Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Is Marriage Hype?

Would men and women really live together if there weren’t so many novels and movies and magazine articles dedicated to highlighting the joyful pleasure of heterosexual relationships? Maybe we women have all been brain-washed. Maybe it is all hype. Maybe if I had never been deluged by all the propaganda I would be perfectly fine living single and sharing moments of my life, every now and again, with my friends.  

I mean if marriage and romance were all it was crapped up to be, why would I have had several married women tell me to stay single as long as I can, or not to get married at all? It is as if there is a final chapter to the saga on love, romance and marriage that no one ever writes about. We watch these movies in which the happy ending is when the guy and the guy confess their love for one another, and they embrace and the credits roll. Our imaginations keep the story going with endless bliss and undying love. So if it is so grand a fairy-tale, why am I encouraged to prolong getting married by the older, more experienced generation? How come all the media hype leaves that side of the story out?

Until the last few years, I had no real desire for relationship or romance. So what changed? Well, I think that on top of being set up by the media, God set me up with these so-called hormones. The media brain-washing was by accident. I like girly magazines, and wedged between beautiful fashion spreads that tantalize my occular senses, are blurbs on how to make things “hot” and new sex tips and what a turns a man on. As I graze through a mag, it is so easy to casually read a few lines of the blurb. Then over the course of a year or even two years, those little seeds start to sprout fruits of desire.  Oh and I cannot forget the romance movies that I like to watch. At the end of one movie I am suddenly wanting a man that I did not want before the movie started. Lastly there are the hormones that have a mind of their own.  It is like they turn on without asking my permission and then run rampant.  

The whole thing is a divine set-up. If women did not enjoy chatting about men and hormones did not lay siege to our minds, women would not live with men---they would have no need for them. God knew that life would end after one generation if there was not some draw that entangled men and women, so God set us up. 

I say women have been brain-washed because they definitely seem to get the short end of the stick in relationships. They get the project of helping their dude be civilized, get to carry his child for nine months, plus the pleasure of pushing out it’s big head, they get to be a glorified house-keeper, cooking and cleaning and child-rearing and such.  Look how much stuff we get in return for marriage.  With that in mind, who wouldn’t want to get married? LOL.

I just thought of some more things that entangle us: fear of disease and religious principles.  Actually the two can go hand-in-hand. I have heard justification for monogamy and only having sexual relationships in marriage because it is healthier (one is less likely to get STDs). So what if there was not the fear of STDs or the rules about sex and marriage? In that world, maybe men would be in one camp and women in another. Maybe women and men would only come together for sexual recreation or for procreation. Maybe the women would keep the girl babies and give the boy babies over to the men’s camp (if not right away, maybe after thy were weaned). Either way, women would not live with men.  I bet women would live to see one hundred years and men would die in their thirties.

We have been set up. I have been set up, and I know it. Unfortunately, in this case, knowing is not half the battle. Even if I avoided all the media hype, I would still have those blasted, raging hormones. Man !

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Frustratedly single

I'm 27 and i'm tired of being single. I'm also tired of people asking me whether I fight guys off with a stick, or if I turn a lot of guys down, or if I date a lot of basketball players (because I'm 5'10"), or if i'm single because i'm focusing on school right now. I'm tired of those questions because the answer is an enthusiastic and universal, "NO".  Today a lovely married mamma slapped that paper-cut of a sore, when she made a comment that I had also heard too many times: "well you're a catch and maybe guys are intimidated." To that I responded, "well isn't it a shame that a catch should be off limits."  I had already been thinking recently about this phenomenon of the beautiful, successful and involuntarily single woman.  I  think I have been inducted into this sisterhood by default. I am 5'10", with a lion's mane of dark curls--that everyone seems tempted to touch, a ridiculous amount of facial freckles, a modelesque body, enough brains to be a doctor in T minus 6 months, risky yet fabulous fashion sense and an opinion on everything.  Oh yes, and drum roll please.....I'm single, go figure. 

To the surprise of many, i've been more single than anything else since i've been an adult. Only three boyfriends in over a decade, for a cumulative total of less than a year of my life EVER spent in a relationship. A natural assumption would be that I'm hard to get along with, which is why I am single, despite possessing several attractive qualities.  I could vouch for myself and say I'm very easy-going, but maybe that would seem like I was partial to myself. So, instead, I'll give the testimony of my own brother, who enjoys having passionate debates with me, and would be the first person to say I was difficult, if in fact I was such a thing.  He once told me that he would love for me to marry a man from a certain ethnic background (which will go unnamed), because he wanted such a man to have the privilege of a woman who was not nagging and negative, like he thought too many women from that group were towards their men. So there, i'm not difficult. To be honest, I am probably too easy-going and do not have enough expectations for the guys in my life--maybe that is what allows them to feel comfortable with me.  If I had not ended every relationship that I did not think was the right fit for me, the guys I was either talking to or dating probably would not have broken things off with me. Honestly, i'm really easy to love.  And yet... and yet.

So that brings me back to this intimidation issue. Why should a man be intimidated by a beautiful woman who is successful at her endeavors? What part of the equation makes the woman intimidating, her beauty or her success? Is success really the issue or is it that she seemingly does not need a man? Are men only attracted to women that they think need them? I don't know, but I wish I knew.  When I gave my universal "No" answer to the older gentleman who asked me if i dated a lot of basketball players in Miami, he followed with this question, "are they blind?" To that I replied, "I don't think the guys of my generation have courage anymore". The word courage seemed to resonante with him, and he needed no futher explanation.  What do I mean by courage? It is the guts to risk your pride to make it obvious to a woman that you only have eyes for her; to make the first move; to approach a woman who seems independent, not being nervous that she won't need you, because you realize the asset she is to any strong man. Courage is Barack approaching Michelle, before he was Obama.  Too often the only guys who seem to have the guts to risk their pride are those who are shameless.  Like the guy on the street who cat-calls to anything with a vagina and legs, or to the guy that could be my dad's uncle's age, and you can just tell he's got a lot of baby-mama-drama in his life. But what about young professionals or young men of integrity? What is their deal? Honestly, I think many of them are lazy. Many are waiting for a good woman to find them.  Well, if he is waiting for this catch-of-a lady to vy for his eye, he's just going to keep on waiting. Which stinks for him and also stinks for me.

I don't think i'm old-fashioned to believe that a man should be the one to pursue a woman worth knowing; rather, I'm biased by my own experiences. I have three brothers who are all exceptionally good-looking. When I was in high school, the house phone rang non-stop with teenage girls calling for my brothers. I heard how my brothers treated those girls, what they said within my earshot about them, and how they were nuisances. I also saw one brother chase after a girl, not because she was cute, as my other brother quickly pointed out, but because this girl had not given my brother the time of day. So to all those guys who say they like women to make the first move, I say, "you're full of it. Tell the truth and shame the devil. You know that in the end you are going to end up with the girl you pursued. Everyone else might just qualify to be kept around for fun or for a booty call."

Not every beautiful and successful woman gets inducted into this involuntarily single sisterhood. I have a friend who is sexy along with being very successful, and she can't go a day without being single. She once told me she did not understand why some women were single and could not land a man.  For her, the phone does not stop ringing.  Now that I think of it, maybe it's like the phenomenon of Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Aniston.  Both successful, both stunning, but the one that oozes sex appeal never sleeps alone and the other is involuntarily single. Am I a Jennifer? And if so, what is wrong with that from the man's perspective?