Friday, April 28, 2006

Dixieland Delight…where the name of my blog comes from….

One has to become increasingly creative to find unused names for her e-mail accounts, blogs, and profile names (on match, jdate, hdate, and the like). My first several choices for my blog name were already taken, so part of a fantastic song came to mind and voila came to be. I am constantly surprised by the people who have never heard of this song and/or do not recognize my blog name.

"Rollin’ down a backwoods Tennessee byway, one arm on the wheel,holdin’ my Lover with the other: a sweet, soft, southern thrill. Worked hard all week; got a little jingle on a Tennessee Saturday night. Couldn’t feel better: I’m together with my Dixieland delight.

Spend my dollar; parked in a holler ’neath the mountain moonlight; hold her Uptight; make a little lovin’, a little turtle dovin’ on a Mason Dixon night. Fits my life, oh, so right: my Dixieland delight.

Whitetail buck deer munchin’ on clover, redtail hawk settin’ on a limb, a chubby old groundhog, croakin’ bullfrog, free as the feelin’ in the wind. Home grown country girl gonna give me a whirl on a Tennessee Saturday night. Lucky as a seven livin’ in heaven with my Dixieland delight."

This is one of Alabama’s hits, and this song is especially fun on a Saturday night around 2 a.m. at Hole in the Wall in Buckhead. If you’ve never heard this song, send me your address and I’ll send you a copy because that is a “crying shame!”

On a slightly related note, I do not think I could date someone who could not appreciate this song. It’s just fun and simple and happy and always makes me smile. And I appreciate that. I’d love to know who is and is not familiar with this song….

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Marriage, MySpace, & the Ethical Dilemmas Posed by the Web

My latest random message on MySpace was entitled “Two Questions” and the body contained the following:

1) do you like married men?
2) are you available?
Yes, I am in the Macon area.

Hmm. Sounds like a real winner. Sure, this guy is clearly doing the wrong thing. I, of course, will not respond.

I think MySpace is super cheesy (especially all the MySpace editing), but as a result of MySpace, I’m having lunch with one of my best friends from high school this weekend; I haven’t seen or talked to her in over five years and she lives in Utah. That’s fun.

Initially when I joined MySpace, I just assumed it was something used by single people under 30. In fact, I felt a bit ridiculous joining it and Facebook. But as I’ve played around on MySpace, I’ve come to find that there are lots of married people who participate. And some are obviously looking to cheat on their spouses. What interests me is the blurry area. For example, is it wrong for a married man to send messages to a woman he doesn’t know and will never meet?

I recently faced a moral dilemma myself. Although I ultimately handled it in what I think was the right way, I’m not sure that initially I did so. Here is a brief summary of events: I dated a guy (we’ll call him Brian) for about four and half years when I was in high school and college. We haven’t seen each other since around January of 1998, and the last time we talked was about six years ago.

Fast forward to the present: Brian googled me, finding my work e-mail address. I was very excited to hear from him and wrote him back. He is happily married and is now a father! I have loved hearing about how successful he is and how things have really come together for him. I also wanted to share with him the ways my life has changed—especially why my life has changed since he and I were both agnostic when we dated.

While I immediately shared this correspondence with Donatello and even forwarded several of the e-mails to him, I wondered if Brian did the same with his wife. Was it my place to ask him? I deliberated about this a lot as I didn’t think it was right for him to e-mail me if his wife did not know about it. But was it right for me to be the moral police for his marriage? Should I even assume that he would fail to mention our correspondence to his wife? Plus I knew that my intentions were nothing more than to catch up, and selfishly I wanted to be able to do that. So I put it out of my mind briefly until Brian actually brought it up in his last e-mail. Brian just wanted me to know that he did not have any agenda in contacting me and that he had no regrets over where life had taken him. He affirmed that a friendship was his only interest, but that his wife did not know about our e-mailing and that he would probably keep it that way for now as she would not understand. Funny but in the next sentence he wrote “Please don’t think I’m the type of husband that hides things from his wife because I’m not!”

Although I didn’t want to do so, I wrote Brian back and explained that his marriage was more important and to be cherished more than any friendship he and I had or might develop. I explained that I wasn’t friends with married men whose wives were unaware of our friendship. I also plugged an awesome church near where they live….It was, however, tempting to cling to the idea that I was not (technically) doing anything wrong since I wasn’t married, and my intentions were “pure.” But I’m a big fan of the Golden Rule, and I was reminded of the verse that instructs us not to cause others to stumble.

Anyway, my point is that the Internet makes it so much easier to cross blurry lines….IMing people who you would never pick up the phone and call, e-mailing people you don’t really know, and getting in touch with people with whom you shouldn’t (at least without your spouse’s express permission and knowledge). As a person who has lots of friends of the opposite sex, I’m not sure what exact parameters a married couple should have (I’m sure it’s not easy), but it’s safe to say that if you would not be comfortable bccing your spouse on your correspondence, it’s probably not OK. Any thoughts?

Friday, April 14, 2006

Happy Easter!

I’ve felt a bit guilty this “Easter season,” which seemingly began about two months ago when the grocery store first set up its Cadbury Egg display. This is something I look forward to every year. Before April had even begun, I had already consumed over thirty eggs in part because Donatello was thoughtful enough to send me mass quantities of Cadbury Eggs and Robin Eggs.

This last week as I’ve been thinking about why we (in theory at least) celebrate Easter, I realized that I was much more excited about the Easter candy than the resurrection and do not completely understand what Easter is all about. I know that Jesus rose from the dead and all of that, but in my heart, I’ve not been feeling celebratory about it.

I’m sure a lot of that can be attributed to the culture in which I live. What do bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter? Does anyone know? We’re surrounded by all of this Easter stuff and NONE of it references Jesus, God, the resurrection, or anything even remotely relevant to why we are supposed to be celebrating Easter. Check out the Easter card section of the Hallmark display. Secular Easter and Christmas cards (now) really annoy me. I made my own Easter cards this year, and I even referenced a bunny…my niece Lauren who looks like the cutest bunny ever in the picture below. But I also referenced why we’re celebrating this Sunday. And as I’ve been reading about the resurrection and what it means, I truly feel overwhelmed by what has been done for us. My friend Laura told me about the church service she attended last Sunday and how the congregation created a neat visual of that. In everyone’s program there was an insert. The pastor asked everyone to write down the sin that they have committed which they think is the worst on that insert. Then he asked each person to nail the insert on one of the crosses set up in the church. At the end of the service the crosses were covered in white paper, and the pastor reminded the congregation that Jesus died on the cross so that we would be forgiven for our sins. And then Jesus rose again, conquering both sin and death. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.” 1 Peter 1:3 (NIV). Now that is something to celebrate.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

I wish other law breaking individuals would have rallies…

Imagine if rapists or thieves began congregating and throwing rallies complete with national media attention. The police would be all over the rallies like white on rice. Our criminal justice system could have a field day. But our nation has tolerated illegal entry into our country for so long that we do not seem to notice the irony that the people participating in these heavily publicized rallies are largely criminals and could simply be checked for identification and loaded onto a bus for a one-way trip back to Mexico.

With that being said, I understand why the Hispanics who come to America do so. And based on what illegal aliens have told me, I understand that coming here legally is a very expensive process that often involves unfair politics and extremely long waits. It just seems terribly ironic to me that they are having these rallies and drawing attention to themselves. It’s hard for me to imagine any other law-breaking group of people doing the same thing. Hmm…I wish they would. We could clear up a lot of investigations.

p.s. Aren’t posts with photos more fun?

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Jane says I’m goin’ away to Spain when I get my money saved….

Ah reality! It’s back upon me. Seven days of sun, sleeping in, hot tubs, beach, wearing bikinis and flip flops instead of suits, working out, eating excessive amounts of guacamole, new/clean sheets every night (sorry environment), relaxation, and a bunch of free stuff was absolutely awesome. Highlights include: not thinking, not paying for meals and drinks (and hotel and airfare), seeing Donatello seven days in a row, the surprise gifts Donatello had for me (an ipod nano, Big Fish—the book, Reeses peanut butter eggs, Robin Eggs, and a bottle of grenadine), the surprise gifts from the company that were in our room every night when we returned from dinner, ordering five shots of Tequila for some Florida fans and not having to pay for them, and seeing Maria Shriver about ten times as she was staying at our hotel. I also enjoyed playing some really mature games like tugboat and star.

What a blessing. I certainly could not afford a trip like this on my own, and it was absolutely delightful. So thank you Donatello for including me on your Mutant Ninja Turtle adventure! Cowabunga!

While on vacation I also continued my slow read of Passion & Purity by Elisabeth Elliot. It’s not really an easy or fun read, and it doesn’t flow all that well. And it’s pretty hard to relate to Elliot thus far. She was a lot further along in her walk with Christ than I think I am and had lived a much more sheltered life (especially given the era in which the events took place) and was a missionary. With all of that being said, I wish I had read the book sooner (like six months ago when Laura loaned it to me). There are a lot of truths in the book regardless of how well I can relate to Elliot’s story, and the one that I’m working on learning to incorporate right now is submitting my pain/sadness/disappointment to God. I’m really big on talking things out and feeling really emotional and praying, but I never really submit my feelings to God and hand them over….I think that instead I wallow in them sometimes. I’m sure there is a correct balance to be had, but I don’t quite yet know what it is. Maybe a nice long trip to southern Spain would help me figure it out…..

Donatello & his new friends