It’s only August but the holiday season is approaching which means Christmas company parties will be here before you know it. It’s never too early to start preparing! (This one is for the few men who read my blog. Thanks guys!) My experience/revelation at last year’s company party…
There’s nothing like sitting around a fancy table with place settings that require a lesson in etiquette and people I’ve never met. Inevitably I drop a piece of food or get choked on the Merlot as I attempt to make small talk with the man sitting beside me. I’m a rule follower, so I sit where my name is placed even if it’s between my husband and someone else’s husband. Mike and I have attended military balls and fancy corporate dinners like this for over twenty years, and I’ve learned that no matter what the occasion, my experience is the same. Uncomfortable.
I always look forward to these events until I get there. Then, as my pretty shoes threaten to cause
injury and my pantie-hose begin to cut into my waist, my Cinderella fantasy fades into reality. I’m
cold and at a loss for conversing. I wonder why I wanted to come.
But this year the conversation around the table brought great revelation. Actually, it was an answer to a twenty year prayer to understand my husband who is besotted with yet fickle about automobiles. This has been a thorn in our wonderful marriage. No car or truck has lived in our driveway for more than three years. Some as short as six months. I’ve never been able to relate to his obsession until I found myself involved in our table’s small talk at this party.
The men’s conversation of torque and horse-power was interrupted by the women’s discussion of hair. As the ladies shared their horror stories of blue and orange tresses and the quest for the best salon, the men began looking at each other with raised eyebrows and “I have no idea what they’re talking about” expressions. Ironically, their facial language matched the ones the women were wearing a few minutes earlier when testosterone dominated the conversation.
At that moment, I had my epiphany. At the danger of stereotyping, the occupants of our table fit the molds. Men and women think differently. It is as if we really did originate from different planets. Yet our hair versus engines dialogue lit the bulb in my brain which desires to understand my man. And men, this can help you understand your woman.
We are so very different, but we do have something in common—a wanting inside of us that can never be fully satisfied this side of heaven. Whether it is a burning desire for the right power tool or desperation for the perfect hair style, we are on the same journey. Our obsessions are packaged differently, but the source of both is the same. We’ve been created with a need to fill up a hole. An emptiness only something supernatural can fill.
Though many times our obsessions appear a curse, I believe they are what we need to realize the futility of this place called earth. And though our desires often make relationships difficult especially in marriage, grace extended always softens the argument and draws us closer.
|Not the exact one in our driveway
So, I guess I will welcome the new/used Dodge Ram in my driveway, and I’ll make an appointment at the salon. (I got my hair chemically straightened the other day. Definitely post worthy for tomorrow!) I’ve also resolved to sit by another woman rather than her husband and wear flat shoes at next year’s formal event. Really, who cares about the place settings and etiquette or how stilettos make your legs look? These parties promote inter-galactic peace, and they remind me how much I need a Savior.
What about you? With what do you try to fill the hole?
Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy? (Isaiah 55:2)