Does anyone remember that Drew Barrymore movie, Never Been Kissed? In it, she plays (apparently) the ONLY fully grown adult who has ever made it to maturity with the crippling deformity of never being kissed. This (of course) means that she becomes a crazy, grammar-obsessed, crocheting, cat-lady with bad hair, who is weirdly interested in the lives of teenagers.
I freaking hate that movie. It is a parade of awkwardness from start to finish, complete with 90s fashion. And in my weaker moments, I become convinced that it will be my life… MINUS the Romantic Comedy ending.
I become absolutely certain that I will be the ONE PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE who will NEVER be in a serious, long-term, marriage-destinationed relationship. (Fortunately for me I have been kissed. In my most psychotic moments, that convinces me that I won’t be a cat-lady or have bad hair. That leaves me with crazy, grammar-obsessed, crocheting, and being too aware of the teenaged relationships around me.)
Three down. Just need to learn to crochet.
Anyways, why am I sharing this?
Here is the list:
- Because this week is Valentine’s Day.
- Because a statistically improbable percentage of my friends are dating, engaged, married, pregnant, and/or have babies.
- Because I am teaching Pride and Prejudice to a group of 11th graders who are simultaneously relationship hyper-active and relationship challenged.
- Because ALL of my students are obsessed with my relationship status and ask about it weekly.
- Because today was World Marriage Day, so the homily centered on that particular vocation.
- Because my roommate has taken to sharing (frequently and in alternation) a list of her prospective suitors and her extreme romantic woe.
Because I am lonely.
- MOST IMPORTANTLY: Because I am pattern obsessed and convinced that all of these things are some combination of God’s will and the devil screwing with me via Spiritual Warfare.(I never really used to think about Spiritual Warfare. Until Reesa. And Jennifer Fulwiller. I really like the idea. It means that when I am a raging psycho, there are actual evil things attacking my psyche, and apparently I am confrontational enough that this idea gives me a reason to fight back.)My current battle is the battle of Special Loneliness and Suffering. Basically, the devil tries to convince me that I am alone. That I need to lie so that people don’t discover the awful truth. That I am the one broken never-dating girl in the world. That NO ONE has ever been as lonely as I am. That NO ONE has ever been as pathetic and undateable. That NO ONE can understand. That I am Specially Doomed.
If it sounds dumb, that is because it is. As an antidote to this ham-handed but wildly effective assault on my soul, here is some “Fight Club”:
“Listen up, maggots. You are not special.
You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake.
You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else.”
Harsh? Yes. But I am pretty sure that the principle holds. I think that one of the greatest lies that the Devil has come up with is that suffering makes us special.
I wrote this post, because I am not. AND I AM SO GLAD! My loneliness is not special. My sinfulness is not special. My suffering is NOT SPECIAL.
Christ died on the Cross, saying:
“My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?”
In that moment suffering and loneliness were transfigured into the great and beautiful points of connection between people. Even if I am the only person in the world who never has a date on Valentine’s Day. Even if God’s will is for me to spend the rest of my life teaching high school students about healthy relationships without ever having one myself. Even if I watch every last one of my friends and roommates fall in love, while I do not. Even IF…
My suffering is still not special.
He shared every moment of it. I am not alone and neither are you.
Happy Valentine’s Week, y’all! If there is someone who is fighting the same spiritual battle as I am: REMEMBER, not dating does not necessarily lead to lonely cat-lady-hood. We can be crazy dog-ladies together!