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Happy Valentine’s Day, Everyone!
In case you missed it yesterday, my friend, Justin, and I shared a (slightly cloudy) memory of my first date. Let’s just say it didn’t exactly go as planned.
So today on the “holiday of love,” may all your dates be filled with free ice cream, gold charms, and Oscar-worthy films that don’t result in door slamming! (And a whole lot more Love and Respect than 16 year-olds know how to give.)
I wanted to share my first date story with you because:
1. I want to hear your first date story.
2. It was sort of a segue to share the cover and title of my book—a book filled with a few more relationship faux pas.
This book won’t fit everyone’s taste and style, but it has bits of my story that I’ve never shared on this site—and it’s a lot of my heart, mind, blood, sweat, tears, and every other descriptive word that will let you know that I’m currently typing with passion and a furrowed brow.
Which, on the topic of not fitting everyone’s style, did you know that I’ve been told men won’t read my book? I’ve been encouraged to write my book (and blog) only to single females.
Just because I’m a female. And single.
MEN! MARRIED FRIENDS! COUNTRYMEN! Lend me your ears! Would you speak up in the comments and say “I” if you’ve ever voluntarily read a book by someone of the opposite gender or relationship status?
I understand the relatability factor—I can’t help that I’m female and single and that the stories in my book are about my life. But I want you to know that my life and its silly stories are simply the container for some of the biggest lessons and truths I’ve learned so far. I feel compelled to share those with you all, even though I’m just a single-Christian-white-female-who-likes-long-walks-in-cemeteries…
The thing is, I haven’t met one man or woman—regardless of life stage or faith—who hasn’t felt a little crazy and confused by God when life happens. We can feel the craziest when it comes to relationships.
And that’s why I’ve titled my book Permanent Vertigo: How Life and Love Causes Us to Question Our Own Sanity and God’s Goodness. Here’s a peek at the cover:
SIKE!!!! But let’s be honest, how creepy is upper-left Joy?
Here’s the actual cover:
PLUS! Win The Illumination Project!!!
($125 value – Just THINK of the resale value on Amazon. Although I’ll hurt you if you do.)
How? Leave a comment with one of the following:
1. Funny date/Valentines story
2. “Yes I’ve read an author who shares my opposite gender or life stage!”
3. Whatcha think of the cover, countrymen?
POSTS FROM VALENTINES DAYS PAST
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Love and Respect (Now) is a division of Love and Respect. Please be considerate.
I don’t have a funny valentines date story. In fact I don’t think I’ve ever really been in one? I just always skipped over this made up holiday whether I was with someone or not. Although I loved your sweet 16 pity date story! The “sike” book cover is awesome; the actual book cover only comes 2nd to creepy joy but still very awesome! Can’t wait to get ahold of your book!!
THE COVER IS PERFECT. I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!
1) Funny date story. My husband and I were living in a Christian community where we met, and when the wind was up that we were going on our first date, someone else (a third guy) invited himself along. We ended up having maybe an hour by ourselves the whole date, while the third wheel (a flamboyant South African man in his mid-forties) made jokes about us getting married the third time. Since we were taking public transportation everywhere, there was literally no escape.
2. ”Yes I’ve read an author who shares my opposite gender or life stage!” Of COURSE. That’s why we read!
3. Whatcha think of the cover, countrymen? Oh, it’s so perfect I could cry.
I feel like putting a small snapshot of this in my wallet and showing it to my co-workers. Great job!
Oh boy. I had forgotten about that. Guess you have him to thank for your happily ever after. 😉
“That’s why we read!” Indeed. Women writers have been fighting the nonsense that books written by women, non-fiction and fiction alike, are for women while men write for everyone since before the printing press. I wonder if they’d give the same advice to a single man writing such a book. If they did, it’d only show how single status trumps gender in terms of relegation. But I have my doubts.
Proud of you too, Joy. Can’t wait till it comes out!
I feel like what I qualified as a “date” was probably a little off (like is meeting at the soccer field and hanging out a date? No, but I’m afraid I was a little misguided in this area), but I do remember extreme awkwardness and complete FEAR. Ha….glad that high school is over.
uhh I love your book cover! I had already stalked, uhhh I mean admired it on the Amazon pre-order! Just wish it was coming out sooner!
Awkward Valentine’s Day: The tradition in my high school was that on Valentines people would receive ridiculous sized bouquets (The bigger the bouquet the closer to God, y’all). The last period of the day was dedicated/wasted to calling out the name of EVERY single person that received flowers and you had to go pick them up at the concession stand. If you didn’t get your name called you instantly became a social pariah, or at least that is how it felt to most girls at the age of 15. To be fair, most girls had just convinced their parents to splurge on the flowers but forced them to sign it your secret admirer or like some made up boyfriend from another school. (I was on to their little tricks) I on the other hand, spent Valentine’s day praying my name being called. I didn’t care about flowers and I knew my parents weren’t sending me any, so if my name was called it only meant one thing: I was going to have to awkwardly thank a boy I didn’t like for spending his (parents) money on a girl who had zero interest. It happened 2 times. Both times I turned way too red and probably came off as standoffish and rude because I was awkward. Still am, but hey, at least I own it now. So excited for your book!
“The bigger the bouquet the closer to God, y’all.”
Man, I don’t realize how funny the LRN readers are until they start commenting in a forced “giveaway” situation. I need to hear from you funny people more often! And as for the being awkward thing, you’ll feel right at home when you read my book.
Funny Valentines story: when we were in college, my boyfriend (now husband) and I went on a ski trip with our bffs over valentines weekend. We don’t really make a big deal out of the holiday so we had already established that there would be no gifts or love declarations. Well. I woke up on the 14th and our friend had given a rose to not only his girlfriend, but had also left one outside my door as well. I thought it was from my boyfriend and told him it was sweet but that I was a doofus and hadnt done the same. We figured it out and I still tease him that if he won’t get me a valentine, I KNOW I can ask Ryan for one.
My first date with my husband was awesome! We drove around Minneapolis and I showed him the house I grew up in. Then we went and sat in some rose gardens near a lake. We must have talked in that garden for 2 hours about life, dreams, etc. We ate at a little Italian restaurant and our waiter asked how long we had been married. We had barely met. I was 30 when we got married. Yes, we go through all the ups and downs of marriage and relationship, but he is truly my closest friend. On the opposite end, just for laughs, for our first anniversary he gave me a can opener and a meat thermometer because “…we needed them.” Needless to say, that has not happened since. I can’t WAIT to read your book. Also, you make me laugh and I appreciate your realness and vulnerability, what you do is important, and I am sure your perspective is a life-line for many. Rock on!
In high school, right before graduation I went on a date with a guy from a neighboring school. The date was fine, we had fun picking out my graduation shoes and all. However, when we went to the movie there was the awkwardness of him putting his arm up on the arm rest in the “I want to hold your hand position.” And I just sat there thinking “oh, great, another guy who wants to hold my hand ON THE FIRST DATE!!! We hardly know each other.” At that moment I knew I had to end the date fast before this guy got down on one knee. After the movie it was still light outside and he asked what I wanted to do next and I quickly let him know I was ready to go home. He pulled in my driveway and before the car was completely stopped I was opening the door, telling him thanks and hopping out. I did not want to even give him the opportunity to walk me to the door or think about a kiss. And again…. it was still light outside. I wanted out of that date before the sun went down…
Ohhh the awkwardness of high school.
I will definitely be reading this book!! Because you’re sort of my favorite comedienne. So I will learn things about relationships and I know I’ll laugh some at the same time. ( I was first brought to your site because of relationship wisdom but you’re execution of said wisdom has me hooked forever.). I am also female but I’m married and I’m forty so I’m slightly ( just slightly,) outside your demographic but sex, age or relationship status of the author have no bearing on whether or not I read their book. George MacDonald is my favorite author ( a man – also, dead, so we have very little in common) and I also love Jane Austen ( single, whereas I’m married – and also, dead.). Can’t wait to read it!!
Stay until you’re a 100!!! thank you for your kind words! Speaking of 100, google 100 year old best friends. Theres a video of these two old ladies being asked questions and it’s amazing!!!
So appreciate your support on my book. I’m really excited about it and hope it encourages people in a unique way.
In jr high, I took a girl to skateland and decided to show off my awesome skate skills while holding her hand during the couples song. Well, I ended tripping her and knocking her over. Then I spilled my drink having pizza with her later that evening. A few years later we ended up going to the same high school and I asked her to a dance. I was older and driving, so this probably makes this my official first date. We went with another couple to a steakhouse. I had never been to a fancy restaurant and didn’t know the ropes. Because I was so nervous, I wasn’t listening and just ordered what the other guy ordered. He ordered a bloody rare steak and I always ate my steaks well done back then. I forced myslf to eat my bloody steak and got sick. That girl and I never panned out after that.
1. A boyfriend gave me bread one year for Valentine’s Day. Granted it was a special sourdough bread he had ordered, but he got it out of his freezer. Part of one mini loaf was actually already gone, so it was confirmed this was not a thought out in advance kinda gift and not purchased for me. I put it in my freezer and let it get frostbite. Thought that’d show him. I think he cried inside because he really wanted to keep the bread. But then again he sacrificed and gave me his prize bread, so…
it’s four years later and I’m still debating if I shoulda been mad or not!
2. Yes, I’ve read and will continue to read books of people who share a different story than my own. To not would be equivalent to me saying I’m not reading a book by anyone that’s not in my age group…completely ridiculous. We can learn a little something from everyone.
3. Book looks awesome! I’m actually really really looking forward it! If it’s anything like your blog or TBTs, I know I’ll be in for a treat 🙂 I’ll gift it to all my single/married MALE friends 🙂
4. asdf jkl;
Whatcha think of the cover, countrymen?
As a reader of your blog, I would have voted for the first cover. As someone who had no idea who you were, I absolutely love the second cover. And I can’t wait to read it! But we’re pretty much in the same stage in life. Pretty sure you’re younger, though, so people haven’t given up on you yet! 😉
I would much rather have read a book with cover A than gone on my first date: dinner and a movie with the cute boy from my bio class–and his ENTIRE family. We can all guess how that turned out…
Happily single, female, and reading my book by an old married dude this Valentine’s Day!
Hi Joy! My first ever date was my dad driving my girlfriend and I to a movie.
I’ve read Josh Harris’ book I Boy Meets Girl and Gary Chapmen’s Five Love Languages. So yes, I’ve read an author who shares a different life stage then I.
God bless Joy. Grace and Peace.
Hmmmm… I honestly never went on very many dates (or realized all too late that I had, in fact, been on one -way too long of a story). I will, however, say that the way I met my fiance has got to be worth some sort of award. We met (pause for effect), at his grandmother’s funeral visitation. My own grandma pointed him out and winkingly said that he was going to be an RN. I hushed her and brushed him off as being too young. Well, after a while I figured I’d better be polite & turn away from matchmaker-grandma to join a conversation he was in with my family (we’d actually known of each other our whole lives); and, as they say, the rest is history. Hahaha!! Now I can’t wait to marry him! I also can’t wait to read your book, Joy 🙂
–Oddly enough, I met my lifelong best friend 20+ years ago at her grandfather’s funeral visitation. God works in mysterious ways!
Wow! You have some stories!!!!
Can I go with you to your next funeral visitation?
Not to make light of funerals-but now that I think about it, you and Joy should open a funeral home/cemetery together. You can do matchmaking at visitations and she can do book signings/ask Joy videos at the cemetery 🙂
Joy — love the fake cover of your book. You make me laugh out loud.
My first date was where a guy came dressed in a suit to go bowling. My dad happened to be the local principal of the school. My dad said I could not go unless the young man came to the door. So he came in a suit..
Needless to say — we did not go out again. I think my dad being his principle was enough.. He was in the office quite a bit.
Beyond excited to read this book!!! Also, my first real date was when i was in 8th grade and the boy i liked was in 9th. Older men, i know! Our parents drove us separately to the movie theatre where we met. My mom made my brother tag along to make sure there wasn’t any funny business. I could also go into the awkward first kiss story, but I’ll spare you the details.
1. It’s more sweet than funny, but today my dad asked me to be his valentine 🙂
2. Sometimes I am just as encouraged by reading from those who are in very different places than me than those who are in the same place.
3. BAAAHAAAA for the fake cover. LOVE IT! for the real one.
5. even though I didn’t follow the instructions for leaving a comment with only one of the following, do I still get entered in the drawing? 🙂
6. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Love the cover. Totally thought the first one was legit (and i liked it) but the real cover is much less creepy. When I was 15 I’d been dating my first boyfriend for about two weeks. (Side note: He was almost a foot shorter than me, no exaggeration.) I decided to make him Valentine’s cookies, but when I’d finished them all the dog got up on the counter and ate them. Total cliche story, straight out of a movie scene. I cried–no–SOBBED. And then I think I went to the grocery store and bought some from the bakery. He got me a huge balloon to carry around school which I found very embarrassing. I broke up with him two weeks later. Oh, young love.
Well, it’s not a “date” story, but here is a funny Valentine’s Day Story… I am a teacher and on Valentine’s day a couple of years ago the school secretary delivered a beautiful bouquet of a dozen red roses to my classroom. I was not expecting flowers from anyone, so I accepted them with great surprise, excited to see who my admirer was… turns out they were for one of my five- year- old students from her father.. Good thing I can laugh about these things 🙂 I am so excited to read your book, Joy! Happy Valentine’s day!
I’ve definitely read books by authors who don’t share my gender or life stage. It would be done to limit myself to just those like me… I think it’s pretty crazy that people would tell you that guys wouldn’t read your book because you’re a chick and single. If that’s what stood in their way, their loss 😉 (Started to read your blog because of the IF:Gathering [IF:Local] and I’m bummed that I’ve missed out on the great things you’ve had to share before this – so I can’t imagine what they’re gonna miss out on!) And I think both covers are pretty amazing!
1. Funny Valentine’s Date or Story…
Can we just talk about the confusion that comes along with the bubbly feelings on this day? I just want to put that out there, because mine is funny now that I look back on it, but in the moment I felt like a TOTAL idiot! I was a Freshman at ORU and I had a slight (ok…fine…HUGE) crush on this guy Caleb. He was everything my ex wasn’t. He also had a thing for the ladies. So we had started talking and he’d text me and be all cute and then he asked me what I was doing on Valentine’s! (In my mind, I’M FREAKING OUT!) I told him nothing and he said “perfect! Meet meet me at 8:00 in the lower lot and we’ll leave from there”. So what really happened?! I show up in Lower lot, dressed cute and ready and he’s there with roses and looking nice only to say, “Ohhhhh. I guess I didn’t mention that you’d be driving me to this place where I’m MEETING JACQUI for our date? I know you have a car… I’m so sorry I didn’t clarify”. Again, in the moment, all the color crept up my face and I think my blonde hair maybe even turned a shade of red. But now, I can laugh at it… I honestly can’t wait to share all the ridiculous stories with my future children and get some laughs from them. 🙂
Congrats on the book Joy!!!
Joy I am a guy and I really look forward to your book. I love the cover and title of the book. Also I have read a couple of books written by female authors. My philosophy is that as long as it is biblical and has some value for me spiritually, or educationally, then I am willing to read it no matter who the author is. I have just finished going through your dads book L&R in the family and I loved it, and I am a single male.
Last thing I want to say is, wejarjcoaij;alkear43894vnjao3efa. 🙂
Keep up the good work helping people understand the L&R principles from your perspective in life.
I agree with Julie (@julespreever). As someone who knows you, I love the first cover, but as someone who wouldn’t know you, I’d say the second cover would be better branding. lol How old is upper left Joy? I didn’t think it was creepy, but your comments about yourself always crack me up! lol
Oooo just remembered a good one…might have been Christmas, but it was 6th grade. Church youth group had a dance at church (awesome) and my boy stole a gold necklace with butterfly charm from Meijer (awesome). Gave it to me to give to my “girlfriend” (awesome). Which I had stuffed in my pocket and gave it to her balled up in my hand in the middle of Hero by Mariah Carey (awesome). I should get my name in the hat twice for that one.
Have some funny date stories fo sure, but I’ll go with most recent: funny valentine story: I have been handing out valentines all day (by which people said, “oh, they are handmade?” uh, yes!), and it’s been delightful. I decided not to back down even if it created awkward moments, such as giving a valentine to the balloon artist who came to my table at dinner. And leaving one for the waitress. And the cashier at the supermarket. A happy valentine’s day for everyone (including me, because I’ve loved my valentine delivery journey). I love what you do and you inspire me to not take myself so seriously all the time, Joy. Thanks:).
3. I’m no design-pro, but I think the Foreward bit at the top should be below your name. It is your book after all, and while your dad is obviously awesome, I actually read that bit before the tagline or your name.
2. As a single female like yourself, it’s hard to get away from the married men-folk literature out there if you want to read anything, so yes.
1. No comment – but thanks for sharing yours!!
So this isn’t as cutesy or as funny of a post from other peeps, but happy V-Day anyways! Thanks for the contest. Definitely looking forward to the book!
OH MY! Our first date story….Oh so sad! I was just weeks shy of my 16th birthday in the winter of 1978…it was Friday the 13th of all days! Even though I’m not superstitious, it adds to the story I guess. I was going out with a college freshman (who happens to be my husband of nearly 33 years!) He was tall, dark and handsome and our cars matched – he had a ’69 GTO and I, a ’69 Chevelle…my best friend hooked us up. You see, they worked together at the local McDonald’s where he was the manager and my friend worked for him. I had come into the McD’s with my friend in her off hours, of course, always when “HE” was working (ya know, the tall, dark and handsome one 🙂 He started asking my friend about me, the tall redhead. Shortly after, we had our date, and yes I was only 15! (What were my parents thinking?!) So, the day of our first date, Friday the 13th, I could not keep my brain on school so, my best friend and I skipped out on it. Went to the mall, I returned home about the time school was out thinking….”cool, I can now get ready for my first hot date with the tall, dark and handsome college freshman”. NOT! Well, just minutes after leaving the school campus, my mother called the school to EXCUSE ME for the day to go home and take care of my little sister who had gone home sick for the day. When I arrived home that day my sister greated me with, “You’re SO BUSTED! You need to call mom at work!” (we of course didn’t have cell phones back then) As I slunk to the phone which weighed like a ton of bricks, I’m informed to stay put and don’t plan to go anywhere and do much of anything fun, especially not the date, until I am 16! Those weeks felt like an eternity!! The day arrived that I was finally sweet 16, the date was a blur but my knight and shining armor swept me off my feet where I’ve been ever since. Over the years, he’s gotten a few chinks in his armor of course and it’s been the ride of our lives – ups and downs, everything in between and more! So, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it!
Nice cover Joy! Your childhood pictures remind me so much of my 7th grade pictures but my red hair was long and I had braces. Oh my!
1. I kinda wish I had a funny valentines date story, but oh well. I don’t care that much.
2. Most of the books I’ve read are by people of the male gender and/or in a different stage of life than my own.
3. I love the actual cover because it perfectly illustrates the ups and downs that come with life!
I’ve read plenty of books by people who are not my same gender or marital status, and learned SO much from them! Which is probably why I am so comfortable with being a “third wheel”… I enjoy learning from married people (usually including both a man and a woman). That being said, I love learning from single females like myself, and I can’t wait to read your book!
I LOVE THE COVER!!! I’d read it just because of the black and white contrast and its fantastic design. Not just because I want to take you out for a Chicfila Milkshake Joy and I have a medium-well done Beard, but because the book actually sounds good for many different audience types… #Welldone #Unicornswouldneverhurtyou #ChicfilamilkshakesHealALLwounds haha
I love the cover! I read “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” (written by a man) when I was a young teen…but it kind of scared me. I was like, “I don’t wanna kiss it goodbye before I’ve kissed it hello!!” Joshua had good intentions I’m sure… 🙂
I know this is overdue but…HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY!!!!!!
Not sure if it is too late to enter for a chance at the FREE Illumination Project, but oh well I figured that I’d give this a shot. I know the rules say answer 1 of the 4 topics…but I’m going to be a bit of a rebel and answer ALL 4 TOPICS!! (Might help my chances of winning *wink wink* and if it doesn’t no biggie I hope you’ll get a kick out of my comical answers).
1. Funny date/Valentines story
Well I’ve only had one Valentine in my life back in high school and it was in 10th grade my FIRST Valentine and I was excited! I got her balloons, a big bear, candy, a card the works and she LOVED it. Too bad she broke up with me…a month later…on the same day…that she kissed me on the lips for the first time…yeah I don’t really have a funny Valentine’s Day story…
Funny date? Well my first date was my first semester in college and it was a blind date! You know how they say that playing the lottery is a lot like going on a blind date? Sometimes you might hit the jackpot and other times you aren’t so lucky. I’ll put it this way; we didn’t hit it off romantically but fast-forward nearly 4 years later and we are great friends! My friend is in a relationship with a nice guy and they are happy! Seriously didn’t know I’d make a good friend like that on my first date and I’m glad that I did she is quite the lady.
Ok, here is what I do (and I’m sure most of the U.S. does) for Valentine’s Day: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! Wanna know why? Being single I have more money in my wallet post-Valentine’s Day so on the 15th I go to Wal-Mart and buy a lot of 50% off Valentine’s Day stuff!! One year I got myself a big bear and candy! This year I spent $12 and got A LOT of candy!!! Hey I don’t have a lady in my life to love…so right after my love for God, I need to take care of the next greatest love of all; the love I have for myself.
2. Yes I’ve read an author who shares my opposite gender or life stage!”
Well today in convo at Liberty we had Karen Kingsbury come to speak today and wow she is an amazing speaker/writer! I’ve read a couple of her books and after hearing Joy speak in convo I know her book will be a treat!
I mean I don’t really see why the gender of the author matters. If there is something in between the covers worth reading and learning from then I think it deserves a chance! You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover and that includes the author’s name (well unless you count the spine because it is between the front and back covers with the author’s name on it…if you wanna get all technical)!
3. Whatcha think of the cover, countrymen?
In terms of the first cover: that is an adorable picture of you “smiling” on the bottom right-hand corner. The picture on the left side…um…kinda creepy…
Just kidding! When I saw the one on the left side compared to the right side I imagined your inner dialogue to go a little something like this:
Left photo: “That boy over there just said he thinks unicorns are real…*thinking face*”
Right photo: “Mhmm, that’s some Grade-A husband material right there *smiles*”
Now on to the REAL photo:
I think it is an interesting concept to have a roller coaster ride because isn’t that what life, love and relationships are all about? Having to experiences the highs, the lows and everything else in between the feelings that come from relationships?
Then the tagline of questioning our own sanity and God’s goodness is brilliant! When riding a roller coaster you pretty much lose your mind and question WHY God “put you on that rollercoaster” in the first place (when you probably went on it for fun on your own accord) and why He isn’t stopping the controls.
We are kind of thrown into the craziness that comes from love and life when we are brought into this world and it only gets more complicated as we grow older, but on the plus side we gain experience from all of that! That is why I don’t mind reading this book when it is released even if it is by a person of the opposite gender because you have lived longer than I have (not calling you old or anything…) and I might actually learn MANY things by reading your book. Not saying it will help me understand women completely because come on what man can EVER figure that out? Sometimes I think even God scratches His head when a guy prays for an understanding of females!
Regardless, I look forward to August when this book comes out and I hope that I have a shot at winning this FREE Illumination Project. Good luck in all of your future projects! Love you Joy!!
My boyfriend and I live 8 hours away from each other, so when we first started dating we had to squeeze in actual dates any way we could. Our first date was during a youth conference in Toronto, the funny part was his entire youth group and many others were all sitting together at the same restaurant. We opted for our own booth even though we knew we were being watched the entire time on our first official date! (And this is where he asked me if I wanted to actually date him… we didn’t want to do the whole asking thing over the Internet or phone… we are kinda old fashioned face to face kind of people… A little difficult 8 hours away)
Joy, it may be surprising but I have even read “Love and respect” by Emmerson Eggerich… He just so happens to be opposite sex, and life stage from me…. I’m 26, female, and in a courting relationship…
Looking forward to reading your book… absolutely love the cover!!!