When Chou and I started dating, the vast majority of my friends were male, and the majority of his friends were female. Throughout high school and college, I naturally gravitated towards guys to avoid the drama and emotion that came along with girls. I never related well to most girls, despite growing up with only sisters. Fortunately, Chou makes up for what I lack in sentiment and emotion. He'll gladly pick out a chick flick to watch with my sisters or female friends, and occasionally have to wipe tears as he complains about dust in his eyes. Inevitably, I roll my eyes and leave the room (or, in a moment of insensitivity, laugh and get forced out), confused as to what could possibly be so moving and how anyone could be that engrossed in a fictional plot. Chou is a Life Group leader for middle schoolers at church. Two years ago when he was just getting started, I asked him how he liked it. His response, "I don't know. Boys are so tough to connect with. It would be so much easier if I was leading a group of girls." I'm happy to say that he's since figured out how to connect with his guys, and just came back from a weekend of eating contests, immense farting, and plenty of bonding.
So while I'm plenty girly when it comes to figuring out which of my three pairs of brown boots goes best with my purse, there are plenty of times when my closest female friends refer to me as heartless. If Chou and I are looking for an emotional or relational decision, Chou's the man for the job. However if we need a decision based purely on facts, I'll happily make a spreadsheet of pros and cons to decipher the logical choice. Chou and I don't often read marriage books or attend seminars, because a lot of the generalizations just don't apply to us. Two years ago we heard Mark Gungor when he came to our church to speak on marriage. He was highly entertaining and we definitely got some useful info from him, but as usual, so much of what he said just wasn't us. He joked about how guys can stare into a cupboard for a solid five minutes and can't find what they need, and their wife will come by and grab it from the front of the center shelf and hand it to them. I distinctly remember this example, because that exact thing happened to us literally the day before, except in reverse. I was the one staring blankly into the cabinet.
I feel like I've gotten a little more balanced since knowing Chou and can relate better to women than before, but it's still often a stretch for me. Our church has a group for moms of young kids called MOPs (Mothers of Preschoolers) that I really wanted to try out in order to get to know some local moms and find some more friends for E, but I was really hesitant to go. Thanks to some gentle prodding from Chou and a few friends, I gave it a chance. I came home from the first meeting excited to get to know some awesome mamas, but feeling like it would be another one of those women's groups that I just didn't relate to. I can't tell you how wrong I was! I have been so blessed, encouraged, and stretched by the women I've gotten to know as well as some of the awesome teachings and info shared during our meetings. I can honestly say that my daily life has changed thanks to these meetings. We had Bonni from Mom By Example share on time management, and I implement some of her strategies daily in order to successfully be a full time mom and part time employee, all without leaving the house. I've been motivated get moving again (thanks, Steph!) and I've developed some great friendships with ladies who can offer support and advice. I'm so thankful for these ladies