A Foreign Affair

I think a lot of our ideas about attraction and “mating” are very specific to our culture.

Recently, I watched two documentaries on Netflix that gave me some food for thought about how we, as Americans, think about attraction and marriage.

Meet The Patels, centers around an Indian-American actor who is on the cusp of 30. According to his cultural expectations, this situation is unacceptable. So, after some thought, he agrees to let his parents intervene with his love life.  And ultimately, he agrees to a modern-day take on pursuing an arranged marriage.

What I found fascinating about the film was the idea, that marriage is such an important part of his culture and community, that the older generation didn’t leave partnering up to chance.  In addition, there seemed to be an intentional goal of passing on the traditions, morals, and values of previous generations.  It also appeared that this “rite of passage” was/is so important that people created a process to ensure that like-minded individuals could meet and marry each other. I also liked the fact, that the community was vested in making sure that the potential couple was vetted for compatibility, character, interests, etc.

Granted, I say this as an outsider to the Indian/Indian-American community, so I don’t have a grasp on the nuances of reality of this idea. But some of the concepts presented were interesting and compelling.

I grew up in the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” pandemonium, which although good intentioned, brought a lot of confusion and hang-ups to the single, Christian community.

To that end, there is a tendency for many singles to “date in a vacuum”, which is isn’t particularly beneficial.   I think there’s tremendous value in having the previous generation pour into our lives.  And I also think it’s very valuable to have married couples weigh-in on our dating decisions. Through this interaction, there’s an opportunity for people to share their mistakes, successes, and the tips that have helped them weather the storms of life in a partnership.  I feel that we need this knowledge and I wish it was more freely offered and given.

The other film (Love Me), profiled American men, who after various failed attempts at finding love in the States, decide to take a chance on a “mail-order bride” from another country. Yes, this concept is extreme and some of the men are “interesting”.  However, this film made me think.  It made me question the concept of attraction.  In fact, the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” comes to mind.

If we’re honest, there is some level of reciprocity in relationships. The value of  the”goods” is often determined by culture.  Meaning…what we find physically attractive, the amount of value that we place on physical desirability or the ability to provide, etc. is often determined by the society around us.

So, it was interesting to see men, who some would not find desirable in the US, being desired and valued elsewhere. Granted, I realize that the ideas presented in this film are complicated at best. (I am not advocating the mail-order bride arrangement.) However, it did make me think about my American concept of attraction.  Is possible that I, we are missing out on good people because they don’t fit our preconceived notions of what is desirable in our culture.

What are your thoughts?  If you’ve seen the movies, weigh-in.  Even if you haven’t, what do you think about today’s approach to dating and marriage?

Meet The Patels

 

Love Me

Road Rage

If I’m honest, I’ve had my moments of frustration trying to navigate the perilous terrain of the big city. 😉 Dealing with people who drive too fast/too slow, fail to use their turn signals or take forever to change lanes, does not encourage the better parts of my nature.

However, it’s good to be reminded of the importance of being on one’s “best behavior” even when one is behind the wheel of an automobile. So, I present to you, Disney’s Motor Mania.

Enjoy.

Hiatus

Hey guys,

I’m in a transition phase of life and unfortunately I don’t have time for frequent updates, so I’m going on hiatus. I hope to return to the blog-sphere sometime this summer.

In the meantime, I leave you with one of my new hobbies…online work out videos.

My “Peruvian” friend alerted me to the plethora of exercise videos on the web.  Below are some of my favorites.  Enjoy!

 

Hear This-Pentatonix

Just in time for Christmas,  one of my student workers, introduced me to Pentatonix. (I work in education.) They are amazing.  Enjoy!

-And don’t forget to check out band mate Kevin Olusola. He’s got some serious skills of his own.

Checking in

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted something new.  Between work and other life issues, it’s been a busy season for me.  That being said, I hope to post some new thoughts in the future.

But in the interim… I want to pass on an article that I recently read about the Futility of Comparing Ourselves to Others.

It’s easy to do, but it’s often destructive. If you check it out, let me know what you think.

Hope you are well.

CS Woman

Born To Dance

I’ve mentioned before that I really love dance. Who knows, had I not gone the music route, I might have tried dancing instead.

All that to say, even though I didn’t study the art form seriously, I love to watch it.   I recently found a clip of  Houston Ballet’s Aria Alekzander.  Her dancing is beautiful. Enjoy!

Meg Jay: Why 30 is not the new 20

This. [The time to help a person work on their marriage is before they get married.]

It’s so much easier to build a strong, healthy foundation from the beginning.  But it is so much harder to fix a broken one once the “house” is already built.

Let us not miss out on the opportunity to develop wholeness and/or healthy, God honoring relationships during the single years.

Around The Web: Living with an STD

Girl.City

Some might say that there are a few topics that go unmentioned in a typical church service.  One of those topics could easily be a discussion about what it’s like to live with a sexually transmitted disease or infection (STD/STI).

Despite the overall reticence to talk about STDs, I’ve had a few friends who’ve been willing to drop the veil and share their stories. I am humbled by their candor and honesty.

To that end, there may be some who share this experience and struggle with shame & regret. So,  I wanted to share a few stories from around the web that I hope will give you peace and comfort.

*If you have been or are sexually active, please get tested.

The Good Women Project-Dealing with STDs in marriage

http://goodwomenproject.com/sex/dealing-with-stds-in-marriage

Christianity Today-I Knew I Wasn’t Alone

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2008/marchweb-only/112-12.0.html

Image:created with graphics from  FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Around The Web: Cringe Worthy

Advice- “Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.”

Baz Luhrmann: Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen)

If you are single for long enough, sooner or later you will stumble across  a few pieces of advice that will be cringe worthy.

For certain, the author of the well-intended anecdote, bible verse, book suggestion, etc. will mean you no harm, but  that won’t change the fact that their words may come across as dismissive or insensitive.  (To that end, if you’re tempted to give a single person advice, it may be helpful to  listen a little more and talk a little less.)

Recently, I stumbled across a blog entry from Jon Acuff.  The man who brought us Stuff Christians Like.

As a married man, he’s come to realization that he’s said and done some insensitive things to his single brothers and sisters. In an effort to set things right, he’s written a humorous checklist of clichés and stereotypes that singles often encounter in the church. It’s called Surviving Church As A Single. Check it out and let me know what you think.

And while you’re at it, let me know your thoughts on the following:

  • What’s some of the best advice you’ve received as a single person?
  • What are some misconceptions about singleness?
  • What do you think the church can do to foster better relationships/communication between marrieds & singles?

Around The Web: Boring Chrisitans

Sometimes we ascribe to the Michael Bay* approach to our Christian life. We want a flashy testimony with sky-high numbers of instantaneous results and impact.

Too often we forget that God may choose to use the quiet, mundane things in life to reflect His glory.

I was reminded of this fact, when I stumbled across the web article  We Need Boring Christians: by Andrew Byers a few weeks ago. It was a good reminder that God does some pretty amazing things with ordinary.

I recommend that you check out the article at RelevantMagazine.com.  If you read it, let me know what you think.

-Ciao

*Michael Bay is a director who is known for his clichéd use of explosives in his films.