Monday, March 25, 2013

"If I Ran the Zoo"

With all due apologies to Dr. Suess and the seriousness of the subject at hand, I just couldn't resist using that title.

Let me explain. A little over a month ago Shari Zook wrote a very short post entitled "PS". (look it up at  She stated that very few single ladies are single by choice and just wanted the men who happened to be reading to pass this on to their "compadres".

This prompted quite a few comments (mine included). I commented that I have some single guy friends who aren't necessarily single by choice either.  At the end of my comments I mentioned that I was having a brainstorm. How many single lady friends does she have, I asked. I've got three guys on my end, I said. Maybe we would be of some use in an "Abraham's servant" role here somewhere.

She commented back that I had a great idea. She has twenty-six, she said. She said she sees I will have to find some more men. She said she would supply the camels.

Which I have to admit was a very funny comeback. I laughed sitting at my computer for a long time. But really, I wasn't just joking. (read also her next post entitled "I Speak For the Trees", in which she spoke to the ladies; this generated lots of comments as well)

I have a few opinions of my own on the subject and since there is no one here to stop me I might just feel free to give them!

Let's get a few fundamentals down first:
1. Marriage is an exceedingly serious thing, so the contemplating thereof should not be taken lightly.
2. Marriage is not for everyone. A single person should NEVER be made to feel second-rate.
3. The falling-head-over-heels-in-love-with-your-soul-mate is overly hyped and over rated.

If you are a single person you may have a grandma or a biddy-hen aunt that feels its one of her highest duties to pester you about this subject. I think we would all agree that this usually isn't all that  helpful.

What about teasing? If done, it should be done VERY carefully. Looking back on my experience, (as a frightfully shy and slow to grow up skinny kid) if I was teased by my close friends who I knew loved and cared for me, it actually made me feel better about myself. That maybe I was worth teasing; like there was some room for possibilities in this area for me. But any teasing that comes from outside this close circle of friends is liable to be hurtful and crushing.

Know this couple? They met in a nursing home in 1976
And I've heard disparaging comments on how some couples meet. It seems like the "ideal" scenario is if you fall in love straight out of high school or the youth group. If that doesn't happen then maybe you should consider going to one of the Bible Schools. And if that doesn't work and you are getting older and desperate, you may want to consider going to SMBI, otherwise know as the "Shoe Factory". As in bringing the young people in, mending their souls first and then sending them out in pairs. And further down the line would be voluntary service, etc. etc.

That whole mentality really stinks in my book. I'd be willing to venture the relationships that begin at SMBI on the whole are quite a bit more stable than the "falling in love in high school"ones.

Do you need to wait until some romantic bombshell explodes in your consiousness before you move ahead in this area?? I say you better give it some thought beforehand, while you are still in your right mind.

What would be  wrong with a young single person (or not so young) making a simple, rational decision. That they would like to find a life's companion. (Ok Shari, I'll have to admit that in our culture the guys have the advantage here)

Now let's take it a step further. What would be wrong with second parties being a help in introducing singles who may not know each other at all? I know this does happen on occasion. But what if something was actually formally organized with this intent?

It could be called "The Eliezer Connection". It would work this way. Say I have a single friend that would like to be married. I also have connections with someone else who has some single friends of the opposite gender.

For example, I would say to my "connection friend" that I have a sincere, quiet, hard working young man and go on to give his character strengths (and maybe if there are any weaknesses, hey, we've all got them) and his interests. My "connection friend" would look over the possibilities among his aquiantances and we would get our heads together to see if we have a potential match. Up to this point the singles themselves would have zero involvement except to agree to allow "The Eliezer Connection" to do some homework.

At this point the Eliezer volunteers would go to the singles with a suggestion that they learn to know
 each other. And from this point they are on their own, realizing that the Eliezer people don't necessarily know the mind of God and that they are responsible to find this out for themselves.

Not romantic enough?? I have no idea what the ladies will say about this. I have this nagging vision of them tarring and feathering me and running me out to the edge of cyberspace somewhere.

Until then "The Eliezer Connection" is open for business!