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A Killer Relationship August 20, 2014

Posted by michaelnjohns in Uncategorized.

I’ve been enjoying the TV show Dexter.  For all his faults the main character tries to live by a code.  I admire that.  When I was a younger man I tried to live by a code as well.  Like Dexter’s, mine was taught by my dad.  And like Dexter, I eventually learned that life was more complex than the code let on.

My code was to try to remain as innocent and pure as possible, as instructed by Psalm 24:3-6.  I was taught that if I did that, life would be easier.  Dad was too smart to tell me that everything would work out good, or everything would be easy.  It’s not.  I’m glad he didn’t lie to me about it.  I knew what to expect.  Difficult following the code, more difficult not following it.  My code once, alternately prayerfully and pridefully, expected I would find someone else who adhered to the code. 

In a perfect world, my expectations might have been met.  

In the real world, I kept finding beautiful, damaged goods.  Stuff happens.  You know how I hate shopping at the Goodwill?  Well when I was single and wanted to date and eventually get married, I was looking around at ladies to see if I could find someone who did the whole Psalm 24 thing.  I wanted someone as new as myself to marry.  In the real world, I was an idiot.  Or maybe it’s nicer to me to say I was naive, and I wanted her to be the same.  I didn’t exactly find John 4:17-18, but I didn’t exactly find Luke 1:24 either.

Dexter was damaged goods from the word go.  And so was I, I was just too dumb to know how.  I did dream of, and indeed pray for, a woman rumored in the following limerick:

There once was a woman named Wilde,
Who kept herself quite undefiled
By thinking of Jesus, 
Infectious diseases,
And having an unwanted child.

(I learned this a long time ago.
If you know the author, let me know.
I quote with remorse,
Not knowing the source.
Proper credit, I’d love to bestow.- MJ, 8/20/2014)

But finding her was difficult.  In the modern era, perhaps it’s impossible.  And I read in someone else’s blog a story of what a nightmare someone had on their wedding night because they were both too dumb to know what to do and how it was supposed to work.  I bet you all have your own stories of people you’ve met and adventures you’ve had at your varied points on the learning curve.

I became damaged goods over time myself.  Without confessing to any specific dalliances, as I hadn’t any, my eyes and my mind went places they shouldn’t have gone if I were really going to maintain the standard of innocence I wanted for myself.  And if I’m damaged goods for what I saw, then everyone is destined for the same fate.  There is no escape.  We are all imperfect.  We’re all sitting on a Goodwill shelf somewhere, hoping to be chosen.  Some of us are treasures still in the Mylar wrappers, like that limerick, and some, as celebrated by poet Jerry Jeff Walker, are treasures found a little on the trashy side.  (Go on, click that link and if you don’t like it, I’ll refund your security deposit)  But ALL are treasures.  I learned to appreciate the truth of that, but not before I rejected a few for various infractions and failings at meeting my Mylar expectations.

(If you read anything worthwhile here, read this again:  You are a treasure.  You are beautiful and unique and special and you are just as worthy of love as anyone else.  You deserve, and you can find, what you need in a loving relationship.  And you are worth waiting for.  Even if you aren’t in the Mylar.)

After much searching, personal growth and an increase of wisdom, although insufficient wisdom in hindsight, I married a lovely girl I found somewhere on that spectrum, who grew up in a Catholic family.  There you go, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions and I’ll not tell.  Except to say she’s pretty awesome.  With my eyes and my mind going to places they shouldn’t go I’m surprised to confess that when I got married I didn’t really know some things I would want in a marriage.  Only now that I’m older and wiser, and only after getting married and being married for a while, do I know what I really want.  Only to hear reasons why the answer is no.  The perfect woman, according to the terms of the code and what I want, now that I know what I want, would be someone who, before marriage was on the Psalm 24 side, who wasn’t afraid, after marriage, to dive into Song of Solomon headfirst, without reservation. Would I be better off if I had known what I wanted before I got married?  There’s no way to know that.  I might be worse off, if my dad’s code had any shred of truth to it.

I count myself very fortunate to have been chosen by her, for all the blessings and inevitable difficulties associated with any long term relationship.  That’s the “for better or for worse, for richer or poorer” part.  We just celebrated 22 years of marriage.  We both believe that marriage is “’til death do us part.  And “’til death do us part,” means marriage is

A Killer.



1. Brett Cooper - August 20, 2014

Congrats to you both ! Enjoy each year together more than the previous, and look forward to your next.

2. Howard Hanson - August 24, 2014

It was a little scary to read your commentary on pre-marriage and marriage itself I was somewhat reassured when you said you are still more or less happily married. Does your wife attend H. H.?


michaelnjohns - August 24, 2014

yes. I didn’t know you had subscribed! thanks!

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