I’ll never forget my first crush. It was 3rd grad, Ms. Warren’s class at Western Hills Elementary. I can’t say her name here, but man oh man, was she fine. She was the carbon copy of Mariah Carey (when she wasn’t an old has been), albeit 20 years younger. Sadly, although I chased her on the playground for a solid year and gave her a ring I took from my mother’s drawer, she turned down my many lunchroom proposals. Oh well…I guess she wasn’t “the one”.
As we tumble through life’s timeline—from childhood sleepovers, to our first kiss, the first time we get in a fight and get the crap kicked out of us, and on to high school prom, college, and forward—we traverse different journeys. These journeys are not just physical; they’re journeys of ourselves. In a sense, we are different “selves” throughout each of life’s big events. If we could gather all of the different versions of our self from the timeline our life, they may not resemble each other at all. In fact, they might not even like each other all that much. It’s only in retrospect—in looking behind us through the other side of our travels—that we realize just how much we’ve changed.
I have many such versions of myself floating around.
There’s my parents’ Bradley; we’ll call him “Brad A”. He can do no wrong. He’s a good boy but he’s also somewhat immature and wasteful.
Then there’s “Brad B”. That’s my pastor’s Bradley. He’s a tender-hearted young man who has great spiritual potential, but just hasn’t quite tapped into it yet.
Now we have my best friends’ Bradley; that’s “Brad C”. He’s their little brother (although he’s actually 3-4 years older than they are) and I’m willing to bet if they could describe him in one word, it’d be “dork”! My actual brother (who’s 6 years older than me) would agree whole heartedly.
“Brad D”, well he’s the version my co-workers (fellow professional dorks) at the university and my students know. They’d call “Brad D” a player (laughable), and they’d mean it. My ex-girlfriends (the few that actually exist) would disagree, but would throw the word “picky” into the mix.
Of all these groups of people that know these different versions of Bradley Pierce, most would say I’m the coolest, funniest, most good-looking, eligible 28-year-old bachelor they know, and they’re probably right (wiiiiiink!).
The truth is, there’s a little bit of “me” in all of these versions. But, there’s something only a few people know about me that would exclude me from many an A-lister’s cool category—I’m knocking on 30’s big, iron door and I’m (gulp) a virgin.
And when I say “virgin”, I don’t mean the ever-so-popular “technical” kind; I’m talking virgin. Now, I’ve kissed my fair share of lovely ladies, but that’s it. Outside of that? Nothing, nada, zip. It’s all Sexlessville, USA, and I’m the mayor.
The question, of course, is “why?”
Are you some kind of freak?
No, I don’t think so; although I do enjoy a good horror movie now and then. And I do obsess about conspiracy theories, so…
Don’t you like girls? You must be gay.
Those beautiful, cute, adorable little creatures God calls “women” are the bee’s knees. And let me tell you, I’ve been hit on by many a-good looking dudes (maybe they see something I don’t?), but no, I think I would’ve figured that one out by now. I am not gay (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
So what’s the deal? After all the above, why are you still a virgin? Do you even want to be married one day?
Yeah…yeah, I really do. But, I made a choice a long time ago. I told God that I was married to Him, and until He put the lady that was to be my bride in my life and I was sure of it, I’m staying faithful to Him. Oh, I’ve had my battles, believe me. I mean, what 20-something, single, young man hasn’t? I’m not a saint; I’m just an imperfect, messed up version of a 21st century, near 30-year-old virgin.
I’ve lived my life in the “in between” a lot. In between graduating high school and going to college, I went to Bible School—but I soon realized that I wasn’t supposed to be a preacher. In between graduating college and moving out of my parents’ house, I made a pit stop in grad school and got a master’s degree. In between finishing my degree and finding my dream job, I spent a year and a half broke and looking for work. And in between waiting to meet “the one” and falling in love, I’ve had my heart broken a time or two.
I’m still living in that “in between”, but I’m learning each day to let God be enough when I’m living life in the dashes.
So, to all those who have chosen a similar path and aren’t set there by default, remember there’s a God (and another virgin, which is me) out there that loves you and thinks you’re pretty cool, and then some. He thinks you’re awesome, rad, and fearfully and wonderfully made. And He’s got a lot of love letters waiting just for you.
Bradley Pierce is a self-proclaimed movie buff, conspiracy theorist, and English professor. It’s only his participation in the band Knox Hamilton that gives any credibility to his claim of being a proud V card carrier by choice.
And all the single ladies should know that he is not making this a vocation, so if you fee so inclined, he welcomes further questions from those interested. He can be reached by email at Brad_Pierce83@yahoo.com.