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***Yes, I know I skipped one, but that’s because I wanted to use Valentine’s Day to write about the present, and I meant for the conclusion to be yesterday. I will reinsert it into the proper place tonight. And this message will self destruct, lol 😉 *** 

I wanted to write a story entitled, Sme College: One Woman’s Struggle to Complete Her Degree. I still may write it. That year was one of the hardest years I’ve ever experienced. As I wrote all of these previous entries, I was broke, back at home with Mom, not going to my senior year of college (no financial aid), with no job, no prospects, just writing and Harlequins– no hope for the future, and  definitely no man on a white horse to come and save me.

     Harlequins had lied to me; there was no mysterious man from my past, no HIM coming back to the rescue with a risque proposition, a marriage of convenience, or a true love story. I realized no one really wants a Harlequin romance: people are broken up ten years ago by lies; someone has missed out on years of their child’s life; someone has been left destitute; someone is forced to marry someone they don’t love; someone’s boss is committing sexual harrassment and fraternization; someone is desperately ill; someone is kidnapped or otherwise made to pay for someone else’s sins. I guess the point may be that love indeed conquer’s all, that none of that matters because you found love, but I was not convinced. I thought maybe, because it seemed so Harlequinesque (I made a word!), I was supposed to be with HIM; now I wasn’t sure. And I had bigger problems to deal with. 

     My aunt Pink Susie visited me at home and offered me the job I’d had the two previous summers. I took the job and the opportunity to establish residency in Florida so I could continue my education. When I first arrived, I didn’t care much about anything. “Failure” just leapt in my head in fifty foot high neon letters. 

     I went to work everyday, got a second job, got a car, got accepted into three schools, decided on one, and went back to school. I met a lot of “different” men here in the state of Florida, but I had made a decision about my romantic life long before going back to school.

     When I was 13, I became a member of the Church of Christ. Before then, I was a virgin by two means: lack of interest and lack of opportunity. I had no interest in having children, having some boy telling everyone he had “done” me, being called a ho, or anything that stood in the way of my being a success. I had no opportunity to focus on what I might be missing out on because I was active in everything I got my hands on, reading, writing, running, talking on the phone, etc. I had a rather unfocused thought that I would someday marry, but it wasn’t of the greatest importance. To be honest, it was a footnote, background scenery in the tale of my life. I never thought, really, that I would get married, but everyone is told “one day when you’re married,” so I integrated it into this fantasy future. After I began to read the Bible for myself, I made the concrete decision to remain a virgin until I married. It’s not a very popular one now, and people have all sorts of reasons why I shouldn’t, but nearly 12 years after making the Biblical decision to remain abstinent (I’d made the practical, I don’t want babies or diseases one a LONG time before), I still am. It has served me well.

    It’s very easy to magnify feelings and emotional responses, to force a closeness and a bond to someone when you are sexually intimate with them. When you argue, you never have to agree, just get horny and have sex with her and she won’t remember until the next time you’re fighting that you’ve already fought about this, right? If he’s not acting how you want him to, just withhold some of that “good good” until he sees things your way, correct? But when there is no sexual power plays to be used to make someone love you, it’s a lot harder. You have to talk, learn about each other, find other things to do. You learn a lot faster who you don’t need to waste time with, in my experience. I have heard too many stories about the no good man my friend just can’t quit because he has good “peeps” or the guy with the crazy girl he doesn’t even like but can’t stop sleeping with. Once they learn he is useless and she is crazy, they are hooked already. No thank you. People tell me all the time how I just don’t understand how hard it is to abstain once you’ve done it; I know addicts that say that too. I do understand, which is why I haven’t done it. I know myself that well, in one respect.

     So, with the goodies locked up tighter than Fort Knox, a lot of BS men blew right past me, no passing Go and not collecting $200. I was perfectly content to let God place the man into my life I could not ignore for the usual reasons, after I finished my degree and established myself. If God had listened to me, I’d still be waiting and for quite some time.

     I met Mr. Perfect on accident. A soror from the chapter I was inducted into and I got back in touch and grew to be friends when I experienced a less than friendly welcome from sorors where I was going to school here. Then we found we share some similar views and struggles, and in some instances were just interested in what the other person thought about certain things, etc. One day I wrote a note on Facebook about random men I had met and why men were blah blah blah and why I was single, and she posted on it, then wrote her own note about how exceptional we are and not just anybody would recognize it or be suitable for us. Mr. Perfect commented on said note, and I said “ooh, who is this smart black man with no close on and the Ginuwine abs?” Well, no I didn’t, but that’s close enough! I thought he was a guy she had been telling me about that she was talking to, but it turned out he wasn’t and she told him to add me as a friend. After the add, I sent him an extremely crafted message, to which he responded and gave me his email address. We emailed back and forth for a few weeks, then exchanged numbers.

     I put up so many roadway obstructions, you would think this man was driving an obstacle course. I let him know I was Christian and staying a virgin until marriage; he let me know he was also Church of Christ and was staying abstinent (should I be putting his biz out here like this? Forgive me Mr. P.!) . I still went out, but I wasn’t meeting anyone who kept me from picking up the phone when he called. I sent him pictures of the meals I cooked, pictures of me dressed to go out, pictures of me with my headscarf and face mask on. I kept it light for as long as possible. Mr. Perfect and his abs weren’t going to keep me from reaching my goals and positioning myself for Mr. True Love.

     And I prayed. I prayed harder than I’d ever prayed about anything that God would tell me why he let this seemingly perfect man into my life when I was SO not ready. I prayed that he would show me the flaws in this person so I could discount him like all the others. God, please; he’s getting way too close and is way too good to be true; You have to do something. I am not falling for this. But God said (through the Bible) when a man finds a Wife, not the other way around sister girl. Stop trying to dictate when and where and why you meet someone; let a man find you. One has found you; shut up and see what happens, what I have to show you (Okay, so God only said that first thing through His word; the rest is my deductive reasoning).

      Then Mr. Perfect came to visit me for my birthday, two years ago next week. He hit all his marks. He prayed for our meal (and paid). He held doors, chairs, was respectful, took being dropped off at his hotel like a man, met Pink Susie and her husband ( I needed a second opinion), kept up the great conversation, and didn’t press to cross any of my many well drawn lines. I relented a little bit and let him sneak into a little corner of my heart, but I was still waiting to see how long he could keep this up. He went to church with me and suffered through that gauntlet. I was a very faithful, active member, and folks just had to know who was this guy with our 2blu? What is he about? People were talking about rings like we hadn’t just started to get to know one another. I still wasn’t sure he was who he portrayed himself to be, in love or not, and I wasn’t about to up and make any snap decisions.

     Nearly two years after that birthday weekend, Mr. Perfect and I went to see the Princess and the Frog yesterday. I will put up a review later, but the one thing that struck me most was how the father told her wishing on a star isn’t enough; you also have to put in some hard work and effort to make your dreams come true. I agree. Sometimes, this 2blu and Mr. Perfect thing is hard work. It’s hard to connect and maintain a connection without the easy route of sexual gratification. When you really start to get to know someone, you are constantly deciding whether or not you can deal with this or that FOREVER. You struggle over how much to put yourself out there, how much of your heart to put into a relationship where there’s no guarantee of permananency, or even the illusion of such that wedding rings provides. I will only be married once, unless my husband dies, commits adultery, or I find some other Biblically sanctioned loophole for remarriage; I want to get this as right as possible. Maybe that has made me uncompromising in a few ways, but once you give the gift or yourself, you cannot take it back, even when the person doesn’t appreciate it, mistreats it, or doesn’t give you anything in return.  When you marry, you can’t just walk off and be done with him. There’s paperwork, separation of assets, possibly children and vistation rights, a neatly tearing into what you always thought would be one. Whether you thought it was right to divorce or not, it’s still like tearing your life in half, for better or for worse. There’s a lot of healing involved in that. I am not a strong enough person to trust again after getting it that wrong, which is why it can take me forever to do anything.

     I almost failed at the school thing, but God kept me and gave me another chance to get it right. I almost failed at being on my own, losing a job and apartment in a seven day period, but God kept me and blessed me to find a new job and apartment. I almost gave up on their being any men out there for me to choose from, any man that I could love, and God found Mr. Perfect, and he chose me.

     I have realized that everyday in a relationship, you are constantly choosing the other person, whether you realize it or not. You are constantly saying by your actions yes I choose to be with this person, or no I don’t care about this person at all. There are days with bigger choices than others–yes, I will tell her I love her; yes, I will tell him I love him too: yes, I will ask her to marry me; yes, I will accept his proposal;yes, I will promise to do all of these things before God and our families;  yes, I will turn down this other man for him; yes, I choose her over this other woman–but there’s always the decision (ok, so my minister gave me the concept of choosing, and I spun it out. Haven to give credit wheere it’s due!)

     Today, I choose Mr. Perfect, over all of those random boys/men who didn’t work out and didn’t choose me. I choose him over all the other potential Mr. Perfects who jog past, drive past, walk past me everyday. The ones who smile or try to get my number. Over frat who try to spin the  hug out too long or put their hands where they don’t belong (brotherly/sisterly love my behind). Over friends who don’t like him or think he should have proposed by now if he was about anything. Over nosy people always trying to interfere in our relationship. Over doubting people who think we are shacking up and swinging from the ceilings and need to repent and get married. Over all of the voices, big and small, that whisper inside me “but what if he hurts you?” or “but what if he leaves?” It’s scary, it’s exciting, it’s fun…it’s falling. I don’t know whether or not Mr. Perfect will be Mr. True Love, but I’m walking in faith that either way, there is a reason for this season known as Mr. Perfect…and I’m enjoying the weather. 🙂

Happy Valentines Day, or Single Awareness Day! Remember wherever God has placed you and who He has placed with you, He has placed for a reason. Don’t blame Him when you get it wrong, praise Him when you get it right, and love Him first and foremost, yourself second, and everyone else as you love yourself. There is no third position! Keep smiling, and enjoying all of what God has given you, and stop focusing on what he hasn’t. This is the love that you should be celebrating today.