The stack of save-the-dates and wedding invitations that covered a corner of my desk at home has begun to turn into the inevitable: actual weddings. Last night, I watched while a friend of 13 years exchanged vows with the man who became her husband. I walked afterward to the hall where we would celebrate.
But — unlike most of the rest of the guests — I walked alone into the hall. Where couples would dance and dream of or remember their own weddings. Where husbands would return to the buffet for seconds for their wives. And where I, regardless of having no date with whom to enjoy it, would have the best time.
It is natural as a single adult to be bummed about being alone at a wedding (particularly if you’re a single adult who intends someday to get married). But it’s entirely possible to have fun flyin’ solo at a reception. Here are a few ways to do it:
1. Live tweet it.
This is a guest post written by Wendy van Eyck, who blogs at ilovedevotionals.com.
My first kiss happened in the rain.
We were standing in a forest with 100-year old pines spreading a canopy over our heads. Water dripped from the branches onto my pink umbrella as I lent in to taste his lips.
Thirty of our friends and family stood beneath their own umbrellas, unaware that this was our first kiss. The pastor said, “I now pronounce you man and wife.”
At 27, I had waited a long time for that first kiss. I had wondered what it would be like, what it would tell me about the man I had just married.
Over the years I had flipped through magazines and seen articles like “5 things you can learn from a first kiss (and one you can’t)” and “Kissing can tell you if someone is right for you.”
It seemed like so much value was placed on this first locking of lips.
So what did my first kiss tell me?
It told me a lot less then the magazines led me to expect.
Is 108 days in advance too soon to start a countdown? Because in 108 days, on Nov. 28, my debut book — Chastity is For Lovers: Single, Happy, and (Still) a Virgin — will ship to the people who preordered it, and will be on sale for real for the people who didn’t.
I am moved each time I remember it’s really happening.
Since I first announced that Ave Maria Press would let me turn my proposal into a book, regular readers have been gracious to support me, by praying while I wrote, and participating in surveys, and practicing patience while I tweeted too much about the critical role pretzels play in the writing process.
I am sincerely grateful.
I turned the book in for the final time on June 12, and while we wait for it to hit shelves, a handful of fabulous friends have asked how else to help. If you are interested, too, here are three ways:
Last week, I almost hated discussing sex with people who don’t practice chastity (If I’d gone there, I’d have a problem, as somebody whose forthcoming book is about it.).
My frustration with the conversation was rooted in an influx of critical feedback from people whose opinions don’t align with mine. But after five years of writing about sex for secular and Christian audiences, I could have seen the temptation to hate it coming. Disdain for this sort of discussion is birthed by unreasonable expectations, outlined in the three steps any chaste person ought to take if he or she wants to disdain it:
Step 1: Expect to be regarded respectfully by everyone involved in the conversation.
In direct responses to what I’ve written about saving sex for marriage, I’ve been referred to as unattractive, unintelligent, and — to quote a 60-year-old man who wrote a letter to a newspaper’s editor — “probably not a hot babe.” If you want to hate discussing sex with people who don’t practice chastity, expecting to be treated with respect is a good place to start. But if you would like liking the process of discussing sex with people who don’t practice chastity to be within the realm of possibility, let go of that expectation. You are of infinite value because you exist. Your dignity does not depend on a person’s opinion of you; your dignity is intrinsic. Accepting that you will be disrespected is not the same as denying that you are worthy of respect.You can control how often you remind yourself of your worth. You cannot control the people you encounter who don’t believe in it.
Step 2: Expect to correct every misconception of sex that comes up, as soon as it comes up.
3 Lessons and 2 Tips is a series of interviews in which some of my favorite people (and probably some of yours) share three lessons they’ve learned by being married, plus two tips for single people.
This edition features Jon Acuff, who is singlehandedly responsible for fostering my ability to find meaning in the flattened biscuit I found stuck to the bottom of a slip-resistant shoe.*
But better than for the impact he’s had on my memories of being a writer stuck working at a Popeyes Chicken, Acuff is known for being a New York Times Bestselling author of four books, including his most recent, Start: Punch Fear in the Face, Escape Average & Do Work that Matters. He has been married since April 21, 2001 and graciously agreed to share some of what he’s learned as a husband:
AS: How did you meet your wife?
JA: We both went to Samford University in Birmingham, AL. (Fortunately God made sure I didn’t meet her when I was in college because I was an idiot.) After I graduated, I worked at an ad agency as a copywriter. Jenny was a senior and got an internship at the agency. We worked on a big project together and fell in love.
AS: What’s the first lesson you’ve learned in marriage?
JA: That you have to be deliberate about doing life together. The default as humans is to naturally drift apart and continue to build and manicure your own life, even as you’re supposed to be living as one. You really have to fight to stay connected.
AS: And a second lesson?