Thursday, 14 February 2013

Some Fun for Valentine's Day

Relax, all you sad disappointed romantics out there. You are not alone. Yes, couples exist who are still nuts about each other after many years of marriage. I know some. And I also know divorced singles whose lives were blighted by the search for the romantic perfect, when they had the imperfect but adequate.

The psychology industry, with its over-emphasis on self actualization at the cost of family and community, has much to answer for. But that is several other topics. Let's keep it light today.

Quotes about why marriage is doomed from the start:
Women marry a man of 25 and think they'll change him.
Men marry a woman of 25 and think she will never change.

Albert Camus:"It lasts or it burns. Why can't it last and burn?"
There is now scientific research into pheromones and hormones and such that explains why that initial magnetic pull diminishes after about 2 years. Time to move on to the next level of a shared life. Supporting each other's life work. Dinner with in-laws. Perhaps mortgages and babies. Some boredom may be involved. 

Lord Chesterton: "It doesn't matter who you marry. A month later you will find out it was somebody else anyway".
Case in point: My husband thought he was marrying a fellow gypsy. Our happiest times together involved travel. Neither of us knew I had this inner peasant waiting to burst out.
Any half decent astrologer could have seen it at a glance, but we did not believe in such nonsense at the time. 

Beth James, reflecting on past agonies of love from the safe shore of her sixties: "All this ANGST. About....just another human being!"

John Gray with his Mars/Venus nonsense drives me nuts. As my Aries (ruled by Mars, for the astrologically illiterate) mother said: "It just isn't true!". Amen. 
Astrology is the oldest form of psychology, and as such a fascinating study. A woman with Mars in sexy Scorpio or sensuous Taurus is bound to have a stronger sex drive than a man with Mars in airy, intellectual Gemini. 

Unfortunately all the stereotypes and jokes assume it is the other way around.
Says a female stand-up comedian: "Men will screw mud!"
No they won't. Just like women, some may not always be in the mood. There is nothing wrong with that, but how does that joke make a woman feel whose partner is such a sensitive man? Lower than mud?

Even though they are sexist, Mark Grungor's talks about the difference between men and women are too funny to resist. The concept of the "nothing box" is hilarious. Will women  discover the joys of the nothing box on their own, now that men are doing a fairer share of the chores? It would not surprise me one bit if some of this material will be irrelevant to newer generations. Time will tell. 

I could have used some of his advice earlier, though he too suffers from the John Gray fallacy. 
For your entertainment, here is Mark Grungor on men's brains and women's brains.

P.S. for Dutch readers. The Nothing Box concept reminds me of an old Kronkel column by  Simon Carmiggelt.

He writes about sitting in his easy chair on a Sunday afternoon. His wife is doing something in the kitchen. Hey, this was the fifties. The children are playing under the couch, something mysterious with two blocks and a mirror. He is doing nothing and feeling perfectly happy. 

"Hem rest slechts een zorg. Dat zijn vrouw tegen hem zegt: "Wat zit je daar toch sullig. Ben je soms ziek?" Want vrouwen kunnen het niet. Zij zijn van nature te dribbelig." 

Other blogs on the Battle of the Sexes:


  1. Delightful blog. As I told my last husband as I was packing to move out, "Women no longer need men. You better find a way to make us want you."

    Clearly he failed with me. When I met him I showed standard poodles. I had a bumper sticker that read -- the more I know about men the better I like my dog.

    Men are high maintenance and low return. Dogs the opposite. But I kept denying all the overwhelming evidence.

    That may be the biggest differences between the sexes.

  2. Evil grin. As Gloria Steinem put it: "We are becoming the men we used to want to marry". To be fair, I know some high-maintenance women too and I cannot stand them. This goes for both genders: I get really mad at people who want all the benefits of a more egalitarian society, while clinging to the privileges of the old order.

  3. Nice blog! I admit that I used to be fairly high-maintenance, mainly because I grew up in an affluent neighbourhood and lacked nothing, and wanted to be doted upon because I was ignored by my parents. My first husband reinforced the attitude by showering me with romantic dinners, sending flowers to my workplace, etc. But he expected me to reciprocate with sex, which I became unwilling to do after a while and it shocked me into realizing how shallow he was. One of the last things I said before I left him was "Find yourself a mistress, because I am done."

  4. Thanks Audrey. It sounds to me like you were lacking something very important in childhood, that the most affluent upbringing cannot compensate for: your parents attention. As for the husband.....gee, after being wined and dined of course he would expect sex, the question is why would you NOT feel like it? Sounds like there was more going on there. Never mind, this is not a topic for an open medium. Holding tongue/fingers with great difficulty. I am learning discretion in my dotage.

  5. I have a good marriage, and I think the main reason is that I don't expect romance. I'm not very good at it myself, I prefer humour and kindness. I got wine and a DVD on V Day, because one of my boys reminded him. In return I cooked good food and spent the evening with him instead of working. We were both quite content with that. If we needed a day a year....well, we all know that one.

    And while I'm here, having read the comments, did you know anthroplogists see the "sex for food" contract of human society as normal. It's why I wrote a blog before there were blogs entitled "Marriage is church-sanctioned prostitution" and got myself into a lot of trouble. And because I never learn, it's probably time to do it again.


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