dating and singlehood · random robin · womens issues

“Romantic love is like a sequence of glues”

– taken from Single Midlife Male Seeks Romantic Solution by Dr. Jeremy Sherman, an ok article. that line was probably the best part of it.

I got a dollhouse kit some time in my youth. I thought it was cool to build a house and decorate it. And just like people who think it would be cool to design and build a real actual house, somewhere in between the 2nd floor collapsing and windows coming unglued, you decide this isn’t quite as much fun as you thought. So my dollhouse remains mostly intact – I mean, if mostly intact means not really intact at all, and I’m not even sure I have all the pieces any more. I’m willing to bet not.

So you take out your wood glue and glue guns and you attach the A piece to the B piece and you set it in place and sometimes you use a little paper clip to keep it where it’s supposed to be until it dries. Sometimes you have to apply glue twice. And sometimes you have to take a shovel and beat the thing. But the point is that it’s all about the glue.

And it’s the same with relationships – not just romantic ones but all of them. You start to watch pieces come unglued and you either go through the trouble of figuring out how to make things stick or you just let it be and years later, you are appalled at how the entire house looks like something out of a horror movie and you half expect giant spiders to come crawling out of it and attack you.

But in real life, too often we just let things go and pile up and the love gets buried under cobwebs and all the pieces that fell off that you used to pile up in a box for a rainy day to take care of. But the rainy days come and go and you figure you will never finish that darn house and you just deal and assume this is how life will be. You let important friendships burn out because of time and distance, family ties become secondary and even an after thought. People who were once your whole world are somewhere in your missed calls list or drop off the frequently contacted queue.

It certainly happens in marriages. A few weeks ago I was with other couples and as my boyfriend and I talked and laughed together and held hands and sat incredibly close together, one woman made a comment like, “Remember that? Remember when we made each other laugh and sat next to each other?” At that moment the two couples laughed and sighed and exclaimed, aww young love. But I couldn’t help but think, screw that, I am always holding his hand and I hope we always make each other laugh. And it’s a sobering thought that a day will come when I’m sitting on the other side of the table and I’m looking at a newly(ish) established couple and I’m thinking, sigh, I remember that and just wait, kids, you’ll be knee deep in status quo and humdrum home lives and bratty offspring and difficult health situations and frail aging bodies and loss of jobs and loss of purpose and the will to fetch. And yes, all of that will come some day.

But like the author of that article said, it’s a SEQUENCE of glues. It’s more than one glue, more than one time. It’s not letting any more pieces fall because it’s too important to lose. And sometimes you have to take the time to sort through what’s left. You take stock. You buy what you need to buy to replace what’s lost. You go back to the Manual and retrace your steps up until now. You do whatever it takes to stick together. You remember and cling to the joy this “project” once brought you. And sometimes when you pretend to have fun, you have a little by accident. (Yes that’s from Batman Begins.)

And what’s more than all this, is the glue itself – and what it’s made of. It’s made of the Grace and Peace of God Himself, poured out on us. It’s made of commitment to purity and holiness – we are set apart from just anybody else – shining brightly and magnificently through our relationships. The glue is part forgiveness – giving and getting it – part humility, part humor, part faith in each other and faithfulness to each other’s best interests. It’s mixed in with perseverance and patience, knowing there will be setbacks, knowing we start out with missing pieces and that it won’t end up looking exactly the way we thought it should, knowing things fall apart when left on their own. But it’s also simply NOT STANDING for the disarray but rolling up our sleeves and getting into the dirt and putting our strengths to the task until we come out ok. The glue is made up of all these things and the reliance on the One who created us to stick together to His glory and His great pleasure. And we’re just simply not made to come undone, not under His watch. So get your glue guns out, kids. We’re in it for the long haul.

This is what my dollhouse is supposed to look like… currently needs a big ole sign “Under Construction: Proceed with Caution.” No, I will not post a photo of what my dollhouse actually looks like… 


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