Gather close children, and I shall teach you fake vocabulary. I learned it when I was in China for a year. To understand it, you need to put yourself in my place.
Imagine you are in a foreign country where you don’t speak the language. You run into an American male maybe once a month. Now imagine you have a relatively successful conversation with that male. Obviously you are destined for love and marriage and happily ever after.
I mean, this kind of thought process (positive interaction = til death do us part) can happen to girls under normal circumstances. I have seen few things that better describe the complex infrastructure known as the female mind better than this video, which is wack:
But when you’re in a place like China, and you know 20 American males, tops, you can maybe become, shall we say, very eager to positively evaluate relationship potential, AKA: you desperate. People in my organization had a word for this. They called it, “fence-posting.” As in, you are so sad, you could fall in love with a fence post right now, because, well, it’s there.I thought this was a common term I could teach you, but it’s not anywhere on the interwebs, so now I assume it’s a weird “my organization” thing. Anyway, I have battled Fencepost Syndrome at various times in my life, but today I was realizing I actually battle this EVERY DAY. Except not with boys.
Fence-posting means you are settling for something that, given more options and less sadness, you would normally not settle for. The fence post’s main selling point is that it’s available, not that it’s particularly great. But it’s easier, or more convenient, or more visible. And every day, instead of finding fulfillment in the most glorious, loving Being in the universe, I settle for accomplishment, accolades, or acceptance, to name a few.
Every idol I have is a fencepost. There is something WAY better, and it is in fact available, but I’m too scared, lazy, discouraged, or comfortable to get it. Exhibit A: I run around like a CRAZY person all week between my job and school and homework and projects and appointments and meetings and interviews – and it gives me a certain sense of importance. I must be an important person if I can’t slow down for three seconds to answer that text message from the riff-raff, right? (*Adjusts monocle*)
But at the end of the week I realize I’ve spent zero time praying or reflecting or even thinking about important things, and people try to engage me on deep levels, and I realize I have nothing to give because I put nothing in the tank. And behold! Accomplishment is not a tall, dark, and handsome man like I thought, but a fence post. (Embarrassing.)
But really, most of the time, I know it’s a fence post before I even commit to it. But the beauty of those posts is that they’re so darn available. When will I quit sacrificing the best for good?
As good ole’ Lewis says:
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
And I know I am far, far too easily pleased. I mean, if I can fall in love with a fence post, my standards must be fairly low. So here’s to higher standards and less falling in love with inanimate objects. (Hear hear!)