Dear 17-Year-Old Me,

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First of all, you look great! Stop obsessing about your body because you look hot now, so enjoy that. Stop trying to starve yourself into a Kate Moss body when God gave you a Christina Hendricks-ish frame.   (You probably won’t understand that reference until you really get into Mad Men.)

I know you’re worried about dating. You shouldn’t be. By that I don’t mean you’re going to date a lot or meet Mr. Right immediately freshman year, because that’s not the case. I would be lying if I said there wasn’t going to be nights when all of your friends and roommates are out on dates and you spend the night watching a sad movie on your laptop (I’m past the statute of limitations on that, right?) and sighing into a Cup-O-Noodles. You’re going to get your heart-broken, more than once. You won’t be a stranger to the sting of rejection. It makes you a stronger person, but don’t let it make you hard-hearted and cold. In fact just don’t worry about it. In the words of Amy Poehler “Too often we are told to visualize what we want… Try to care less. Practice ambivalence. Learn to let go of wanting it.” Do you want to know what happens when you stop worrying about how you’re ‘not dating’? That’s right, you meet the man of your dreams. Oh, and throw away all those notes about how you’re supposed to act on a date (yes, you actually pay tuition to take notes on stuff like that, but that’s a rant for another time) or how you’re supposed to look, because he loves you for you. Just the way you are, quirkiness and all.

Let loose and have some fun! You’ve always been a rule-follower so what I’m about to say is probably going to blow your mind. The memories of college that’ll make you smile aren’t the ones where you’re following all the rules. Be sensible, but do something a little crazy every once in a while. It’s good for you.

Love Love Love,

You(24 years-old)

P.S. Maybe put a little more effort into your spaghetti bridge project for physics. I’m married with a baby and people still talk about how awful it turned out. So, don’t procrastinate, seriously.

 

 

It was my junior year of college, I, like every other
student, couldn’t wait for the short Christmas break that marked
the end of a particularly rough semester. I had just started seeing
somebody, nothing serious at that point, but I really liked him. He
was different, and by different I mean he someone I found
interesting for a change. It was the first time I wasn’t going to
be headed home right away. Because of work I would have to stay an
extra ten days on campus before I could go see my family. I told
myself it wasn’t a big deal, that I could handle it. Who was I
kidding? I had a chapel date for the annual dismissal service,
which was good because it would keep me from throwing myself a pity
party and letting myself sulk in jealousy for all those who would
be on their way home to food with flavor and private showers. It
was a good date, we laughed at the jokes, joined in with the
timeless carols, and enjoyed each other’s company, no sulking. We
watched  Mr. Evan’s dismiss with his infamous solo. All of
the students eagerly waited for the  “Have yourself a merry
little Christmas… NOW!”  The line was sung, the chapel
emptied, and we sat enjoying the chaos. I wanted to sit there
forever. I didn’t want him to go home. It was a nine-hour drive to
Northern Michigan, and he had his car ready to go. But he didn’t.
Instead, he walked with me to the dining hall where we ate bland
food on styrofoam plates. Every morning for those ten days, he had
breakfast with me in the Square where we played endless games of
Scrabble and talked for hours. I couldn’t believe it. Every morning
there he was, sitting on the other side of an uncomfortable booth,
drinking bad coffee with watered down creamer. With me. He chose to
stay with me. He didn’t have to. We had been “dating” less than
three months. He had no obligation to stay. But, he did. Those ten
days felt like nothing. Do you know why? Because every morning I
would get dressed and walk into that little campus restaurant and
see him sitting at that booth with two coffees and a Scrabble
board. A year later, he asked me to marry him. Stephanie &
Jesse Wedding [Captured by Studio Cline] Lake Portrait 045

On the Married Life

Forty-two days. That’s how long I’ve been a married woman. I’m a newbie to this whole spending-the-rest-of-my-life-with-someone game. One of the biggest transitions has to be the single to married transition.

They say when you get back from the honeymoon reality hits you hard. If this is true, I didn’t feel it because I had “honeymoon hangover” (not literally, calm down!) After a week of living in marital bliss and fairy tale optimism, and of course some of that still lingered as we started our life together.  I had intentions of being “super-wife”, and for the first few weeks I think I did a good job. 

Just about every morning my husband wakes up at six a.m., takes a shower, gets dressed, and heads to the kitchen. During my “super wife” stage I would head to the kitchen with him and make his lunch (turkey sandwich with Miracle Whip and lettuce on multi-grain bread), drink coffee, and watch some Fox News with him before he left for work. After that, I would groggily make my way back to the room and lie in bed with my eyes wide open (stupid coffee!) until I actually had to be awake. I kept this up for a while, and I was pretty proud of myself. Until I slowly stopped doing it as often, and as often turned into altogether. So pray for me and my lack of character.  

I love cuddling. After two years of dating/ being suffocated with supervision nothing makes me happier than to sit on our red couch with my husband.  Usually we’ll sit and watch something heartwarming and romantic like the Walking Dead; his arm will be around me, my legs will be on his lap.  Now it’s happened once or twice that he’ll stroke my leg as it’s laying on his lap and summon a Rebel Wilson impression to inform me of my prickly legs. Sigh. Gone are the days of hiding stubbly legs under tights and boots ( same goes for ugly chonies.) On the bright side, it does mean that someone appreciates my smooth legs when I go through the trouble of shaving. 

I’m a marriage rookie.  I love every minute of it. 

Things Christian College Girls Say: Dating

  • “Well, they’re not in the ‘I like you’ stage yet.”
  • “They’re just talking.”
  • “Oh my word! I’m a girlfriend!!!”
  • “They sat together last night in church, and they ate lunch together this afternoon. They are so dating.”
  • “I heard she gave him a store-bought card. It must have been a really bad date.”
  • “I saw that couple in the post office hallway. They were so close they were practically kissing. it was so gross!”
  • “Do I have to make him a card for a chapel date?”
  • “You should make him cookies.”
  • “I’m never gonna get married.”
  • “She’s only staying for her Masters cause she’s single.”
  • “It’s so hard to find stuff for him that doesn’t say ‘love’.”
  • “Goodnight. I like you. ” “I like you too.”

How Do I Love Thee?

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost two years. I feel like I need to find new ways to tell him how much I love him. I think I thought of way to express that.

So, Jesse, how much do I love you?

I love you…

1. More than a fat kid loves cake.

2. More than Bro. Eddie loves the word “literally”.

3. More than Kim Kardashian loves herself.

4. More than the DOW loves unnecessary DC meetings.

5. More than people on diets love talking about dieting.

6. More than Mexicans love hot sauce.

7. More than Sheldon Cooper loves proving that he’s right.

8. More than Kel loves orange soda.

9. More than Bro. Tefft loves Diet Coke.

10. More than Californians love saying “the” before freeways when giving directions.

11. More than Justin Bieber loves posting selfies.

12. More than Dwight loves beet farming.

13. More than Mini-Me loves chocolate.

14. More than Midwest girls love being fake tan.

15. More than hipsters love coffee shops.

The First Date Job Interview

“A date is a job interview that lasts all night.” -Jerry Seinfeld

Last week my boyfriend and I attended that “Harvest Fest” activity I was talking about. Unfortunately, due to the rainy weather we went to Navy Pier instead. It was a little “mall” full of tourist shops and kiosks, a couple of restaurants, a garden and a children’s museum. I definitely enjoyed myself; I usually do when I’m with my boyfriend.

My boyfriend and I were wondering about those awkward freshman couple who were on their first date. They’re stuck walking around the same ten stores peddling Chicago apparel and mementos for four hours.

First dates are tough anyway; they’re pretty much like a job interview like Jerry said. There is a lot of similarities. First of all, there is the flattery that out of the sea of applicants/ candidates, you were chosen.  Second, both involve some type of interrogation, or series of vague question which you are supposed to expound upon to give them some insight about you. Of course in both situations you are trying to impress them, but at the same you are sizing them up to see if they’re a good fit for a long-term relationship. Now, that’s a lot to handle on a four-hour first date.

Luckily, there are a couple of differences. To start with, motives. One has romantic intentions, the other, monetary. Also, even though both of these events start with a frantic and nervous anticipation in front of your closet, you’re communicating two different messages.  While playing up your best features is priority, one has a more professional slant. The method of interrogation varies as well, while one rattles of questions, one right after the other; compared to loaded questions hidden in casual conversation.

I’m so glad I’m done with that. Jesse and I are past the awkward nervous conversation point. We’re comfortable with each other. I enjoy his conversation, hearing him talk, but just being next to him makes me completely happy (okay, you can gag now.)