Tag Archive: engaged


i said to my beautiful wife Valerie the other day something along the lines of ‘what do people write statuses [stati?] about on Facebook if they are not entering into a relationship or having a baby? [or these days in americaland making some kind of staunchly pro this party or anti that one political statement] as it just seemed like the majority of statuses [stati?] i was reading were about one of those…

two things come out of that, the one for those of you who are celebrating is this:

for people who are single and don’t want to be or those who have lost a child or been struggling to have one, these must be incredibly difficult posts to read – depending on the amount of friends you have and how filtered or not your feed is – because it is hard to celebrate someone else’s status when you are mourning your own…

and so it becomes a tough one – because you don’t want to, and shouldn’t minimise your excitement merely because someone else has gone through a hardship… but i think being aware, and even intentionally so – making some kind of motion towards someone you know who your status may be hurtful for – is a really life building thing to do… acknowledging [in a behind-the-scenes personal email or a live take-them-out-for-coffee invitation] that they might be going through a hurtful time and is there anything you can do or be aware of that might help…

realising that while your new relationship or engagement or new baby is the focus of attention for you now and is the center of your world and rightly so… that for some people out there it is simply one of six new relationships, two new engagements and five new babies that they are seeing…

this is a tightrope and a tricky one and i don’t know that there is any answer beyond awareness and sensitivity and possibly taking a step when it is someone you are really close to that is that person who might be hurting… i do imagine that being straight with them [in terms of how much they may want to hear about your new relationship or baby] could be a healthy thing or just giving them space to speak about their situation and hurt or loneliness or current vibe.

this all sounds a little morbid. but it’s not. or doesn’t have to be. i think this is an incredible opportunity to discover and celebrate community. that somehow, at the same time we can celebrate with those who celebrate but also mourn with those who mourn [or just be bummed with those who are bummed].

anyone else have any thoughts on this..?

to become aware of the unique amidst the deluge read this one

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Back in the day there was a funny guy called Jack Handey who wrote deep thorts like:

‘One day one of my little nephews came up to me and asked me if the equator was a real line that went around the Earth, or just an imaginary one. I had to laugh. Laugh and laugh. Because I didn’t know, and I thought that maybe by laughing he would forget what he asked me.’ [Jack Handey]

and:

‘One thing kids like is to be tricked. For instance, I was going to take my
little nephew to Disneyland, but instead I drove him to an old burned-out
warehouse. “Oh, no,” I said, “Disneyland burned down.” He cried and cried, but I
think that deep down, he thought it was a pretty good joke. I started to drive
over to the real Disneyland, but it was getting pretty late.’ [Jack Handey]

or occasionally slightly darker ones like:

‘I bet the main reason the police keep people away from a plane crash is they don’t want anybody walking in and lying down in the crash stuff, then when somebody comes up act like they just woke up and go, “What was THAT?!”‘

These made me smile. They made other people smile. Some people would laugh out loud. A lot. Occasionally someone would hurt themself. Which made me think, I want to hurt people too. But with laughter. And so I set out to try and come up with my own fish-flavoured deep thorts and they became known as Brett Andy’s because well, you know. They are still a work in progress but I have made ten lists of them know and I would love to know if any of the following cause any of the above reactions. If so please leave a comment and name the one or ones you liked:

“Cannibal Pete was struggling to get his car started so I offered him a hand, a decision I would quickly regret.” [Brett Andy]

“She barked twice, following it with a low two second gutteral growl. “Oh no,” I thought, “Timmy has fallen into the well!” [Brett Andy]

“I was disqualified from the hotdog eating competition for chewing on a lukewarm pekinese.” [Brett Andy]

“Give a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day. But sell a man a fish and he’ll eat for a day plus you’ll have some extra money.” [Brett Andy]

“Those who live in glass houses, shouldn’t.” [Brett Andy]

“The thing I find fascinating about elephants is their ability to shoot out a powerful stream of water for hours at a time. Wait, not elephants… fire hydrants!” [Brett Andy]

“Scissors are crushed. Paper is cut to shreds. Rock is lying there going, “Oh no, there’s a piece of paper on top of me, what shall I do?” [Brett Andy]

‘“Reddit” said Frog again as the librarian’s patience was starting to wear thin.’ [Brett Andy]

“I tried to call my fiance’. But her phone was engaged. That’s a case of unplanned irony right there my friend.” [Brett Andy]

“If life is like a box of chocolates then I wish I was born in Switzerland.” [Brett Andy]

“I tossed a fortune cookie into a wishing well and instantly created a black hole.” [Brett Andy]

“An item of clothing was in a race with some sports gear the other day. It was a tie.” [Brett Andy]

“I went drag racing the other day, but the heels made pushing the pedals really tricky.” [Brett Andy]

“I wonder if Scottish men at nudist beaches walk around wearing underpants?” [Brett Andy]

what is with people and ‘the next big thing?’ – you’ve been single forever and you finally get yourself a girlfriend and within a month or two (especially if you’re older) people are like, “so, when’s the big day?”

you get married and within a month or two (way before the plans settle on any kind of one year wedding anniversary preparation) it’s the knowing smirks and, “so, kids hey?”

and so on, and those are just two examples… too many people spend too much time in the future (shtupidt time travellers, but besides them!) when actually all we are trying to do is enjoy the life-to-the-fullness of the now…

i know people are going to be tempted to respond with something along the lines of how interested in you people are just trying to be and i would imagine that is the case sometimes, but more often than not it is people panic’ing and filling space kind of like a “how are you?” “I’m fine” when no-one is ever fine… you’re good, you’re bad, you’re ugly, there is no fine… you say it cos you panic, the question was asked because someone in a shopping centre bumped into someone else in a shopping centre they weren’t expecting to see and panic’d…

anyways my point being, for someone who is in a relationship where they are really struggling about whether to continue the relationship or not (cos of issues unseen to the casual observer) an innocent-intentioned question like “so when are you getting married?” is a piece of bamboo shoot (the thin sharp piece) under the fingernail… for a couple who has maybe just miscarried or who can’t have children or who – heaven forbid – don’t particularly want to have children (or maybe not want to have them now) the “when are you having kids?” question can be a highly insensitive question that adds to the frustration, pain, desperation, annoyance, whatever…

ha ha, if you follow me and tbV’s statuses on facebook you can guess which of these connect personally, but i’m trying to think bigger than us… one of the things i have enjoyed from i think possibly the last 4 weddings i’ve been to was the absence of the “throw stuff at single people herded into the centre” tradition – and i know some people dig it and good for them but i particularly don’t and that’s okay – and in each case the marriaged couple had an alternative – like giving the bouquet to the longest married couple in the room [which i completely dig!] which was rad… for a lot of single people who don’t particularly like being single [some do and i applaud that – contentment in all situations is the key] it is not cool for the focus to be put on them and their singleness…

and so the point of this blog is can we please just enjoy this big thing first? why rush the future? it’s gonna happen, and when it does we will want to celebrate that and not be rushing ahead to what the next further thing is.

i realise this is actually a huge, huge topic, because to really be able to enjoy this big thing, we also need to be able to let go of yesterday’s painful thing, but that’s another blog. live to the full today and celebrate life with me, us, now!

if you liked this check out part ii: can’t i not just start enjoying this big thing now [on looking backwards]

so in exactly one week’s time i will have been married to the beautiful Val for exactly one year – and what a year it’s been!

as i say often to people – ‘marriage is highly recommended… to the right person!’ and the ‘to the right person’ bit is the key – not cos i believe in any kind of God-brings-this-person-and-that-person-together necessarily or that i believe that there is only one ‘the one’ as opposed to a number of ‘the potential ones who could be the one’ but because i have experienced or witnessed both

i have some friends who have hurt or are hurting a lot because they dated or got engaged to or even married the person who ended up not being a good match for them – and i have some friends (and myself) who by the grace of God managed to somehow end up with someone who is a the-one match for them (cos history knows i tried my best to work it otherwise on occasion, or so it would seem looking back)

having been married for one week less than a year i can declare with absolute abandon and complete integrity that marriage works – it is incredible – it is a journey and an adventure and an absolute trip… but not without adding ‘to the right person’

because it is also a tough path at times (inevitably you are going to end up hurting – or being hurt by – or disappointing or miscommunicating with the one you love and having a moment or an argument or even – gasp! – a fight – and that completely sucks, cos this is the person you love most in the world and you hate hurting or being hurt by them – the pain is deeper because the bond is so strong)

it is a journey requiring effort and sacrifice and surrender – which we as selfish and prideful human beings really struggle to embrace, especially having grown up in a world constantly screaming the mantra ‘this is all about me’ – and the trick in marriage is really embracing the effort and the sacrifice and surrender and continuing to try and get it right in lifting the other person up above yourself (the beauty is that if she is doing the same thing then we continue to be as lifted up as if we were focusing on ourselves, but with the added benefit of relationship)

it is a path of discovery (new person in my life, new habits, new quirks, new likes and dislikes) – of hey we both find this extremely funny and wow we’re pretty good working alongside each other in the kitchen (which both our families would question in pre-marriage times) and hey she really digs it when i do this and i am so glad that she has chosen to do that chore so i don’t have to and i can do this which she absolutely hated to have to do

it is a choice – day in day out – every single day i have to wake up and choose again – choose the beautiful val over the not so beautiful brett (especially on my bad, lazy, selfish, overcompetitive, procrastinationary, grumpy, i’m right days) – choose to live out those five pages of wedding day vows – promises i make again every day, every day

so whether it’s coffee in bed (one of the highlights of my day – being able to make it for my wife and greet her with a morning kiss) or flapjacks made with packet waffle mix (better than the packet flapjack mix strangely) or scrubs/I.T. crowd/ or Summer Heights High or Eddie Izzard/Michael Mcintyre/Bill Bailey or p.d.a. facebook statuses (within reason) or tag teaming together in a counselling situation or lying together at night solving all the mysteries of the world (or at least our day) or laughing together (a lot! one of the highlights and if you can’t laugh with your person then i seriously think they are probably not a ‘the one’) and private jokes and scrabble or kucky san or trying to lose gracefully at settlers or her asking me random (to me but thoroughly interested and trying to figure out how the world works to her) questions about things i can’t possibly know and woolworths prawn cocktail chips and Terry Pratchett passages and mielies and marshmallow steri stumpies (for her) and purple and that elusive couch (and wedding photos) and dream league cricket and watching her get passionate about justice and not letting us not help people in need and getting to really know her better and totally speak what she is thinking or really meaning and and and

thank you tbV for almost a year of incredible journey – it grows daily – i love you very much and am looking to an even kicker asser year ahead – you really do complete me (you and God)

note to single people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, desire your ‘the one’ but don’t let it consume you – make the most of the time and freedom you have as a single person and be content in every area of your life (while continuing to keep your eyes open and to ask God and to want that person if you do)

note to dating people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, don’t live as married people yet cos you’re not and save the stuff for marriage for the person you marry (which may not end up being the person you are dating now so don’t waste it on them now cos it seriously will be a waste if they turn out not to be that person), enjoy each other but keep it uncomplicated and grow in relationship to see if this is your one and part peacefully if not

note to married people: enjoy, thrive, live to the full, husbands, love your wives, uplift each other, keep private stuff private, never diss your spouse (even in jest) in front of others, especially not just for a cheap laugh, if you’re struggling ask for help, choose every morning to serve and lift up and that-person-first and kill selfishness and pride whenever it rears its head, run to say sorry when you have been wrong, don’t ever go to bed angry or fighting, don’t give up, don’t feed temptation, love each other, let’s fight together for marriage – it works, it’s incredible, it costs, it’s worth it!

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