Today, I am thankful for girls.
Which, I realize, is kind of a cliche thing to be thankful for. Or at least, not something that’s too out of the ordinary. It’s like someone being thankful for gravity, or the sun. Throw a rock, and you’ll probably hit a girl. Actually, hope the rock, if you throw one, doesn’t hit the girl, but instead lands on the ground near the girl so that you have some sort of lame excuse to talk to her.
Guys, if they’re straight, will make all sorts of excuses and do all sorts of crazy things to spend time with girls. And if they’re not straight, then they will make all sorts of excuses and do all sorts of crazy things to hang out with guys. But this is another conversation. And a bit of a crude generalization, at that.
My point is, that when I woke up this morning, there were clothes, grocery bags, posters, and garbage on the floor. My venture from my bed to the bathroom was about as simple as navigating a mine field. Thankfully, the consequences for a misstep were somewhat less drastic. The room now, however, looks nothing like the room that I woke up to. It’s nearly spotless, except for the odd piece of gum wrapper that got away, or a loose computer cable peering out from beneath our couch.
Today is the first “open house” of the year for guys. In a nutshell, “open house” means that the dormitories on campus are like secular dormitories, for about five hours. From seven o’clock in the evening to midnight, guys can visit rooms where girls live, and girls can visit rooms where guys live. There is this tacky system put in place where on Friday nights, guys visit girls, and on Saturday nights, girls visit guys.
And it is for these reasons that every guy in the dorm suddenly became a cleaning expert. Windows were opened, mold was scrubbed, vacuums whirred, garbage was thrown in bins, clothes migrated from the floor to find themselves on hangers, beds were made, and desks were wiped. For someone who probably has at least a touch of obsessive-compulsive disorder, I can safely say that it was a relief in every sense of the word.
It is amazing what leaps and bounds a man will go to, for lack of a better term, “get his woman”. Few other things will make us step out of our comfort zone. I think that any guy who takes the time to look back at all of the things that they have done simply to get a woman’s attention will surely surprise themselves. I know that I have. I think of all the incredibly strange things I’ve said (which sounded perfectly logical at the time), to the uncomfortable clothes I’ve worn, to the music I tried to make myself enjoy, to the letters I’ve written, and the acquaintances that I’ve made for the sole purpose of getting to know a particular girl better.
I’m sure that science would say that the only thing motivating me, or other guys, is sex. Which, I guess, is probably at least partially true. But I would like to think that there is a little more going on than that. It all seems a little more complicated to me than the coercing of two like-minded (or non-like-minded) individuals to pass on genetic information. Does anyone actually think that way?
Tonight was fun. A little bit of awkward, a little bit of laughter, and a little bit of tea. Boys and girls chatting, walking, buzzing around the campus, many sitting in packs beneath television sets. Others crowd coffeeshops, ice cream parlors, and dart across streets.
I think the best part of tonight, or any night really, is when we put ourselves out there. It’s easy to become lazy and settle dustily into life. This is why I am thankful for girls. Not just because they are typically nicer to look at and easier to talk to. I mean, that’s a given. But because of their ability to make us get our act together. Think of all the mountains, figurative and literal, that men have moved for women. Is it not wondrous?
For those who truly love God, or find passion in something greater than themselves, I am always taken aback by how far they will go to express their adoration for what they have found. It is beautiful and inspiring and undeniably intimidating. From Gandhi’s diet to Mother Teresa’s shoes and everything in-between, love’s indescribable ability to motivate never ceases to astound me.
This is why I am thankful for the girls who make us want to be better guys. What are you thankful for today?