Sexless in the City

Sometimes reading romance novels doesn’t quite prepare you for a love life...

For this 30-year-old urbanite, love is always a misadventure: The Harvard Lickwit, Hippie the Groper, the 5% Man, and the Ad Weasel. These and many other men wander in and out of her life — but never her bed.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Her leading man must also be a character

All right, some Mac Safari customer of Mindspring has checked in so many times today, I’m starting to feel guilty. Aren’t you all on holiday?!! You’re not?

Well then I’m a most-delinquent blogger. But today I’d like to blame it on all the second-hand pot smoke from yesterday. I’m convinced that — and a light overnight snow — must account for my exceedingly lazy state today.

Plus I could also be depressed. I mean, while I had a truly terrific chat with the Captain yesterday — which, even if we never speak again, I can happily regard as closure — it’s very clear that friendship will never encompass much more than occasional hugs and casual chats. At least he’s not a side-hugger!

But it’s not just that guy-pal relationship where I’m forced to take stock of things. The fact is, my taste in men has often been rather suspect. I’ve chosen attention over substance, hipness over character. Strangely, this was because at bottom I wanted things of such particularity, I feared they couldn’t be had. Instead one acquiesces to men so far from the ideal they could never have a chance at breaking your heart.

When posh credentials gild no substance
Lately, though, I’ve decided that ideal’s not so crazy — and well worth holding out for. What does it consist in? Basically, a certain kind of character and hunger for God. One reason I’m so picky about men’s spiritual state is that I’ve gone through major upheavals of my own; the stuff I believe is hardly just received tradition, unexamined.

Frankly, I think any Christian with a certain degree of maturity will have undergone some trials and serious tests of his faith in God. If I someday get married, I want to know that guy’s faith is his own — and strongly his own; not a mere Sunday habit he could just as soon chuck when real hardship comes along. It surely will.

The grandparentals celebrate their sixty-somethingth married year this summer. But they have come this far not because of resignation or sucking it up to endure faint misery. They still tease. They still delight in each other. My grandfather has even humbled himself, over the last 10-15 years, to help out extensively in the kitchen even though the model of masculinity he was raised in would dismiss all that as women’s work a husband should leave to his wife.

The key to romantic longevity
Why is their marriage like this? Why does he have that sacrificial love? Because of their character, which they have in large part because of their faith. And it is as strong as it because of the refining hardships they’ve endured, which they handled as they did because of their foundation. In the mid-60s, when she was still a healthy woman in her 30s, Grandma was hit by a drunk driver who took off one of her legs. Perhaps 10 years later, Grandpa went through a serious spell of depression during which he was nearly suicidal (considering how much this side of the Broadways tend to conceal or privatize emotion, that was pretty major stuff). They also lost their first grandchild to crib death at three months.

I could go on, but the point is, as much as we may dislike the suffering and tragedy life brings upon us, I want to marry someone — if I marry — whose life is founded on something solid enough to carry him through those times of very great struggle.

I know. You’re thinking, “What did California do to our once-hip, witty and bawdy blogger?!!” She’s still in here, somewhere, it’s just getting too cold for seamed stockings and funky mini-skirts. ;) Besides, this semi-serious stuff is sorta like the wheat germ I like to slip into my homemade smoothies (bats lashes persuasively). Extra fiber, ya know? Hopefully you’ll barely taste it even though you’re getting some good-for-you stuff along with the fun and laughs.