Quirky, funny, lighthearted Cherry is starting to panic. Sheís pushing 30 and has a bit of a weight problem. But most of all, she is looking for love in all the wrong places. For her, the wrong place is thinking she could handle missionary life with a young Indiana Jones look alike.
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Quirky, funny, lighthearted Cherry is starting to panic. She's pushing 30 and has a bit of a weight problem. But most of all, she is looking for love in all the wrong places. For her, the wrong place is thinking she could handle missionary life with a young Indiana Jones look alike. Her complete failure to understand herself unfolds as she goes all the way to Africa. Will she be able to handle life there, or is there someone else for her right under her nose?
ďWhereís Papa going with that ax?Ē Thatís how the book Charlotteís Web begins. You know, the story where the spider saves Wilbur the pig from becoming bacon. I used to cry whenever I read that book as a child. Every time the pig cried, I cried too. Maybe it was because I was rather plump myself and identified too strongly with the main character.
At any rate, thatís kind of how I feel now. Just like Wilbur, blubbering because heís about to become someoneís breakfast. Not that Iím physically in danger. Not at all. Iím plugging away quite well as far as that goes. No threats on my life, no fatal diseases. In fact, I escaped without even a cold when everyone else called in sick to work. No, my problems are more of the social nature.
Now donít get me wrong. Iím a likeable individual with lots of friends, always the first person to get invited to a party. I often end up in the middle of the room with a crowd gathered around as I tell jokes and generally keep everyone from giving up and going home. Some of my friends plan their parties around me the way theyíd plan around a magician or singer theyíd invited. So my problem is not being popular. I really am. The trouble is that Iím getting to an age where I want to settle down. Iím twenty-eight years old. If you are any older than that, Iím sure you think Iím quite young. If you are under nineteen, it probably sounds close to death. I donít feel young or close to death, just tired of the carefree single life. Thereís nothing Iíd like more than staying home with my man for a video and some popcorn.
Okay, now itís out. Itís the man part Iím missing. I know. These days women are supposed to be independent. Theyíre not supposed to need men. At least thatís the message I got as I slugged my way through college. But you know what? Even if we donít need them, theyíre kind of nice to have around. There are moments at work where Iíd trade seven emotional females for one levelheaded male.
I work as a secretary at a garden center. Excuse me, as an administrative assistant. I think everyone gives workers fancy titles these days so they wonít have to give them a raise. At least thatís what my mom says. When I told her Iíd been hired as an administrative assistant, I said it all hoity, toity like it was something important, but she said, ďHrmph. Your dad and I worked all those years to put you through college so you could be a secretary?Ē Fancy titles never fool Mom.
I went to college to be a teacher. It sounded nice; put together exceptionally motivating lesson plans, give the kids lots of hugs, be a hero. Yea right! I just about got killed during student teaching. Those kids saw right through me. I donít know what I was thinking. I never even liked babysitting.
So after graduating, I stuck my teaching certificate in a drawer and havenít seen it since. I got a job at the garden center Iíd pulled weeds at during college to make some extra cash. They liked me there and I could still hang around my college buddies. But now most of them are gone and Iím still here, looking for more meaning than filing forms and making phone calls.
The good part about staying around is that I stayed involved in my church. Iím from a small town originally, so when I first went to Faith Church, I thought Iíd died and gone to heaven. There were people galore, great music, a bazillion programs, and lots of eligible college men running around. I felt certain that Iíd find The One at any turn. Ten years later, that idea is growing a little thin.
Donít misunderstand me. I still love Faith Church. I go to a Bible study every week, show up at every womenís event the church sponsors and faithfully attend anything that has to do with food, always my weakness. I even volunteer in the nursery once in a while, which gives credence to the verse that says, ďI can do everything through him who gives me strength.Ē But the amount of available men has dwindled considerably. Those college men look like my kid brother to me and the older men, like my dad. The only men in my age range who arenít tied down have been married several times already, or are spending most of their evenings at Alcoholics Anonymous. Iím glad theyíre at church, but I try not to spend too much time talking to them.
Not that they notice me either. Iím not bad looking. I have dark brown hair that used to be shoulder length but is now cut short in what my mom used to call a pixie cut. I still battle my weight although Iím not huge. Size sixteen is only slightly above average from everything Iíve read. Iím not too tall, in fact Iím kind of on the short side, which Iíve traditionally blamed my weight on. You know, I donít weigh too much, Iím just not tall enough. I try to keep up on the latest fashions although Iíve got to admit Iíve gotten behind a bit on that lately. So why donít they notice me? Iíve asked myself that question for years.
Do you know, I havenít had even one real boyfriend? Well, unless you count Jordan in seventh and eighth grade. Those years were glorious for me. When everyone else was getting braces and glasses, I suddenly slimmed down for about eighteen months and blossomed. The trouble was, I didnít quit blossoming in ninth grade and I outsized Jordan by a good bit. Thatís when I became a size sixteen. I guess I could be proud of the fact that Iím the same size as when I was fourteen. Not too many women can say that. The odds have to work in my favor sometime.
There are occasions when I get frustrated about my standards. I decided years ago, that I would only marry a man who loved God with all his heart. It really wasnít too hard a decision to make. After all, it wasnít like I was turning down men left and right. Our youth pastor talked about how important it was that we marry someone like-minded on the subject of God, and the one thing I knew was that I loved God. So I began to eliminate potential mates right there and then. And do you know what? I eliminated them all! I couldnít find one guy who loved God as much as I did. Until I went to college. Then there were plenty at Faith Church, but no one asked me out. I fell in love at least three times and none of those guys even knew I existed, which probably calls into question the nature of my love. Anyway, I adjusted to this state of affairs pretty well for the last ten years until Todd started coming to the Bible study I attend.
Todd fits my profile of the perfect man. Heís thirty-two, 5'10", sandy brown hair, large, rugged build, and spent the last ten years as a missionary to Nigeria. How cool is that! He returned from the mission field because he was lonely and tired and needed a break. Well, I know someone that can help at least the first part of that problem!
So, why, do you say, am I so blue? Because Todd has never been more than polite to me, and Iíve already decided that I want to marry him and help him reach Africa for Christ! Oh man, itís going to be a tough Bible study from now on.
Oh, one other thing. My name is Cherry. Now why would a parent do a thing like that?