Q & A time with Curt

It’s time for another installment of Q&A Time With Curt, the occasional feature
in which I answer questions people have sent me and make up a bunch of stuff
to fill up the space and create the illusion that lots of people value my advice.
Let’s get
started, then:

Q: Is Curt Hendley your real name?
A: Yes. Curt is my middle name, but that’s what everyone calls me. If I made
up a pseudonym, it would be a lot more exotic—something along the lines
of
Nathanael
Wildridge.
(I
didn’t
make
that up.
It’s my brother-in-law’s
soap opera name. Take your middle name and add to it the name of the street
you grew up on. My soap opera name is Curtis Farm-to-Market Road 3097.)

Q: Why don’t you use a pseudonym?
A: Pseudonyms work well on blogs where an author’s demonstrated knowledge is
more important
than his identity. When I started this blog, I thought using my real name would
add a little credibility.

Q: Why don’t you ever mention your wife’s name?
A: She works in a career field in which security and confidentiality are a
matter of law, and the government doesn’t have the resources to track down
and shoot
every reader who learns
her name.

Q: You have mentioned before that both you and your wife refrained
from sex until you were married. How did you pull that off?

A: She had high standards, strong convictions, and steely willpower. I had
pretty spongy willpower, but I also had strong convictions and a geeky appearance.
I think the key to remaining "pure," as they say, is keeping yourself away from
temptation. My closest friends always shared my beliefs, as did the girls I dated.
That, along with my geeky appearance and social awkwardness, resulted in very
few opportunities for real physical temptation. The most difficulty either of
us ever had in that area was with each other.

Q: So how did you make it with each other?
A: I assume
that by "make it" you mean "accomplish your goal of refraining from sex until
marriage." We took a three-pronged approach. First, we attended a lot of
group
activities together, especially with other Christians our age. Second, when
we were alone we tried to be in public as much as we could—restaurants, movie
theaters, and parks were all good places for us. Third, when we were alone
in private, we tried to keep physical contact to a minimum. The third prong
is the most difficult and, for us, was the most dangerous. Willpower goes
only so far.

Q: I’ve heard that if you wait until you’re "ready" for marriage,
you’ll never get married because you can never be ready. Is that true?

A: You can never be ready for marriage in the sense that you can never
be ready for anything you’ve never done. Were you ready to be born? Were
you ready
to move out of your parents’ house and be responsible for yourself? It depends
on what you mean by "ready," I guess. If you wait until you understand every
aspect of marriage and comprehend the exact nature of what you’re getting
into, you’ll never get married. I’ve been married nearly seven years, and
I’m still
working on that.

Q: What about you? Did you feel "ready"?
A: There was a time in my adult life when I was too emotionally, spiritually,
and relationally immature for any sort of serious relationship, let alone
marriage. When I finally let go of the beliefs and attitudes that were holding
me back, I started growing. I was ready to meet my wife when I did. As I grew,
so did my ability to love her. That love grew to a point where it couldn’t
really grow any more unless we committed our lives to each other. I felt ready.
She felt ready. We were ready.

Q: People say the same thing about waiting to have kids until you’re
ready. Are you ready to be a father?

A: No.

Q: So how do you feel about it?
A: I don’t know that I’ve ever experienced such intense joy and fear simultaneously.

Q: Are you taking good care of your wife while she’s pregnant?
A: I’m trying.

Q: What’s something you should never say to a pregnant woman?
A: "I’m so glad I’ll never be pregnant. If I knew there was a life
inside me, that scene from Alien would
constantly replay in my head for nine straight months."

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