This is probably one of the
This is probably one of the best personal essays I've read in a really long time (which is a big compliment because I just read a book that was probably 50\% personal essays, lol. Although I Have Sometimes Loved is still one of my favorites of all time.). This is so inspiring. I don't come from a conservative Christian background, so I don't know a lot about courtship and some of the emotional restrictions on women. However, because of societal expectations (guy asks girl out, men propose, etc), I'm always sitting quietly in the background, waiting for the right person to come along. Most of my friends are guys, but I've never actively pursued a romantic relationship. I admire your bravery. I might try something similar! (it's a little bit harder for me because I'm only 17, but either way it's an awesome idea. Don't want any creepers or weird age differences).
A couple of things on your actual style. I want you to know that you're one of my favorite writers ever in general and when you get published I want a copy. Or just give me writing lessons. Lol. Favorite lines:
"The sunrise was mango and strawberries." I never would have thought of that. I love that line so much.
"I pruned my soul of any ivy-wisps of yearning, curbing daydreams of real people." I could feel the repression. I liked how you put that in such a vivid way.
"After days of moaning and eating mugs of chocolate icecream over this, I realized that if I wanted to take charge of my romantic life, I was going to have to do something drastic and rash to shake myself out of my sleepiness." I just love the phrasing in this.
Also, one typo: "I felt a strange connection with the heart **until** the bright yellow gas station uniform." I think you meant under or underneath or something along those lines. Unless I'm reading it wrong.
Anyway, this is wonderful and inspiring. Good luck on your date!!!
"You were not meant to fit into a shallow box built by someone else." -J. Raymond
Just wanted to leave a wee comment on this...
As someone who's been raised in the courtship and guard-your-heart world, these kinds of essays always intrigue and sadden me. And I think that's because I was raised with a mild bent in that direction. But because it was mild, what I see is only good, not the extremities that lead to what you went through. So while it saddens me that teaching I've benefited from has harmed others, it also encourages me to continue to think through everything, for myself and for future generations.
All that said - with all the "good luck on your date" - I can't help but quote Megamind - "Good luck on your date!" "I will!" "That doesn't make any sense!" Anyway, enjoy. :) Egyptians are great.
My murky comments
Well, there are two elements to this that are worthy of comment--the writing itself and the topic.
The writing is beautiful. Even after taking college courses, I struggle immensely with personal essays--partly because I can't think of anything worth sharing and also because I'm immensely private. But you wrote this and it sings like a poem, so rich and deep and risky. Five stars.
Secondly, the topic. I've been on the receiving end of several dating/sex lectures myself; I even wrote a poem once that began "Nobody talks about sex as much as the people who aren't having it." But because I was never inclined to date or even daydream in high school, it never affected me that much. At college, the gender ratio wasn't exactly favorable to dating, and I never really had any feelings beyond "I might have a crush on X if I wanted to." (Fictional characters excepted).
I haven't really considered dating and gender roles much, mostly because I have to figure out economic roles (ie, get a job) before I figure out if I want to get married or not. And I probably won't come to the same conclusion as you, but I appreciate your being willing to share this and have a discussion
So I'm not as active around Apricot Pie as I want to be, but I knew I had to comment on your essay!
I really enjoyed your analysis on the mentalities that can develop from being too strict with the whole courtship idea. I have read several of the books you mentioned (especially the ones by Harris and the Ludys), and while I agree with their ideas to an extent, I do think it's possible to go too far and become too legalistic with the ideas. As someone raised with a conservative Christian "you-don't-develop-feelings-for-a-guy-until-you're-engaged-or-at-least-courting" mentality, I easily identified with a lot of the struggles you dealt with.
As someone who is a fanatic for fairytales, LOTR, and the fantasy genre in general, I also really enjoyed your analysis of the classic princess stories, too.
Your voice is excellent and if there were any grammar mistakes, I didn't see them.
Overall, I loved it. Write on!
"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation." -- Herman Melville
"Don't tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass." -- Anton Chekhov
I love the way you write, Sarah Bethany! The descriptions are so beautiful (I really enjoyed the waking up bit with the sunlight...made so much sense) and your way of writing makes everything flow so well.
Basically, ditto to everyone else! Thanks for sharing it, something so personal. I've read or heard of many of the books you mentioned as well.
Goodbye? Oh no, please. Can’t we just go back to page one and start all over again?” – Winnie The Pooh
Wow........ Sarah, this is incredible! Thank you so much for sharing such a personal and emotional piece of you. This is so wonderfully well done. I am so amazed at the experiences you've had... Really! And wow, what a deep and important discovery you've made of yourself. That takes so much strength, and wow I admire you for that!
This gave me chills, several times. It gave me nervous butterflies, a foggy head, a clear head, giddiness and pleasure! I felt your sorrow, and your strength. Wow!!!
Good for you, Sarah! That Valentines day challenge was a brilliant idea! It's amazing what happened once you opened yourself up. Wow!
You are literally my new hero and inspiration!
Good luck with your date, sounds fairytalesque to me! Hope it goes ( or went) well!
Incredible Sarah, the writing of this, and your life! You go girl! I wish you luck and happiness in everything you do!
"Here's looking at you, Kid"