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Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Vending Machine Theory

My dear friend Julianna Shults (dutch, not german) has this theory that a relationship is like one big vending machine, and I think it has a lot of value. Let's take a look at the rules of the vending machine that I'm learning and have learned.

1. Don't put in crumpled up dollar bills. When investing in a vending machine you want to make sure that your dollar bills are crisp. If you keep trying to shove that crumpled up wad it's going to get rejected. How does this relate to dating? Take time to straighten yourself out before looking for that special candy bar. If you're all crumpled and messed up, the boy that you attract will be too... or he'll just reject you. So use the corner of the vending machine to iron out that dollar bill. You'll be appreciated a lot more.

2. Don't pay $1.00 for something that costs $.65. If you want a 65 cent bag of skittles that's all you need to pay to get your bag of skittles. If you keep investing your money you lose it and the candy is gone pretty quick. Disclosure alert: don't invest so much into a new relationship that you are completely lost if it goes anywhere (how much is too much? you need to have physical boundaries and seriously, don't tell someone on your first date about your foot fungus). The boys will panic and run in the other direction. Skittles all over the floor... that's a mess.

3. Don't shake the vending machine. I know it's tempting to shake the vending machine to get some free goodies, but you could end up with lemon heads or worse beechnuts (you know that $.25 stuff at the bottom? There's a reason that it's there and it's cheap. All the good stuff is at the top) Don't try to stick your hand into the vending machine as you will surely need amputation to save your arm. Wait on God's timing. He'll make it clear to you when it's time to grab that piece of candy.

4. Don't settle for the bottom row of snacks. Why settle for beechnuts when you can go for the quality potato skins at the top? You deserve the best and don't think that 3 packs of beechnuts equals one bag of potato skins. Go for quality, not quantity. It may cost a little bit more money, but you won't get sick from candy that's been sitting around the vending machine for 11 years. Bottom line. You deserve someone who will treat you well. Don't settle.

5.Sometimes the vending machine won't give you candy, no matter how much change you put in. The vending machine won't always yield returns, whether it be a bag of lay's sour cream and onion chips that gets stuck on the wheel or the change that is eaten by the machine. In this case, leave the vending machine alone for a while. Maybe it's time for a fast from junk food. Chips can be unhealthy and make you bloated. Coincidentally so can the opposite sex. Maybe it's not the right time to be dating, which leads into tip #6.

6. Don't select something until you know what you want. There's nothing more annoying than someone going up to the vending machine and having no clue what they want to eat. They stand there and ponder and fret about the right decision. Am I hungry for salt or for sugar? Fruit snacks or chex mix? Am I hungry for chocolate or for jolly ranchers? If you know what you are craving you can hit the vending machine with confidence that you've made the right decision. Don't get into something until you know what you want and what you can bring to the relationship. If you don't know what you have to offer or what you're looking for you'll make a lot of bad decisions. Make your choice and move on.

7.Sometimes you make the wrong choice so don't continue to eat the candy. Sometimes it seems like you have made the perfect choice. You were hungry for animal crackers so you put in your 50 cents and open the bag and are about to sample the elephant when you realize what you really want are the animal crackers with sprinkles and frosting. Do you continue to munch on plain lions and tigers and bears (oh my!) simply because it's close to what you want? NO. If what you want are the frosted and sprinkled animal crackers go for those. Someone else may want the regular crackers. Just because someone is close to what you want doesn't mean he or she is. Regular animal crackers can never be frosted animal crackers, just like crem brulee can never be jello (name that movie!) It's best for both if you can set the bag down before you finish it and move on so there are less animals running around without heads for the next person. Chances are that what you're casually munching on is someone else's snack of preference and you want to leave it intact for them. They deserve it as much as you do. Seriously, how would you like it if your bag of goldfish crackers that you had wanted for so long was smashed into pieces?

8. Don't eat too fast or you'll get sick. So you've finally selected the perfect piece of candy. Don't scarf it down! Take time and enjoy that candy so that you can have a lasting relationship. Don't rush ceratin parts unless you know that the candy is ok with it. Make the choice with your partner to talk about your relationship and the speed you want it to go. If you go too fast you'll end up with heartburn and you'll just get burned. Be honest with the person you're seeing. Don't talk about marriage unless you're both ready. Set physical limits (only one m & m at a time folks!). To be honest, what's fast for some people is slow for others, but make sure you are both on the same page. But this I know for sure: if you devour the candy too quickly it sets you up for heartbreak especially if you haven't taken the time to examine the bag. There may be a sweepstakes you could win that you miss if you're devouring the candy too quickly.

9. Enjoy it! God has created us to share this life with someone else, so know that the right candy will come along so when it does, enjoy it!

Does anybody have $.50 I can borrow? :)

2 comments:

Tina J said...

Hannah, you make me laugh. I share J's vending maching with people all the time. I think its great.

Dutch Not German said...

As the originator of the vending machine theory, I think Hannah did an excellent job of synopsising a lot of the vending machine lessons. This metaphor works almost universally, however, be careful. Guys don't like being refered to as a snickers bar. They think it is demeaning or something crazy like that!