Picture Taking CRAZINESS

If you want to know if you’re old or young, just answer this pivotal question.  How many pictures did you take this year? I could guess your age with incredible accuracy if I only knew your picture-taking habits.

If you’re really really old, you took about five pictures this year.  One picture was taken of the family right after Easter dinner.  You also took a family picture after Christmas dinner.  You took a picture of your great-grandson on the day he was born and a rather fuzzy picture of the dead armadillo you saw on Hwy. 54.  But that’s about it.  In your estimation, birthday picture-taking is only for birthdays ending in “0.”  You have the keen understanding that a relative turning 78 will never be as impressive as the armadillo migrating to Tennessee.

If you’re kinda old, you took about ten pictures this year.  In addition to the ones above, you took an extra Christmas picture because Uncle Harold had his eyes closed in the first one and little Sally was picking her nose.  If you were really really old, you would have said, “Too bad, Uncle Harold and Sally.  We don’t wanna waste film.”  But you’re young enough to realize cameras don’t have film anymore.  So you gave Uncle Harold and Sally one more chance.  You took a picture of the azalea bushes next to the shed and two pictures of your grandkids marching in the Soybean Parade.  You took a picture of the barn cat because he’s 17 and you felt his days were numbered.  But that’s about it.

If you’re middle-aged, you took several hundred pictures this year.  You took the standard Easter and Christmas pictures.  But you also took pictures of the Christmas tree and the outside lights and little Sally dressed like a reindeer in the Christmas play.  In fact, you took lots of pictures of Sally dressed like a reindeer because she kept picking her nose. Truth is, you have a lot more picture-taking patience than old people.   You took tons of birthday pictures, even when relatives turned odd ages not ending in “0.”   You also took pictures at soccer tournaments, your friend’s 40th birthday party, and that horrid vacation in Biloxi when little Billy got food poisoning.

If you’re young, well, God bless you, friend.  You may need to go through a 12-step program for excessive picture taking.  Because of Facebook, I’m convinced the average teenage girl takes more pictures in a day than an adult takes in a year.  The day begins with the “I hate my new haircut” picture taken in the bathroom mirror at 7:00 am.  Then there’s the picture of a sausage biscuit on the way to school.  A picture of the dog in the backseat of the car eating the leftover sausage biscuit.  There are the 27 daily pictures of your bff (best friend forever).  Then there are the pictures of your running shoes, your school art project, your new bottle of hairspray, and the tacos you had for lunch which you deemed unacceptable. This is all before noon on an average Tuesday.

The moral to this story is clear.  Old people need to take more pictures.  Young people need to take fewer pictures.  And armadillos need to stay off the highway.

Side note:  Look at my blog….and guess my age.  🙂  Ancient.

Romance Vs. Pornography

There’s some confusion in America right now, especially among young women.  I’m not naïve enough to believe a lowly newspaper columnist can alleviate that confusion.  But I’m certainly willing to try.

Romance is not pornography and vice versa.  In case the current books or movies have affected your sensibility in this area, allow me to explain.  A man who attacks you on the first date is not a romantic.  And no, you shouldn’t go out with him again.  A man who wants what he wants and won’t take “no” for an answer is not a romantic.  At all.

I didn’t think I had to explain this to women.  But evidently I do.  Or someone does.  I’m disturbed that popular books and movies portray men acting like animals and women totally giving up on romance.  But if our culture does give up on romance, it won’t just devastate individuals.  It will devastate our culture.

Romance is an important slow-moving process by which desire grows.  Oh, the desire may be there from the beginning of a relationship.  Absolutely.  Romance is not the deadening of that sexual desire or the thwarting of natural attraction.  No.  Romance is the process by which all that desire begins an important journey.  A journey that combines natural desire with character, faithfulness, and trust.

See, here’s the deal.  If you want to experience all the joys of physical intimacy for years and years (and I highly recommend that), it’s best to start that process slowly and in the right order.  And yes, there’s an order.  A very distinct order.

It’s been said that the greatest compliment a man can give a woman is to ask the simple question, “Will you marry me?” Sadly, that question is asked less and less in our current culture.  It’s not difficult to figure out why.  Couples have chosen physical intimacy before commitment.  No strings attached.  That sounds great, if only it worked.  Statistics are clear.  It usually doesn’t.

Real romance doesn’t begin with sex.  Romance begins with conversation. Those conversations deepen your appreciation of the other person.  All of that conversation and closeness leads to even further desire and the process continues.

In fact, sometimes that heightened desire leads men and women to do the craziest most beautiful things.  I know a young man who once spent several hours hiking down a mountain during a week-long hunting trip to walk to a convenience store to call his girlfriend who lived in Texas.  This was long before cell phones.  Sadly, the woman who had captured his attention wasn’t home that night.  So he had to walk all the way up the mountain again.  But that’s okay.   She was impressed and appreciative of his romantic gesture.  A month later he asked her to marry him.  She never hesitated.  They got married four months later.

Though 25 years have passed, she’s still impressed with him. Impressed with his kindness and his faithfulness.  She stands in awe of his daily commitment to work and pay bills and labor alongside her to raise two teenage boys.  Some may think their lives are pretty boring.  But life is anything but boring at their house.  They’ve been blessed with a life-long love.  And that is romance at its very best.