Thursday, September 25, 2008
THUMBS and MARRIAGES
I have been paid back for my infamous shark-biting experiment (some of you would use the word ruse). Well, the finger the shark bit was now burned as I was trying to poor a hot water into a hot water bottle for Autumn while she was visiting. Anna’s mother was sleeping in the living room and I was trying to poor this in the dark. Well the dark one. And boiling water fell onto my thumb. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t speak. I just stood there as it boiled my skin, feeling, feeling, feeling. It was like I was electrocuted. Luckily the nerves were numbed a bit. The pain came later at night as I was trying to sleep. It was actually a bit funny. In general your brain gets like 100,000,000 messages a second, but only 200 to 300 make it pass your brain stem. It does some type of traffic control or prioritization. Just because your ankle tells you there’s a nice breeze down there doesn’t mean you need to attend to it now, especially because your eyes are saying a car is coming and you need to MOVE.
Your nerves have a threshold level before a message is sent to your brain. When you go to sleep, this threshold level is raised, so it takes something much hotter or colder or sharper or painful for you to feel it (when my allergies get really bad, my body naturally raises the level and makes me feel sleepy as if to feel less of the miserable allergies). So as I was sleeping that night, the pain on my thumb would grow and wake me up, I would realize it was my thumb and run more lukewarm water on it to cool it or put some lotion. And then I would fall asleep. Then the pain would grow and wake me up again. And then I would laugh (maybe just in retrospect). I stopped trying to do something about it. It’s just a bit funny when I think about it. Now underneath the burned skin that has already peeled, I can see red and it reminds me how newborn babies are a much lighter color as the skin is more translucent at that point. My skin is like that now.
I’m taking this marriage prep course offered by my church because it’s good to take it, but I really wanted to take the marriage course. That one is more about relationships. I helped serve food for these people, and the other waiters/servers felt awkward interrupting a couple in a dimly lit room with romantic music playing as they whispered sweet somethings (it sure was SOMEthing) in each other’s ears. Then you cough, “Ahem. .. .would you like some tea or whoopee--COffee.”
So this course, being a prep course, is more about administrative and preventative measures dealing with in-laws, finances, debt, conflict resolution (things that could break up marriages as my good teacher friend Ross says). Thankfully there was one on attraction (15 min) and another upcoming on sexual intimacy. On the Tuesday night with the attraction talk (also in-laws and something else that day), the woman leading it said that sometimes it’s so difficult to get men to come to these things because they feel it’s for people with broken relationships. And I honestly though “Me, me me!!! That’s me!” For some reason it doesn’t feel so natural to go to this and the only thing I can think is pride. I’m prideful. I love to read and learn and dive into other things, so why not this. It must be pride. I would LIKE to say that it’s because I get tired of going to a workshop on how to father and then a conference on forgiveness after reading a book on reconciliation before going to a seminar on family values and—you get the point. I’m at the point where I honestly feel you can handle all of those things at a certain base commonality. How you father, forgive, reconcile, run a family, etc. can stem and stem well from learning one thing—you thought I was going to say it. I won’t but remind me in a few months and I’ll let you know. And so I like to focus on that. But some would just call it pride. Ha ha ha! Makes me laugh. I’m enjoying it though (except when people ask you where you spouse is and after you explain she’s in a different city the say “Oh, I’m sorry.” I feel like standing up and making an announcement to the entire group to explain that no one must feel sorry for me ever again. I’m doing ok and trying to learn. It’s only when you emphasize that I’m alone is it reinforced in my head. That’s when they remind me that when the speaker asks everyone to discuss something with their partner/spouse and I simply write things down in my journal that THAT should be reminder enough!! I laugh. It’s good and fun. Trying to learn. One guy asked a question about a comment that Jesus made about there not being marriages in heaven. The speaker wasn’t sure and suggested the pastor should come and talk about it. But I wanted to talk about it since I think I have some insight on it and Rob Bell discusses it in “Sex God.” Whew! Long Parenthetical note).