Meet my fiancee (that’s 2 “e”s, not one), Christina. I knew she existed for probably a year before I had more than a nominal conversation with her. We had most assuredly seen each other “around,” that hypothetical place where you mentally place people that have nowhere else to go. As with most people in Crusade, I’m sure that I have probably met her at least twice, with the lattermost meeting being the one that stuck.
I don’t mind social groups at all. Really. The thing is, I don’t like them in succession. If I don’t get some time to read, or think, or otherwise process, I develop short term ADD. My friends closest to me know it well, and my brother was the one who diagnosed the problem originally. “Dale,” he said, “Do you realize that when you are no longer interested in a conversation, you visibly zone out and stare away in another direction?” No Hans, I hadn’t been aware. It’s a fiendish habit, one I’m not proud of, but I can minimize the occurrences if I retreat enough.
I was on my way upstairs to read G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy. With lines like, “We do not want joy and anger to neutralize each other and produce a surly contentment; we want a fiercer delight and a fiercer discontent,” how can you not want to read it? Anyway, I regress. I was going up to my hotel room to read, Christina caught me and, in an act of self-protection (she had been invited to a dinner where she supposed they wanted to make her an intern, and I was the conversation re-directing 3rd party), she invited me to hang out with her.
Fact: Most girls my age don’t hold my interest for very long after the fleeting “I wonder if they like me” phase. There are few people who naturally get that most of my jokes don’t sound like jokes and much of the time that I’m serious I sound like I’m joking. This fault is entirely my own, and belongs to no one else, however it does make for some harder-to-navigate conversations. What I will always remember about Christina from that night is that I felt like I didn’t have to explain what I meant after saying. It’s as though I would make a joke, half to myself, and then be caught off guard by the girl laughing at it, half to herself. It may sound impulsive, but that was enough to spark my interest.
Since that too-providential-to-be-accident night, Christina has become quite the fixture in my life. I recently thought about the fact that we have spent more than a year together, the implications of which are staggering. I’ve learned that she has a heart in her that won’t complain about any circumstance she’s been put in, and doesn’t tolerate me when I try to draw unnecessary attention to my own circumstances. I would never want a girl that thinks I’m close to perfect; it would be building a relationship on an Everest-sized lie. When I asked her father if I could marry her he gave me an example of the esteem he gives his Beautiful Crown of a daughter. “In 21 years do you know how many times I have heard Christina complain? Not once. I think that’s amazing.” I believe it, Mr. Huang.
I can rant from time to time. I’ll go on about a rapidly diminishing system of ethics. I’ll talk about when I think political parties are ignorant for acting like they hold a monopoly on truth. I’ll talk about the uninspired and uninspiring state of the majority of the christian music world. When Christina, who probably got dragged into more than she expected, is on the receiving end of an idea tirade, does she zone out and let me talk? Never. Does she agree with me? Sometimes, not always. Does she offer her own, thought-out side (which is often much more compassionate)? Absolutely.
I don’t want to marry a normal person. I don’t even want to marry a hot person that cooks well. I’d rather marry a broken person who knows an exceptional Savior any day. I can count that at the top of my blessings list, because I know it will happen. And that’s more important than getting my jokes.