I couldn't decide on a title so this three title mess is what you're getting tonight. None of this may make any sense as I'm dealing with headaches and another sinus infection. I'm looped up on prescriptions tonight, including some nice little narcotics for my head.
This week I've been pondering male-female relationships of the past. I found a notebook filled with notes on a book I was considering writing three years ago for NaNoWriMo after a year of working at the mental facility and listening to everyone gripe and complain about their men. It was going to be called "Creeper or Keeper". During my few years there I found myself giving out basic relationship advice to many of the younger gals that worked there. I was always amazed at the things they would put up with in their sig-os and what some accepted as normal.
Just because I've been happily (for the most part because ever relationship has road bumps) married for over thirty years now does not mean I don't still have creeps and creepy interactions with the opposite sex. Or a huge pile of awkward weird stories from my romantic past. Just this morning I ran into Dapper Diaper Dude yet again. Dapper Diaper Dude is an elderly gent that cannot walk unassisted. He must constantly lean on a shopping cart, or a truck door or zimmer frame. He's portly, he's quite old and it's clear from a quick glance that he's wearing a fully loaded adult diaper under those banlon pants pulled up to his arm pits. He's got to be 80 years old if he's a day. Here's the problem, he's hit on me no less than three times in the parking lot of the grocery store, I've turned him down three times and each time he's told me afterward I was too fat for him anyway. Excuse me? He outweighs me by at least a hundred pounds. But he never gives up. I've seen him make his creepy pitch to others of a certain middle age in that store too. The eternally creepy pants pooping optimist.
You know I thought when I got a certain age these things would stop. They haven't, they've just gotten a whole lot weirder. This week I was telling Jim about some of the horrible and awkward incidents I suffered during my working and going to college days at the hands of those who were potential bosses. At least twice I applied for positions where I was told right up front I would have to sleep with the boss to seal the deal. Both times I walked away, even if they were high paying positions I wanted and I desperately needed the dough.
That's one thing I love about modern times. Someone pulls that bullshit on you now and it's sexual harassment. In those days it might have been frowned upon but woe be it to you if you thought you might complain to HR or sue. During college I worked at a high end jewelry store where the boss had grabby hands, and you had to avoid him in the diamond room or end up with his hands in your bra. His wife watched him like a hawk, but he still found some way to cop a feel when you least expected it.
I couldn't help but think about all of this as I was reading and preparing to write a review of Vaughn Ohlman's hideous betrothal book where he wants everything to return to how it used to be in the 50s. Not me, I really do not want to go back to a time when men held so much power that you getting and keeping a job depended more on sharing your sexual party favors and turning a blind eye to other shenanigans that never involve consent.
Von's insistence that getting to know the people you are going to marry is not necessary and that attraction is a terrible thing led me to tell of one of the things I learned at 14 years of age. I had a mad crush, like every other girl in 9th grade, on a guy we'll call Alton Black. Alton looks like Bobby Sherman, he was cool, he played guitar and sang, he was the football quarterback and a junior. I was infatuated with him, feeling that I would do anything to make Alton notice me. I hung around football practices, I hung around his band practice in his parent's garage, I always managed to be where he was.
If my father would have pulled a Vaughn, told me at 14 I was being married to Alton immediately I would have been overjoyed. But it wouldn't have lasted, I would eventually killed him and ended up in the St. Gabriel prison for women. There was one thing I didn't count on in my lust for Mr. Cool Guitarist-Quarterback. Compatibility.
As time went on and I got to know Alton pretty well I realized that he wasn't cool, he was actually rather dumb and dull. He was vapid and pretty, who never thought beyond the next day. All the adulation of the girls had made him conceited, petty even, and eventually I stopped going everywhere he was. I ran into him shortly before we moved and I changed schools. He wanted to know why I wasn't coming around any longer. I didn't have the heart to tell him the truth, that he was just shallow and stupid, that when he opened his mouth to spout his opinions it totally killed off every ounce of lust I had for him. I made some mumbled excuses about being busy washing my hair or something and never saw him again.
Years later I did hear about one of my ex's sisters dating Alton. He was near thirty then and everything I heard indicated he had not changed any, he still lived for the adoration of a flock of gals. Now as a local musician.
Boy, I dodged a bullet there!
To me that's the scariest of things about the betrothal theology. Von teaches that there is no such thing as companionship, friendship, a spark, or common interests. That if the girl and guy are Godly enough that none of that matters because the marriage will automatically work. Such bullshit. What happens is that you wake up one day married to a stranger who horrifies you in a culture that does not allow divorce.
That's what navigating all these different relationships as a young woman did for me, it taught me what was and was not acceptable to me in a spouse or even just a working environment. Knowing yourself and taking the time to get to know others is one of the best investments you can make. It can at least save you from those people that push your buttons in the worst way.