Thursday, May 30, 2013

The News Part III

Pushing Past the Double X Curse

I confess, as I write this post, I have not yet studied Hebrew.  I registered to take Hebrew in college, but dropped the class after a trip to the campus book store.  In flipping through the pages of a required text, I realized this particular Hebrew class wasn’t what I had envisioned.  I thought we’d be studying the book of Hebrews found in the Bible’s New Testament – not the original language of the Bible’s Old Testament.

I had already fulfilled my language requirement by then so there was no way I was going to attempt another language just for kicks.  So here I am today - still Hebrew illiterate.  This is my disclaimer to say, as I discuss the book of Genesis and the double X curse, please note, these are Katrina ideas rather than a well-researched theory derived from studying the text in its original language. 

By double X curse – I mean two X chromosomes.  While an X and Y lead to a man, two X chromosomes result in a woman.  In Genesis we read that when brokenness entered the world, working the land became much harder for men and that childbirth became much more painful for women.  In today’s world many women, especially single mom’s, are taking on the curse of both man AND woman.  And single and widowed women have no choice but to take on the XY curse as well.

But what stands out to me the most in the description of our broken universe is Genesis 3:16’s statement to women, “Your desire will be for your husband.”

You wouldn’t think such a desire would fall under the genre of “curse.”  But there it is – right there in the book of Genesis.  Part of the Double X curse – for all women – throughout all generations – is that our desire will be for our husbands. 

So what does this mean for women who are single?  Do we somehow get to sidestep this curse since we don’t have husbands? 

My conclusion: I don’t think so. 

Most single women still desire a husband – to the extent that it can be crippling.  Instead of embracing our time and talents to the fullest in making a difference in our communities and in the world, we are sitting around “waiting” for some sort of prince to show up, so the life we were promised by Disney and our youth pastors can finally begin.

By “waiting” I mean mourning and grieving the loss of dream that may never be.  And it’s not just the loss of a husband and decades of sex and intimate companionship, but it’s also the 2 to 4 children, and the many more grandchildren that may never be. 

Granted, most single women will still marry at some point, but as I’ve shared with friends, it is my dream to help minimize the negative “waiting” energy, and convert it into passionate, world-changing energy.  The desire for a husband may never go away, but WE CAN CHOOSE each day how we allow our DESIRES to impact our attitudes and approach to life.  Even if we never get the “dream” metanarrative imbedded into our chromosome make up, we can still live out great stories and know for certain, with or without a diamond ring, we are still valued.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The News Part II

Some time ago I read this book that concludes baby making is no longer a viable tent making skill (i.e. trade) for women.  The book didn't quite state it as such, but that's what I took from it.

The book explained how in the agricultural world, the more children a woman birthed, the greater FREE work force for the family farm or business.  Children had the potential to increase a family's wealth.  Unlike today, children back then were considered an economic benefit to families.  But today, the cost of a college education alone often scares couples away from having more babies.

I mention this because...

Recently a facebook friend of mine asked via her status, "What's your dream?'  I noticed her status early on and immediately started typing a response.

I wrote, "I want to help rewrite the female metanarrative so that women will begin to know and believe they are worth far more than their ovaries."

But just before posting I read the post ahead of mine and determined posting such a statement probably wasn't the best idea.  The person ahead of me had written "to be a good mom" and then something else about her son, saying she hopes he'll grow up to be successful.

I didn't want this chic to take offense to my post, so I cleared what I had written, and tried again.  This time I included my life mission statement.

I want to be a voice of truth that sets women free to embrace the gifts God has given them that they, in turn, might make a significant impact in the world. :) In short, inspire and encourage through speaking and writing, and starting a non-profit called "for her."

83 year old Warren Buffett confirmed for me my life mission is worth pursuing.  He too is concerned that women aren't being encouraged enough in embracing their gifts and talents. 

In May 20's edition of Fortune Magazine, Buffett writes, "For most of our history, women - whatever their abilities - have been relegated to the sidelines."

Later in the article he explains the dream disparity his sisters encountered in our male-dominated society.

He writes... 

The moment I emerged from my mother's womb, however, my possibilities dwarfed those of my siblings, for I was a boy!  And my brainy, personable, and good-looking siblings were not.  My parents would love us equally, and our teachers would give us similar grades.  But at every turn my sisters would be told - more through signals than words - that success for them would be "marrying well."  I was meanwhile hearing that the world's opportunities were there for me to seize.

So my floor became my sisters' ceiling - and nobody thought much about ripping up that pattern until a few decades ago.  Now, thank heavens, the structural barriers for women are falling.

Still an obstacle remains: Too many women continue to impose limitations on themselves, talking themselves out of achieving their potential.

* To read the full article...

Stay tuned for The News Part III: Pushing Past the Double X Curse

Friday, May 24, 2013

The News Part I

 “I have bad news.”

“What’s that?” The guy from down the shore inquired.
“That doctor I’ve been talking to – he’s Calvinist.” I lamented.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” he replied, extending empathy.  “And I know you have history with Calvinists.”   It’s true, I do.  My favorite ex-boyfriend ditched me when his pastoral pursuits didn’t seem to mesh with my less than Calvinist thinking.  He wanted a woman who would stay in line with his 5 point, cessationist, patriarchal, theology.
The guy from down the shore continued on, “Is it ignorant for me to ask if all Calvinists are hardcore set in their beliefs?  Perhaps he’s a laid back one.   Maybe he’s a Calvinist like I’m Methodist.”

I laughed.  Guy from down the shore is a VERY laid back Methodist.  With his questionable comments and rampant cussing one would never know he had ever stepped foot into a church.  He explained to me one time he attended about 3 times a week growing up, so he thinks he’s good on fulfilling his church attendance quota for at least another decade.
“He could be...” I hesitated, “but it’s highly unlikely.  Calvinists tend to be black and white in their thinking,” I explained.  “They don’t leave a lot of room for the grey in life and the mystery of God.”

Last week, after some theological discussion, I explained to the Calvinist doctor the following:

I fear you'll hate the theological undertones of my writing. My landing point for my first book is the mystery of God. For me, the only way I can continue to trust God and his love for me is to embrace his mystery.
Despite my statement, the doctor and I are still chatting.  But this whole Calvinist thing got me thinking – I need a guy who is going to support me in my writing.  He doesn’t have to love my work, but he can’t hate the message I am communicating.  And if I so happen to get invited to speak before a coed audience on a Sunday, I’d want him there cheering me on rather than staying home to read 1 Timothy, chapter 2.

Funny, I remember back when I was 19, asking this guy who had been stringing me along if he had any feelings left for me.  He replied, “Yes and no.  Yes, I’m still attracted to you, but I feel like we are headed two different directions in life.  I want to marry a woman who is going to be there to support me in ministry.”  At the time I intended to pursue a career in broadcast journalism, so I accepted his answer as a sensible response for someone who wanted to be a youth pastor. 
By the time I had graduated from college, I had been brainwashed into believing the role of a woman is not to dream big dreams, but rather to use all of who she is to support a man in his – whatever they may be.  I would love to someday support a man in his dreams, but I would also want him to encourage me in the gifts God has given me.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Katrina Andrade

Yesterday I woke up and my cell phone company informed me my last name has been changed to Andrade.   This came as quite a surprise to me since I couldn’t recall getting married recently.  I thought back to my most recent stay in New York and a few of the guys I had spent time with, but I was stumped.  I couldn’t remember eloping with anyone.

I then remembered that weekend in Chicago 3 years ago – a St Patty’s day weekend celebration.  I didn’t elope then either, but my taxi cab driver took me out for breakfast after my wallet had been stolen the night before.  I was already short on cash in paying him to get me to the bus station, so I asked him to take me as far as he could go.  He insisted on getting me there regardless, and when we arrived an hour before my bus’s departure, he told me he was going to grab a bite to eat at the diner down the street and asked if I would like to go - his treat.

My stomach had rumbled just moments before, reminding me that without any money or credit cards I would go hungry that day unless I accepted his offer.  So yes, I went out to breakfast with my taxi cab driver and he near proposed to me by the end of the meal.  His wife had passed away several years prior and he was raising 3 little ones on his own.  I did agree to giving him my telephone number, but I know didn’t give him (or anyone else that weekend) my hand in marriage.

But since that weekend I’ve run into all sorts of identity theft issues.  Within months of St. Patty's Day the guy who stole my wallet managed to run up a $2,000 Comcast bill in my name.  And then there were issues with Paypal, and now my cell phone.  The Verizon lady explained to me someone had called in, answered all the security questions, and requested the name change.  I explained to the Verizon lady that I would very much like to change my name someday, but, to the best of my knowledge, my last name is still Blank.

It is said never, ever keep your Social Security Card in your wallet.  GREAT advice!  I only swayed from it for a few weeks and now I am being haunted for life.

Recent Tweet: dear satan, i know you're after my identity, but can't we keep this metaphorical?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

NYC Man Update Part III

It was past midnight and the Starbucks had closed at half past 11.  I deliberated, trying to decide if I should return then, or wait until the morning.  But I feared with each minute that passed I would be less likely to ever see my journal again.  So I threw on a bra and my running shoes, and took off in my PJs to the corner of 35th street and 7th avenue.

Upon my arrival a worker stepped outside with a bag of trash.  I cringed, hoping my journal wasn't mixed in with the mess of garbage.  I explained my journal mishap, and she let me inside to speak with the shift manager.  Within minutes, the manager was checking their back room, and he returned to me with my journal.

Relieved, I thanked the Starbucks employee and walked back to my sublet, flipping through the pages of my journal, reading the words that would have been gone, had my journal not been returned.  Halfway back, still immersed in my writing, a man, who seemed to come out of nowhere sticks a small sheet of paper out in front me and says, "Here's my number.  Why don't you give me a call sometime."  I accepted the piece of paper into my hand from the attractive mystery man.  I read the paper.  It stated Stan, followed by a 212 New York telephone number.

He continued on, "Actually why don't I get your number?"  His accent was charming, but I wasn't going to give him my number.

"Um.  I don't think so."

He then said, "Well why don't you give me a call then.  Tomorrow - okay?"

Still dumbfounded by this bizarre exchange I replied without thinking and somehow agreed. "Okay."

I continued down the street walking west, while he moved east.  I kept staring at the piece of paper Stan had handed me.  I didn't get it - why would this man hand me his number when I looked far from put together?  I was wearing my University of Michigan sweats, my glasses, and to top it off my hair was a straggly mess from running with it down.  I was far from hit-on worthy in my appearance.  Perhaps if he was a Michigan fan, I would get it, but he made absolutely no mention of my university.

I told my lawyer friend Teresa about the incident the following day.  I told her perhaps she was right.  Maybe I am the one closing the doors.  But I'm not just going to call up some random stranger just because he gave me his phone number.  So no, I never did call Stan.  I did, however, encounter a Michigan fan a few days later.  His pick up line, "You had me at go blue."  Now there's a guy possibility I feel is worth exploring.

Oh, and in case you're wondering, the answer is 12.  (See Part II)

Thursday, May 9, 2013

NYC Man Update Part II

Over a year ago…

“How can someone as beautiful as you still be single?  Clearly, it must be your decision.”   

“Mmmm… I’m not so sure about that.  There are a number of guys I would have been more than happy to marry, but for whatever reason, they closed the door – not me.”

I was out for drinks with my favorite author and he couldn’t get past the shock that I would still be single after all these years.  He explained to me, one of his good buddies told him years ago he needed to be dating me.  He told his friend, “I don’t know who she is.”  But 5 years later, as “fate” would have it, our paths finally crossed in New York City.  

Now, I make a point NOT to celebrity crush, so I had never considered him romantically before.  After all, what’s the point of falling for someone who doesn’t know you exist?  I assumed I would never be on his radar, but within moments of meeting him at the fountain at Bryant Park, he made it clear he had been curious about me for years.  And by the first sip of our beers, I was hooked by him. 

“But wait,” He continued on. “You did Young Life. You didn’t meet anyone doing Young Life?  Young Life has a lot of attractive people.”  I laughed.  He was truly baffled by my singleness, and I was truly amazed that this man would even consider me.  I was honored, actually.

That conversation was over a year ago, but last week my hot, lawyer friend Teresa suggested the same thing he did – perhaps we are the ones turning away men.  She questioned, “Is God REALLY holding back on me, or am I holding back?  Am I withholding marriage from me?” 

This conversation happened over the phone, while she was in her apartment in the financial district, and I was sitting at a Starbucks “writing” in Midtown.  I pulled out my journal from my lap top bag to jot down some of what she was saying.  I then started in on my rebuttal, but she, being a lawyer and all, seemed to win the case. 

After our chat, I returned to my writing until the Starbucks closed for the night.  As I walked home, I continued to ponder, “Am I really too picky?  Am I the one shutting all the doors?”  But, I reminded myself, I’ve been into guys well outside my ideal –  way too old, way too young, way too Calvinist, divorced, bald, short, no college degree, comes with an STD, etc.  There are a lot of guys I would have been more than thrilled to marry, who, for whatever reason, didn’t want to marry me.

Back at my sublet I changed out of my dress and into my comfy pjs – University of Michigan sweats.  I then determined I would figure out in my journal exactly how many guys I would have said yes to marrying had things progressed.

I opened up my laptop bag, but my journal wasn't inside.  I then checked my purse, but my journal wasn’t in it either.  I then checked everything again, but my journal did not suddenly appear.  It was gone, MIA, perhaps soaking up mocha in a Starbucks trash bin, or being read by a stranger.

Stay tuned for NYC Man Update Part III: Meeting Stan on 32nd Street

Friday, May 3, 2013

NYC Man Update Part I

A week ago...

3 AM Friday Night... Times Square... Waiting for the Subway

"Um... so yeah... I saw you sitting here."

I was deep in thought, wondering if I should have kissed that guy from France, just so I could claim I had French kissed a French man. 

Or maybe that other guy George, who was from Georgia - as in the country, not the state.  He was cute, but also kind of creepy.  He kept staring at me while I was looking over my dinner menu.  I ignored him at first, but he wouldn't let up, so finally I acknowledged his existence and made small talk with him until the guy I was there with returned to the table.

In all honesty, I didn't really want to kiss either one of them.  As I explained to the guy from down the shore, I'm not really into kissing guys unless I'm into them.  For me, it's not fun unless there is an element of romance involved.  Guy from down the shore recommends drinking more for added spark; he insists people become wondrously attractive the more intoxicated you are.  As I've mentioned before, he and I approach life very differently.

I look up and he continues on, "Can I get your number?" 

I respond with a smile, and a light-hearted laugh.  I'm thoroughly amused by this man's bold approach to pick me up from a subway bench.

"Come on..." His nervousness was evident, yet endearing.  He had a great smile, actually.  "I don't know."  He fumbled for words.  "Who are you?  Let me at least sit down."

I moved my purse from the seat beside me.  "So who in the world are you?" He asked as he took the open seat.

"I'm Katrina."  I reached over to shake his hand.

"Hi.  I'm Derek.  Nice to meet you.  So can I get your number?"

"Ah, I kind of already have a few other complications in the works."  I explained.  (By complications, I mean guys I am somewhat interested in.) 

"So you already have 3 boyfriends?  That's okay.  Let me be your fourth."

"I don't think so."

My train started to make its way into the station.  I stood up and so did he.  In doing so I realized he had to be at least 6'3".  I'll admit, he was good-looking.  If he had picked me up from a church bench, rather than a subway bench, I would have given him my digits.

"That's your train, isn't it?"


"Come on." He pleaded, "Let me get your number."

"Sorry." I stepped on to the train and the doors closed behind me, shutting the doors to possibility.

(Coming Soon: Part II)