23 signs you are a narcissist and men should probably avoid you at all costs…

… Huffington Post never fails to amuse, what with it’s limitless supply of young narcissists. Meet of one of the newest additions to their writing staff, Ms. Vanessa Elizabeth, marriage mocker and travel extraordinaire. Oh, goody.

I’ve been noticing more and more people getting engaged and/or married under the age of 23.

I get it.

It’s cold outside… you want to cuddle and talk about your feelings… life after graduation is a tough transition… so why not just cut to the chase and get married, right? It’s hip. It’s cool. You get to wear clothing that wouldn’t normally be socially acceptable at the dive bar you frequent with the $5 beers. Eff it. YOLO. YOMO! You only marry once…

Oh wait.

The divorce rate for young couples is higher.

Astonishing, isn’t it? Such literary prowess. What follows next is a verbose, self appeasing litany of how “f*cking awesome” she is. She prattles on about being better off than those who “cop out” and get married at a young age, admonishing the reader to “Grow, learn, travel, party, cuddle, read, explore. Do. Freaking. Something… other than “settle down” at 23 with a white picket fence.”

Because getting married means you stop doing all those things. /sarcasm off

Ah, youth. Simple, short sighted youth.

Vanessa’s pièce de résistance; a list of 23 things that are so much more fulfilling and fem-rad rebellious than finding and experiencing self sacrificing love. Because that kind of love is boringly bourgeoisie and gauche. Thanks feminism.

1. Get a passport.

2. Find your “thing.”

3. Make out with a stranger.

4. Adopt a pet.

5. Start a band.

6. Make a cake. Make a second cake. Have your cake and eat it too.

7. Get a tattoo. It’s more permanent than a marriage.

8. Explore a new religion.

9. Start a small business.

10. Cut your hair.

11. Date two people at once and see how long it takes to blow up in your face.

12. Build something with your hands.

13. Accomplish a Pinterest project.

14. Join the Peace Corps.

15. Disappoint your parents.

16. Watch Girls, over and over again.

17. Eat a jar of Nutella in one sitting.

18. Make strangers feel uncomfortable in public places.

19. Sign up for CrossFit.

20. Hangout naked in front of a window.

21. Write your feelings down in a blog.

22. Be selfish.

23. Come with me to the Philippines for Chinese New Year.

Isn’t that precious? And I mean that in the most condescending and patronizing way possible.

You may ask, Katrina, why so harsh? Especially since having admitted to not being much different than her when I was that age. This is true. I wasn’t that much different when I was in college, ages 18-22. By the time I was twenty three; however, I had a job, had been promoted, had my own place, made a livable wage, had maintained long time friendships and forged new ones, moved out of my mom’s house, and was completely self sufficient. Those were healthy markers of adulthood, as opposed to the above self indulgent list.

Now, Vanessa may have accomplished all those things. I don’t know. She doesn’t specifically say. What I do know is that she doesn’t want to get married. Yet. She wants to be young and party. Those are hallmarks of an individual who lacks emotional maturity, someone who puts themselves first, always, no matter what. For her, marriage will come later when she’s tired and bored and all her youth is spent.

Now that, I can relate to having held those same sad ideals at her age. What she doesn’t realize, being short sighted as youth is, is that she won’t stop aging just because she’s decided to delay adulthood a few years or so. She’ll continue to get older till one day she’s almost thirty and realizes a sizable chunk of eligible decent men are already married. She’ll be shocked to learn what her friends have actually accomplished while she was on her decade long vacation. She’ll have had relationships “blow up in her face” while her married friends watch her struggle to maintain one single lasting relationship. They will pity her. I’m sure they already do. As do I. Because I know what fate awaits a young lady who mocks marriage. Ms. Vanessa Elizabeth, this is experience talking. No good will come of this. Even sadder, you are encouraging young girls to follow your shallow vapid lead, declaring it liberation. You know what’s not liberating… the constant emotional turmoil of failed meaningless relationship after failed meaningless relationship.

None of the things that she describes in her list are things that will make you a better person or more attractive to someone who’s looking to get married. Funny stories and anecdotes about crazy hijinks will make for an entertaining first date or so, but beyond that, nothing from that list will make a woman appear to be anything more substantial than just a fling.

The only praise I can muster for her article is that it’s the most perfect example of modern feminism and utter narcissism. It completely illustrates the type of girl serious young men should avoid at all costs. Young, eligible, intelligent young men, do not date this girl (see #11 and #20). Do not date her kind. In fact, share her post with your friends accompanied with that disclaimer. The only place you’ll see more red flags wildly waving about is at a communist party rally. In fact, she’s doing young men a huge favor by taking herself off the marriage market. What you hear is a collective sigh of relief.

And ladies, you are not so special that you can squander your youth and enthusiasm on trivial pursuits and expect there to be a plethora of fine bachelors patiently waiting around to wed you once you return to your senses. The good ones won’t. There are plenty of wonderful women out there for them to choose from, and they will find them, while you’re off “making strangers feel uncomfortable in public” and desperately prancing “naked in front of a window” and “making out with strangers.”

No. What you should be doing at twenty three is establishing yourself as a responsible young adult. You should be growing, not celebrating your bad decisions. Below is my list of twenty three things you should experience or accomplish by the age of twenty three. Notice, not a single one has you sacrificing your dignity and self respect.

1- Join the military or a volunteer organization

2- regularly donate to a charitable organization

3- graduate college with a useful degree, learn a trade, or acquire a marketable skill

4- have a job and keep it for at least a year

5- get at least one raise, one promotion, or some workplace accolade

6- Own grown up clothes and dress like an adult, not a perpetual adolescent

7- become an active member of a church

8- Stop taking money from your parents. Don’t ask for loans or bail. You’re an adult now.

9- Move out of your parent’s house

10- have a lease in your name and fulfill your contractual obligations

11- Purchase and maintain your own vehicle and vehicle insurance without the aide of a co-signer

12- Balance your checkbook and create a budget

13- Open a savings account

14- put aside money from every paycheck, even if it’s just $10 to start

15- Check out your credit score

16- donate blood often

17- every day tell your friends and family you love them

18- Babysit your friend’s children… for free

19- Keep a private journal

20- learn a hobby or try out new ones till you find your passion

21- cancel a date to spend time with a grieving friend of family member

22- Seek and Listen to advice from your elders

23- Make a habit of thanking God daily

These are all worthwhile things that you can do, completely attainable milestones of adulthood, that will make you feel “empowered” in a good way. Things that will make you a better person and a functioning member of society. I guarantee you my list will make your life feel more purposeful and accomplished. The idea is to learn that you are not the center of your own universe while at the same time becoming a healthy, responsible adult… someone worthy of marriage.

Vanessa Elizabeth says most marriages end in divorce. This is why. Because young people refuse to grow up. When narcissistic perpetual adolescents get married it can only end poorly. Marriage at an early age isn’t the problem, marriage at an immature age is. It’s sad reflection on modern young adults when you have to remind them at twenty three they need to start considering the possibility of behaving like adults. Sad indeed.

About Katrina Fernandez

Mackerel Snapping Papist

  • AMoniqueOcampo
  • Alyssa

    Thanks for this response to Vanessa’s list! A friend of mine who is suffering from a broken relationship shared the article from Huff. Post endorsing it emphatically. When I was through reading it, and had recovered from the shock and disgust, I only felt sorry for my friend and her. This is what they think a fulfilled life looks like. I was happily surprised by the comments section where many women,some married young with children, complained of the shallowness of the list.

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      This list speaks to broken, wounded hearts seeking not healing, but revenge. Not revenge on others, but on self. It’s the perfect list to lose one’s self. It may momentarily numb the pain, but, as everything buried in the unconscious, it’ll come out screaming sooner or later.

  • Levin

    Cancel your Rolling Stone subscription.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Rolling Stone hasn’t been culturally relevant in decades.

      • Christian LeBlanc

        So cancel it already.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          Who said I was a subscriber?

  • Dan F.

    Slow clap. …

    here here. My wife and I (about to celebrate our 6th anniversary in another 11 days) got married young (almost 24 and 21 respectively). We’re about to have our 4th baby in June and we started our married life out intending to have children as soon as possible and pretty much doing all of the things on your list. We’re quite happy with our lives thank you very much.

  • Eugene Edward Yeo

    Why would you make out with a stranger?

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      According to what I read in Dawn Eden’s “Thrill of the Chase”, it’s a tactic to break down the resistance of a flirt. In other words, it’s about using another person for one’s own pleasure through manipulation.

      As Bl. John Paul II said, the opposite of loving someone is not hating one, but using one.

    • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

      I’m surprised that’s all she would do. I bet she goes a lot further than that with strnagers.

      • backl_ash

        Comments like this make me sick. Just because someone doesn’t prescribe to the same narrow moral code as you doesn’t give you the right to assume things about them, or even worse slutshame them for behavior you personally wouldn’t indulge in.

        Grow up.

        • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

          If someone jumps into bed with a stranger then they are some slut, and that includes men. If you consider that “narrow moral code” then i would say you’re the one without a moral code. If you indulge in jumping into bed with strangers, then I think you’re the one that needs to grow up.

          • backl_ash

            Yes, because sex is bad and no one should ever, ever, ever have sex outside of marriage.

            Also, my life should be controlled by someone else’s morality that is based on their religion that I don’t prescribe to. That makes perfect sense.

          • Hegesippus

            If you equate Chrstian morality and respect of the person with ‘sex is bad’, the nI suggest that you really need to learn what both Christianity and sex are about.

            Or get reading JP2′s Theology of the Body.

          • backl_ash

            Oh sorry, I forgot that every one in the world is Christian. I also forgot that every Christian sect also believes the exact same thing.

          • Hegesippus

            I responded to your comment making out that Christians see sex as bad.

            I don’t know what relevance your reply has to mine.

            Please try to be accurate about Christianity. Otherwise it is really difficult to have a conversation with someone who is heavily inaccurate with what they say.

            I still recommend ToB.

          • jasonbmiller

            No one EVER said anything about controlling one’s life. We CAN however rationally evaluate the decisions of someone’s life as good or bad. Clinical research shows the trend that those who attend religious services regularly have better sex lives, cohabitation before marriage leads to poorer relationship outcomes, single individuals are more likely to suffer from mental disorder (including early death), and sexual acts outside of a committed relationships are more likely to result in STDs. We have faith AND science on our side. Go ahead and lead the life you want – it is objectively less healthy.

          • backl_ash

            Sex lives:
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-1388827/Atheists-better-sex-religious-followers-plagued-guilt.html

            Cohabitation:
            http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-the-name-love/201303/does-cohabitation-lead-more-divorces

            Mental disorders of what type? That’s a broad brush and without clarification doesn’t seem relevant. Depression? Dementia? Schizophrenia? Bi-Polar disorder? Also, have you ever considered that these people are single because they have a mental disorder?

            As for sex acts out of committed relationships and STDs: Duh. Does a committed relationship = marriage? Nope.

            Keep your faith to yourself.

          • Karen Cain

            No one is forcing you to read Patheos’ Catholic channel. I suggest you find a site with articles you enjoy and which you agree with.

          • backl_ash

            Oh sorry, I didn’t know that I was only allowed to participate in discussions with people who think exactly as I do.

          • Karen Cain

            Well, you don’t sound like somebody who is discussing issues with an open mind. You’ve made your mind up, and you’re just wanting to batter at people here with your opinion until we all cave and agree that Christianity is awful and premarital sex is the way to go. But that’s not going to happen, so I’d suggest you reserve your energy for something more productive. Have a blessed day!

          • enness

            No, but surely you see the irony of coming onto a Catholic site and saying “keep your faith to yourself.”

          • Athelstane

            “Yes, because sex is bad and no one should ever, ever, ever have sex outside of marriage.”

            No to the former. Yes to the latter.

            Sex can be great good, but only in the confines of (traditional, sacramental) marriage.

            Full stop.

          • backl_ash

            That’s a very archaic view, but if that’s how you want to live your life, fine.

            I, and millions of other people throughout the world (billions since the beginning of humanity), don’t believe that and that’s absolutely, ok.

          • Athelstane

            “I, and millions of other people throughout the world (billions since the beginning of humanity), don’t believe that and that’s absolutely, ok.”

            Sure. Until, of course, you end up with a) an unintended pregnancy, b) an STD, or c) an inability to pair-bond as a result of too many sexual partners. But until then – sure, it’s all fun and games.

          • backl_ash

            I love when people who have no idea of “how the other side lives” try to make it out like every single person is morally depraved and idiotic.

            As an adult one should take their sexuality seriously. Having sex before marriage doesn’t mean that a person is carefree and irresponsible. If you chose to have sex with ANYONE it is in your BEST interests to ensure that you are safe and well protected. That’s why birth control exists. That’s why condoms exists.

            If you are immature enough to not have sex with someone you hopefully love, but at the very least trust, then it’s your own fault for putting yourself at risk. I’m 26. I’ve been married and divorced. I’ve never been pregnant, I’ve never had an STD, and I have no problem bonding with anyone. After all, we don’t date or have sex with people that we don’t bond with, right?

            Although there are plenty of people running about touching naughty bits with anyone wiling, there are also plenty of people (of all ages, have you seen the data about STD spread in nursing homes?!) who chose to enter into sexual relationships of their own freewill, responsibly, and more important – happily, because it’s what they want. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

          • Geoffrey Miller

            Most of humanity throughout history except for the privileged minorities of decadent and decaying empires would beg to disagree with you.

            There’s a reason Buddhism, for example, taught against sexual misconduct. It was aimed at a group of people in Hindu society’s upper castes that behaved in much the same way as modern hedonists. They saw themselves as the culmination of history and not subject to the old rules that came before, which they thought obsolete.

            But they’re gone now, and the rules remain. So will it be with your own movement someday. You are the forest fire that destroys and makes way for the ancient teachings to grow and flourish once more. You are not superior to us, you are not new, you are just a part of the natural cycle of things.

          • backl_ash

            Please explain to me how modern day Buddhism is like anything of the past..?

            Yes you’re right, people always revery back to more repressive ways of life. As history has shown. [/sarcasm]

            I think you’d be surprised by how many people engage in “sexual misconduct”, but keep it hush hush etc.

            My dad was a pastor and always gave us age appropriate sex talks and told us about what was right and wrong and good and bad and how sexual partners should treat you. It’s why when I was 15 I dumped my first boyfriend (who I was SO in love with, might I add). He tried EVERYTHING. “If you love me, we’ll have sex” etc etc.

            I waited until I was comfortable and not pressured and have always been careful in the partners I’ve chosen.

            However, my best friend at 13 lost her virginity to her 17 year old step-brother, get this: without even knowing what sex was. Literally, her parents never talked to her about it, because it was too touchy a subject.

            You CAN have sex responsibly outside of marriage. You CAN love outside of marriage, as in before you meet the person that you marry. The idea of waiting for THE ONE is asinine.

          • Geoffrey Miller

            The idea that your self even exists apart from others is asinine. You are living in a delusion. How you treat others defines and creates who you are. Life is about discovering meaningful, lasting relationships, exploring the world, and overcoming obstacles together. It is about finding what is eternal and learning to let go of what is fleeting. And there is nothing more fleeting than the self.

            You want to be happy. But the way you are pursuing pleasure will only lead to sorrow. Countless others have tried it before you and have come to ruin. The rules you despise stand as their testimony and warning to save you from the same pain.

          • backl_ash

            I never claimed that I lived apart from others…

            I’ve had plenty of lasting relationships with people. Family, friends, ex’s, co-workers, mentors, etc. At what point does sex outside of marriage = thinking you don’t exist with others???

            Do you really think that you CAN’T exist in conjunction with others if you have premarital sex?

            Are relationships only meaningful if they last forever? I’m sure you were not a perfect partner the first time you had a significant other. Probably not even the second or third. Meaningful relationships change you for the better and you should be thankful for everyone you’ve had whether or not sex was involved.

            These things you say, exploring the world, overcoming obstacles, are they only important if you do them with your lifelong partner? I’ve had adventures with my best friends and roommates and siblings I wouldn’t give up for the world!

            Do you seriously think that the growth you have as an individual is “fleeting”? That seems like a horrible way to live and horrible way to view yourself.

            I love myself! I love what a great daughter I am. I love what a great sister I am. I love that my boss and co-workers value my opinion and appreciate me. I love that my boyfriend adores me and I him. I wouldn’t be the person I am without the lasting effect of all the people who’ve touched my life.

            To think those experiences are invaluable or pale in comparison to experiences shared with my spouse actually hurts to think about.

          • Geoffrey Miller

            I have said nothing about sex outside of marriage. Many people have had that. Most come to view it as a mistake later on. What I am saying is that you are giving the impression that you are living for self above others. And that will only lead to ruin for you.

          • backl_ash

            I have no idea how you would get that impression from anything that I’ve said, but I assure you it’s not true. And while “many” regret it, they are “many” who don’t.

          • enness

            Translation: “I am better than both the virgins and those sluts. Especially my friend.”

            Am I wrong? The more I hear, the less I like.

          • Nan

            How are condoms not birth control? We have birth control to separate sex from procreation, which is its function. Separating the two is a huge mistake.

          • backl_ash

            I feel sorry for anyone who doesn’t have sex for fun whether it’s solely within the confines of marriage or not. I could never stand to be with someone who wouldn’t do the most intimate of things for 99.9% of our lives together. That’s horrendous.

          • Nan

            To open oneself to the most intimate of things with anyone other than one’s spouse is horrendous. I feel sorry for anyone who does.

          • enness

            Is this pity or contempt? Really taking the high ground here…

          • enness

            Oh, I believe they may think they are being responsible, because that’s what a couple generations have been taught. But if you truly love someone, what amount of putting their well-being at unnecessary risk is acceptable? Actions speak louder than words.
            By way of analogy, which is probably not perfect, but few are: imagine your partner comes to you with your morning coffee one day and says, “You know honey, I am 99% sure what I grabbed from the shelf was coffee creamer, but it might have been pesticide. It’s probably fine,” what would your reaction be?

            Also, I love the judgmental terms you use while trying to defend people who are within the bounds of behavior you approve. “Immature enough…” “It’s their own fault…” Wow! So you *do* have your own system for determining who is moral and who isn’t. What exactly makes your system superior, again? :)

            “I’m 26. I’ve been married and divorced. I’ve never been pregnant, I’ve never had an STD”
            Consider yourself lucky. You have a lot of life left ahead of you and there’s a first time for everything. Pro tip: you may already know this, but not all STDs produce symptoms and not all of them have tests.

          • LisaTwaronite

            “Any inability to pair-bond as a result of too many sexual partners?” So there’s no hope for sluts like me? Great, I can give up and just have myself some fun!

            Seriously — if someone grows weary of sexual experimentation, or falls in love with one person, or discovers religion and decides to embark on a different way of living, it is never “too late” to “pair-bond.”

            There are people — like you, apparently — who believe that “once a slut. always a slut” applies. (It’s also true that some of us will always be “sluts” because we view it as a mind-set, not a lifestyle.) The reality is that the vast majority of human beings are capable of changing their behavior, as they see fit.

          • enness

            I do not believe any such situation is hopeless. People can, however, make things harder for themselves. People can change their behavior, but ask anybody who has tried to quit smoking several times how easy it is.

          • TMM

            You’re falsely assuming that safe, responsible, protected sex with a single partner outside of a marriage automatically leads to the things you mention: an unintended pregnancy, an STD, or an inability to pair-bond as a result of too many sexual partners. She’s talking about sex with one partner outside of marriage. Are you actually saying that it’s the power of the sacrament of marriage that protects people from those things?

          • enness

            Not automatically, but it certainly can, and if that person is not willing to marry you then what’s stopping him or her from leaving when the fun’s over?
            The grace of the sacraments is extremely salutary to say the least, but I also think there’s something to the legal and social stigma aspects of ditching a spouse who has become inconvenient, or screwing around. I don’t think all stigma is inappropriate.

          • Joyfully

            Well a billion do share that belief.

            Why on earth, when there are “billions since the beginning of humanity” who think like you do you chase down a post on a Catholic blog site and spend dayz insluting Christian moral teaching?

            You’re like an angry little ball of hate. Not surprising you’re divorced at 26.

          • backl_ash

            Well thanks for the insult that adds to intelligent discourse.

            I was divorced at 22 because we were dumb enough to let our families convince us that we HAD to get married. If we had never been married we just would’ve broken up as people do every single day. We are still great friends. We live in different states and haven’t been married for almost five years we still communicate sporadically. Dumb choices were made by both of us and we definitely didn’t stand up for ourselves like we should’ve and not gotten married (like neither of us wanted).

            I’m not sure if you know how the internet works, but sometimes people share things on social media. Sometimes I see those things. Sometimes I comment on those things. Like now. If you have a problem with that… stay off the internet?

          • enness

            I’m sorry the other commenter goaded you into telling personal stuff. Why you divorced is not any of our business.
            Since you explained, though, this is why I would really like to see premarital counseling become mainstream. In the Catholic Church a six-month course of preparation is very standard. From what I understand, the quality may still vary because it’s individually run, but hopefully it provides some benefit.

          • enness

            Hey, that is below the belt.

          • TMM

            (She was being sarcastic, but, hey, both sides are making some pretty stupid arguments, fallacies, and accusations). Anyways, no wonder some young Christians get married in their early 20′s if they believe sex outside a marriage is such a forbidden, horrible and “sinful” thing. The temptation must be tremendous! Sex is the most natural human urge when two people are in love outside of a “traditional, sacramental marriage” (as you see it). Those people should not feel shame or remorse for having safe, responsible sex with a person they love.

          • enness

            I agree with some of what you said above, but I think I could argue that sex outside marriage and true responsibility are mutually exclusive. For one thing, the persons who do this are communicating to each other that they don’t care enough not to risk making someone a mother or father without the stability and the support system of marriage in place. That’s pretty unfair.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            You’re free to do whatever you want. I’m free to have a personal opinion of your actions and your character.

          • backl_ash

            By all means, but it’d be foolish to let that opinion get in the way of viewing the good in people. If you and I have different morale codes, it would not be fair to use one or the other to judge both of us by.

            I could totally say, “Ugh, Manny is such a prude, I don’t wanna hang out with that guy/gal!” But, I might miss the opportunity to know a really great person for all I know! To dismiss someone because they behave differently than you is so silly.

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            LOL, where did I say i would shun you? I’m sure you’re a very interesting person.

          • backl_ash

            The implication that you would judge someone and that your personal opinion of them would be negative says a lot. Why would you chose to hang out with someone that you had a negative opinion of?

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            Well, I choose to not hang out with people I admire. Shuning is different than “not hanging out.” There are lots of people I choose to not hang out with.

          • backl_ash

            And I never said that you would shun anyone. That was your own word choice :)

          • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

            LOL, Oh backl-ash (what does that name mean?) you’re ok. I wouldn’t mind hanging out with you. Peace be with you.

          • Nan

            Unless you find someone whose mores are exactly like yours, yes, your life will be affected by someone else’s religion. Happens all the time. We’re called to be chaste unless married.

          • backl_ash

            My boyfriend and I are both atheists. Luckily, I don’t have to worry about superstitions ruining our lives. Who exactly is “we”. And what exactly is “chaste”. Different religions have defined chastity and *gag* “modesty” in so many different ways. If you choose to be chaste, by all means do so. Just know that’s it’s not your right to judge anyone who doesn’t believe what you believe.

          • enness

            Superstitions like objective health and happiness?

            To be honest, explaining what chastity is is harder than explaining what it isn’t. It’s kind of like explaining what’s so great about a beautiful song when someone doesn’t yet see what is so great about music. Maybe I would say it is the selfless, sacrificial love of Christ on the cross taken to its logical conclusion in our human relationships; it means not using people, when it is so easy to do. It’s a heroic thing. What it isn’t is frigidity.
            To that point, there is a great article called “The Revenge of the Church Ladies.” I believe a search engine will turn up those words.

          • enness

            “Yes, because sex is bad and no one should ever, ever, ever have sex outside of marriage.”

            I didn’t totally agree with the comment you were responding to, but it doesn’t take a genius to see you’re putting words in Manny’s mouth.

            Believe it or not, it isn’t about control, it is about common sense. Sleeping with strangers is a bit like playing Russian Roulette, something that responsible people — people who respect themselves and their bodies, and who do not see other humans as playthings — eschew. Play with matches, get burned. Some people are determined to learn this the hard way; those who are wise do not have to.

        • AnneG

          Backl_ash, “some narrow moral code”? You mean the code that built society and makes stable countries and cultures that are productive? Because why? So you can party? Manny’s comment may not be charitable, but is it likely to be wrong? Just what do you gain, in the 50 year rule or even the 10 year rule from making out with a stranger, dating 2 people at once or even a tattoo, or most of the other things on this list? You are the one who needs to grow up if you think this adds anything to anyone in the long run. As someone who is on the over the hill side of life, I can honestly say that Vanessa’s goals are mostly narcissistic, selfish and going to amount to nothing. We are each going to die, but I hope I die remembering my loving family, not some party I’ve forgotten about. I hope you and Vanessa do the same, and find God in the process, because death, judgment, heaven or hell are the only sure things you can look forward to.

          • backl_ash

            It’s insane to me that people are like: “I don’t like XYZ, so it’s wrong!”

            I don’t even agree with everything in the first list, but to say that someone who wants to party etc is short-sighted and narcissistic is bs.

            “Just what do you gain, in the 50 year rule or even the 10 year rule from making out with a stranger”

            Um, whatever you want? A second of excitement. What do you lose? If you date a man for two weeks and in that time you make out with him, in 50 years, what have you gained or lost? The same goes for a stranger.

            “dating 2 people at once or even a tattoo,”

            I think people have a bad concept of what “dating 2 people at once” means. I have gone on dates with multiple men in a week or two’s time. Just because you go see a movie on Tuesday with Tom, doesn’t mean you can’t go bowling with Tim on Wednesday. The entire point of dating is to figure out what type of person you want to be with. You can’t figure that out by dating someone and going, “Well this is pretty cool, so I guess I’ll just marry him!”

            As to tattoos. I have 4. They all mean something to me, were well thought out over the period of years, and applied by great artists. I LOVE them. They represent who I am and what I love. My body is a canvas and I’ll do whatever it is I like with it.

            Also, I’m an atheist, I’ve purposely left gods (all of them) behind.

          • JoeWetterling

            You are guilty of the reverse error, here. “I don’t like XYZ, so it’s wrong” is incorrect. Likewise, “I like XYZ, so it’s right” is also incorrect.

            Also, if you read #11 carefully, you’ll see an implication there. “Until it blows up in your face” Why would it blow up? Only if they both think you’re just with them and lying about it. #11 isn’t suggesting you date different people; it’s suggesting you lead them on. That’s the only reading that seems to cover the “blow up” part.
            So if you’re going to fulfill #11, you have to tell Tim that “oh, no, we’re exclusive honey” even though you were at the movies with Tom. And that *is* wrong – regardless of how it feels.

          • backl_ash

            Nope. There is just a time limit on how long you can date two people before making a choice. Dating doesn’t mean, living with, having sex with, etc. It just means dating. Obviously, I would just be honest with someone and say, “I’m actively dating and you may not be the only person I’m socializing with, if you don’t like that just let me know and I’ll be on my merry way.” But, some people choose not to and that’s their choice. Eventually, if they’re not careful, they’ll be forced to make that choice. Which could be hard or maybe both people they’re dating are so angry at the deception that they both disappear. Whatever.

            I have never once gone on a first date and been “exclusive” with someone. I have gone on multiple dates with Guy A while also going on multiple dates with Guy B and they both were aware that I was seeing someone else casually. Then I made a choice and informed both of who I had chosen and all was well. That’s perfectly fine and normal.

          • enness

            “Whatever”? Really? That’s your reaction to extremely manipulative behavior?

          • JoeWetterling

            I think you missed my point about the “blowing up in your face” part — because your response *agrees* with what I said. You would tell both of them you were seeing someone casually, and you would break it off with one when you chose the other. You also noted that “date” doesn’t mean “have sex with”. That sounds about right.

            In the article, the author commends having it “blow up in your face”. So I ask, why would it blow up? It suggests that something is going on other than what you described, because I don’t see how (assuming reasonable people) what you sketched out would blow up.

            That expression suggests she means something else.

          • backl_ash

            And you’re saying something I’m not. I’m not saying “I like XYZ, so it’s right” I’m saying “I like XYZ and it’s not your place or your right to condemn my behavior just because you don’t like it.” You’re more than welcome to do as you please, as am I.

          • enness

            Ahem…I am not aware of any Catholic moral teaching that getting a tattoo is inherently wrong. Whether getting a tattoo is a major life goal is a different question. But let’s talk about this idea of doing whatever we want to out bodies: at some point, your body itself may have very different ideas about what you should be doing to it. My body is currently repaying me for drinking too much coffee, not getting enough sleep and eating late at night. Our bodies deserve respect from us, no? They are not actually mannequins that we can slap around like Buster from Mythbusters. ;)

            Second, if we had a bad impression if the idea of dating more than one person at once, it’s because the original article gave it to us. “See how long it takes to blow up in your face” — the part you left out — implies dishonesty and sabotage from the get-go. I don’t agree with dating someone with that end goal, or using somebody for a fleeting physical thrill, because other people and their emotions are not a toy. In fact, I’d say that the goal of dating is to find one’s spouse. Some people may, in fact, achieve that on the first try (don’t make a face…not everything has to be learned first hand; you can learn a lot by observing other people). Others might take a while. The success of the relationship doesn’t necessarily depend on how “experienced” a dater you are. Think about it: if you date a lot of people and stay with none of them, you practice breaking up. A lot. As they say in my field, “practice doesn’t make perfect, it makes permanent.”

            Finally, I’m curious, how does one “leave behind” anything that purportedly does not exist?

          • backl_ash

            Also, since when were friends not family? Family also consists of the people you choose to have in your life. I have a large and ever growing family that I cherish and love. And sure we party together, but we also have puppy play dates, and pot luck dinners, and baby showers, and weddings together. Love is not solely for people who think and feel like you.

          • enness

            These people may be “like family,” but you can’t choose the people who are related to you by blood. If they were the same thing, we wouldn’t have two different words to describe them. There’s also some merit to learning how to get along with those people we didn’t hand-pick to be in our lives.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          Shame all the sluts!

          • backl_ash

            So what exactly is a “slut” to you?

            Sex before marriage once? Multiple times with one partner? Once with multiple different partners?

            What about divorcees? Can they have sex without being “condemned”. Widows?

            The fact that someone else is somewhere being offended by someone else’s sex life is hilarious to me.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

            The fact that someone somewhere is being offended by a comment is hilarious to me.

          • backl_ash

            That’s a very mature way to add to a thoughtful, adult conversation while also avoiding the question.

            While I am not offended by your comment because you’re just some stranger on the internet, I hope that one day you’ll consider that your judgement of others and hurtful things that you say about someones lifestyle CAN have a negative impact on another person.

            If you want to live selflessly, you should apply that to your fellow man and realize that people make decisions that you don’t agree with and that’s ok. No matter how someone lives their life it is important to treat all people with respect and to never do something willingly to harm someone. I hope that you do in fact take that lesson to heart and stop using language to deride another person, and more importantly, another woman.

          • Hegesippus

            If you make up morals as you go along, then they are not really morals. More like playtime rules made up by children. If decision-making is not pinned down by a moral code of rights and responsibilities, then it becomes a free-for-all. Then society crumbles.

          • backl_ash

            What a silly slippery slope argument.

            So who’s morals are right? Mormons? Catholics? Jews? Muslims? Atheists? Diests?

            At some point you have to learn that different people base their morality on different things.

          • fredx2

            All of those share basic ideas about morality. You will notice that no religion or major moral code has ever adopted your ideas; probably because they don’t work.

          • Hegesippus

            You have not responded to what I said.

            If you make up morals arbitrarily, then you will soon have vast problems, like we have in today’s society. No one can trust the law as it seems to be determined at times by fashion.

            However, you decide to explore whose morals. One set of morals would be a good start. Not just an ever-changing mush.

            With a Christian background to society in the West, it seems that it would be worth exploring these, partly as some of them still remain among the new fashions. After all, they built the society, which others have taken advantage of in order to tear it back down again. Free speech and responsibility go hand in hand, not free speech and a free for all.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

            If I wanted to live selfishly than I would be living by Vanessa Elizabeth’s list… the one you are strongly supporting.

          • backl_ash

            Again a non-response.

            But, you are living selfishly. You’re living as if your way is the ONLY way. That it is your right and duty to condemn and hurt others. You in fact seem to take some happiness in doing so. If that’s not selfish, what is?

          • fredx2

            You don’t see that you have been condeming traditional morality, marriage, having children etc etc?

          • enness

            Not the only way, but arguably the best way. Not everyone will have a good motive for arguing it, but some of us really would like to spare you the trouble of finding this out belatedly on your own, and that’s not selfish at all.

          • Nan

            But your comments are derogatory to those who follow Christ’s teaching and morality and you seem to think that’s okay. If you’re a pastor’s daughter, assuming the church in which you were raised had actual Christian doctrine, then you know that the two shall become one.

          • backl_ash

            Though I was a pastor’s daughter, I’m an atheist now. My comments aren’t derogatory to anyone. If you are offended because my beliefs are different than yours, there’s not much I can do about that, but please note that I’m not personally attacking anyone.

          • Nan

            Attacking Judeo-Christian values is attacking many.

          • enness

            Haha…heh…scroll back up and re-examine how you described your “best friend.” I wouldn’t want to be your enemy.

          • enness

            Your comments about maturity, judgment, and hurtfulness are lost in light of your not realizing that KF was being facetious. i know this is the internet and text has no tone, but I’m not even a regular reader here and I picked that up.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            All of the above.

          • Terry

            It seems to me that condemning condemnation is still condemning.

          • backl_ash

            “Let he without sin cast the first stone.”

            Right, of course it is.

          • Terry

            Not throwing stones (or without sin for that matter), but I thought it might be helpful to bring up that you seem to be holding a belief that contradicts itself. This is never a good indicator that what is held is true. Do you value truth (and I’m not being sarcastic here)? And if so, what would you say is truth? And how do you come to know it?

          • backl_ash

            Theistic discussions are always fun because I say, I value truth. I hold myself to such a strict standard of truth that I do not believe anything to be fact without being able to see undeniable proof.

            To which most theists say, “Well -I- know the Bible is true. And I know -my- god to be true because I have seen and him and felt his presence.”

            Which obviously at that point all I can say “Oh. Ok.” No one can ever prove it, so there’s no point in arguing.

          • Terry

            So then, what is your criteria for undeniable proof? Is it sensory experience (as you have said that you need to be able to “see” it)? I mean, does something need to be proved using the scientific method before you’ll believe it? You said that you “say you value truth” and not that “you value truth” is this because you can scientifically prove the former and not the latter? I am wondering because I have thought about this some and I have come to believe that this line of thinking ends up making life meaningless and absurd. I do not think I can prove (scientifically) my love for my wife and children, my mother, my father, ect… nor their love for me. I do not think I can prove scientifically most of what they tell me about themselves (their thoughts, feelings, personal experiences, etc). I also do not think I can prove the underlying principals of the scientific method, which is, that truth exists, that the scientific method can help us to know what it is, and that our senses actually correspond to reality and aren’t just appearing to do so to our brains. Don’t get me wrong, I believe in science and our ability to know and love (and God for that matter). It seems to me that this idea is next to impossible to practically apply and if you did consistently apply it, and followed it to its end, it makes life absurd and in the end, a horror. You wouldn’t even respond to this post because have not yet proven that I exist. I do hope, however, that you believe I do and that you will.

          • backl_ash

            Undeniable proof are facts that can be observed or are extrapolated from known facts using verifiable methods.

            Yes, I don’t accept anything as fact without evidence to support it. I think yo misunderstand what I was saying because of lack of quotation marks. Mayhaps this will help:

            [...] I say, “I value truth [...] without being able to see undeniable proof.”

            I think this gives life more meaningful and less absurd. For instance, if I gave value to every myth that existed what meaning would I base life on? Should I use the morals of old Greek myths? What about some tribes in the bush of Africa? Native Americans? How do I know that any of it is “true” or how do I know it’s NOT true. Obviously, if I take every myth as fact I’ll be inundated with contradictory fables and morals that would make practicing all of them impossible. If I say, “OK fine, I’ll accept the most factual moral code as true.” How do I evaluate them? Do I just listen to people who believe and take which one is most convincing? That means that I’m just basing my life on how persuasive another human is. No thanks, I will base my life on pure facts and nothing else. It adds more meaning by KNOWING for CERTAIN something is true.

            Also, you CAN prove emotions. Release of endorphins and other biological factors, not to mention what you can see with your own eyes. If you love someone you treat them well. If you told me that you loved your son and I saw you punch him in the face for no reason, I wouldn’t believe you. If I saw you dedicating your life to making his better, I would. While that’s a very simple example, you get the point, but obviously scientific evidence is better in regards to relief of endorphins, heartbeat, etc.

            You can also prove scientifically things that others say. If your mom told you that she born in Milwaukee, there (hopefully) would be record of her birth that could be researched etc. What’s more important is that you can’t change fact. Whether you can prove it or not, facts are facts. In regards to religion, this is what’s so screwed up: none of the things that are the foundation of religion have any root in the collection of human knowledge. If your mother told you that once she owned a poodle, there is nothing extraordinary about that fact that would make you think she was lying. After all, poodles exist. She exists. People keep poodles as pets. If she told you that she turned water into wine with a touch of her finger, would you believe her? Why not? Because it’s impossible. If she told you that once her great aunt died, but rose from the grave three days later, would you believe her? Why not?

            The scientific method has been applied to things over and over and over again and held up to the test of time for THOUSANDS of years. Whether or not “our senses correspond to reality and aren’t just appearing to do so to our brains” is irrelevant because even IF that were the case that’s the world that we know and have based knowledge on. It makes no sense to base how we live on a system of “knowledge” that doesn’t correspond to what our brains perceive as truth even if that perception is wrong.

            “Well, we know that a train traveling at X MPH takes X feet to stop completely, but what if our brains are perceiving that wrong? Lets just go ahead and put the crosswalks 40 feet shy of what we can observe the distance should be.”

            Do you see how silly that is?

            It is absurd to me that people base their reality on knowledge they can’t prove. Especially when that knowledge has been proven to be ridiculous. Look at all the ridiculous things that the bible has gotten wrong. Look at all the atrocities that have been committed in the name of god.

            The bible got some of the most basic moral questions wrong.

            Can we own people? According to the bible, yes.
            Are men and women equal? According to the bible, no.
            Is rape ok if you pay a fine to a woman’s husband or father? According to the bible, yes.

            And this is what people choose to base their morals on?

          • enness

            “For instance, if I gave value to every myth that existed what meaning would I base life on?”

            I think you mean ‘credence’; there may be value in them, whether you believe them or not. That said, I don’t give credence to everything, either. I was not raised to be a sucker. ;)

            “Should I use the morals of old Greek myths? What about some tribes in the bush of Africa? Native Americans? How do I know that any of it is “true” or how do I know it’s NOT true. Obviously, if I take every myth as fact I’ll be inundated with contradictory fables and morals that would make practicing all of them impossible. If I say, “OK fine, I’ll accept the most factual moral code as true.” How do I evaluate them? Do I just listen to people who believe and take which one is most convincing?”

            Are you asking how to use logic and common sense? The former, there are probably classes offered for that. The latter, I’m not sure anything can help with. People say that Thomas Aquinas is a good resource (honestly, I haven’t read him and it doesn’t bother me that much). Would it be terrible to go with the most convincing idea? Isn’t that something we do all the time?

            “If your mother told you that once she owned a poodle, there is nothing extraordinary about that fact that would make you think she was lying. After all, poodles exist. She exists. People keep poodles as pets. If she told you that she turned water into wine with a touch of her finger, would you believe her? Why not? Because it’s impossible”

            No, because you personally have never seen it. As the kid in The Santa Clause points out, most of us have never seen a million dollars. That doesn’t make a million dollars impossible. (Don’t get me started on Santa Claus — he was based on a real person!)

            “Look at all the atrocities that have been committed in the name of god.”

            If they committed atrocities in your name, you’d know they didn’t represent you, right?

            “Can we own people? According to the bible, yes.
            Are men and women equal? According to the bible, no.
            Is rape ok if you pay a fine to a woman’s husband or father? According to the bible, yes.”

            My dear, you’re a-cherry-pickin’. The reading just from this past weekend was the one that starts, “Truly, I see that God shows no partiality.” That can be plugged into a search engine too if you really want. How do we sort it all out? Well, the Catholic believes that Jesus gave certain authority to humans to do this. They’re not perfect, but if he had no confidence in them he wouldn’t have done that. Priests don’t become priests overnight; they typically do so after several grueling years of study, something your average layperson doesn’t do. I’m not saying take everything a layperson tells you critically, or that a priest tells you uncritically, but when in doubt, go with the ordained scholar.

          • enness

            Quick question, have you seen tectonic plates?

          • LisaTwaronite

            Oh, come on, some of us sluts are okay.

          • James H, London

            Sing it, sister!

            Mz Backlash thinks just because she’s made mistakes, others should too…

        • RPTMS

          So, it’s against your moral code to assume things about people, even if those assumptions are entirely logical.

          • backl_ash

            I do not make character assessments of an individual based on their sex life. I sincerely hope you’re not implying that it’s ok to think, “Well, so-and-so made out with a stranger, so I bet she sleeps with anyone who looks at her twice.”

          • James H, London

            “I do not make character assessments of an individual based on their sex life.”

            Wait, what? That’s one of the truest indications of character there is. If you can’t respect the bounds of experience, you’re frankly sh*te marriage material.

          • Nan

            But you do as you’re negative about those who choose to get married before having sex.

          • backl_ash

            Absolutely not. I never said that waiting til marriage was wrong. I said condemning those who don’t wait is.

          • enness

            Yes, it’s wrong. Treating their actions critically isn’t necessarily if it is done charitably. Sometimes, that is precisely what a good friend does.

        • Eugene Edward Yeo

          What exactly is it to “slutshame”, and why is this such a wrong?

  • Tony G. Pizza

    This is a little harsh. People have the right to make foolish small decisions as part of a learning process to avoid a foolish large one.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      I don’t think making out with strangers or having multiple relationships at the same time just for lols is mere harmless folly. She is placing her self at risk of physical harm and advocating using people for her own gratification.

      And yes, it is harsh. A harsh reality that she and the young people who praise her need to read. Self destructive selfishness is not being free spirited of liberating.

      • Tony G. Pizza

        it’s a long list, and I agree making out with strangers and especially checking out a new religion are not steps I would take or did take when I was 23. But making out with strangers, using and being used by people, along with larger aims like joining the Peace Corps, are part of the self-discovery process. Be fair with her, she is not endorsing drug use, or binge drinking, or texting while driving and certainly not full-blown sex. And again, I am not saying these things are right. But being 23 years old (which granted is younger than it used to be) is about discovering yourself and your limits before seeing what you have to give to the world at large and to someone else.
        Knowing thyself is a trial and error process. You could use people, but then you will also be used and feel that pain and learn that lesson. Maturity is a journey not a destination, and when you get there you will never be allowed to leave.

        • Faithr

          No, no, no! As the mother of a 23 year old woman, 23 is not about being able to sin cuz you’re young and don’t know any better. You don’t have to be self-indulgent and sinful to ‘find yourself’ whatever the crap that means. Geez, what stupid Hollywood talk is that??? No, 23 is about growing in wisdom and virtue, just like every other age is about. You don’t get a free pass to be shallow and self-absorbed because you are 23.

          • Tony G. Pizza

            Faithr, YES, YES, YES! “Finding yourself” is not crap or Hollywood talk. It is a process to see where you fit in the world and how you can best serve it and survive it. Father, you are right saying the lesson of hurting people is to stop hurting people. But seriously, how many of us were fortunate enough to learn that lesson from our elders instead of taking the harder road of experience? We often learn from our own pain. Ms. Fernandez looked only at sin points on this list and justifiably criticized them (with hammer rather than scalpel, but that’s neither here nor there.) Starting a band or joining the Peace Corps is about working together as a team. Starting a business or (ugh) getting a tattoo are parts of establishing personal brand identity. Self-discovery is not a sin. It is a forging process which, when finished, allows you to serve the world.

          • enness

            “Personal brand identity”? What am I, Pepsi?

            “Self-discovery is not a sin.”

            That depends, now, doesn’t it? Sin is sin. If you sin on the way to discovering yourself, you do not receive a get-out-of-confession-free card.

            Last but not least: the World is not Whom I serve.

          • Tony G. Pizza

            Enness, ultimately by serving the world, especially its most vulnerable, you serve God. It is not wrong to speak of personal brand identity because it is a recognition of your strengths and talents. Unfortunately, sin is part of that journey (the “disappointing your parents” line probably fits in here). But there is reconciliation, not only (but primarily) through the Church, but also from realizing taking the road least traveled by made all the difference in the kind of person you are and want to be. I am saying, ALL I am saying, is a balanced life consists of items on both these lists and Ms. Fernandez’s hard tone sounds petulant.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            Your tone sounds condescending. The road less traveled in this day and age can be found in Katrina’s list, while the wide open road to damnation, in the Post’s list.

          • Faithr

            We don’t have to go out of our way and make a shallow little bucket list full of silly nonsense like bake a cake, bake two cakes have your cake and eat it too. This list is a path to a lot of pain because it is all about self-indulgence which is NOT finding yourself. Pain happens in life. That’s a fact. Everyone will make mistakes, we don’t have to revel in them! I wonder how many 23 year olds you happen to know? Sounds like you are being wistfully nostalgic about your own mistakes. My 23 year old would like to ‘cop out’ and get married to her boyfriend right now. But they have no money. Right now they are living the experience of sacrifice and having to plan long term. Yet, somehow, they still seem to be having full lives, lots of friends, busy with work and grad school, They seem to be having a very good time without resorting to silliness. You don’t have find yourself if God is at the center. You do have to discern his will for you though. That’s a life long process. And sin, the thing that is most untrue to yourself is not freedom, but shackles. One thing that made me chuckle in this list is the donate blood and then later get a tattoo. Did you know if you get a tattoo you can’t give blood for 6 mos to 1 year. Yeah, all those people with tattoos all over themselves – they never donate blood. Also people who join the Peace Corps? Often go to countries where they have diseases that prohibit the donation of blood. So she’s got some mutually exclusive stuff on there and if she had ever donated blood herself? She would know these things. This woman should not be handing out advice to anybody.

          • Tony G. Pizza

            Faithr, I know a 21 year old (my daughter) and many of her friends, which is pretty close. I have not forgotten my mistakes at 23 and older, I like to think I learned from them and can make my peace with them looking back. I do not think Huffington Post meant this as a definitive list anyone should follow one point after another, but to set a tone to enjoying the moment, learning from the missteps, and finding yourself a better for discovering your strengths and how you can best serve in roles you may be assigned in later life. Life is not completely about assimilation although it is a necessary part. Silliness and (again, minor) mistakes are among the few things we can call our own. The path to a successful fulfilling life lies between HP and Ms. Fernandez’s lists.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            In no way the list in the Post is about learning anything or discovering one’s strengths, much less to serve. It’s all about selfishness, nihilism and narcissism The items are celebrated, not as steps to something beyond them, much less contrary to them, but as an end in themselves.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            Besides, all tattoos, no matter how colorful when fresh, fade into a bile green blur in a few years, way before a marriage is over in average.

        • Fr. Denis Lemieux

          It seems to me after 47 years on this earth and countless hours of priestly ministry to a wide variety of people, that the only thing we learn from behaving badly (and using people is, in my view, just about the worst behaviour you can have short of killing people), is to STOP BEHAVING BADLY. And, you know, we could learn that lesson by, geeidunno, being humble enough to learn from our elders and the shared moral wisdom of humanity. It ain’t necessarily a ‘learn by doing’ kind of thing. Just a thought.

        • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

          She’s not directly endorsing those extreme things, but she’s endorsing an attitude and way of life that leads to those things. For we get bored soon and if we are encouraged to seek fleeting pleasures, soon they don’t satisfy anymore and we will vainly seek other more daring and even extreme pleasures. This are the 23 steps to a life of dissolution, doom and gloom.

    • Romulus

      OK, here are some foolish decisions to add to the list:

      Commit a crime just for the thrill of it.
      Develop a drug habit.
      Have an affair with a minor.
      Experience the rush that comes with totally dominating someone and reducing him to your will.
      Experiment with the occult.
      Be a sex worker.
      Come to work drunk.
      Drive really, really fast.

      All guaranteed to be great learning experiences.

      • Tony G. Pizza

        Romolus, did you even read what I wrote? I emphasized MINOR mistakes, not the perverse crimes you mention here and I even disagree with the most extreme cases in the HP post. Those lessons, you hope, come LONG before someone turns 23! And you are right, they are learning experiences but the lessons learned come at a high, brutal price. How in heck do you equate eating a jar of Nutella with this?! It is the condemning, harsh tone of Katrina’s article I object to, and still do. But compared to the posters she’s been a princess! May be time to join your brother at the she-wolf’s for lunch.

  • Brandy Miller

    My husband and I got married on my 19th birthday. He was 20. That marriage, and the child that followed the year after, were the best things that happened to my young adult life. Because I had someone I was responsible to, I acted more responsibly than most kids my age did. I learned to share my space and my time with another human being, to give without always expecting to receive, and feel far more satisfied with my life at age 38 than most of my peers do who waited until their 30′s to start their families.

    • backl_ash

      But what did you do for you?

      • Awkpearl

        Lol! You are not very good at reading either, are you?

        • backl_ash

          I’m very good, but all she said was that she became more responsible because she HAD to because she had a baby. She didn’t say, “Well I went to college and learned time management, and social skills, and personal responsibility because they were things that I felt were important.”

          Nope: ” I learned to share my space and my time with another human being, to give without always expecting to receive.”

          Great? I mean any decent human being has that tacked down by high school graduation.

          • Martha Oram

            Funny, because I think most bright people can figure out time management, social skills, and personal responsibility before college too…and without college, actually.

            She’s not an indecent human being just because having a child made her learn to give without expectation of receiving. Most high schoolers and early college kids do not have this down – oh they can pay lip service to it, but living it out escapes them because most of their life has been lived in service to themselves. That’s okay, though, because they can still learn it later.

            We’re not bad people because we learn various lessons at various ages. We’re bad people if we put off learning lessons on purpose to serve ourselves.

          • backl_ash

            You would think so, but if you’ve ever had co-workers, I’m sure you can vouch for how horribly naive and just “bad” some workers are. They don’t know how to manage time, communicate needs and problems, write adequate reports, and just in general be personally responsible. While these things can be learned outside of a university setting (like with years in the work force) I’d say that a university setting is a great place to learn them.

            I never implied she was indecent because she learned and grew with motherhood, I would hope that every parent learns and grows from that wonderful life change, the point that I’m making is that it is so important to focus on yourself and make yourself the best person possible BEFORE you HAVE to. Before you HAVE to be a good wife and mother or co-worker, or boss, or anything else.

            I vehemently disagree that putting off learning lessons to serve yourself is bad. I would rather work on myself before I learn the lessons of motherhood. Having gotten married at 21 and divorced at 23, I can say without fail that I was not prepared, had no idea who I was or how drastically I would change, and was in no way prepared for that step in life.

          • jasonbmiller

            No decent human being has this down by high school graduation. You don’t have a child – that is very clear. The kind of sacrifice that is demanded when having a child is unlike anything else in life. There is no better way to learn the virtue of putting others before. If you have a child, then come back and have this conversation. Until then, you have no pre/post experience for which to compare.

          • backl_ash

            This is just silly. You’re right, I don’t have a child it doesn’t mean that I have no idea what it means to live for someone else. My sister says idiotic things all the time like that about how “You’ll never know what true love is until you have a baby.” “You’ll never truly live until you’ve had a child.” “You’ll never X unless you’re a mother!”

            What about all the childless adults by choice? The infertile? Are you really suggesting that without having a child a person cannot learn how to put others first? That’s ridiculous.

            I am in a loving, committed relationship with the man of my dreams. We are in a better financial situation than most of my family and at every possible turn we do what we can to help because it’s right and we know it is, even if it means things are tight for us for a few days. Grandma needs the light bill paid? Fine. Cousin needs money to buy her kids school uniforms? No problem.

            Even in college when I was lucky enough to have scholarships and work mostly full-time, I did the same. Because it’s right and it didn’t matter if I had to eat ramen if my little sisters had what they needed. The idea that you can’t learn selflessness or empathy if you are unmarried or have no children is idiotic.

            You may be right that it’s the most effective, the most immediate, or even the absolute BEST way to learn these things, but it is NOT the only way.

          • enness

            I think what she’s saying is that it is a unique experience in that regard. Your cousin’s kids are not your problem when they’re puking at 2AM. If your grandma still has a light bill to pay, she is not wholly dependent on you. Trust me. Little sisters…that’s getting warmer, I think.

          • LisaTwaronite

            Sorry, having a baby doesn’t automatically teach you the “virtue of putting others before” yourself. Some of us persist in believing parents’ wishes come first.

          • Nan

            So your parents want you to live together? Nice.

          • LisaTwaronite

            Not sure what you mean. I was making the point that becoming a parent doesn’t automatically increase anyone’s tolerance/predilection for sacrifice. Or perhaps you meant to reply to a different comment here?

      • JoeWetterling

        She had a child.
        Learned and grew.
        Spent years sharing space and time with a person she loves – and now multiple people she loves.
        Had a satisfying life so far.
        How is that not “for her”?

        Further, why does anything *have* to be about yourself? By what standard do you judge that someone *has* to do *anything* for themself?
        If the only measure is what feels good, then you should be applauding her for leading the life that FEELS great to her. Your answer should be “Congrats! Getting married at 19 was exactly the right choice because you feel fulfilled!” If you can’t say that — why not? What can you appeal to other than your own personal opinion? (Because, “you don’t like it, so its wrong” doesn’t fly, as you said earlier.)

        • backl_ash

          Because you have to do both to be satisfied. If you’re not happy you can’t be a happy, healthy influence on people that you love. I’m not knocking her “choice” (do people actually choose to have children at 19???), but knocking the idea that her path is the ONLY way to happiness. Do whatever it is that makes you happy, but please don’t issue retroactive justifications for bad choices.

          I don’t think that there’s anyone on this earth that would tell two people aged 19 & 20 that they are mature enough, financially stable enough, and ready to have a baby.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

            I wanted to reply to you but you’re all over the place. It’s clear it wouldn’t sink in either way. You’ve made your point that you are own personal happiness supersedes the feelings, needs, and wants of others. Tell me how living for yourself works out for in you in about ten years.

          • backl_ash

            That’s such bs. Everything I’ve said has been a direct reply to each item someone has addressed to me. I am more than willing to hear what other people have to say and I expect that in any civil conversation that must work both ways.

            Btw – the reason I started living for myself? After dating my ex for two years both of our families pressured us to get married, because it “was the next step”, “only right since we were living together”, “what will people think?!”. It was awful. We quickly divorced (about a year later) and remained friends. Best decision I’ve EVER made.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez
          • backl_ash

            Yes, because you know so much about my marriage and exactly what happened in my life.

            There is nothing inherently good or bad in cohabitation. I’m living with my current boyfriend now and I suppose we’re also doomed. *eyeroll*

            http://www.scienceofrelationships.com/home/2012/4/24/fact-checking-cohabitation-and-marriage.html

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            No, nothing inherently good or bad in cohabitation, sociological facts be damned! But why let facts get between you and your current boyfriend? You are unique and sociology doesn’t apply to the uniqueness of the unique love for your unique boyfriend.

            *eyeroll*

          • backl_ash

            Show me peer reviewed research and I’ll agree with you.

            Make sure its research that fits our demographics as well.

            Oh that’s right, you don’t know anything about either of us to pass judgement. hm.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            Do your own homework, but you might start with Wikipedia: http://bit.ly/1dkdEHc

          • Terry

            It seems to me that condemning condemnation is still condemnation. This moral code is just harder to apply consistently.

          • tj.nelson

            This Terry is not me Kat. I have no opinion on this vicious attack on girls who just want to have fun. BTW – you are beginning to sound like someone’s mother.

            What? ;)

          • enness

            Would you not agree that tethering one’s living situation to a person can make it more difficult to escape a bad or dead-end relationship? Do you think you would have been as susceptible to your parents’ pressure if they didn’t have any point about the living situation? You don’t have to tell…just think about it.

          • enness

            There’s got to be some happy middle ground between letting your parents run your life and Looking Out for Number One. I can understand why it would be easy to bounce from one to the other skipping the middle entirely, but nobody *has* to bounce between extremes when there’s a better way.

          • Morrie Chamberlain

            I agree that many parents today are doing a terrible job of preparing their children to be responsible, mature adults. In the past, people were expected to be on their own at an early age. Today, the message is that parents (and increasingly the government) need to shield their precious little ones from any pain whatsoever. Concerning cohabitation, the General Social Survey conducted by the National Research Center at the University of Chicago every year since 1972, and recognized as the most widely used database for American social trends, asks whether people report that they are “very happy” and always the highest group is Currently Marrieds (40% reporting to be very happy). Others include Separated (16%), Divorced (17%), Widowed (22%), and Never Married (9%). The National Survey on America’s Families also shows that children of two unmarried biological parents was associated with worse outcomes than two married biological families and they were rarely better than with families headed by a single parent or a married biological parent and a step parent. Now the point is not to cast aspersions towards these groups, but to realize that the past 50 year experiment in the new morals, structures, and paths to happiness just are not working. Children do best when raised in a traditional family probably because they recognize the commitment and it gives them more confidence to face life’s

          • Morrie Chamberlain

            …challenges. The science is becoming quite clear and it behooves us as a society to step back and ask should we make some needed changes.

          • backl_ash

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohabitation

            60% of all marriages are preceded by cohabiting. That means that 60% of people who are living together will join the ranks of the “Currently Marrieds” and make up a percentage of the 40% who are “very happy” and the comparable amount who said they were “pretty happy”. [source: http://books.google.com/books?id=IKO737N-dSYC&pg=PA561&lpg=PA561&dq=very+happy+pretty+happy+not+too+happy+married&source=bl&ots=BSr9rQDKID&sig=eGFgxaR_7_hB8_c8hBXgahP13Bs&hl=en&sa=X&ei=Vh_QUtGfG8idqQG4iIHgDQ&ved=0CCwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=very%20happy%20pretty%20happy%20not%20too%20happy%20married&f=false

            With a 50% divorce rate whether or not a couple lives together before being married, I’d say those are actually pretty good statistics. I’d also like to point out that this same research has proven no increase or decrease of divorce risk for couples who live together *with a commitment to marry* BEFORE they move in together. Which is really the only reason you should live together. But, that’s just my humble opinion.

            As for the children:

            All you said was: “children of two unmarried biological parents was associated with worse outcomes than two married biological families”

            That doesn’t say anything relevant to this discussion. That statements includes the even larger number of children of parents who are not romantically involved. One parent may be completely absent. As a matter of fact, this study:

            http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/713779060#.UtAguGRDuC4

            claims that the stability of ALL “marriage-like” unions, including cohabitation, have declined and that the outcome for children of parents who cohabit and then split are almost identical to those of parents who divorce. (And can we at least agree that these are the same things? A piece of paper doesn’t make breaking up any less messy or difficult.)

            Sorry, the degrading morals etc of the last 50 years make just as heavy of an impact on families who are married or not.

          • elle

            Yeah, a piece of paper does make it more difficult. Been there, done that. And YES. It. Does. If you believe otherwise, it’s because your marriage had nothing in it (time, kids, real property, all the things that make divorce uglier than it already is.), and may have been annulled by the state if less than a year.

          • backl_ash

            Nope. I was with my ex for 5 years. We bought a house together. We didn’t have kids because it would have been irresponsible to do so. With the exception of children, all of the things you mentioned are not important and aren’t included in what makes breaking up “hard”.

            It’s hard to lose someone that you have grown with and developed a life with. Someone you’ve invested in emotionally. Someone who was supposed to be your partner. Whether or not you just live together or are married for five years, these things are not harder just because you signed a piece of paper.

          • enness

            “We didn’t have kids because it would have been irresponsible to do so.”

            You are so, sooo close to seeing why taking the risk of sex outside marriage is not responsible. I can try, but only you can take yourself the rest of the way, logically.

          • enness

            “60% of all marriages are preceded by cohabiting. That means that 60% of
            people who are living together will join the ranks of the “Currently
            Marrieds”"

            That’s clearly working out well.

          • enness

            Conventional wisdom says it’s what we do (or acquire) that makes us happy. That’s actually not true. Happiness is a chosen attitude. Learn that, and your happiness is much less dictated by circumstances.

            “I don’t think that there’s anyone on this earth that would tell two
            people aged 19 & 20 that they are mature enough, financially stable
            enough, and ready to have a baby.”

            Well, wouldn’t that require knowing them first? Would you tell them that they aren’t, even if they very manifestly are? I know a guy who built a successful business and sold it by the time he was in college. I have a relative who was commissioned an officer in the military at like, 22. We probably both have ancestors who got on a boat and crossed the ocean at 15 or 16. Who is to say it couldn’t be?

      • Athelstane

        The solipsism is strong with this one.

        • backl_ash

          What on Earth would make you think that? I’ve repeatedly said that everyone should be free to do as they wish without judgement or condemnation from others. You use that word, but I don’t think it means what you think it means.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            Then why did you come here judging and condemning?

          • backl_ash

            I’ve never once said that anyone here is wrong for living however they wish. I’ve said it is wrong to mistreat others because of your judgements of them. I would hope that I live in a world where that’s a universal truth.

          • Droidzilla

            You started your little foray into this discussion by posting, “But what did you do for you?” in reply to someone who said that being a wife and mother at an early age is the best thing that ever happened to them. That rhetorical question is an obvious judgement on your part (and might I add a rather vapid one at that).

          • backl_ash

            Nope just a sincere inquiry about whether or not she did things for herself. If she did then fantastic! If not, I would say that she missed an important opportunity. There’s nothing wrong with making the observation.

          • Droidzilla

            Oh; I guess you missed where she said, “the best things that happened to my young adult life.” It makes your question completely superfluous, unless of course you were judging. Which we all know you were. But hey, keep pushing your world view while criticising others for pushing their world view. It makes for entertaining comments.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            You do realize that you just did it, don’t you?

          • backl_ash

            I don’t believe I’ve judged anyone’s personality or choices, nor have I mistreated anyone.

            Acknowledging someone’s choices and disagreeing with them is not the same as mistreating them. Is that really that hard to understand?

            “Are you eating mayo? I hate mayo. But I don’t hate you for eating mayo.”

            “Did you have a baby at 19? I would’ve hated to have a baby at 19. But I don’t hate you for having a baby at 19.”

            Taaadaaaaa

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            At the moment you tell someone he’s wrong, you’re judging him. Nobody hates anyone here, I don’t know where you got it from, other than from your seemingly prejudiced view.

          • backl_ash

            This is tiring.

            2 + 2 = 5
            You’re wrong.

            That’s not judgement, it’s clarifying facts.

            I think only brown puppies are cute.
            I disagree with you and think you’re wrong other puppies are cute too.

            Still no judgement. Just expressing opinions and disagreeing.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            I see, it’s clarifying facts when you judge and condemnation when those who disagree with you judge.

          • backl_ash

            Are you really not getting this or just trolling?

            It’s clarifying fact when it is known to be a fact.

            It is merely disagreeing when you disagree and express your opinion.

            It is condemnation when you attempt to make someone else’s opinion or lifestyle out to be evil, try to punish them for it, or deem their opinion less worthy than your own.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            QED

          • enness

            Augustine cleverly got you to make his point for him.

          • enness

            Who has been mistreated here? How?

      • enness

        Is that what it’s all about? Numero Uno?

  • Don Marco Jawsario

    This was an excellent article. Good job, Miss Fernandez. My wife and I have four children, and my elder daughter got married at age 22, and now at age 29 has four children. Her husband is a Marine pilot and they are both very mature and responsible. In fact, when I compare my daughter to her barren bed-hopping bimbo friends, I am amazed at how frustrated these (no longer so) young ladies are. It is really sad.

  • Christian LeBlanc

    My life was a frothy joke until I got married and had kids. Thank ya Jesus.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Amen. Kid’s will give you the kick in the pants that most young people need.

  • Martha Oram

    If I hear one more person pit marriage against adventure, I’ll puke.

    I’ve backpacked Australia by myself, traveled to many continents, done stupid things that damaged my dignity. Some of it was great fun, most of it was meh.

    But getting married? THAT has been flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants, non-stop adventure! – And most of it fun, to boot! Life with a toddler? Infinitely exciting! NFP? Whoa! Definitely tons of unexpected twists and turns!

    My married life has it all over my young and carefree one.

    • Joey Romanus

      A lot of Katrina Fernandez’s list is a New World Order illusion and
      puppeteership. “Join the military” ??? …. Why, so you can die for oil
      and mining companies; the MIC; international central banks; and Israel?
      There is nothing honorable about being a pawn for rich people who
      control powerful positions in govt. Also, morality and ethical behavior in the military is quite pathetic in a lot of ways, regardless of enlisted or
      officers.

      “donate to a charitable organization” ???… Your money will do nothing to help anyone with an organization as the medium. Many of these organizations are a racket, and/or, much of the donations go to pay administration costs/salaries and vendors to whom they contract
      out. It’s best to use your money to help somebody in need whom you
      personally know…

      “get at least one raise, one promotion, or some workplace accolade” ??? … This is motivation for slave minds. I like Jesus’ perspective regarding the temporal and spiritual realm, “Those who are last are first, and those who are first are last”.

      “become an active member of a church” ??? … Most churches are heretical and apostate groups. They are also front groups for pushing the NWO agenda. You better make sure you belong to the true Faith before you are active in your church.

      “have a lease in your name and fulfill your contractual obligations” ???…. So a rent-slave is somehow better, and more “free”, than a debt-slave? There’s nothing wrong with staying at home and helping with bills, while saving your own money to buy a house or land. It beats the typical rat-race where it’s much more difficult to save money for a home, unless you allow yourself to be victim of predatory lending, which in this case, you will eventually lose your home and standard of living.

      “Open a savings account” ??? … Why? So banks can steal your money for the inevitable bail-ins coming? Get out of the failing dollar. It will be worth NOTHING. There is no incentive, anyway, to having a savings account because interest rates are basically ZERO. Also, if your money is not in your pocket, or some other personal holding, then you DON”T own it.

      “Check out your credit score” ??? … Why participate in an NWO driven illusion that encourages entrapment into a system of usury, debt, consumerism and materialism? It’s a system – a game -that people are conditioned into believing they have to play. The system needs players to exist and run. Why would you want to be a player? Your credit score does NOT give you real freedom as a human, spiritual being. It’s just a ruse to pull you in to an artificial reality, the rat-race, debt enslavement, and worship of mammon. The “credit score” is one of the biggest scams concocted by the Vampire Bankersteins to manipulate the herd.

      “Donate blood often” ??? … Not a good idea. The cumulative stress on the body can have adverse health effects in time. You should only have your own blood taken out and stored at a bank for your own person, or family member with matching blood, in case there is an unfortunate time you need it.

      Other than the aforementioned, Katrina Fernandez wrote a good criticism against Vanessa Elizabeth’s ignorant article.

      • Pro_aris_et_focis

        I think you reinforced Katrina’s main points very well – bravo.

      • Sound Mound

        Spot on, man. They want us to work for peanut shells. That’s all men get today.

      • Athelstane

        Thanks for trashing our servicemen and women, Joey.

      • fredx2

        It’s kind of sad when cynicism is considered a virtue

      • enness

        1) I know veterans of Vietnam and Afghanistan, and you’re welcome to come say that to their faces any time if you have the nerve.

        2) Why on earth would a single person want a house? I’m perfectly fine letting somebody else worry about how to plow the lot, mow the grass, and fix the plumbing, as long as it gets done.

        3) Hellooo…isn’t that what Charity Navigator is for? Just do your homework. This isn’t a hard concept.

        4) Not even going to bother with the rest.

  • krazed

    Exactly how old are you Katrina? Are you a baby boomer? You sound like a condensending baby boomer.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Nope. I’m in my mid-thirties. How old are you? You don’t sound like anyone offering anything substantial to this thread so it’s hard to pinpoint an age. But thank you for suggesting that I sound wise beyond my years.

      • ohreally?

        the original article, i would think, could have handily been responded to without resorting to the same pitfalls. supposing you were a 70 y.o. who lived a life full of wisdom and virtue, you are still not in a position to assemble a list with very much truth, heft, or meaning, and even in that case taking a tone of moral superiority is obnoxious.

        there is no playbook on life, maturity, or partnership. this article had me rolling my eyes about as much as the HuffPo one.

      • ohreally?

        the original article, i would think, could have handily been responded to without resorting to the same pitfalls. supposing you were a 70 y.o. who lived a life full of wisdom and virtue, you are still not in a position to assemble a list with very much truth, heft, or meaning, and even in that case taking a tone of moral superiority is obnoxious. ms. fernandez your pride announces itself both in your piece and in your handling of comments.

        there is no playbook on life, maturity, or partnership. this article had me rolling my eyes about as much as the HuffPo one.

      • ohreally?

        interesting how you work as a site mod. someone criticizes your content &/or conduct, and you delete the comment. how very… mature.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          PEBKAC

          • ohreally?

            apparently, yes. i apologize for the insinuation — it seemed warranted by how you present yourself to other comments, which i’ve found startling on a self-described christian blog. that, and my comments twice registered as deleted.

    • margaret1910

      Oooh..I’m a baby boomer. Am I therefore condescending? I do love it when people make assumptions about me based strictly on the year in which I was born.

      • Nan

        get it right margaret. First. Baby boomers weren’t born in 1910 :) , second, that was condensending (not that I know what it means!), not condescending.

  • Gail Finke

    Wow. I got married when I was 23… still married 26 years later. And I was copping out? Who knew?

  • Dale Van Brocklin

    Why not have all kinds of fun IN the marriage? I never understood the whole myth that “once you get married, life’s over with!” Have adventures with your spouse, and ….come on folks, you can do better than this list that’s been floating around!

    I have a few, and I wish people would add:
    -The hell with “dancing in front of the window naked,” get naked and have awesome sex with your spouse – unlike the majority of people in America, you actually got married. You deserve to have the most fun in bed, you certainly earned it.
    -Get all decked out and fancy and go eat at a nice restaurant, or make it an adventure, and go eat appetizers at one place, the main course at another, and dessert at a third!
    -Go on a crazy vacation together in some odd locale.
    -Make a list of people you’d love to meet, but who aren’t THAT famous, and then go meet them and get their autograph. I’d love to meet Neil deGrasse Tyson, for example. Maybe the guy who played Gomer Pyle, …..figure one out.
    -Take a road trip to another state to see your favorite concert.
    …..etc. etc. etc.

    By all means do the responsible things, but marriage should be fun.
    Again, you earned it, you took the vows and got married, in a world where most people snarkly reject marriage.

  • TheReluctantWidow

    Young Vanessa should read Kay Hymowitz’s book Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys. She has a chapter or two about how a lot of women wait and delay serious things like motherhood and marriage in favor of solely focusing on education and career. Then they get in their 30′s and realize their eggs aren’t getting any younger so they begin to think it’s time to settle down. Lo and behold, their male counterparts seem ready to settle down about this time too. However, instead of looking at these accomplished, seasoned women for partners, they tend to look for a woman who is much YOUNGER than they are, and a growing number of women who spent their youth kissing strangers, dating more than one person to see how long it would take to blow up, and dancing naked in front of their windows, can’t find a man to marry. Hmmm… It’s a good book. She should read it.

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      Yes, nature makes a woman most attractive to men before their 30s. After that, the bloom of youth is gone. Let’s face it: this bloom is readiness to conceive. Men aren’t consciously attracted to women in their peak fertility because they decided so, but because God wrote so in their humanity.

      And then, it goes without saying, that men and women still available over 30 are typically those passed on in their marriageable age. In other words, the men then available are usually those that no father would want for a daughter and the women, that no mother would want for a son.

  • Thomas Mandile

    Excellent work, Katrina! This is the straight dope! I’m honored to be able to share this!

  • Chelsea

    Well said. Plus the average marriage age has increased very quickly in the past 50 years and yet the divorce rate is much higher. Your response is similar to this one. http://theindisputabledirt.wordpress.com/2013/12/31/how-23-things-to-do-instead-of-getting-engaged-before-youre-23-undermines-its-own-message/

  • Quittin’ time at Tara!

    Let’s not make like any of this is real. It’s all an elaborate, noxious smokescreen for the disappointment of not having a loving husband and babies. Always will be.

    • backl_ash

      I hope for the sake of humanity this is sarcasm.

    • Jessica Safley

      Not necessarily. I think the author is incredibly immature, but some people are called to be like Paul and may never marry. Now I do find it wrong for her to pass judgments on those who are not called in the same way. Of course, she was not writing from a Christian perspective, so it is difficult to really suss out her motives. I wanted to chime, because we all have different callings. Some will be very happy married, others not. In a Christian community, it is important to value all people regardless of their marital status.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

        I think she meant that those who are the loudest to decry the institution of marriage are the ones spewing the noxious smoke screen, not the Paul-like single folks. I’m not called to marriage… who could live with me? … but I love marriage and adore my married friends.

        • LisaTwaronite

          You insist you know “what fate awaits a young lady who mocks marriage.” But I’ll tell you what REALLY happens, at least some of the time: She becomes an older lady, mocking marriage.

          • Droidzilla

            I think that was kind of the point. Bitterness and resent breed a life of negativity and regret; something like that.

          • LisaTwaronite

            No, actually, my point is that not everyone grows up to have bitterness/regrets. I myself am an older lady, still mocking marriage, with no bitterness or regret. (But I did get married, for the many legal benefits it confers.)

  • enness

    I’m also guessing that when she said “explore a new religion” she meant explore a trendy religion…Catholicism need not apply.

  • Rachel

    This is a silly list considering that some of the stuff mentioned is irrelevant to one’s marital status: ie. starting a band, baking a cake, etc. This silly woman thinks that once one is married, they can’t have any fun or discover new things. That is simply not true. As for as Crescat’s list, its good but I don’t know how attainable all those goals are by 23. I know I certainly didn’t make many of those goals by 23 but eventually I accomplished most of them. Sometimes, people grow slower than others however that is no excuse to do stupid things like making strangers uncomfortable and getting into to endless, pointless relationships.

    • Karen Cain

      I have baked more cakes since I got married 15 years ago than I did before I got married. Mainly because our four kids love a homemade birthday cake, yanno?

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

        My daughter has loved to bake cakes since she was 10. She’s a very good cook now.

  • Kristin Steffen

    Marriage is living for someone other than yourself. That’s an idea that’s against society, and yet it the most fulfilling.

  • Susan L

    My husband and I got married and moved to Europe, lived on 6K for the first year and then returned to the States with our first child. It sounds adventurous but much of it was about work, responsibility and growth – settling down!

  • http://ashesfromburntroses.blogspot.com/ Manny

    Katrina, you weren’t harsh enough. That Vanessa woman seems like a case of arreseted development. Maybe she shouldn’t be getting married at 23 because she has the emotional intelligence of a fifteen year old.

  • http://redcardigan.blogspot.com/ Erin Manning

    The real tragedy here is that this young woman probably thinks her “list” makes her more attractive to men.

    And it might. To some men. But they won’t be interested in marriage, and they’ll know they don’t have to pretend to be for her sake, which is a win for that sort of man.

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      Even to the most unchurched men there are two kinds of women: those they have casual sex with and those they marry. To decent men there is only one kind: those they marry.

      • LisaTwaronite

        What about those of us who marry the men with whom we had casual sex? Oh, sorry — guess my partner ain’t decent. Never mind.

        • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

          Indeed, he isn’t, he’s a coward boy.

          • LisaTwaronite

            Are you too cowardly to use your full name when you comment on blogs? If not, perhaps you shouldn’t accuse others of it.
            And how does sex before marriage make one a “coward?” You can criticize it on many grounds, depending on your personal beliefs, but I don’t see how cowardice would figure at all. He wasn’t afraid of committment – he wasn’t even afraid of marrrying a slut like me! ;)

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            Follow my profile for my actual name and city.

            But, I must apologize, for I spoke out of turn, since he did marry you. I retract my previous statement.

            I don’t hold people against their past mistakes which they later corrected.

          • LisaTwaronite

            Ah, I will apologize to you, too, because you do link to your blog, which does indeed include your full name.

            And since my partner is not a Christian (he’s Japanese, and Buddhist/Shinto) he made no “mistake,” according to his own beliefs.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            Besides being objectively a mistake, the Ten Precepts of Shintoism, similar to the Ten Commandments, does forbid extra-marital sexual relations. In spite of popular belief, Buddhism has a moral and ethical code similar to Christianity’s.

          • LisaTwaronite

            “The Ten Precepts of Shinto” are nothing like the Ten Commandments — in fact, they’re not even authentically Shinto. They’re some New Age western thing created fairly recently.
            And there are many different sects of Buddhism, with very different beliefs.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      “The real tragedy here is that this young woman probably thinks her “list” makes her more attractive to men.”

      Like those women who say they don’t like other women. Yes, the idea is to make them sound “different” from other girls in hopes of capturing a man’s attention. The problem is, “different” to a man is not necessarily a good and flattering thing. And most certainly, rarely a marrying thing.

  • http://shackra.bitbucket.org/ shackra sislock

    My 23th birthday was on December 28th of 2013. And I cannot help but be in agreement with the blogger that Vanessa Elizabeth is out of my lists of girls legible to pursuit for marriage. I wouldn’t date girls that aren’t seeking marriage soon.

  • Jessica Safley

    The first list is inane. I like the second list a lot. Good job. Also, I find it important to note as no one has as of yet, that feminism has nothing to do with the first list. Feminists desire equality among the sexes, and as a result would want women to be well rounded and capable of taking care of themselves to avoid codependent, manipulative, and unhealthy relationships. So why the dig on feminism? Seems a bit random.

    • AnneG

      Sorry, Jessica. Some of the people I know who are in codependent, manipulative and unhealthy relationships are indeed feminists.

      • Jessica Safley

        Nothing to be sorry about. Feminists are merely human beings desiring equality; nothing more nothing less. It is a pretty simple definition. Human fallibility gets us all regardless of our affiliations or identification. The overarching theme of the movement for equality is to empower both sexes to be the best they can be wherever it is that they may be called, and regardless of their sex. so the second list is in line with that train of thought.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      Modern feminists desire complete eradication of the masculine. It’s why the Vanessa Elizabeth’s of world are so violently opposed to idea of “settling down”.

      • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

        No, modern feminists desire the complete assimilation of the feminine into the masculine by women! :-P

        • Jessica Safley

          Augustine, I replied above. My response remains the same for you.

      • Jessica Safley

        That is a straw man argument if ever I heard one. Just putting the word “modern” in front of something doesn’t radically alter it. I am a feminist. So thank you for telling me what I believe, because clearly I did not know. I was under the impression I was working to eradicate violence against women, fight for equal pay for equal work and better representation, tackling sex trafficking, female infanticide, female mutilation, and honor killings to name a few items on my wacky agenda. Apparently I missed the memo. I will go tell my husband that our marriage based on mutual support trust and love is all a hoax of the feminist machine. I need to immediately emasculate him. That is cruel and foolish thought. A feminist is a person who stands for equality for both men and women. The issue you may be facing isn’t with feminism, but maybe a skewed world view by some. Maybe the “far left”? At any rate, I would need an example of the “eradication of the masculine” to enter into a coherent conversation with you. Facts are key here. Give me examples of how the notion of equality is destroying our men.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          Put the gun back in the holster. No one was disagreeing with you.

          • Callyn

            You were disagreeing with her. You stated that “modern feminists desire complete eradication of the masculine.” Jessica defined feminism as most feminists define it. There is no way to place both of these definitions into a cohesive sentence, given that eradication of masculinity and equality of the sexes inherently contradict each other.

          • Jessica Safley

            Thank you Callyn. You have stated it perfectly.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

            Exactly. Proving that feminism is truly misogynistic.

          • ohreally?

            how’s equality between the sexes misogynistic again?? forgive me, i must be slow.

          • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

            It is when the norm is masculine. Modern feminists take as the standard to achieve equality male behavior; they want to be like men, sacrificing female qualities.

          • Jessica Safley

            Huh, no one is reading my post about the use of the word “modern” apparently. At any rate, I re-read your post a few times trying to understand what you are saying. It was hard to read because it doesn’t make sense either grammatically or logically. Assuming that masculine is the standard is the problem. I don’t want to conform to a masculine ideal. I don’t see either sex as superior. I don’t wish to put one above the other; hence striving for equality. Women as well as men should be free to pursue their God given talents, wherever that may lead. I want to be free to be myself. My choices aren’t inherently masculine or feminine. Somewhere along the line, a strong binary occurred in which all things fall into the male or female category. Human beings are far more dynamic then that. We start shifting everything into categories, “flower arranging?” “That’s uhh..feminine, yeah.” “engineering?” ‘umm let’s make that masculine.” So fruitless. How about we look at our unique gifting and pursue that?

          • ohreally?

            which “modern feminists” are you thinking of, augustine? i’m not familiar with what you’re stating with casual authority… that feminists “want to be like men.” if you mean, e.g., that they want to be paid the same as men for doing the same work, whereas the arbitrary norm is to pay them less…

          • Jessica Safley

            Wait, how is what Callyn said proving that feminism is “truly misogynistic”? Maybe we need to clarify terms? Misogyny is defined as the fear or hated of women. So you can see that women working to end oppression whether that be genital mutilation, lack of access to education, rape culture, or unfair wages, etc. aren’t people who hate women. People who hate women either approve the aforementioned travesties or stand idly by and give their consent through inaction. So now that you know what the word means, I am sure you understand how that would be a colossal contradiction. No need to be embarrassed, it is a word that is thrown around a lot, and not often defined.

          • HigherCalling

            To have a coherent discussion, several terms need to be accurately defined: equality, fairness, masculinity, femininity, modern feminism vs true feminism, etc. The sexes are not equal. Equalizing them is a fallacy that dismisses the essence of masculinity and femininity. Human relationships and many social structures achieve their natural, normal and healthiest ends precisely when the inequality of the sexes is acknowledged and accepted. Intentionally banishing that natural truth demands introducing a contrived and synthetic falsehood into a natural system — and that always ends in something unnatural. This is the dangerous road that modern thinking, which deliberately rejects valid first principles, leads to. Anything that accepts even a small falsehood in its origin, (such as the core feminist principle of “equality of the sexes,” or the false principles propping up contraception), will necessarily evolve into the desire to eradicate normal things (like masculinity, femininity, and babies).

          • Jessica Safley

            Well, you didn’t define any of these terms. So let me do so briefly. Equality:the state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities. Fairness: conformity with rules or standards. Masculinity: characters and attributes pertaining to men. Femininity: as pertaining to women. Feminism: advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men. “Modern” I have taken issue with this term in my posts below. I do not think adding a modern changes the fundamental elements of feminism as a movement. There is nothing strictly modern in an egalitarian view. It is an ancient view; a view with a Biblical precedence. Your post uses a lot of words that mean the same thing (ex: synthetic and falsehood) so forgive me if I misunderstand, you probably wrote this quickly. I write a lot of my posts quickly too. If I follow your views, 1. women and men are not equal, so one sex is superior to the other? 2. If we pursue equality we will eradicate all babies? That’s tragic. How will we do this? I am very scared because I am pregnant and a feminist. So my fight for equality will vaporize baby? Will it be like a freeze ray situation? How will this happen exactly? Ok, snarkyness aside. I love children, so I just wanted to outline that being feminist and being nurturing, or loving kids are not mutually exclusive. I do wonder why you think the sexes aren’t equal? I am assuming you think men are then the superior sex? If so, is the subjugation of women tolerable? What about the abuse of women? When women are not thought to be equal, we see the evidence of these views through honor killings, mutilation, slavery and violence. Of course this varies from country to country.The belief that woman and men were both created in the image of God, helps us realize that we are all entitled to equal dignity.

      • HigherCalling

        Modern feminism, taken to its inevitable, “equality of the sexes” conclusion, ends here:

        http://witchwind.wordpress.com/2013/12/15/piv-is-always-rape-ok/

        • Jessica Safley

          Hi. I hope we can be friendly. I mean to write in a way that conveys my deepest convictions without offense. I clicked the link you shared. It was troubling for sure. I feel really sad for this woman. Sex is a gift. It is unifying and to be enjoyed by both sexes. Just as the Westboro Baptist church does not adequately represent Christians, this woman does not represent feminism. You must have missed my post in which I elaborate on the fact that placing “modern” in front of something doesn’t radically alter it’s definition. We say “modern” in order to divorce ourselves from the undeniable benefits afforded to us from the first wave of feminists (Susan B. Anthony, Lucy Stone, etc). “Oh, I don’t have an issue with voting, I just hate the “modern” feminists who ____” this is where people fill in the blank with an outrageous claim. By virtue of being a women born in the latter half the 20th century, and living in the current age, I suppose I am a modern feminist. What I stand for has not changed. I carry the gauntlet left to us from the first generation. I fight oppression. I know that man and woman where created both in God’s image with equal dignity. I fight to maintain that dignity. Feminism at its bare bones is a quest for equality. There will always be fringe groups, but they are not a representation of the whole.

      • LisaTwaronite

        No, “modern feminists” desire no such thing. Particularly those of us raising sons.

      • Pious

        All, absolutely all the feminists I know got married. Most of them married very, very good guys.
        And half of the pious, good-looking, educated and smart girls I know didn’t marry at all (most of them are in their 40s, so … tiny chances).
        My conclusion – if you want a good home, a good husband and healthy kids, be a radical feminist. Otherwise, you’ll spent weekends with your rosary.

  • Awkpearl

    I agree with Karen Cain. In fact, let me look at that list and see what I have done since getting married at age 23….

    I have, as a married woman, done #’s:

    1, 2, 3 (my husband is stranger than most!!), 4, 5 (with my kiddies! So fun!), 6 (LOTS AND LOTS OF CAKES!!), 7 (not permanent – just the fun kind that wash off with the kids), 8 (okay – so I explored my own religion enough to know that I need to stay put!), 9, 10 (many times – who doesn’t cut their hair??), 12, 13, 14 (okay, again, not really but if you have more than one child I think you can say yes to this one), 18 (ever been out grocery shopping with a big family??), 21, 22 (oh wait, I thought that said be UNselfish! -heehee).

    So, why does she think I shouldn’t get married at age 23??? I’m confused!
    :-)

  • JoeWetterling

    My comment on the article:

    Instead of getting married, this hypothetical girl taking the author’s advice should become selfish (22), disappointing (15), tactless (18, 20), promiscuous (3), untrustworthy (11), and someone that does whatever a travel blogger tells her (23). Yeah… not someone to get engaged to.

    My wife didn’t get a passport, find her ‘thing’ (at which she’s awesome!), adopt a pet, or make two cakes until she married me. I didn’t start exploring the depths of my faith, eating nutella, or blogging until after I married her. I also share the two cakes. There’s nothing in the good choices there that being married would necessarily prevent. And if something can’t happen — that’s the sacrifice of love. I can’t afford to go to the Phillipines because my wife has medical expenses? Too bad for the Phillipines. They’ll meet my awesome wife another year.

  • Joey Romanus

    A lot of Katrina Fernandez’s list is a New World Order illusion and
    puppeteership. “Join the military” ??? …. Why, so you can die for oil
    and mining companies; the MIC; international central banks; and Israel?
    There is nothing honorable about being a pawn for rich people who
    control powerful positions in govt. Also, morality and ethical behavior in the
    military is quite pathetic in a lot of ways, regardless of enlisted or
    officers.

    “donate to a charitable organization” ???…. Your money will do nothing to help anyone with an organization as the medium. Many of these organizations are a racket, and/or, much of the donations go to pay administration costs/salaries and vendors to whom they contract out. It’s best to use your money to help somebody in need whom you personally know…

    “get at least one raise, one promotion, or some workplace accolade” ??? …. This is motivation for slave minds. I like Jesus’ perspective regarding the temporal and spiritual realm, “Those who are last are first, and those who are first are last”.

    “become an active member of a church” ???…. Most churches are heretical and
    apostate groups. They are also front groups for pushing the NWO agenda.
    You better make sure you belong to the true Faith before you are active
    in your church.

    “have a lease in your name and fulfill your contractual obligations” ???…. So a rent-slave is somehow better, and more “free”, than a debt-slave? There’s nothing wrong with staying at home and helping with bills, while saving your own money to buy a house or land. It beats the typical rat-race where it’s much more difficult to save money for a home, unless you allow yourself to be victim of
    predatory lending, which in this case, you will eventually lose your
    home and standard of living.

    “Open a savings account” ??? …. Why? So banks can steal your money for the inevitable bail-ins coming? Get out of the failing dollar. It will be worth NOTHING. There is no incentive, anyway, to having a savings account because interest rates are basically ZERO. Also, if your money is not in your pocket, or some other personal holding, then you DON”T own it.

    “Check out your credit score” ??? …. Why participate in an NWO driven illusion that encourages entrapment into a system of usury, debt, consumerism and materialism? It’s a system – a game -that people are conditioned into believing they have to play. The system needs players to exist and run. Why would
    you want to be a player? Your credit score does NOT give you real
    freedom as a human, spiritual being. It’s just a ruse to pull you in to
    an artificial reality, the rat-race, debt enslavement, and worship of
    mammon. The “credit score” is one of the biggest scams concocted by the Vampire Bankersteins to manipulate the herd.

    “Donate blood often” ??? …. Not a good idea. The cumulative stress on the body can have adverse health effects in time. You should only have your own blood taken out and stored at a bank for your own person, or family member with matching blood, in case there is an unfortunate time you need it.

    Other than the aforementioned, Katrina Fernandez wrote a good criticism against Vanessa Elizabeth’s ignorant article.

    • Barbara

      Wow, there’s so much tin foil hattery in this one comment, my fillings hurt!

  • Tami

    This is so weird, how did I find a man who also doesn’t want to get married or have kids and also doesn’t believe in any deities? Oh, that’s right, because I didn’t compromise who I am to please society and nitwits like the author.

  • Lindsay Oliver

    Hmm… you raise some good points, but I also feel there are a lot of
    assumptions and judgements in your article aswell. Both lists of things
    to do during your 20s can potentially be harmful, and both disregard our
    only real call in life: to move closer to God and be who He made us to
    be. That might mean struggling in some areas, like taking longer to get
    through school for various reasons, it might mean asking your parents
    for help for various reasons, it might mean not being able to give to
    charities… and all of various reasons that do not necessarily relate
    to or suggest immaturity.

    I also feel that the heavy emphasis in this article on marrying before a woman hits thirty is condensending, and again presumptious.

    Statements like “And ladies, you are not so special that you can squander your youth and enthusiasm on trivial pursuits and expect there to be a plethora of fine bachelors patiently waiting around to wed you once you return to your
    senses. The good ones won’t.” and ” She’ll continue to get older till
    one day she’s almost thirty and realizes a sizable chunk of eligible decent men are already married. She’ll be shocked to learn what her friends have actually accomplished while she was on her decade long vacation… They will pity her” really disregard the different walks we each have. We should not be placing
    timelines on one another. I’m sure it’s hard enough being older and
    single, because yes, most people are married by 30, but a sizeable
    portion are not. Sometimes it’s for selfish reasons, other times it’s
    not… and it comes down to it being a matter of God timing.

    It’s dangerous to be too judgemental of anyone’s life, and where they are at
    in it, especially on things that relate to our own timelines, experiences, and standards, not God’s, and each individual’s own walk…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      which is what makes the HP article so dangerous … her mockery of those who married at a younger age than her immaturity could fathom.

    • margaret1910

      Lindsay, I largely agree with you. It is unkind and unfair to tar all 30 and over unmarried women with the “You just thought about yourself and followed trivial pursuits in your 20′s..and now you are SOL. All the good men are taken. Sucks to be you.” brush. SOME women are unmarried at 30 because of poor choices. SOME women are unmarried for another reason or reasons. We must avoid being judgmental and self-righteous.

      That being said, there are a lot of young women who are behaving as if the choices made in their 20′s will have no impact on their lives when they are “grown-ups”. I think that is what Kat was saying. Every decision you make does impact your life. Apologies in advance if I have misunderstood you, Kat.

  • Bernadette

    If you have the time to check it out, here is a very interesting TED talk from a psychologist called 30 is not the new 20. It is from a secular viewpoint but it makes some really good points. Here is a decription:

    Clinical psychologist Meg Jay has a bold message for twentysomethings: Contrary to popular belief, your 20s are not a throwaway decade. In this provocative talk, Jay says that just because marriage, work and kids are happening later in life, doesn’t mean you can’t start planning now. She gives 3 pieces of advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim adulthood in the defining decade of their lives.

    Here is the link for the talk: http://www.ted.com/talks/meg_jay_why_30_is_not_the_new_20.html

  • nichole

    i’m able to say that i had done all of the items on your list, except 2 by the time i was married at 22! #7 didn’t happen until 2011, WAY after i was 22. :) #18 didn’t happen only because i knew no one with children.

    sadly, i am also able to say i had done most of the items on the “other” list as well. i never started a band, and the INTERNET didn’t exist when i was 22, so that eliminates #13 and #21. #14 didn’t happen because i had to join the navy to get my degree. #9 STILL waits for me. i don’t know what # 16, 17,19 are. I didn’t get to “go to the Philippines for Chinese New Year”, but i DID get to see the southern cross for myself courtesy of the usn. as far as #20 goes, it WAS a window, but it was a BATHROOM window with frosted glass, so it doesn’t count! :P
    i ALSO married the very BEST man i’ve ever met, with whom i have shared more than a few trials. together we have raised a wonderfully loving child and more animals than i can count (fertility issues). i was able to “explore” enough other religions to know the truest one for me is the catholic faith. i can’t imagine changing a single second of my life, knowing that each one led me to the place that i am meant to be right this moment.

    thanks for helping realize where i’ve come to get here!

  • Sam Joyce

    Pride is always the problem. If Katrina accomplished anything good by the time she was 23, or by whatever age, I suggest she give the glory to God rather than patting her own back.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

      See # 23 of my list.

      Apology accepted in advance for the assumption.

      • Sam Joyce

        Yes but in this article you still sound like the people in the synagogue saying I’m a good person rather than Lord have mercy on a sinner.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

          I see you completely missed, or selectively chose to ignore, the part where I acknowledged by own mistakes and similar flawed thinking when I was younger.

          • Sam Joyce

            I saw it. But the way in which you say it sounds like O those were just my college years and by the time I was 23 I was good. Just not sure that your way of communicating best spreads the joy of the truth. I get that there is room for righteous indignation. Are you attempting to perform a work of spiritual mercy by admonishing the sinner? Blessed are the merciful.

  • Guest

    While the article and thoughts of the Huff Post writer are of course, problematic, I find Katrina, the author of this piece, to also be problematic. She speaks in caricatures and with a tone and arguments that are ironically just as narcissistic as the person she is demeaning and calling narcissistic, just from the other angle or other side of the spectrum of worldviews. See: All of Katrina’s arguments and objections come from her life experience, all subjective, while claiming to be as sad as the Huff Post person at 23, but then simultaneously bragging about how accomplished and great and responsible she was at 23 – to make arguments from yourself and your accomplishments is narcissism at its best, like a school yard mentality that may also suggest Katrina may not be as emotionally intelligent or superior to the person she is caricaturing and demeaning (and even admits to be demeaning when she uses phrases such as “I mean this is the most condescending and patronizing way possible”) <–Who talks like that to people, even to someone they disagree? That language is a red flag of someone who is emotionally abusive, ironically, as Katrina is speaking of red flags people should look out for.

    There is no gentle challenging (you can be forthright and to the point, but being in your face and forthright only counts if you are also gentle and intelligent in your insights and responses underneath and surrounding your critiques. Direct communication is key and helpful, and one should lay out the consequences of a person's thought to them, but it should not be done pridefully). It also requires that you don't commit fallacies, including straw man (caricaturing people who aren't married by 30, complete lack of nuance in understanding what causes divorce or who is actually getting divorced or the sociological layers of what is going on in marriage today that are not limited to "people just don't want to grow up" Much of this is actually tied to longer life expectancies, the recession (a HUGE issue why many good, hardworking 20 somethings who aren't self absorbed are struggling or living with their parents), and not realizing that many immature and irresponsible people are married and emotionally stunted themselves.

    Katrina doesn't actually engage and offer intelligent counter arguments, using logical fallacies like bifurcation (maturity = marriage, immature = not married…there seems to be no other possibilities). Further, the advice she gives about things to do by 23 are somewhat unrealistic for many because of the economy (mostly), and maybe someone has sufferings in life that prevent them from being able to do certain things or they may have have to hold off on certain things because that's just the way life is sometimes? Claiming God, her lack of compassion and nuanced insight into the messiness of life, society, and individuals is extremely problematic. Further, the 23 list she provides is completely arbitrary and illogically based (no foundation) or at least, she doesn't give valid arguments or engagements for why those things are true or should be considered, so there is no logical flow to them. Ironically, in that case, being completely subjective and arbitrary with no logical engagement or entertainment with the objective, she ends up making a narcissistic based list as well.

    This article lacks self-awareness, wisdom, insight, nuance, and gentleness in discourse; mostly humility.

  • Emily

    Since this was deleted…I’ll post again :) Which if it was deleted outside of computer error, the author of the article is only proving my point.

    While the article and thoughts of the Huff Post writer are of course, problematic, I find Katrina, the author of this piece, to also be problematic. She speaks in caricatures and with a tone and arguments that are ironically just as narcissistic as the person she is demeaning and calling narcissistic, just from the other angle or other side of the spectrum of worldviews. See: All of Katrina’s arguments and objections come from her life experience, all subjective, while claiming to be as sad as the Huff Post person at 23, but then simultaneously bragging about how accomplished and great and responsible she was at 23 – to make arguments from yourself and your accomplishments is narcissism at its best, like a school yard mentality that may also suggest Katrina may not be as emotionally intelligent or superior to the person she is caricaturing and demeaning (and even admits to be demeaning when she uses phrases such as “I mean this is the most condescending and patronizing way possible”) <–Who talks like that to people, even to someone they disagree? That language is a red flag of someone who is emotionally abusive, ironically, as Katrina is speaking of red flags people should look out for.

    There is no gentle challenging (you can be forthright and to the point, but being in your face and forthright only counts if you are also gentle and intelligent in your insights and responses underneath and surrounding your critiques. Direct communication is key and helpful, and one should lay out the consequences of a person's thought to them, but it should not be done pridefully). It also requires that you don't commit fallacies, including straw man (caricaturing people who aren't married by 30, complete lack of nuance in understanding what causes divorce or who is actually getting divorced or the sociological layers of what is going on in marriage today that are not limited to "people just don't want to grow up" Much of this is actually tied to longer life expectancies, the recession (a HUGE issue why many good, hardworking 20 somethings who aren't self absorbed are struggling or living with their parents), and not realizing that many immature and irresponsible people are married and emotionally stunted themselves.

    Katrina doesn't actually engage and offer intelligent counter arguments, using logical fallacies like bifurcation (maturity = marriage, immature = not married…there seems to be no other possibilities). Further, the advice she gives about things to do by 23 are somewhat unrealistic for many because of the economy (mostly), and maybe someone has sufferings in life that prevent them from being able to do certain things or they may have have to hold off on certain things because that's just the way life is sometimes? Claiming God, her lack of compassion and nuanced insight into the messiness of life, society, and individuals is extremely problematic. Further, the 23 list she provides is completely arbitrary and illogically based (no foundation) or at least, she doesn't give valid arguments or engagements for why those things are true or should be considered, so there is no logical flow to them. Ironically, in that case, being completely subjective and arbitrary with no logical engagement or entertainment with the objective, she ends up making a narcissistic based list as well.

    This article lacks self-awareness, wisdom, insight, nuance, and gentleness in discourse; mostly humility.

    • ohreally?

      perfectly spot on, emily.

    • Sound Mound

      tl;dr

  • KM413

    Hey Kat… this is one of your finest articles, and I am getting a huge chuckle at your hecklers in these comments. “Peer reviewed articles”, all the moral relativism, and your being in league with the military-industrial complex? Yeah, I deal with the sad fallout of that mindset every day and it ain’t pretty. You can’t explain real life to someone who hasn’t been there yet. You just can’t. Don’t even bother. You are right on track. Having read your blog for years, I know you have that precious lived wisdom that only comes at great price and through suffering that is only relieved/redeemed with even greater love. I am so thankful for your sharing here.
    You go, girl. Tell it like it is. Heck, I may write later to ask you to include this article in the marriage counseling materials I give out, it is that good. Don’t let the #(*@!You go, girl. Tell it like it is. Heck, I may write later to ask you to include this article in the marriage counseling materials I give out, it is that good. Don’t let the #(get you down.

  • aleal00

    Wow. Excellent and insightful post. You articulated this perfectly! I like your list way better.

  • theriser000

    pendulum swing

  • Nickolas

    This is very well said and I had similar thoughts when I read the other article.

  • Eleos

    I believe the cliche is, “follow your dreams.” Life would be dreadfully boring if everyone had the same list.

  • LisaTwaronite

    I’m more than twice her age, and I think her list looks like fun! Well, except for the one about disappointing your parents — that’s getting old.
    Can it be that she was just offering a list of fun & frivolous things to do, and not necessarily a road map to perfect fulfillment?
    Katrina’s list looks good, too. In fact, I bet it’s possible to have a very good life if you do things on both lists. Life isn’t “either/or” — it’s about being both frivolous and serious at the same time, in the right balance.

  • John J. Jakubczyk

    Marriage is the ultimate adventure.

  • David_Naas

    My, what a firestorm of indignation from the emotionally immature and condescendingly self-centered have you ignited in this article, Katrina. I find it so amusing that those who want others to approve their self-indulgence get so furious at those who actually dare to question their right to be a perfect moral slob.
    Art present, I am talking with my granddaughter, whose friends in high school are of the mindset of your most vocal attackers. At least, she is beginning to discover the truth that those boys who urge her not to listen to parents and “do her own thing”, are really wanting her to do THEIR thing, with or without a condom.
    It is sad that a great many women of all ages haven’t figured out that “liberation” is really the freedom to be some manipulative predator’s temporary sex toy.
    And, I’m a Boomer, who has seen the deleterious effects of a confused sexual sociology on three generations of kids. There is your research, and for “peer review”, STUFF IT! If all the libertines are on the same page, what use is “peer review”?

  • Fallulah

    You’re just jealous.

  • Stu

    Miss Elizabeth reminds me those who badmouth the military because the recruiter wouldn’t take them.

    And Katrina’s title contains some good advice for any young men out there. Vanessa is the type of “girl” you avoid.

  • http://connecticutcatholiccorner.blogspot.com/ CT Catholic Corner

    Elizabeth is a sandwich short of a picnic if she doesn’t realize that her #2 “Find you’re thing” is in fact, for many people getting married and having the “white picket fence”.
    Sending Elizabeth at the HuffinglyLost a picnic sandwich – make it two.

  • Mack

    I’m a real flag-waver, but please do NOT join the military at this time, not until we have a mature national leadership. Don’t believe the old s(tuff) about how the military matures an individual; it doesn’t. That’s up to the individual. If you join the military you take a sacred oath binding you to obey; there is no reciprocal oath taken by anyone not to dispose of you carelessly. Recruiters lie, and all the paperwork promises mean nothing after you make your oath. Nothing in military service is like the movies. Really. Don’t do it.

    • http://rosarynovice.stblogs.com/ Augustine

      The military has been under immature leaderships ever since the end of WWII, for all military actions since have been immoral for none passed muster as a just war.

  • Danizar

    Nothing wrong with joining the Peace Corps or starting a small business, is there?

  • James H, London
  • Aaron

    “7- become an active member of a church” — why does this site allow attacks on our own…on anybody.

    I was curious. I was searching for the history on Jesus’ brothers and sisters. Curious click after curious click I came to this site.

    I don’t think you are using the term “narcissist” properly here. Careful…one finger pointing at someone only gets three fingers (your own) pointing back. To really know if Ms. Vanessa Elizabeth is a narcissist we would have to have personal knowledge and exposure to here. Yes? She’s 23. Is that not enough?

    How many people are truly going to come across this site? Actively read through every article? Happened to be moved by this one story? Feel compelled to put everything aside to actually do something about it? Are actually in a position to rally like minded individuals against Vanessa’s or…Katrina’s rant. Congratulations, you accomplished the equivalent of a Facebook comment with everyone basically siding or opposing. Short of some commenting “bitch!”…no difference. BUT, you are riding the banner of Christianity/Catholicism. YOLO! You can answer why you never tried to talk with Vanessa directly…later.

    “Marriage isn’t for everyone”, I think Paul said that…good man. Vanessa is just taking a stand for herself in that a ring and a man do not define who she is. It doesn’t make her a Mary M. Oh wait…she turned out to be one of the coolest women I never knew.

    “Those are hallmarks of an individual who lacks emotional maturity, someone who puts themselves first, always, no matter what. For her, marriage will come later when she’s tired and bored and all her youth is spent.” — by Katrina and perhaps some of Jesus’ disciples before he joined that party of sinners.

    I pray for people but I encourage people to pray for themselves. I would request the same for you. Turn that frown upside down and realize you have 229 comments to shepherd. People may not be spreading your words but some may actually take you seriously. Bad seeds.

  • BTP

    After looking though the comments, I suspect the real problem is that both lists in this post advocate that young people spend their young people years developing virtues. It’s just that a different set of virtues are being advocated. But then, as someone said, “Two cities have been formed by two loves…”

  • S

    I may be naive, but it is possible that underneath Ms. Vanessa Elizabeth’s jaded exterior is a young lady who simply doesn’t believe that she will meet a man worth marrying. But then again, it is the Huffington Post…

    • Nan

      She doesn’t understand her value and that she’s worth marrying.

  • Mark.

    Nutella tastes effing awful and is packed with sugar, and eating a jarful is that woman’s best suggestion. Pathetic.

    • Nan

      I ate nutella today under controlled circumstances; it was a little snack pack with tiny breadsticks. I guess you don’t like hazelnut and chocolate.

  • Philippa Martyr

    I loved your grown-up list. I have done EVERYTHING on it, and am a very happy single 44 year old because of it.
    I know marriage is a wonderful state of life, etc, and vital to creating a stable society, etc, and a sacrament, etc, and I also think that the ‘single vocation’ is a total crock.
    But the fact is, people, you just might not end up getting married. I wanted to, but never did, because it was simply not in the mind of God for me. Or you might lose your spouse a lot sooner than you think.
    So while your waist-to-hip ratio and joyful submission may be very worthwhile pursuits for Young Ladies, they are not that helpful when you are a Lady of over 35 and on your own and need to get a mortgage, fast.
    Having a steady job, on the other hand, is very helpful. Having some common sense, some self-reliance, a good sense of humour, and the courage to look life in the eye on your own don’t go astray either.
    Anything else essential – like power tools – you can always ask for at birthdays and Christmas.

  • Philippa Martyr

    PS I’ve also done ten of the things on the narcissistic list. I won’t tell you which ten. But I think the grownup list has made me happier, and was a lot wiser.

  • James

    When a woman wants to settle down at 30 or so, she may finds that 30 year old men she expected to settle down with are more interested in the 23 year olds.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/thecrescat Katrina Fernandez

    You’re right. Being a functioning member of society is sooooo overrated.

  • Sound Mound

    I know you’re being ironic, but a lot of folks honestly believe that, especially young men. Your list is presumably for women since its a response to a girl’s list. To me, a girl who followed your list would make a good employee or competing applicant for a job, but not a wife.

  • Amith

    At least Elizabeth will know how to bake a cake.

  • Morrie Chamberlain

    What would be on your list of a good wife?

  • Kathryn A. O’Keefe

    This list, in general, is a good list to determine markers of a responsible adult. Generally speaking, before being married, it is considered wise to become independent of your family, and learn how to deal with such things as you would find in the workplace, as well as knowing how to budget, take out a lease, and develop skills that would be useful no matter what you end up doing, staying single, marrying, or joining a religious order. A good spouse is responsible in nature, and can work with his or her spouse to create a stable environment for any children they have, and for each other.

  • Sound Mound

    To me your list seems male oriented as well. For a girl I personally would find one desirable who knows how to cook. For me, what I find most attractive in a woman is a pleasant face to look at (which has as much to do with countenance as natural beauty), a fit body with a desirable waist to hip ratio; cooking ability; homemaking ability; holiday preparation; intelligent, happy submissiveness. None of those thing necessarily conflict with your list, except that there’s only so much time to develop skills, so we have to choose what to spend that time on.

  • Sound Mound

    a pleasant face to look at (which has as much to do with countenance as natural beauty), a fit body with a desirable waist to hip ratio; cooking ability; homemaking ability; holiday preparation; intelligent, happy submissiveness

  • Morrie Chamberlain

    Funny. My wife fits that description plus you can add checkbook manager (she ‘s very thrifty), nurse, partner in child rearing, entertainment director, finder of lost items, potted plant caretaker (unless it’s planted in the ground I will kill it), exercise guru, consoler, rejoicer, golf partner, prayer partner and (since the kids have been to college) successful bringer homer of some of the bacon,

  • Kathryn A. O’Keefe

    M’kay, lets talk about this for second.

    What you’re describing is something that is beneficial to both men and women, regardless of situation. Being healthy and having a good personality are good things no matter what. Being fit, also good for both men and women. Cooking ability? Men and women (the guys in my family like cooking more than most of the girls in the family, girls like baking more, in my family. Both groups are good at both things though). Homemaking ability: it’s not the sole job of a wife to make a place home, but both men and women together. Holiday preparation: again, both people in a marriage should be working on it together, if they want to celebrate it. As to intelligence, this is something that varies for numerous different things, including natural ability, level and soundness of education, etc. You can gain intelligence no matter what you do, as indeed you should. Happy submissiveness: that again, depends on the man involved, and the personality of the woman. Sometimes a woman in a relationship is going to be the one who’s more ordered, sometimes not, sometimes going to be the one who wants to stay at home, sometimes not. It varies.

    The above list can prepare a woman for anything, including preparing for marriage. Your list is not necessarily bad, but neither is it specifically geared towards women, nor does it offer up things which are going to be most useful to a woman in life, whether married or single. Also, at least several of the things that you mention specifically on your list are implied skills developed over the course of completely the author’s own list. Unlike the author’s list however, yours has very little that would imply or allow for personal development, nor would it be accurate to use for judging or assessing anyone’s level of maturity. I know twelve-year-old kids who could fulfill most of your listed ideals, but none who have the maturity or knowledge necessary to attempt to tackle the author’s list.

    The list provided by the author gives challenges which will test a person in the world, regardless of sex. That’s something that can and does benefit everyone, regardless of whether they choose to marry or not.

  • Mark.

    I don’t trust women to cook for me. Maybe this is because in my family all the men cook brilliantly and all the women can burn water rather than boil it.

  • enness

    You’re right, we have limited time. Let me call the plastic surgeon right now.

  • Sound Mound

    You gotta be kidding me. What I’m describing is my preferences in a woman. You honestly think my list is androgynous?
    A pretty, smiling face is way more beneficial to a woman.
    A fit figure with classical measurements is way more beneficial to a woman.
    Kitchen skills, homemaking and holiday decorating are are feminine things historically, and naturally, and more beneficial to women because men find them desirable. Women don’t care if a man can make fancy food, be a homemaker or make a wreath at Christmastime. If he has strong inclinations to do those things he’ll be viewed with some suspicion. If you’re a bible-believer it’s plain to whom who is to submit. And it’s not based on personality but sex. “Intelligent” clearly modifies “submissiveness” in context, so your treatment of intelligence, while factually incorrect, is also irrelevant.
    None of my items are implied in the original list and none of the items on the original list are precluded by my list. But I couldn’t care less if a girl has a lease or a credit card or a master’s degree.
    You’re right, it is unfortunate that some early teenagers would make better wives than the average college graduate. But that’s kind of my point.

  • Sound Mound

    See if you can find one who fixes bad attitudes.

  • Sound Mound

    Neat! Do they also sew their own skirts?