cranberry bread. Afterwards we went to the fromagerie and bought several types of cheese. A couple of us also picked up a bottle of wine from the corner store (yes, there is wine available everywhere here). Then we sat in front of a waterfall feasting on bread and cheese and the grapes we packed along.

After we had demolished most of the bread and cheese.

Then, of course, there were the restaurant-style meals we are fed each and everyday by our hosts.

Why yes, that is custard and fruit and chocolate sauce and syrup all on one waffle. Then of course there is cheese and other fruit options on the side.

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