Saturday, 26 February 2011

She Disnae Read My Blog

From Allan Morrison, Ah Couldnae Believe Ma Ears: A Hilarious Collection of Overheard Banter (Hachette Scotland, 2009):

Overheard in Castle Street, Glasgow, on a Saturday afternoon:

"You and me is finished. Finished! Dae ye hear me?"

"But ah love you, ma wee pet."

"Don't 'wee pet' me! You say ye love me. Aye, you love half the women in Glesca and love drinking in half the pubs. You're just a big pain in the arse, so ye ur!"

"Okay then. Why don't we get merrit."

"Ur ye serious?"


"Oh, ah cannae wait tae tell ma mammy."

Moreover: Shiraz sent in this sobering Salon article. I think it is yet another argument not to settle for (1) Mr Wrong (2) premarital sex. The fact that women are reluctantly but resignedly acting out scenes from pornography makes me sad. Are they so lonely or that starved for simple affection that they'll do things they find distasteful? My guess is yes. This is clearly not about economic survival or even a masochistic belief in male supremacy--although sometimes I wonder about the latter.

How to protect yourself from sinking to that level? Never become that lonely, that starved for affection or that self-hating. Cultivate your friendships. Ponder your fruitful role in your birth family and your community. Read about the lives of long-term Single women. Ask the intercession of Single women saints, including the nuns. Read F. Carolyn Graglia's Domestic Tranquility: even if you don't agree with her conclusions about housewifery vs. career, you'll find a lot to console you about authentic feminine sexuality.

Go ahead and get that cat or dog. Get two. Have you ever wondered why Single women fear being called "the Cat Lady" whereas Single men are never, ever called "the Cat Man" or "the Dog Man"? Society has so many ways of intimidating and punishing unmarried women, be they chaste or be they sexually active. Don't let it.


berenike said...

Single women shouldn't worry about being called the Cat Lady. But they should very much worry about becoming the cat lady. Cat, horse, less often dog - I'm sure we've all met the single women who treat their poor animal as a child substitute. Not healthy for either party.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anna said...

Berenike, you're so right. My roommate immediately springs to mind. She is childless but she has a dog that she babies it to an extent that leaves me baffled. She can barely afford groceries but she makes sure her obese animal eats meat (it will no longer touch cheap dog food). She talks to it as if it is really a child (she even calls it "kiddo"). When she comes home she always calls out to the animal first and talks to it, then notices the humans in the apt. I am afraid I can't even illustrate how bizarre and pathetic this situation is. I should also mention that she's a divoricee in her late 40s, so there isn't much of a chance she'll be a mother to humans. And I don't want to come across as condescending to her, I just think it's tragic that her animal is the only creature in her life that she can pour her love into.

joeTHEguy said...

Ummm....that's a Slate article, not a Salon article.

Anonymous said...

Anna, your room mate reminds me of Me; Except that I am 31 :) Well, maybe not to that extreme.
Coming from where I am coming from, I also face the same possibility perhaps never becoming a mother or being married (well, 31 is considered over the hill).

The thing about spinsters turning into kooky nuts has long been in circulation. I think probably frustration and loneliness plays havoc with the female psyche, more than with a male's. There is also more room for alienation, especially when all your friends have kids and are busy with their families. I guess this is when cats and dogs tend to take over the place of normal human relationships.

Seraphic said...

For the record, I couldn't care less if a woman dressed up her pet in Osk Kosh babywear, as long as it is happy and healthy. It is an animal; animals are here to serve us and reflect the glory of God. If a fat pug dog or persian kitty gives the woman the affection she needs so that she doesn't go home with a stranger just so not to be alone, yay puggy or persian, say I.

Joe, you're quite right, and I kept thinking Slate, so why I wrote Salon is beyond me.

EH, I don't know where you are from but in the 21st century 31 is not over the hill. People can and do get married until they are dead. I got married to B.A. at 38.

For an scientific look at reality, look up the US Census data for marital status. If you are in a small Southern US village or somewhere comparable, you should know that not everyone everywhere gets married under 30. In New York City, for example, people marry (for the first time) way later. And in Germany, many think marrying before 30 is odd, although I think they err too much in the other direction.

No more suggestions that Single women of the pet-babying persuasion are crazy, please. It's not kind or helpful.

Anonymous said...

Just to add more perspective, I'm from India. I think a vast majority of women are married by the time they are 30. What really doesn't help is that:
*) Catholics are minority here, and the marrying circle is very limited.
*) You have the caste and region ( ethnic) hangups
*) Women are mostly better educated and earning more

So, in essence, there is a vast pool of Catholic women competing for a small pool of "eligible" men.

If you are 30 and not married, people do look at you like your crazy and provide a lot of unwarranted hilarious advice. Like for instance this colleague (a guy) who was displayed extreme shock and horror at discovering that I was *still single and old* And found the need to verify it with five others.

Any German Catholic singles out there? ;) I kid.


Seraphic said...

How interesting! I don't remember when I last had a comment from India. Listen, this may be a strange question, but what are the ADVANTAGES to being a Single woman in India?

Anonymous said...

As with anywhere else in the world, it gives you the independence to do what you really like, to a large extent. The thing is you aren't too starved for company if you live at home with your parents, which is what usually happens.

The greatest advantage is that there are several avenues for volunteer work in any sphere you like: kids, old people, hospices.
Great blog! Can't wait to read your book.


berenike said...

Women who treat their animals as child substitutes usually spoil the animal. A bad mannered animal, like a bad mannered child, is not as happy as a well mannered one (all else being equal, of course). Cats are of course less susceptible to this, but dogs and especially horses suffer.

There is also an underlying problem, the same that the Catechism mentions in connection with pornography - it's not reality. It's living in fantasy. You can see this reflected in the way the owner projects what she wants to see onto the animal, and doesn't see it as it really is, doesn't treat it as a being in its own right, with its own nature. The child substitute behaviour also saps the energy that would go into the things that you recently described as "designed by evolution" (more or less) - looking after other people.

Not every single person who has an animal or five has Child Substitute Disorder, even if he or she is quite obsessed with the beast! And lots of us I expect live in fantasyland to an unhealthy extent even if we don't have animals.


leonine said...

Get the cat. Or the dog. Or the horse. Or all three. (Full disclosure: my housemate and I have, between the two of us, two horses, one dog, and two cats. So we're seriously outnumbered.)

You must be safe where animals are concerned, especially when they're large. That means remembering you're not an animal and they're not human.

But they're a tremendous gift, and give love and companionship in a simple and uncomplicated way that's really remarkable. My life has been enormously enriched by the small purring feline who's curled up next to my laptop. I was so afraid when I got him that people would think I was a cat lady. Now I'm sorry I delayed getting one for so long; his zest for life and ability to be in the moment has brought a lot of joy to my life, and I'm much less lonely than I was before he arrived.

Christine said...

One advantage to having pets that I think many people don't think about is that they can actually help you meet people. Maybe not so much with cats. I own a retired racing greyhound, and I've met people through the rescue group from which I adopted him. Furthermore, I cannot count the number of times I have been out walking him and strangers will stop and ask me about him: "What breed is he? Is he a rescue? He is so beautiful!" (He is a very good-looking animal.) Most weeks at least one person has a comment or question about him. Granted, none of these people have become my close friends, but I've talked to far more people because of my dog than I would have otherwise.

Nicole on homemade dog food said...

Being a “cat lady” is nothing to be ashamed of! It just shows that we are caring and loving. LOL!