I still don't have internet at home, so I have to pack all internet business into a few hours in the center of town. This doesn't make for deep and reflective thought, or easy cutting-and-pasting of letters and responses. The tables are too high for comfortable typing. Grump, grump, grump.
But I wanted to talk about an email I got from a depressed young woman in that transitional phase between college graduation and a decent job--mine (in 1995) was simply ghastly--who wanted to know if she should go for coffee with a young man again.
I suspect this young man is conventionally good-looking, for she said he was attractive. However he regaled my reader with his negative thoughts about people who don't think just like him about gay rights and women's issues and admitted to not understanding why people convert to Catholicism. (My reader did not say he asked her, a Catholic, for a serious explanation of this. His remark seems to have been based in wonder at the stupidity of mankind) In short, he revealed through his preoccupations that he was not a good match for my Catholic reader.
It's not that he was a Lefty, in my opinion. It's that he was an unthinking and unimaginative Lefty, the kind that assumes all attractive women are Lefties because they are women and attractive. The kind of Lefty who is as narrow-minded as he thinks Righties are. Naturally, my own Lefty friends are rather broad-minded, or they wouldn't be friends with madly retro me.
But what really put the cherry on the cake of my feeling that this boy was All Wrong for my reader, was that he made a crack about her having to go home from their "hanging-out" because she had a curfew. (Yeah, nothing says "male feminist super-hero" like a guy pretending a grown woman is in high school.)
Meanwhile, my reader, who nevertheless finds the man attractive, asked if she should see him again. And I said, "No."
When you're depressed, you like a bit of excitement, even if it is negative excitement. The idea of going out with a guy who says unpleasant stuff but is nevertheless sexually attractive is mighty tempting. We hear "opposites attract," and when watching movies, we enjoy the friction between male and female enemies in the films and their struggle to maintain loyal to their ideals or their friends or their families in the face of overwhelming sexual attraction to guy/girls who might not be so bad.
And, no, sometimes the guys might not be so bad (sometimes they may be really bad ), but they may be bad FOR YOU. Cracks about how babyish you are for being a Nice Catholic Girl are among the biggest and reddest big red flags there are.