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HOW TO BE A GROWNUP247 Lab-tested Strategies for Conquering the World
By Margaret Feinberg Leif Oines
W Publishing GroupCopyright © 2007 Margaret Feinberg
All right reserved.
Chapter OneANSWERS TO ANNOYING RELATIONSHIP QUESTIONS
Part I: Still Single?
Do you ever get tired of annoying questions about your single status? If so, you're not alone. You'd think people in relationships would be a little more sensitive to those without one, but often they just don't think before they ask. So the next time someone asks you why you're still single, here are five responses that might come in handy:
QUESTION: WHY ARE YOU STILL SINGLE?
* I can't give away that secret. You'll just have to tune in to next Friday night's Unsolved Mysteries and watch the exposé like everyone else.
* I think it might have something to do with my parents' obsession with teaching me not to talk to strangers.
* Well, this is just a guess, but rumor has it that my standards are too high. I just refuse to settle. Know what I mean? Wait ... oops, of course you don't. [You can say this because a hastily conducted unscientific poll shows that 98 percent of people who ask this question are already married.]
* Honestly, I ask myself that every single night as I lie down with hot tears streaming down my lonely face in a cold bed all by myself, contemplating the despair of having no one to share pillow talk or anything else I've seen on TV with and realizing there's just no hope for ever finding that life companion, soul mate, and best friend. I know the person must exist out there somewhere. [This is best delivered with dramatic facial expressions of intense pain and the whiniest voice you can generate.]
* I just haven't found anyone who deserves me yet. [Beware: This answer can be interpreted as both incredibly egotistical and unbelievably self-deprecating.]
ANSWERS TO ANNOYING RELATIONSHIP QUESTIONS
Part II: How's Married Life?
If you happen to be one of those rare people who decided to get married right out of the womb, or at least while still under the average marrying age, then you'll probably get hit with the possible all-time favorite or least favorite question [depending on how things are going with your spouse that day]:
QUESTION: SO, HOW IS MARRIED LIFE?
* You tell me. You've been married longer than I have. [This is particularly effective if the inquiring person is married.]
* I could tell you, but then I'd have to kill you. [This is most effective if the inquiring person is single.]
* Didn't you hear? We got divorced right after the honeymoon. But thanks for bringing it up! [Granted, this is not true, but it will be really fun to watch the uncomfortable look of regret sweep over the person's face. You could be saving countless other newlyweds from having to endure this question in the future-'cause that person will think twice before asking it again!]
* Well, I'll tell ya, buddy ... there is no premarital counseling, how-to book, parent-child talk, or Crest commercial in the world that prepared me for morning breath.
* So far, so good. I'm giving it another few months before I take the checkbook and credit card and head off to Tahiti.
* Married life is great, and the sex is even better! [Yes, this is a little off-color. But really ... what do they want you to say when they ask this question? Why not give 'em the good stuff you know their prying little mind is longing for!]
Single Serving, Anyone?
Picture yourself married. Think of all the time, energy, and commitment it requires. Until that day comes, why not make the most of the time you've been given right now and invest in other people and your own spiritual growth? NOW IS THE TIME TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE FREEDOM YOU HAVE IN HOW YOU USE YOUR TIME AND ENERGY. Consider these fulfilling, difference-making, fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants, fun ways to serve while you're able to do whatever you want:
Volunteer in your church nursery or a local day care.
Let's face it. When you get married and have children of your own, the last thing you're going to want to do in your spare time is take care of other people's children on top of your full-time child-rearing responsibilities. This will give you great practice and will also be a huge blessing to the parents of those little bundles of joy with limitless energy.
Participate in overseas evangelism opportunities.
Countless missions agencies have short-term programs for singles. Consider serving overseas while you can still go without uprooting a whole family. Many closed-access countries will not permit overt missionary activity but will allow single Christian students or professionals to come in and teach English without any special degrees or requirements. Spend time making friends with the nationals, and you'll make a difference in their lives. It will amaze you when they begin to ask why you have peace in your heart, or a smile on your face, or a desire to help others instead of yourself.
Host dinner parties.
There are so many people who need to get a life. Don't just sit around and think about how pathetic they are [or you are!]. Invite them over and help them hop on the clue train toward good social graces. Use small gatherings to help timid people feel more comfortable. On another night, invite all the loud, obnoxious people you know and watch them fight it out for all the attention on center stage. You'll be entertained and be fostering community at the same time!
He Said, She Heard
Ever feel like you're not getting through? Like you're saying one thing, and the gal is hearing something completely different? Here's a short guide for those kinds of moments:
HE SAID "Wanna grab dinner?" "Nothing's wrong ... why?" "I'm going out with the guys." "You look great in that dress!" "Let's just be friends."
SHE HEARD "What should we name our first child?" "I don't feel comfortable enough to share my intimate thoughts with you." "You aren't fun enough or cool enough to meet my needs." "Every other dress you've ever worn makes you look fat." "I hate you!"
She Said, He Heard
Not communicating well goes both ways. You say one thing, and the guy hears something completely different. Here's a short guide for those kinds of moments:
SHE SAID "I love you like a brother." "Nothing's wrong!" "Does my butt look big in these?" "Fine! Go out with your friends!" "So where do you see this going?"
HE HEARD "I hereby reject your manhood with six words." "Nothing is wrong. Everything's great. Let's watch football!" Danger! Danger! You can't win! Don't answer this! Run away! "It's okay, honey. Have a great time. I'll be right here whenever you're ready. Maybe I'll bake a pie." "Just exactly when are you going to commit, buy a ring, talk to my dad, walk down the aisle, and give up your freedom?"
Here's a little insight into the sometimes strange behavior of the opposite sex. See if you can answer the following questions. [And since we know you'll be confused, we'll give you the answers, too.]
Q: Why do girls go to the bathroom en masse?
[a] To talk about someone else at the table.
[b] To analyze how the evening is going and decode any hidden messages in looks exchanged or tones perceived.
[c] Girl A needs to borrow something of the feminine nature from Girl B, C, or D.
[d] All of the above.
A: [d] Any or all of the above at any given time.
Q: Why don't guys ask girls out more often?
[a] Fear that she'll say no.
[b] Fear that she'll say yes.
[c] Commitment phobia.
[d] All of the above.
A: [d] Any or all of the above at any given time.
* If "e-lation" is the state of being incredibly happy, what is "re-lation"? Being happy again?
* Ever noticed that it's usually the guy who asks a girl to go out, but it's the girl who asks the guy to come in? Hmm. Interesting. Kind of interesting, anyway. Okay ... maybe just a little interesting.
* Where did the concept of "hooking up" come from? You hook up a trailer to a pickup truck, a garden hose to a spigot, speakers to a sound system, and computers to a network. Think about it.
* Miss Piggy only kissed one frog and found her prince. Kermit only gave one pig a chance and found his princess. Lesson: Is there a green, slimy man in your life who deserves a second look? How 'bout a big ugly hog who has a really great personality?
* Ever noticed how many love songs there are on the radio? Where are the hate songs? There are some, to be sure, but not nearly as many. Why? Because love makes you feel like singing. And not-love makes you want to cut someone's throat out. That's why.
Excerpted from HOW TO BE A GROWNUP by Margaret Feinberg Leif Oines Copyright © 2007 by Margaret Feinberg. Excerpted by permission.
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