Category Archives: Girly Things

Finding Love: Chasing the Cat


I’ve been single for 46 years.  This isn’t really my choice, but it is my reality.  Part of my personality is to analyze and over think things as I shared in this post.  My love life has not been exempt from this habit of analysis paralysis.  I was talking to a friend of mine at work the other day and she said something that was eye-opening to me and really shed some light on the way that I have always approached relationships.

She told me the story about the time when she was a little girl.  She begged for a pet.  Her parents got her this kitten and she was so excited. She was so happy to have this new little feline friend that she wanted to spend all of her time with it.  She wanted to hold it, to pet it, to dress it up, and to have it return her abundant amount of affection.  The only problem?  The kitten was overwhelmed.  It was terrified and wanted nothing to do with this little girl.  It wrenched free of her affectionate grip and found refuge under the recesses of the little girl’s bed.  Crouching in the farthest corner, the kitten was terrified and shaking.  And my friend, chased the cat…trying to make the little animal love her back, but all the kitty wanted to do was to escape.  My friend was heart-broken.  She just wanted to love the kitten.  She wanted to have the kitten love her back. She envisioned a playmate and life-long friend, but the kitten was in a new place, with new people and the only thing it saw was an invasion.  What my friend didn’t know was that the best way to approach a cat is to relax and go about your business.  The cat will come to you.

So, what does this have to do with finding love?  Well, the fact is that people are more like that little kitten when it comes to romance than many of us realize.  At least more than I realize. About a year ago, I did some soul-searching and ending up fighting with God about the whole me still being single thing.  At the end of everything, I decided to move forward and approached finding love with a kind of military attack strategy.  I joined an online dating site.  Now I don’t know about you, but when I realize that my current approach is not working, I have a tendency to swing, like a pendulum, in the complete opposite direction. So instead of being shy and retiring, I started barreling in head and heart first.  In short, I was chasing the cat.

And just like that little kitten of my friend’s, the men that I met ran for the corner!  Understandably.  I was simply overwhelming them with my desire for a relationship.  And like my friend, I was heartbroken when they ran the other way.  And just like my friend, I didn’t understand. Until she told me her story.  All of a sudden, I realized what I had been doing. In my zeal for love and relationship that might lead marriage, I was being pushy.

I think that a lot of people fall into that trap.  We are so hungry to find love that we throw ourselves at the person we’re interested in.  We smother them with attention and affection thinking that our enthusiasm will translate to becoming a couple.  I wonder how many others are seeing this truth for the first time, too.

You know, when I was younger and so confused about why I was still single, I would ask my older, married friends for insight.  They would all invariably say, “When you’re not looking for it, love will find you.”  That used to really make me angry. I couldn’t see the truth in their wisdom.  I thought, “Pssh!  Easy for you to say…You’re married!”  I thought, “I’ll never not be looking for love.”  But I think that I finally understand.  What they were saying is don’t try so hard.  Don’t push.  Don’t chase the cat.  If you will relax and be yourself, when love is ready, it will find you.

I think that the bride in Song of Solomon has said it best.  This Biblical tome is all about the affections shared between two lovers.  It doesn’t get a lot of pulpit time, but maybe it should.  There are real nuggets of wisdom all throughout.  The beloved bride issues a challenge to women who are longing for romantic love.  In this very short book she says no less than three times,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you by the gazelles and by the does of the field: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires.”

Even then, she was telling us what my friend learned what the woman in the Song of Solomon was trying to say.  If you are interested in finding love?  Don’t chase the cat!

Single Life


This is a talk that I will be sharing with a group of female residents at the Sumter County Correctional Intitute in June of this year.  I had some fellow attendees ask me to post it here.  It is long, the talk is supposed to last from 15 to 20 minutes. 

10th Talk – Residents Encounter Christ #14

Good morning, Ladies.  I’m going to talk to you this morning about a lifestyle that can be both the most frustrating and the most rewarding that you’ll ever know.  My talk is about the single life and I promise that you can be single, but never be alone.  Hi.  My name is Karen, and I am living that life.

From the time that we are born, little girls are conditioned to long for love.  We are told fairy tales with damsels and princesses who wait to be rescued by heroes and handsome princes.  We dream of weddings and dresses…of ceremonies and happily ever afters.  But the single life of reality doesn’t usually turn out that way, does it? Continue reading Single Life

Fighting with God


Have you ever been angry with God?  I mean spitting nails, fists clenched, foaming at the mouth, screaming at the sky angry with God?  I had heard people talk about being mad at God, but it never really made sense to me.  As far as I was concerned, I could not imagine what could possibly happen in a person’s life to give them reason to be upset with God about anything . . .

until recently.

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling pretty down.  I have been out of work for many months, which means I’m spending even more time than usual alone.  Then to top it off, I couldn’t afford to pay for television service anymore, so I was left with nothing to distract me from being alone.  All this being alone led to feelings of loneliness and then to sadness because I was alone and lonely.  So, as I always do, I started to talk to God about it.

As I was talking to God, I began to feel myself getting irritated.  Then I would check myself and then continue to talk with Him some more.  The more I talked, the more irritated and aggravated I got.  Before too long I found myself downright mad!  The conversation went something like this:

Me:  “Why do I have to be alone, God?”

God:  SILENCE

Me:  “Haven’t I done what you’ve asked me to do?”

God:  SILENCE

Me:  “Haven’t I been patient?”

God:  <insert cricket sounds here>

Me:  “Why can’t I have a romantic relationship?”

Me:  “What is the BIG DEAL???”

By now, I was yelling!  I was literally shaking my fists in the air and pacing all over my house.  I was slamming things around.  I WAS MAD!!!  At this point, I’m glad I live alone, because I think anybody witnessing my behavior may have called the men in the white coats.  At first, I kept apologizing to God because I felt hurt and angry.  At first, I kept thinking I was going to be struck by lightning (not really, but it sounds better than I thought I might be crossing a line).  At first, I thought I was doing something wrong, but a funny thing happened.

As I continued to fume and foam, to cry out and cuss (yes, I did it) to rail and rant I suddenly felt an overwhelming sense of peace.  I felt like God was almost chuckling at me because it had taken me so long to finally feel comfortable with Him.  Like a father comforting a crying child, I felt a “there, there” pat on my back and could almost hear God say to me:

“I never said you couldn’t have those things.”

And just like that, I wasn’t mad anymore.  Just like that I realized, rather sheepishly, that I had been the one imposing restrictions on myself.  It was I who had put myself on this path.  I was the one who suffered in silence and watched man after man fall in love with someone else, and

just

like

that,

I understood.  My whole life was laid before me and I saw the makings of my own loneliness.  I heard all the self talk that said I wasn’t allowed to tell a boy that I liked him, because good girls don’t do that.  I saw myself putting on a brave face as I fell in love with a friend, and hoped that he would feel the same thing.  The conversation continued, bobbing and weaving in the boxing ring of my thoughts,

Me:  “I’ll get hurt.”

God:  “You’re hurting already.”

Me:  “But I’m afraid I’ll be rejected.”

God:  “That’s a chance you’ll have to take.”

Me:  <insert cricket sounds here>

God:  “You’ve been unfair to the ones you loved.”

Me:  ???

God:  “Every time you’ve fallen in love with a friend, you’ve been hurt because you haven’t been honest with what you’re experiencing.  You kept your affections a secret, but you expected them to share openly and reciprocate love that you never expressed.  You expected them to arrive at a destination without letting them get on the train.  How is that fair?”

Me:  “You’re right, God!”  (the audacity, I know…but that’s what I said in my head.)

And I was done.

I was done being angry.  I was done being afraid.  I was done being hurt.  I was done being lonely.  I WAS FREE.  I was liberated from the negative self talk.  I was unfettered by the chains of self restriction.  Not only was it OK to tell someone how I feel about them, I have a RESPONSIBILITY to be honest with my emotions.  Yes, I might have to put myself in a position to be hurt, but the hurt will be on the front end of a relationship when feelings are new.  I won’t have to wonder if a man knows I’m attracted to him romantically, he’ll know because I’ve told him.

I realize that most of you dear readers came to this realization back in the third grade with the giving and receiving of the profoundly moving “I like you.  Do you like me?  Check Yes or No” note.  In contrast, the very idea of that was mortifying to me.  The joys and the indignities of love that most people face as children and teens, I painstakingly avoided.  The fine art of romantic relationships, the give and take, the push and pull – I was too afraid to hazard.  As a result, here I am, a grown woman, who is suddenly faced with the realization that I have to go back and start living life in a whole new way.  What have I got to lose?  Nothing ventured is nothing gained!

In fighting with God I learned not one lesson, but two.  Aside from the obvious, I learned that it is not only OK to fight with God, it is necessary.  Lest you think me a heretic, allow me to elaborate.  A needful component in every relationship is the ability to resolve conflict.  A relationship with God is no different.  There will times when you don’t agree, and the way you handle the disagreement is an indicator of the relationship’s health.  When things are new, you hold back because you don’t know what to expect and you don’t want to hurt feelings, so you make excuses.  You say, “Awww, that’s OK.” even when it’s not.  Eventually, as intimacy grows, so does the potential for conflict.  The deeper intimacy gives way to deeper issues and oftentimes, result in differing views.  When the intimacy is deeper, the risks and the rewards are greater.  In my life, I rarely fight or argue with people.  In fact, I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve been in a verbal altercation with someone, and still have several fingers left over.  Growing up in my house was a different story.   My siblings and I battled over everything.  We held back nothing.  The difference was intimacy.  I knew that disagreements with my family would not result in a permanently broken relationship.  I knew that no matter what, we would still be family.  That’s the way I felt fighting with God.  I felt safe.  I knew that I could be mad with Him, and we would still be family – I wasn’t going to lose Him.

In the scriptures, we see an epic example of this in the life of Jacob.  Jacob had just swindled his brother out of a blessing, and he had literally pulled the wool over the eyes of his father to get it!  He was persona non grata at his house, and he was running scared.  We pick up the story where Jacob has taken his wives, servants and children along with all their worldly possessions, and have escaped under the cover of night.  Jacob goes back to the camp site alone when

“. . . A man came and fought with Jacob until just before daybreak. 25When the man saw that he could not win, he struck Jacob on the hip and threw it out of joint. 26They kept on wrestling until the man said, “Let go of me! It’s almost daylight.”

“You can’t go until you bless me,” Jacob replied.

27Then the man asked, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

28The man said, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That’s why your name will be Israel.”  29Jacob said, “Now tell me your name.”

“Don’t you know who I am?” he asked. And he blessed Jacob.

30Jacob said, “I have seen God face to face, and I am still alive.”

Fighting with God has had far-reaching implications in my life and in my relationship with Him.  I find that I love Him even more.  I feel like He loves me even more, if that’s even possible!  It’s like the last barrier to intimacy has come down.  I’m certainly not suggesting that you go out and pick a fight with God, but I do recommend being real with Him.  But be prepared, because just like Jacob, you will not walk away unscathed.  Everyone who wrestles with God walks away a different person!  I know I did.

Fairy Tale Christianity


This is a talk that I will be giving to a group of female inmates during a weekend “retreat.”

CHRISTIAN LIFE 

Hello, Ladies.  You’ve heard seven amazing talks about seven life-altering good topics by seven top-notch speakers.   My name is Karen, and while I am most assuredly not the most eloquent speaker you will hear this weekend, the topic I will share is one with which we can all identify:  The Christian Life.  (PAUSE HERE FOR PRAYER FROM REC GUIDE)

You’ve experienced some amazing things so far.  Right about now, you’ve probably got a lot of things going through your minds, top of the list might just be “Man, I don’t know it I can do this.”  You may be thinking that Christians have got it all together, and maybe you feel like you can barely keep up, much less “have it all together.”  For some reason, most people look at the Christian life as some sort of “happily ever after” Fairy Tale existence.  I mean, let’s face it, who doesn’t want to have that?  But that’s not real life. . .is it?  Maybe the idea of fairy tale Christian life isn’t as far off the mark as it seems on the surface.  The problem with Fairy tales is that we tend to focus on the end of the story.   What about all the stuff that happens before the Happily Every After?  Today, I’m going to take you on an adventure.  What will your story look like?  Let’s take a look into the magic mirror and see what it has to say.

I.  Once Upon a Time

Every good Fairy tale starts out with the same magical phrase:  “Once Upon a Time.”  These words have so much promise.  Just like the story, every life starts out the same way: we have big plans, big dreams, and big hopes.  But there’s always an element of darkness at the beginning of the story.  There’s usually someone in a desperate situation that is mistreated, taken advantage of and needs to be rescued.  This is the part of the story we all get.  We know what it’s like to feel that way.  This is the “before” picture of our lives.  In order to understand the story, we usually get a little background to help us understand our heroine.  My story is like that:  Once upon a time, a young girl lived with her older sister and her abusive husband.  She sought escape and found it in the arms of a much older, recently divorced man.  After a short period of time, the young girl discovered that she was with child.  She was not in love, but the “right” thing to do was to marry, so five-months ripe with new life, she said “I do” in the back of a gas station.  No pomp or circumstance to herald the occasion.  No pageantry to begin their lives together; just an overwhelming feeling of “out of the frying pan and into the fire.”  A short four months later, I was born and quickly followed by two more children in as many years.  The relationship that began poorly only got more strained as the years progressed.  My father was an alcoholic who was verbally abusive and after five years, my parents separated only to reunite when my mother became pregnant with their fourth child.  Saying that my home life was volatile would be like saying the Titanic was just a boat.  Fighting, screaming, drunken rages, physical beatings were only punctuated by moments of happiness and peace on the rare occasion.

So let’s pause the story for a moment.  Doesn’t sound very romantic at this point, does it?  These are certainly not the beginnings of a story that sounds like it will end well.  But that’s how all fairy tales start.  I bet that’s how some of your stories started. 

II.  The Calm before the Storm

We lived right down the road from a church, and even though my family was far from religious, from the age of six I felt compelled to attend, and began going every time the doors were open.  Church was a refuge for me.  I saw all those “happy” people and I wanted what they had, but inwardly, I felt ashamed and I certainly didn’t feel like I could be one of “those” people. 

That’s another common thread in the Fairy tale.  The main character is always looking for a way out of their current situation.  Like a lot of people, I thought that once I became a Christian that my life would be miraculously transformed.  All the problems of my past would disappear and my new life in Christ would be full of flowers and singing animals and a handsome prince and, well, a perfect life.  Boy was I wrong.  You see I had forgotten that there’s always another element to every fairy tale.

III.  The Villain Factor

In every story, there’s a huge element of conflict in the form of an evil-stepmother, an over-bearing suitor, a warped wizard, or a dragon that must be slain.  Christians’ lives are no different.  In fact, when you look in the Bible, you can see quite clearly and often that we are warned about the hazards of life as a Christian.  We aren’t promised rainbows and unicorns, hearts and flowers!  Not at all!  What we are promised (time and time again) is that we will face trouble, we will be treated like aliens, and we will not be welcomed or even wanted by many people in our lives.  We are told, in great detail, how to prepare for the battle, how to arm ourselves for the attacks of a very real enemy.  These are the pages in our story that we want to skip.  Let’s just get to the good stuff.  But these are the foundational pages in the development of the character.

In my story, some of the conflicts I had to endure were continued familial dysfunction, sexual molestation and harassment, and an explosive relationship with my mother.  Mind you, I was a Christian.  Before I took on that mantle, my life wasn’t perfect, but it was bearable.  The “after” picture was supposed to be idyllic, but it was far from that.  The fractured relationship between my mom and dad eventually was broken beyond repair.  The relationship between my mother and I became so inflammatory that we could barely be in the same room with each other.  But through it all, I had the literal sanctuary of the church.  When I was 12, I accepted the gift of salvation that Christ offered, but I knew that there was more.  At the age of 23, I had an even greater encounter with the Lord that took my relationship with Him to another level.  Before this, I had been trying to write out the fairy tale story on my own, with only a cursory and vague reference to Christ when (and if) it suited me.  However, after a particularly difficult period where my family literally imploded, I had only one place to look, and that was up.  That’s when I experienced the next great phase of every good Fairy Tale: 

IV.  The Ultimate Romance

What I finally realized is just how much God loved me.  Not with a kind of love that is easily spoken and just as easily forgotten.  No.  The love that I felt from God was and is otherworldly.  Listen to this well-known scripture about the love that God has for me and for each one of you.

1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (The Message)

The Way of Love

 1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love.

   Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have.
Love doesn’t strut,
Doesn’t have a swelled head,
Doesn’t force itself on others,
Isn’t always “me first,”
Doesn’t fly off the handle,
Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others,
Doesn’t revel when others grovel,
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth,
Puts up with anything,
Trusts God always,
Always looks for the best,
Never looks back,
But keeps going to the end.

 8-10Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled.

 11When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good.

 12We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us!

 13But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.

You see, growing up in my crazy family, I didn’t see that kind of love.  The love that I saw was conditional.  If you do this for me, then I’ll love you.  If you behave this way, then I’ll love you.  If you perform well, then I’ll love you.  So this new kind of love was a little hard to accept.  The way that God loves is so different from the way I had been shown.  I didn’t have to worry about making a mistake.  I knew that if, wait – scratch that – I knew that WHEN I messed up again, God wasn’t going to give up on me.  That’s an amazing feeling that you have to grow into.  At least I did.  I still do.  It was during this same time that I realized that God was calling me to work in ministry vocationally.  However, like every other story, love is not easy.  There are obstacles to overcome, there are mountains to scale, and there are dragons to slay!  In my life, like in many of yours, the biggest obstacle I face is me.  I place unrealistic expectations on my life, because I know that God is perfect, I think I need to be perfect.  I know that He is Holy, so I think I have to be holy.  But I’m reminded of something comedian Mike Warnke used to say, “Do you get cleaned up before you take a bath?”  God doesn’t ask me to be perfect.  He wants me to be the best Karen I can be.  He made me.  He knows me.  All of me, the good, the bad – ALL of me, and He loves me completely, unreservedly with no strings attached.

This year, I turned 44.  My story has not been at all what I thought it would be.  I’ve been a Christian for nearly 33 years.  During that time, I have been physically and sexually abused.  I have experienced depression and rejection.  I have lost friends, family and loved ones.  And I almost lost myself.  21 years ago God asked me to serve Him in full-time ministry.  At the beginning of this 44th year, I considered my Christian Life and determined that it wasn’t what I wanted or what God wanted and so I’m making a change.  For too many years, I’ve let other people and circumstances control my story, but no longer.  I’m ready to take the next step in the process of every Fairy Tale:

 

V.  Taking a Risk

 

For Cinderella, she had to take the chance of going to the ball and getting caught by her step-mother.  For Belle, it meant leaving the comfort of her home and life to embrace love for a beast.  For Snow-White, it meant trusting seven weird little guys!  For me, it means quitting my job as an Elementary Music Teacher, losing a pretty good paycheck and benefits, moving away from a home I only recently purchased and my now very close family to live on faith!  It means taking on service in the mission field of a college university in another state and the uncertainty of what lies ahead.

What risk are you facing?  What are the obstacles that are standing between you and your Happily Ever After?  What dragons need to be slain?  You have a real Prince who is ready to come to your rescue.  Are you ready to let Him?  Your story won’t be exactly like my story.  What you can expect is that your story won’t be perfect.  None of ours is.  But if you are a Christian, you can expect to see some similarities.  You will see that you will try to live and act like Christ, not because you think that’s what you’re supposed to do, but because of the love you have for God.  You’ll find that you have courage to do the right thing even when the wrong thing seems easier.  You’ll see that you will be more humble, caring and giving.  And the most amazing similarity you’ll see in our stories is that you’ll have a source of happiness that sometimes doesn’t make sense to people looking from the outside in.

Paul says it like this in Galations 2:19-20 (The Message)

 19-21What actually took place is this: I tried keeping rules and working my head off to please God, and it didn’t work. So I quit being a “law man” so that I could be God’s man. Christ’s life showed me how, and enabled me to do it. I identified myself completely with him. Indeed, I have been crucified with Christ. My ego is no longer central. It is no longer important that I appear righteous before you or have your good opinion, and I am no longer driven to impress God. Christ lives in me. The life you see me living is not “mine,” but it is lived by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. I am not going to go back on that.

 

And in Philippians 3:8-9 (The Message) we read,

 all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life. Compared to the high privilege of knowing Christ Jesus as my Master, firsthand, everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant—dog dung. I’ve dumped it all in the trash so that I could embrace Christ and be embraced by him. I didn’t want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ—God’s righteousness.

Your story isn’t like my story, and my story’s not like yours.  And they shouldn’t be!  How boring it would be if all the Fairy Tales were exactly the same.  So don’t compare yourself to anyone else.  Let your story be unique and personal, just like you!  Most of all, know that you can be secure that the reason for your happiness is because you know the end of your story, and it really does end Happily Ever After.

I’m Such a Girl!


So I’m in Walgreen’s.  I’m there to get some medicine.  I know how the pharmacy is though,

 S——L——O——W!!!!!

Knowing this, I always get myself mentally prepared before I head back to the hinterland strategically placed in the farthest corner of the store, (so all the elderly, sick and otherwise ailing will have to walk ALLLLLLLL the way through the building, thus coming in contact with a copious amount of other patrons, who will inevitably be exposed to whatever virus, ailment, or infection causes them to need drugs, thereby ensuring that a new harvest of sickies will be in next week for more over-priced, under-effectual pharmaceuticals.  It’s just good business!) but I digress. . . 

I have a plan before I go in.  I hit the magazine counter first.  I pick up reading “literature” I would never purchase, like Star, or Us, or some other salacious rag.  I then meander down the drink aisle, because when I finally receive said medications, I will want to take one right away.  And since I’m right there, I might as well pick up something upon which to gnosh.  I pass by the cakes and donuts – I haven’t had lunch, and they look like insulin shock waiting to happen – and I’m not even diabetic.  Maybe some trail mix?  Nope.  Everything’s got cranberries in it now – and I’m strangely and hugely allergic.  How about an Oreo Cakester????  Uh-uh.  I read somewhere that those are basically crap in a bag (I’m paraphrasing, of course, Kearsie).  I finally decide upon something a little more substantial and better for me…Blue Diamond Bold Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds.

Intense Taste with a spicy, wasabi kick and a sweet/salty finish.  Addictive!
Intense Taste with a spicy, wasabi kick and a sweet/salty finish. Addictive!
 
 
I get myself all settled and cozy and prepared for the 30 minute wait for the pharm-tech told me about.  Good, I get to have 30 uninterupted minutes of reading about what Jennifer said about Angelina, and how Brad is really upset.  All while sitting in the nice massage chair.  Who needs a spa???  This is what I call a hot night in Brooksville.  Mind you, it’s only 3:00 in the afternoon.  I’ve only just cracked open my almonds – and I just found out “Who Wore it Better?” when they call my name.  Aww, shoot!  Oh, well.  I make my drug buy, then head out of the store when something catches my eye.
It’s the paperback version of a teeny-bopper, vampire romance novel.  At least, that’s what I surmise.  Again, from what I’ve read from other bloggers (Sounds Like Tomatoes – Kearsie, here’s another plug for you.) it is full of angst and smells-like-teen-spiritedness.  But Kearsie likes it, so maybe I’ll give it a go.  I make my selection, leaving only one copy behind (man- this book is REALLY popular!), and I head down the aisle on the way to the cash register.  Or so I think!
In another deviously planned plot, the evil geniuses who design the layout of stores and mega-marts have cunningly placed the romance novels and magazine racks conveniently located by the racks and racks of CHOCOLATE!  It is of the devil, I tell you!  As I dilly-dally, I find myself eyeing a bar of Ghirardelli’s Peppermint Bark chocolate.  It is sinfully tempting, calling to me from it’s characteristically red and white striped box.  I am further enticed with the warning that this delectation is a *gasp!* LIMITED EDITION.  What if they’re all gone the next time I come to the store?  What if I never get to sample the “rich chocolate layers sprinkled with festive peppermint?”  Well, that tears it!  I MUST have one.
Life choices made, I finally make it to the counter.  I have a couple other necessities that I place on the counter.  As the clerk tallies my quarry, the last two items to be totalled are the large bar of chocolate, and a smutty novel.  I actually laughed out loud.  The man looked at me, bewildered.  (I get that a lot – I’m not sure why.)  I tried to explain to him why that was so funny to me.  But he just gave me the polite “you’re taking up my time, and I want you to go” chuckle, and handed me my purchases.  In my mind, it was quintessential girlieness.  I guess the musical lyricist said it best, “I enjoy being a girl.”