This plan was brought back to my memory by spending Wednesday through Friday of this past week with my sisters at the beach. I talked to them about their relationships (or lack thereof at present in one case), and it made me reminisce about my time when I was so anxiously waiting for that mysterious prince to come. While I was willing to marry the garbage man if that was what God had planned, I also was keeping a running list of all the traits I had in mind for a husband. The list was pretty particular and pretty exhaustive, but I had faith that God wouldn’t bring me someone that I didn’t think was perfectly created by Him for me. I won’t say there weren’t days when I had major doubts (especially in high school when all of my friends had “serious” boyfriends but me), but on the whole I believed he was out there.
So then, I go off to college. I think that I’ve lost my Prince Charming to the wilderness of Montana (and in particular a girl named Lisa Ashby from Bonners Ferry Idaho), and I decide to throw caution to the wind–to date with reckless abandon. Forget that list! There are so many more types of boys than I could have imagined as a young girl, and I wanted to get to know as many as possible. (As I re-read those last couple of sentences it sounds like I went a little crazier than I did. I did kiss a few, but that was about as crazy as it got if any of you are worried.)
There was one boy in particular, though, that hit a lot of the points on my list. One of my friends laughingly said I had managed to find a miniature Jeremiah, if that gives you an idea what he looked like physically. He was also a Christian, but then he had this laid back nature. This, “I’m majoring in Psychology but I really don’t know what I want to do with my life right now” outlook on life, and a deep passion for U2 and motorcycles. Now here was a combination I hadn’t dreamed up. Maybe, I thought, this is why I’ve been preparing myself to be able to support myself no matter who I marry. Maybe I need a free spirit to counterbalance all of my endless planning. After some crazy concerts, moonlit motorcycle rides, and vegging out on the couch I began to get restless. Then one morning he asked to take me to breakfast before one of my big ChemE tests so that I would be ready for it. When he asked me I thought it was a very sweet gesture, but I tried to explain to him how precious those last hours before the test were to me. That was when I memorized the sheet I’d been forming the night before of all the equations and constants I might possibly need for my test. He said he understood and promised to eat quietly while I did my cramming, but he couldn’t help laughing at how diligent I was. “It is just a test,” he said. Suddenly I knew! I knew why I couldn’t ever really marry the garbage man, and it really wasn’t shallow at all. As a lady, who was passionate about life in general and a career specifically, I simply couldn’t marry someone who wasn’t as passionate as I was. I couldn’t imagine marrying someone, putting myself under their leadership, trusting him with the decisions of our family’s future if he had no vigor for life.
I remembered all of this as I observed my sisters–who have all made similar choices in their boyfriends. I laughed as I recognized this pattern, this need for ambition and drive. I know that there have to be people out there who need an opposite, but I have found that I needed somebody different than me in a lot of areas…ambition was just not one of them.