Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Functional versus Pretty

Ahhh, moving to a new place…. The process of purging, packing then unpacking can be tedious and time consuming. The silver lining, however, is the opportunity to dress up a brand new place. I get some type of crazy rush finding new storage options for dishes and such. My latest obsession is scouring the town and the internet for area rugs. Now who would have thought finding an area rug that makes our eyes dance would be such a chore. You think maybe making our eyes dance is too much of a tall order?

When we first moved, decorating and making the place feel like home was top priority. Day after day we plodded the housewares aisles of local stores searching for everything from wall décor to trashcans. This little baby here is one of my favorites. She’s awaiting just the right vintage writing desk to hang over.

“We haven’t finished decorating the bathroom,” I noted to Sean one Sunday morning as we prepared for church.

From where I stood, our master bath still looked the same as it did the day we moved in, with only the addition of a couple of floor mats and a shower curtain liner (note I didn’t say a shower curtain, just the liner). Still plain. Still uneventful.  Clearly, we’d gone back to the business of being newly married; life pressed forward and fancy things took a back seat.

I don’t remember his response verbatim, but I’m pretty sure it went something like this:

“It looks fine to me. You see, men just want the functional; y’all (that would be us ladies) are always worried about ‘the pretty’.”

THE PRETTY

As those two words rolled from his tongue, a light bulb flicked on inside my head and I just had to chuckle.

Therein lies the great divide between men and women, or (as I see it) at least one of them. Men seek function. Women, on the other hand… well, we like pretty. It doesn’t mean we’re not interested in functionality, but I do believe looking for “the pretty” is one of the gifts of God’s divine shape for us.

Ladies, humor me for just a moment. Close your eyes. I know it feels weird, but trust me; this won’t take long. Now, if you’re at work and someone taps you on the shoulder just say “amen,” out loud so he/she can hear you, open your eyes naturally and ask, “How can I help you?”

Seriously, though, close your eyes and picture your closet or wherever your shoes are stored. Visualize the many shoes in your closet. If you’re like me you see mostly sandals. If you’re like me they are mostly sandals with pretty high heels on them. How functional are these shoes? Really? Sure they get you from point A to point B (if you’re careful), but if you’re like me you didn’t buy these shoes to walk in, now did you? Heavens NO!!! You bought these shoes, especially that favorite one that popped in your mind first, because it was – in Monica’s favorite words – a BAAAAD SHOE!!! Am I right? Sure I am.

Functional versus the pretty….

A few days prior to our chit chat about the bathroom, Sean and I saw the Tyler Perry movie Temptation. Temptation is a powerful story of the ugly peril of adultery. Labeling adultery an “ugly peril” in this movie is putting it mildly. If you haven’t seen the movie – whether you’re married or want to be married – I suggest you check it out. The acting is nothing the Academy would take note of, but the story makes for meaningful conversation about the sanctity of marriage and commitment and what it takes to maintain all of that and what can happen if you fail to do so. So that’s my 30 second review….

Anyway, the movie’s leading role was a beautiful young married woman who after 6 short years of marriage started scrutinizing the surrounding landscape in search of greener pastures. Without delving too deep into the storyline, this movie hinted at the classic makeup of men and women – the functional versus the pretty. The husband was successfully functional yet didn’t pay enough attention to “the pretty,” in this case meaning the sensitive, emotional needs of his wife. The wife lacked in her function (didn’t cook much or well, which is probably why she didn’t cook much) but was a dreamer, soft, delicate, feminine, WOMAN who needed more attention than her husband paid attention to.

From our conversation about the bathroom and reflecting on this theme in the movie, I’ve been thinking about this functional versus pretty thing a lot. I’ve prayed and asked the Lord to help me to enjoy, celebrate, appreciate and even encourage my husband’s function without losing my pretty. Because pretty is needed. As I look around our home from day to day I find myself noticing more and more evidence of his functional thought process and my need for pretty. It’s really pretty cool how my eyes have been enlightened. Hopefully this will encourage a greater appreciation of our differences, dialogue about our differences and compromise on how to marry our differences.

Functional and pretty sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G….

I love it!