SCARED OF BEING DUMPED ON[BY MICHA BOYETT]
Molly (my roommate) and I are in love with Ed. You know, the bowling alley lawyer, the one who lives in Stuckeyville and charms the hearts of women all across the nation every Wednesday night on NBC. Ed’s not real. But he seems real. So Molly and I never miss an episode. It’s our ritual.
It’s not that he’s the most handsome guy on television. Ed’s really a little awkward except for those blue eyes and that witty humor and the way he looks at Carol even though she can’t get the fact that he’s the best thing she will ever find. Molly and I love to hate Carol. But we know she’s just like us: afraid of the good thing right in front of her. So she pretends she doesn’t love him back. And every week, Molly and I turn off the TV, wishing for an Ed of our very own, even though we know we’re both as blind as Carol.
We do it differently. For me it’s the never-ending dream of some faceless outdoorsy guitar-playing poet, who will want me only, even though I suffer from random bloody noses and still sleep with a blanket named “Buddy.” I convince myself that finding some guy who will join me in passionate discussions about the use of metaphor or take me fly fishing in Colorado will finally bring some completion to that lonely section of me. That dream gets all jumbled up with everything else. At work lately, I can’t focus, thinking how great it would be to be somewhere else with poet boy whose hair just might be cutely sticking out of his cap. It gets worse sometimes, like when I’m at a concert and can put a name and a face on him: making him the dreamy singer/songwriter on stage, convincing myself that he’s “the one” and fantasizing that any minute now he’ll just look up from his song, past the stage lights and faces of screaming girls, see me across the room, drop his guitar, and run out the door with me into some lovely sunset, into the movie I’ve always hoped my life would be.
For Molly, it’s the struggle to understand how to respond to her best friend who stood in front of her two nights ago saying he loved her, when she knows she wants him, but doesn’t know how to be in love.
Did I mention that I was in love once? I loved a guy whose heart was good, kind, pure. And he tried to love me. He just didn’t. After two years of trying to make myself wantable, maybe I just became hard inside, a cynic, or maybe worse, a dreamer of things like Ed, like faceless poet boy: imaginary people who are too perfect to be real. Maybe I’m just scared of how lonely my life post-college seems, of how quickly my waistline seems to be expanding, of how maybe I should have worked harder for the guy who didn’t want me.
Maybe I have lived in this fallen world so long that I have forgotten that there ever was an Eden, that there really is One who loves me without condition, even when I eat too much, or when I burn the spaghetti, or have an incredibly arrogant thought, or fail to love my neighbor. When I’m not dreaming, I’ve become a Christian on a mission to be “real.” I mock Christian lingo. I roll my eyes if I have to hear one more time about what “God’s doing” in someone’s life or how “awesome” someone’s time of prayer was this morning. But I’m not real. I’m just calloused. I’m just calloused because I am afraid. I’m afraid to find out what it means to take God at His word, to believe that if I delight myself in Him, He will be faithful to give me the desires of my heart.
Maybe we’re all like Carol, just scared of being dumped on. Maybe I just keep missing the message of the Gospel, which is above all else the story of a Creator who made a perfect place for a creation that would reject it. The story of a Creator who still hasn’t given up on Eden, who is still restoring me, despite my resistance. The story of a Creator who loves me, who would teach me to delight in Him, if I could just believe.