As a young girl, I remember saying to myself that I would marry for love and love only…no matter what. That followed to reason that if I wanted to marry for love and also live a comfortable life, then I better be prepared to provide that comfortable life myself. So, I decided that I would be a doctor, and if I fell in love with the garbage man, then I would marry the garbage man because I would be able to support us. Nice, logical little life plan.

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.

3 Responses to “I Couldn’t Marry the Garbage Man After All”

  1. Tommy Tolleson says:

    Hey ab been a while since I checked you out. Still love to read your stuff. You are amazing cant wait to see ya T

  2. stewdog says:

    I guess that is what you get for cheating on me before a test. Plus, I didn´t like that guy anyway. You´d a been a fool to pass on Jeremiah for him. Pace looks at home on the beach!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Psalms 139:13~15 For you created my inmost being;you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made: your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place.When I was woven together in the depth of the earth.Your eyes saw my unformed body.All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.

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