coming out of my shell

coming out of my shell

Friday, November 7, 2014

Take My Wife, Please!

As I hinted in a previous post, I feel kind of sorry for men who marry young women.  They do not realize at the time, but they actually have no idea who they are going to end up with.  With some notable exceptions, most women do not come in to their own until middle age, when all hell breaks lose.  Sometimes the sweet, passive young thing you married becomes a mouthy, strongly opinionated woman in her 40's.  It happens!

I am uncomfortably aware this is a gross stereotype.  Still, I am going to follow this thought and see where it takes me.  I am not afraid to make a boneheaded argument and later discover I was all wrong.  It's kinda fun and it gives me something to do.

How many marriages end because the man no longer recognizes the woman he married, or the woman feels she has outgrown the man?  The contract has been broken, the promises have not been kept.  The husband may feel cheated and deceived when he finds out his wife has her own opinions and they do not jive with his own.  Imagine how heartbreaking it must be for a man to discover his wife cannot stand the things about him at 50 that she loved at 20?   That has got to be harsh!  You have my sympathy, gentlemen.

Most boys are allowed, encouraged even, to be “themselves.”  Boys are admired for having strong personalities.  Hey, they admire THEMSELVES for having strong personalities and they are not shy about revealing who they are.  I like that about young men.  Young woman let it all hang out with their girlfriends, but some do not reveal their "selves" when a young man is around.  Is it because a young woman does not want to "rock the boat" or alienate a boyfriend?  Don't you just love running into a young woman who does not care about things like that?  In fact, the world is not overly accepting of young women developing strong personalities.  I suspect most young men do not want a Bella Abzug for a wife, they want a Barbie Doll.  If you do not know who Bella Abzug was, then you were not politically active in the late 1960s and you really need to google her.  She was an amazingly accomplished and admirable political powerhouse who some tried to turn into a joke so as to diminish her power and influence.  Seems like some things never change.

We all change as we grow older.  I could be wrong, but I think women change over time more than men do. This is true for my generation, anyway.  I hope things have changed dramatically and the young whippersnappers of today are different.  It would make me very happy to be wrong, but I think Katniss Everdeen is still the exception to the rule. 

What do I mean by that?  Hopefully men will grow and change over time, but you often still recognize the essential 20 year old in a man even in old age.  The girl they married may have hung on their every word, blissfully allowing the husband to make all the major decisions when she was young.  The woman they grow old with may not be recognizable in that context.  Hopefully the husband has grown and changed along with her and has fallen in love with her all over again as she transformed into a woman.  Stranger things have happened.  But God help the old fart who marries a young woman.  By the time she becomes a grown up woman he no longer approves of, he might be too old and gnarly to find another malleable young girl.  Unless he has a lot of money, of course, then he might attract someone like Anna Nicole Smith.

Young women notoriously stop excelling at school around puberty and start researching beauty tips and clothing styles instead of math and science.  This is slowly changing, I am almost sure of it.  However, I fear a significant number of American Girls are still not being raised by parents encouraging them to be brilliant, quirky, or feisty characters.  It is sad to see a bright girl dumb herself down in hopes of attracting attention for how she looks instead of who she is, and even more sad when a grown woman does it.  I cannot help but wonder if Kim Kardashian has a personality or any deep thoughts.   If she does, she certainly hides them well.  Pink, on the other hand, is a celebrity I would be proud to know.  In fact, if you are not familiar with Pink's song "Stupid Girls" you really should listen to it.  Great stuff.

Once upon a time there was a psychologist named Carl Rogers.  According to the web site you will come to if you click on his name, he thought:

“…for a person to "grow", they need an environment that provides them with genuineness (openness and self-disclosure), acceptance (being seen with unconditional positive regard), and empathy (being listened to and understood).

Without these, relationships and healthy personalities will not develop as they should, much like a tree will not grow without sunlight and water.”

Some girls in traditional families do not get those things from their parents.  Hell, many wives do not get these things from their husbands.  Even in this enlightened day and age (?), many girls are not liked, accepted or understood, even in their own families.  Too many young girls are still being tolerated rather than celebrated.

I know a lot of exceptional women with strong and unique personalities who live normal lives and even vote Republican!  (I would insert a smiley face emoticon here if I could figure out how to use this blog site software.)  After many years of struggle and hardscrabble existence, these woman are living feminism, whether they want to own up to it or not.  They might have been meek and mild when they married their husbands at 19; however, they are no longer meek nor mild at 40, 50, 60 and beyond.  They are gloriously fully formed personalities full of piss and vinegar.  Deal with it!

It is true that I married T young.  However, I have always been a mouthy dame and I was lucky enough as a young woman to find a young man who appreciated women like me.  Or at least that is what I have always thought.   Just to make sure I am not deluding myself, I just went and asked T if I was meek and mild when he married me.   He answered with a resounding "YOU?" Then some laughter and maybe snorting.  "No, you were never meek and mild."  I am one of the lucky ones.  Or maybe he is?  

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