I live in a three-bedroom apartment with four of my best girl friends. We have lived together for three years and have learned how to communicate and get along in a rare and beautiful way. Especially for a girl who grew up with two brothers, I never thought I could live this easily with a bunch of women. We have a special understanding when it comes to cleaning, clothes and our secret stashes of candy. We pretty much share everything, when permission is asked, of course.
As close as we all are, we think a lot alike and find it crazy, yet amazing, how different our tastes are in men. All of us have boyfriends — extremely different boyfriends. We find it amazing that God created us differently in that sense and see it a blessing that we find “delight,” you might say, in our own male counterparts … that is 364 days out of the year.
Then Valentine’s Day came.
The Thief of Joy
Since we share almost everything else, we don’t normally compare our possessions. Not to call the men in our lives possessions, but you see what I mean. We are usually satisfied with our unique relationships until that one day when all men are expected to show flawless, movie-perfect affection.
By 5 a.m. a large assortment of purple wildflower look-a-likes took over our kitchen table. Rushing to see the card tucked behind the vibrant pedals, only one girl left satisfied while the rest waited, hoping their moment would come. Roomie A’s boyfriend made her dinner; Roomie B’s boyfriend forgot, and Roomie C’s boyfriend thought Taco John’s would satisfy the overrated, obnoxious “holiday.”
Jealousy broke out in my apartment for the first time in months, over a day that doesn’t mean much more than Feb. 20 being Clam Chowder Day (it’s a real day; look it up.) No catfights broke out, but feelings were hurt; girls were let down, and boyfriends who thought they were doing something sweet didn’t realize they were in some sort of competition.
Gratitude is Key
Who has it right? Does this make anyone’s match any less perfectly made in heaven? I have fought with this for a long time as I desire the things Suzanne talked about in her post “Killing Prince Charming.” That hit me to the core as I can relate with the prince-charming chasers she talks about. Like most girls, I’ve seen Cinderella 12 too many times and fallen for the oober romantic men in every chick flick.
But as I get off my point and head toward the direction of “My Annoying Dependence on Man,” I want to go back to my intent of portraying this as primarily a comparison issue. Although Johnny Boy might be great at picking out roses, Johnny Boy II might be awesome at remembering to visit you at work and bring you a needed smile instead of an unnecessary box of chocolates.
The men out there might be rolling their eyes and shaking their fists at St. Valentine (or me), but I wanted to bring about the point of the uniqueness of relationships and how comparing isn’t possible. Just the way my roommates and I have different taste, the men in our lives have different ways of showing their affection and appreciation (read Chapman’s The Five Love Languages). Comparison only breeds contempt.
Again I portray myself as a needy female, but I think this is a relatable topic. We are emotional beings who get caught in the romanticism of life, love and our materialistic culture. Taking time to appreciate the gifts in our lives, whether they are relationships, talents or possessions will keep us from these moments of coveting.
Copyright 2011 Chelsey Nugteren. All Rights Reserved.