Last weekend J and I attended an all day marriage preparation forum at a local Catholic Church. Despite the fact that it was a very nice day full of interesting exercises that helped us learn a lot about one another, what we're most likely to tell you about is the segment on natural family planning, or NFP, as it is affectionately called by those who practice it. The thing is, it makes sense. The girl takes her temperature every morning and studies her cervical mucus. By paying attention to varying factors the married couple figures out when she is ovulating and don't have sex during those days if they don't want to get pregnant, or do have sex then if they do. But let's say you and your beloved have driven to a nice church and are sitting munching on grapes and having your second cup of coffee, all graciously provided by the planners of said event, saying hi to other excited couples and then these two get up there and start to talk about "why we use NFP" and then the male in the couple starts talking about, you know, the mucus, and the female body. Let's just say that happens one innocent Saturday morning. That's a good story.
It's even got some excellent Jesus-Christ-based philosophy which is that, as it states in the Bible, when you make love with your husband or wife you should give your whole self and how can you give your whole self when you are taking a pill that prohibits a fertile egg from being released and prohibits the sperm from getting as far as they'd like.
That's why there are so many couples out there saying "Christ. That was amazing, but you know what? I could really feel the absence of your reproductive seedlings," after they get it on.
I'm being a little hard on it all, really. It was - and I'm not lying - a good day. J and I wrote love letters to one another during one exercise. During another we picked out words from a list of hundreds to describe ourselves, and one another. None of the speakers were boring and a few were really impressive. That's why at the end of it all, when it came time to take the "FOCUS" standardized test, the results of which, unknown to us yet, are haunting me now as I realize we must go over our individual answers together with a church representative in the upcoming weeks(example of FOCUS easy question: I feel I will be uncomfortable nude in front of my future spouse, answer - agree, disagree, or don't know. Difficult question: any that had to do with Jesus Christ), I decided that J and I needed to tell the truth to these nice people. We needed to fill out the special section for cohabitating couples. And we did. And I am ready for the lectures.
We'll be fine, however. One of the most interesting things we learned about during the session was to relate to and comfort one another using our five love languages. We looked at a series of statements and picked one out of two that best described us. "I feel loved when you tell me you are proud of me. vs. I feel loved when you give me a hug." That kind of thing. We both enjoy quality time, it turns out. I like words of affirmation. J likes physical touch. I was glancing over his worksheet during one of the presentations and noticed the entry, "I like it when you sit close to me. vs. I like it when you tell me I am handsome/attractive." J had picked the latter.
My future spouse: I will not feel uncomfortable in any state of undress when I am with you, I'm glad we told Jesus and all the judgmental Catholics the truth about our living situation and I think you are very, very handsome.