"Men," I like to say, "are the caffeine in the cappuccino of life."
I go at some lengths about this topic in My Book. As annoyed as women get at Men in General, and as criminial as are Some Men in Particular, life would be a lot more boring without some men in it. Women who go into cloister are making a very real sacrifice. I know I could never join a religious order, for I would disgrace it by flirting with the UPS man at every opportunity.
Happily for me, the whole time I was Single, I had some great men in my life. And it was through contemplating these great men--and comparing them to not-so-great men I knew--that I became Seraphic Single. I was washing dishes at the time, and I stood over the sink and said, "Okay, God, if you want me to be Single, that's fine."
These great men included my father, my brothers, my oldest nephew, an uncle (fondly remembered), my grandfather (dimly remembered), two heroic great-grandfathers (known through stories), some professors, some priests, two mentors, and a male religious buddy. Mostly, though, I was entranced by the glorious mental spectacle of my menfolk. And I thought, "We have great men in our family! Why mess that up?"
You see, it had occured to me that I might not ever meet a man who was up to the dad-and-brothers standard. Unless I was very strict with myself, I might bring a complete dud into the family. My poor family would have to be nice to the dud every Christmas, pretend he was not a dud, and look under his dud exterior for whatever gleam of divine light there might be within.
Or even if I managed to find a nice man who was on the same level of greatness as dad-and-brothers, we might have a dud son. We might have six dud sons. We might give birth to a gang, the kind of gang who gets extra harsh sentences because they come from a good family and therefore have no excuse.
"So far," I mused, "I am proud of all the menfolk. So why mess that up?"
And I felt a great sense of peace over Singleness that I wanted to tell all the world about.
Since then, as you know, I got married to a non-dud, basing my decision on an overwhelming sense that my family would love this guy, that he was "so us" and that he had quite a lot in common with the oldest of my brothers. He is even on the dad-and-brothers level and so quite worth the 38 year wait.
We might still give birth to a gang, although it seems unlikely. And poor B.A. might get squished by a bus, leaving me Single again. But after I got over the horror of the squishing, I would still have the memory of B.A. in my list of Great Family Men. I would mind being widowed, but I would not mind being Single, if you see the difference.