The Story of a Crush And How I Suck At It – Part 4: Last Chances

LAST CHANCE
I know this is getting way long, so let's move to the last game of the year. The pressure is on, i have to talk to her, it's my one goal of the night (in addition to doing my job well as always 🙁 ). But i decide to relax and wait for the 4th quarter, which turns out to be a stupid, stupid idea. I guess i did it because i was nervous and as it was since the beginning i don't want to make her nervous. A fine job of that i did. Why does this always happen?

Several times during the evening, over the railing i see her walking on the level below, twice she is alone, and once she has that soft look on her face like girls do when they're thinking about love. I should have gone down right then, it was perfect! But i worry more about her seeing me and thinking i'm stalking her, than i do about talking to her, so i stick to my plan of waiting. I am way too nervous anyway. Once she looked up and i think she saw me see her. Why didn't i go down there? I had a nice plan of like "Hey there she is! How did your last game of the year go?" and just casually asking her if i can friend her on Facebook. But i wait until there's 4 minutes left in the game, walk the length of that floor, and don't see hardly anyone, let alone her. Dammit, foiled again. Destroyed by my fears. Now i understand what JFK meant when he said "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." She really is just a girl, but i've made it all into something too big.

At the end of the night she's walking around with a group of co-workers. I glance down so it's not too early and then look up to say hi, and she looks right at me smiling big and says "Hi!" It's too hard to join walking with a whole group of her co-workers so i look back, confirm that she's been working on the next level down and say "Happy new year" since i won't see her for at least a month, until the bowl game in January. So there is one more chance, at that game, but that seems like even more than too much pressure, and it will be really busy. I feel helpless, hopeless, and mad at myself. My life is over (again).

HOPE
Occasionally we clean the level with the kitchen and storage on it, and the only bathroom is all the way at the end of the kitchen. Once awhile back i had gone to the bathroom there but also wanted to see if there was a roster somewhere in the kitchen so i could maybe see her last name and find her on Facebook or the internet. Back then there was a long roster that said Sunday but no Jessica was on it and nothing about what it was for even.

This time it's after the last game and we're cleaning down there again and i tell myself nah i'm not gonna go do that again, i'm probably not supposed to plus don't be weird. I think of the song "I Didn't Mean To Stalk You" by Los Abandoned. But what the heck, what else do i have? So i go use the bathroom and as i come out, there is a short roster on the table, and what is on the roster? HER NAME!

Later I found her on Facebook (YES!) but will not friend her without asking because that would be weird. 😕 It does really help me to see her on Facebook as it makes her a real person and helps me relax. It also starts to sink in how much older i am. There is not much publicly posted except like three pictures but that is something - it really does help. I purposefully don't go to it or look at her pictures very often.

SO, WHAT?
What is God telling me? There are two miraculous coincidences that seem like answers to prayers and cannot be ignored (elevator and roster), but several miserable personal failures, and many circumstances out of my control, along with an amazing, promising beginning that let me fall in love. WTF? I do really feel like i love her and i prayed that i will be able to marry her and told God that i'll do whatever it takes (from God's point of view, not mine; i'm not gonna force anything).

TOO OLD
But I also think about how old i am compared to her and i just don't see how it could ever work out, especially after her parents kill me. My hair is finally getting gray (gasp!) so even though people tell me i look a lot younger she will still know i'm at least somewhat old. Wasn't that gray guy who won American Idol like 35? But why did she seem to interested in the first place? Some girls have daddy issues, who knows? I don't wanna be like Roy Moore but i'm not, because she is a grown person with a job and i'm in no position of power, and i suck at crushes. This is part of what seeing her on Facebook helps me realize and assess. And, was she only being friendly the whole time? (Is anyone reading this going, "um, yeah you moron"?)

TOMMY THE KID
I still feel like a kid inside. Part of that is some years i spent drinking and doing drugs, which could have arrested my emotional and social development, but total that would only set me back maybe 16 years, so i'd still mentally be at least 38. But even thinking of myself as a "man" just seems totally foreign and weird to me. In some ways that is OK because who wants to grow up anyway? And thinking and feeling young i think could result in a long and active life.

ALL PEOPLE ARE EQUAL
I also try to treat every human being equally, regardless of age, gender, sexuality, color, religion, anything, because that's how my Mom raised me. I have dated older girls (OK, women), it doesn't matter to me as long as we like each other. Finding love is hard enough without adding too many restrictions. Treating people equally is the right way to be but it also doesn't fit "the world" or the way society classifies and treats people, or expects you to either.

But i do need to have an "accurate" sense of my place in the world, because being out of synch with "reality" can only cause problems. Although society has a lot of BS that we are supposed to fit, with no method to its madness, as many of us know. But i'm working on picturing myself as a grown-ass man, even though i really don't want to, or know how.

(I wrote this next part later so i'm back to past tense, i mean i went back to past tense...)

A NEW YEAR
Before the bowl game in January i got the flu of black death that was going around, and i didn't see Jessica at the game anyway, and if i had i wasn't in any condition to be talking to anyone, let alone flirting [hacks up piece of lung].

Since now there is no other way, i waited a few days and sent her a friend request on Facebook. In about a week, she accepts!!!!!!! She accepts !!!!!!! I still had the horrible flu for a few weeks and didn't want to seem desperate, so i waited, actually for about two months, and now i have to figure out how to message her casually but interestingly. I want to tell her everything but DON'T DO IT! Prayers please...

EPILOGUE:
I finally sent her a short message, and the next day she answered me back! Very innocent, nothing serious. We mention how little work there is at the beginning of the year and she tells me she is taking classes in a medical field at a local college. In a couple days i respond but it was like 2 paragraphs instead. I tend to write a lot and do things all at once, but i felt my comments were just as innocent, just asking about what she wants to do with medical training, how i used to work in healthcare but i won't say how long ago that was LOL. And, she hasn't written me back since then. Now i'm back to what do i do now? I've waited awhile so i will just have to try another short message. If she was interested she could just write me back, but if not why respond within 14 hours the first time? Women are confusing! And that's a good place to finally stop. 

After seeing her on FB really sunk it in how young she is compared to me, i have just tried to realize i have to let it go. But i still want to know her. If anything else happens i will add another epilogue here. As always, God please help!

The Story of a Crush And How I Suck At It – Part 3: It Gets Weird

(Shortly here i switch to present tense, i don't know why but it feels right so i'ma just leave it.)

A BAD DAY
At a concert i hadn't seen her the whole time even after walking to the other side to see if i could. Once the event is over i am always hell bent on finishing work and getting out of there because it can take up to 3 hours to get done.

Two bad things happened:

1) They both walked by me with their cart and i was all "have you been here the whole time?" (she is looking and smiling at me as usual). They walk into one of the rooms and i am still struggling to replace a trash bag outside, she still looks back at me and smiles. I should have gone in the room and said hi! WTF is wrong with me? Then, she comes out, walks right by me and all the way down to the end of the outside landing (there are bathrooms there but also closer, the other way in the middle). I watch her, thinking here's my chance to ask her for contact info, and that she might be doing it on purpose? But she was all alone and nobody was really down there, it felt as if i'd be following her or stalking her, and i didn't want to make her uncomfortable, so i continued struggling with the trash. WTF? Then she came back and she was looking at me and seemed disappointed. I asked her how's your night? She seemed relieved that i said something so nice and as she walked by she looks back (there's the "leaning towards" sensation) and answers it was fine but she just wants to go home.

Read moreThe Story of a Crush And How I Suck At It – Part 3: It Gets Weird

The Story of a Crush And How I Suck At It – Part 2: She Appears

This season, Veronica was joined by another girl (we'll call her Jessica), at least as cute but she just seemed more approachable, so i thought i would make more of an effort if i could, plus with the two of them i could talk to both, less awkward. She is also very young though, and i know that going in, so it's part of my hesitation. One day i happened to pass by them at a ramp so i just asked "so are you guys like food runners or something?" They were both very nice and we had a quick chat. Sweet! Jessica is one of those "smiley happy" girls but that could be a defense mechanism? Noting this is the same type of girl i got crushes on late in high school - i was drawn to the smiley sophomores who had just gotten there and were happy just having fun and being unattached. Why do i pick people who aren't interested? I have also been interested in and dated girls older than me (which we will address briefly in a final analysis) so don't get the wrong idea! I don't discriminate based on what age the person who won't like me is.  😎 

Something important we all have to watch is, when someone is nice to us we can take it the wrong way. We have to notice if they are just as nice to everyone else, and maybe they are simply a friendly, outgoing person, or people-pleaser, so don't take it personally. I have been fooled many times.

Read moreThe Story of a Crush And How I Suck At It – Part 2: She Appears

The Story of a Crush And How I Suck At It – Part 1: The Pattern

This got so long i split it into four parts. I wrote this partly to document it for myself, but i hope people can relate, regardless of the gender(s).

Whenever i get a new job, especially a temp one, or join a new group or go to a meeting (or wherever! The grocery store?), i tend to get a crush on some girl. Even after knowing this is likely to happen and telling myself or praying "No it's not gonna happen this time!" it still seems to happen. Sometimes it can take awhile, but eventually it does, maybe because i get bored with the job and/or need something intense to distract me. Or like many addictive folks i am just more comfortable in the little den of my fears, so i re-create them.  🙁  Love does not equal fear any more!

Usually the girl (victim? No wait, target? NO! LOL more accurate is really "love interest") is very cute, but i don't purposefully go after the most beautiful girl; she usually has a sort of melancholy or inner sadness that i sense. I am attracted to an inner "realness" that i can sense or feel, and seems like she needs a hug. Occasionally, i have found out later that they were someone who knows God, so i may have just been attracted to the "Spirit" i felt in them, but it's hard to tell. Sometimes i think as people, or especially as Christians guided by God, we are drawn to people for various reasons - maybe we need to learn something from them, or maybe there is something they can learn from us. Or we could just be symbiotic souls attached somehow in the spirit dimension. Soulmates could be of various levels. The trick is to not put too much weight on the wrong ones.

Read moreThe Story of a Crush And How I Suck At It – Part 1: The Pattern

Exhausted Before I Leave The House

It's easy to say something like "I got ready and left for work" or even, "I woke up, ate, brushed my teeth, showered and left for work." But that's way over-simplified, isn't it? Every activity is made up of a bunch of smaller actions, and if you are intent on each one, it can be exhausting. Every activity or event feels overwhelming to me, whether it's doing laundry, or going to a party. Partly because of anxiety (well let's call it what it is: FEAR), and partly because of hyperfocused ADD. Here is what waking up, getting ready and leaving the house feels like to me:

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Trinity of Humans

The word "trinity" is not in the Bible and i think it can block people out when we add "doctrine" to try and categorize all the different things Jesus said. But i do get the concept. We could say that i as a human have a physical body, a mind or personality (some may disagree LOL), and a soul or spirit (some may still disagree hehe); or some differentiation of similar elements. But when i introduce myself to someone, i don't insist: "Hi i'm Tom, but i have three parts, I HAVE THREE PARTS!" It kinda goes with the territory and as we're all humans, we all get it. God is different and it is good to know that we can FEEL it (the "Spirit") and that we believe Jesus is God, or contains the Word of God, or embodies what we believe God is (which might all be the same thing). But we could just say it that way, like a normal person. 🙂

The following is not quite the same (The "soul," beginning with Hebrew and Greek concepts, is a topic for a whole 'nother time), but it occurred to me we can consider three different aspects of humans. I think of these elements most regarding people i'm attracted to, but they are always there.

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Who Left The Dogs Out?

Just a quick one, for an explanation of this parable about a Syrophoenician woman, children, dogs and crumbs. It always seemed harsh to me given that Jesus taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves (even towards people who hate us, as Jesus's example the "good Samaritan" did). But as usual Jesus puts a twist on it, and our hearts have to be in that right place to get it. Here is the text, combined and grammar modernized from Mark 7:25-30 and Matthew 15:21-28 (NIV);

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Oneness

I think i will preface this by noting one big difference between the Pharisees (as portrayed in our Library of Writings known as the Bible) and Jesus. The Pharisees created a lot of separation between themselves, and the Jews and others: Don't talk to the Samaritans, don't touch the lepers, hate the tax collectors (who were traitors and thieves, the worst kind of snitch/rat that even thieves and traitors hate!). Gentiles were out also, and women not only weren't allowed to read scripture but couldn't even be touched in case they were "unclean." The Pharisees were all about separate, separate, block, block, block.

Jesus, on the other (right) hand, included EVERYONE. He broke down the wall between the Jews and tax collectors by calling Zacchaeus down from the tree and having dinner at his house, as well as calling Levi/Matthew to be one of the disciples. He touched lepers a lot, healed Romans and other Gentiles, ate with whores and scumbags and not only talked to the Samaritan woman at the well but would have even drank water from the jar she touched (gasp)! Jesus also had women companions and followers and some of them supported him in his ministry. Every time the disciples wanted to send someone away, including children, Jesus always said "let them come." Jesus not only broke down the exclusive barrier between Jews and Gentiles, he shattered the barrier between MAN and GOD by dying for our sins!  Jesus always moved towards joining, togetherness, community, ONENESS.

I can almost hear God's instructions: Jesus, tear down those walls!

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The Nicene Creed Redux

Creeds like this one seem like they drop a pile of boxes filled with human ideas on top of God, who is so BIG that no human description could ever suffice. I hadn’t had an occasion to read a creed in awhile, so when we read it out of the Episcopal prayer book during my mom’s funeral, i realized “woah i don’t even believe half of this!” It may be more true that i just don’t like the way it sounds, like, oppressive. Plus it was written 2000 years ago, by the beginnings of the Catholic church. Haven’t we learned anything since then?

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But What About Punishment?

(First, see my previous article, “Christianese Substitutions Part 3 - “Hell” which reviews the actual Hebrew and Greek words that “hell” is substituted for throughout the Bible, and their meanings.)

I understand the need or want for punishment for people who hurt people; what about murderers, torturers, rapists and thieves (and those of us who allowed people we voted for to do those things? 😐 ) Paul of Tarsus might add other things such as his list in Romans 1:28:

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Christianese Substitutions Part 3 – “Hell”

This is part 3 in a list of words that are Greek, or transliterated directly from Greek, but in this case are translated by a different word - “hell” - even though the Hebrew and Greek words have actual meanings of their own.

Also check out “What is Hell? by Br. Lawrence Damien elsewhere on this site, which goes through the Bible in some detail and shows how the words are used.
And 
Part 1 and Part 2 of Hell In The Bible at brazenchurch.com plus the Biblical “Satan” Is Not What We Think.
And this whole series at tentmaker.org with this one, noting how often the Bible says ALL!
For people who want to take the Bible literally, here are: 
21 verses stating that the wicked will be destroyed, 
and
21 verses saying that everyone will be saved (universalism)


hell
=

  • Sheol (O.T.): “Asked For”
  • Hades: “Unseen Place”
  • Gehenna: Valley of Hinnom, Burning Dumpsite (outside of town)

Read moreChristianese Substitutions Part 3 – “Hell”

Christianese Substitutions Part 2 – Names Etc.

This set of documents is a list of words that are Greek, or transliterated directly from Greek, or are OLD and do not belong in the Bible. This second part is mostly about names. Even the word “scripture” just means “writings” and the word “Bible” just means “library of writings.” Why not speak clearly in regular English (or whatever modern language) instead of creating a bunch of “Christianese” lingo, which makes it sound “fancy”  or “cliquish” like it’s written in some kind of code? 

Read moreChristianese Substitutions Part 2 – Names Etc.

Christianese Substitutions Part 1

This is a list of words that are Greek, or transliterated directly from Greek, or are OLD and do not belong in the Bible.  Even the word “scripture” just means “writings” and the word “Bible” just means “library of writings.” Why not speak clearly in regular English (or whatever modern language) instead of creating a bunch of “Christianese” lingo, which makes it sound “fancy”  or “cliquish” like it’s written in some kind of code?  
For Names and other, including those for God, see document titled “...Part 2 - Names.”

Read moreChristianese Substitutions Part 1

The First Time I Heard About An Actual Gay Person

I for sure don't truly understand the actual experience, and i can't promise this article is completely PC, but this is just to explain how i dealt with the cultural progression. When we were kids, which for me was in the 1960s and 1970s (but this is likely universal), little dudes were basically afraid of looking effeminate or weak, and being called the resultant epithets i'm sure gay people are familiar with. One kid named Mark, who had been "held back" and could be called "a bully" (although he wasn't one every minute), used to sing the tagline of that song "Go away, little girl..." to a kid named Kenneth. I remember standing beside him in line and wanting to stick up for him, but of course i was afraid of "what, are you one too?" I had also never heard of that song. It seems that people were always aware that "gayness" exists, but it's weird that when it started to become a "thing" in the 1970s and 1980s, all of a sudden people didn't believe anyone could really be gay. Weird, right?

Read moreThe First Time I Heard About An Actual Gay Person

Christianity Breakdown

Here is a summary of Christianity as i understand it now.

You can also check out my Christianity page on my old website (which badly needs to be updated).
And i really love the site YHWH.com; wish i wrote it myself!

I tried to summarize this all in a few key sentences, but this is the best I could do, since everything is connected to everything!

GOD

There is a “thing” or “being” that exists and we can FEEL, that is pure love. Honestly IT will pour over you like liquid love. IT appears strongly in places like churches where people are united, especially if outside of their own egos, there to acknowledge a common greatness outside of themselves. This also includes sports stadiums when the crowd cheers together, or moments of self-sacrifice or pure honesty and goodness. Wherever two or three are gathered in the name of BEing, not self. Generally people call IT “God,” although “God” is actually a generic noun, not a “proper name.” But IT is also known by other labels.

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About Me – Tom Minkler

To start, you can check out All About Me: A Short Spiritual History on my original website that i hand-coded in HTML around the year 2000 (and the rest of the website is accessible from there). As everything there was written so long ago it is hopefully more immature than i am now  ? and is written somewhat "off the cuff."

I first became aware of the site ChristianGays as i was trying to write a document that would summarize why Christians should accept gay people as they are and support marriage for gay people. I had included a link to an article on Mary's older site and realized the link had changed. So i contacted her, we chatted and she ended up posting the document here as an "eBook" (wow i wrote a book!).

(Let me note before i continue that i write using lowercase "i" on purpose, as i believe that selfishness is our core problem as humans (so it makes sense that Love God and Love others is the answer to our problems and the way to "heaven"); and it just seems to me that capitalizing "I" all the time can't help but not help.)

Read moreAbout Me – Tom Minkler