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Foibles of a Renaissance Woman

By Laura J. Bagby Producer

CBN.comI think I have finally learned my lesson.

A couple of years ago I was in a rut. I found myself doing the same things with the same people and not meeting any new, eligible men, so I began searching for interesting activities where I might meet my match.

The question I kept asking myself was, Where do all the never-married men in their late 20s and early 30s hang out? They couldn't all be sitting at home watching ballgames, or spending endless hours climbing the corporate ladder, or--God forbid--spending time chugging down a few too many at the local bar. Good, decent, fun-to-be-with Christian men must go other places than home, church, the laundromat, the local video store, and the grocery store.

I began my quest with the brilliant idea of taking horseback riding lessons. It was something I never did as a child because my parents didn't have much disposable income. I pictured being athletic and outdoorsy, riding skillfully with the man of my dreams.

I told my plan to one of my co-workers. He nicknamed me a "Renaissance woman," because at the time I was also trying to learn Spanish via audiocassette and I was toying with the idea of taking cooking lessons all while pursuing my equestrian dream.

I liked that, Renaissance woman. It had such a noble air to it, so admirable, so mysterious. I was sold on the idea.

I trotted out to the local ranch with much anticipation. As I drove up, I saw smiling, rambunctious youngsters, not the tall, handsome men I had dreamed of. I didn't think anything of it. Sure, there would be the moms with their kids. After all, a lot of folks do learn these skills early in life. But somehow I hadn't been clued in--until I arrived at my class. No joke, there was a room full of 9-year-old girls, some giggly, some demure, some nervous, some boastful. But good gracious, ALL 9-year-olds? So much for Mr. Right!

Then and there I realized lesson number one: Don't pursue any activity, even one you think you will enjoy, with the main motive of meeting an eligible member of the opposite sex. You might be sorely disappointed.

Unfortunately, I forgot that lesson.

About a year later, I got the itch to do some serious hiking, both for the exercise and the opportunity to meet a potential mate. I scanned the Internet for a hiking club in my area. I was thrilled to find one that had reasonable fees and something going on just about every week. Cool, I thought. People in this club like to have fun. I should check it out.

I paid my dues before ever attending a meeting, which was not the wisest thing to do. If I had followed principle number two, which is to always check out a new endeavor in person before spending money, I would have realized that I was headed for another hilarious situation.

Because of recurring sickness and car trouble, I couldn't make the meetings, but I kept up to date by reading the club newsletter. I learned how best to handle bears, read about the various hiking trails open to my adventuresome spirit, and dreamed about venturing off to the club cabin. I also learned this club was responsible for repairing and maintaining portions of the Appalachian trial. Being a nature buff and a conservationist, I was quite impressed with what this club had to offer.

At last, I had a free night and dependable transportation to get to the meeting so that I could sign up for a hike. My roommate looked at my quixotically when I told her I was on my way to a retirement center downtown. I just figured they held their event there because it was cheaper or because it was more centrally located for members or perhaps because they had connections to that community building.

They had connections all right! I walked into the retirement center with several elderly-looking men and women. I thought they might be going to a pottery class, not to the hiking club, since retirement centers have lots of other activities going on simultaneously. Then it happened. I walked into the wooden-floored auditorium and scoped the place -- almost all were gray-haired retirees.

That is when I learned lesson three: Watch for clues that this activity might not be what you expected.

To be fair, I did enjoy a very fascinating story about the antics of polar bears in a remote winter tourist trap in Canada, complete with an old-fashioned slide presentation. Once again, my time wasn't completely wasted. However, I was mortified to be the youngest person there.

As another brilliant idea, I decided to take a vacation to attend a conference in North East, Maryland, to learn about the various personalities. Although I mainly went to improve my work and personal relationships, in the back of my mind, there was that same niggling thought that at last I would come face to face with my future husband. Over dinner, we would discuss what we had learned, discover that our personalities were complementary, and begin a lasting relationship.

I had a fabulous time at the conference meeting some great women and nice married men, enjoying having all my meals cooked for me, and finding pleasure in walking along the bay and praying. But single men... are you kidding?!

I have learned that there is nothing wrong with trying new things; I just need to leave my ulterior motives at home.

When I finally do meet Mr. Right, my guess is it won't be while pursuing my Renaissance lifestyle. Nope. I will be dashing into the video store to pay a late fee, or grabbing a gallon of milk at the grocery store, or getting a prescription filled, and then it will happen. With no makeup on, my hair up in a messy ponytail, and garbed in sweatpants and a T-shirt, I will turn and suddenly lock eyes with Mr. Wonderful. For some inexplicable reason, he will like me just as I am--Renaissance woman or not. All my pursuits and all my efforts won't matter. Now, isn't that the way it is supposed to be?

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