Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Auntie S Loses It On You

This morning I'm going to be as stroppy as I want to be. I feel like a good aunty scold. First I will scold the girls. Then I will scold the boys. No more Mrs Nice Aunt. En garde a toi.

Girls! I do not know whether to hug you or shake you! It is quite true that the average English-speaking young man is completely obtuse and can barely see two inches beyond his nose. That is why I completely advocate wearing lipstick and bright colours. Lipstick and bright colours say "Yoo-hoo! Pretty girl over here! Hel-lo!" And if you really like someone, and he seems to like you, I have also advocated touching his arm while smiling in a dazzling fashion. Finally, with a liberality that astonishes me, I have even suggested inviting young men you like to parties thrown by you and your girlfriends. All of these things, from the lipstick to the invite, are clear but not aggressive indications that you like men and that, if pursued, there is some hope of catching you.

So WHY, I ask myself, banging my head on my desk, WHY do you persist in telling young men--in pre-emptive strikes--that you have feelings for them? WHY do you do this? One of the great challenges that makes a man a man is wondering if the woman he cares for has feelings for him. WHY do you take away this man-creating challenge? WHY do you spoil the plot?

And WHY instead of keeping your lips to yourself, do you plant them on the object of your affection before he has the idea of planting his lips on you? Again, a plot spoiler! It makes me cross.

If you were all mad devotees of the sexual revolution and couldn't care less what happened in the long run, I would merely raise my eyebrows and say nothing. The definition of insanity is doing something that fails again and again thinking it will eventually work--something like that. And what can one say to the insane? But you are not insane, my little Single girls, you are just impatient and meanwhile, you think you can make a man love you just by willing this to happen. Alas, no.

You will think my conclusion utterly terrible, and I thought it utterly terrible when my mother uttered it to me, but at the end of the day, you can only contemplate the men who pursue you and either say Yes or No. You cannot blatantly pursue men; it does not work. Men are remarkably proof against marrying women they do not love. Men are binary: they love you or they don't. Give them time to figure out what side of the line they are on, and when you know, rejoice or move on.

Boys! I would smack you were you not so modern and enfeebled that you would immediately summon a big strong policeman to your aid. What is your problem? No, you look me in the eye, young men. I'm almost old enough to be your mother.

How old are you anyway? Twenty-five? Twenty-six? Do you know what you are going to be when you grow up? Newsflash--you are grown up. It is time, young men, to go out into the world, to seek your fortune, to win the hand of a beautiful princess, to sire beautiful children who will gladden your old age.

What's that I hear you say? Where are the beautiful princesses? Well, my dears, I am not exactly sure how this could escape your notice. A whole bunch of them are reading my blog. Has it ever occured to you to try to get in touch with them? Meanwhile, have you tried Daily Mass? Have you tried the Newman Centre or Cath Soc? Have you gone to your favourite priest and said "I think I have a vocation to the married life. Do you know any nice Catholic girls?" Has it ever occured to you to email the women who write the blogs you like the best? I myself, as a Single woman, turned down dates with readers, but I respected them for asking and then married the funniest one.

I am not telling you to marry the first girl who comes along. I am merely pointing out that this princess-winning is up to you. Here I am, discouraging the women of the world from foisting their attentions on you, which should leave you free to go trotting after them. Yes, they will usually shoot you down. Figure out why the last one did, and then carry on.

Whenever I meet a marvellous, devout unmarried Catholic woman who feels very called to marriage but has not been snatched up by the age of 30, I feel paradoxically that this was (A) God's will but (B) that Catholic men are shirking not just their responsibilities but the greatest gifts of earthly life. I shake my finger at you.

None of this applies to priests, male religious or seminarians, of course. Bless your heroic hearts! (And start thinking about how to encourage marriage among young Catholics, please. Why not talk to some rabbis?)

I'm scolding only because I care. Have a cookie.


Emma said...

Seraphic, thank you. Thank you as a young woman for my portion of the scolding - I learned that lesson early on and have remembered it well! Thank you for the encouragement to wait to be pursued and to be attractive, "Lipstick and bright colours..."! And for being feminine and not aggressive.

Thank you letting us girls listen in while you lecture the young men - please, please young men take it to heart, look around; we Nice Catholic Girls are out here, we might look different from what you imagine us to be however, you might meet us in unexpected ways, or in unusual places but look for us - we are waiting to be found!

Jennifer said...

Gee whiz, Seraphic. Where WERE you when I needed you in my 20's? I did learn before my 30's, though. Thank heavens.

Auntie S is right, girls. Listen to her.

some guy on the street said...

Well, then...

MorganLaFey said...

Ugh, finally. If only your blog was required reading for man-boys!

theobromophile said...

Where were you when I was 18?! 20? 24?!

Whenever I meet a marvellous, devout unmarried Catholic woman who feels very called to marriage but has not been snatched up by the age of 30, I feel paradoxically that this was (A) God's will but (B) that Catholic men are shirking not just their responsibilities but the greatest gifts of earthly life. I shake my finger at you.

May I add my own finger to the shaking and direct it at women who are 25 or 30 or 35 but feel as if they want to wait several more years before starting to find someone to marry? Men don't dream up those ideas of perpetual bachelorhood all on their own....

some guy on the street said...

On the subject of "they will usually shoot you down", I have to keep reminding myself that this is indeed what characterizes the Single Life among Searching Singles. As in "your keys are always in the last place you look"; my empiricist's mental habits lead me to form an impression that I've a remarkable knack for finding attractive women who aren't interested. The thing I keep forgetting, and must remember, is that this *isn't* remarkable --- it would have been remarkable to maintain an alliance with and eventually marry the source of my first heartache --- and I suppose I should thank goodness I didn't; for she is now (iirc) the most modestly-dressed member of her unhabited Lay Community of Religious Life; and sometimes I just can't stand her!

But it is still ever so frustrating! At least I'll appreciate her love all the more for the pains the search has already cost me --- whoever she is.

Anyways. Perhaps I shall meditate on the sufferings of Our Lord for five minutes, and then back to maths.

Christine said...

Well said, Seraphic. Thank you for the wake-up call, and the cookie.