Here’s some Christmas day humor for you all (nothing to do with Christmas, its just funny).
I found this funny…I really need one of these:
Here’s some Christmas day humor for you all (nothing to do with Christmas, its just funny).
I found this funny…I really need one of these:
I was visiting the Boundless Line blog the other day, and a post from Tom Jeffries caught my eye:
I remember several years ago having a conversation with a single coworker about the available bachelors we both knew. She was in her mid- to late-20s at the time, and I mentioned a never-married guy who was probably pushing 40. While this young woman was eager to meet that special someone, she still seemed hesitant. Pressed further, she said it wasn’t the age difference that concerned her, it was the fact that this man — nice as he was — had spent more than half his life as a single adult.
“Most men that age,” she said, “are too set in their ways.”
She wasn’t opposed to dating somewhat older men, she said, but experience had taught her that many longtime bachelors have developed habits they are reluctant or even unwilling to alter. Simply put, when you’ve lived on your own for some 20 years, you’re bound to settle into a routine or two or 27.
The story had a happy ending: the man eventually married, so Tom was not out to overly generalize or depress singles in their thirties and forties. No matter how old you are, it is quite possible to change with the right attitude. And I assume much the same could be said about the other gender.
The reason it caught my eye, though, is because my experience lines up with the woman’s. I’ve seen the same thing in many of my friends, and I’ve noticed it to a certain extent in my own young marriage.
So I sauntered over to the comments section. Boundless Line readers are an eclectic bunch and are not bashful about voiciferously disagreeing with the contributors. I was simply curious: would the commenters, many of whom would hardly call themselves deep traditional conservatives, say they had the same experience? While the reaction was far from monolithic, a surprising number did actually notice the trend. Here are some examples:
It would depend on the person. I dated a guy pushing forty while I was pushing 30 and yes I did find that this particular man was very set in his ways and it was going to be a ‘his way or the highway’ so we didn’t end up moving further along in the relationship.
However, I’ve found that some other men aren’t that way and have married when the time came by (unfortunately not with me :P)
I concur with Julie. Many of the longtime bachelors I know are extremely picky and idealistic – there’s always something “wrong” with each woman they know or meet.
Not that we should have to date or marry someone just because we’re both single; we’re not all matches — but the pickiness is a pattern I’ve observed as well. (And of course there’s something “wrong” with every woman! We’re human too… by *definition* there’s something wrong with each one of us!)
This phenomenon certainly holds true for me. I’m 32 and have been living by myself (no roommates) for the last 7 years or so. I have always thought of myself as someone that enjoyed being around people and used to be very adaptable to change. In college, I lived in a fraternity house and had to learn to be very tolerant of other people’s messes, quirky habits, and occasional moodiness. It was the best time of my life!
Several years ago, I got into a relationship with a woman and was shocked at how much of that tolerance I had lost over the many years of singleness. In the back of my mind, I found myself being subtle annoyed when she did things differently – the way she loaded the dishwasher to the stuff she liked on TV. At first, dating was a treat. However, by the end, even carving time out of my schedule to drive to pick her up, or spending money out of my budget to pay for dates, or staying up “past my bedtime” (LOL), became a point of contention. In retrospect, I wish I had recognized how set in my ways I had become and worked to change that. 32 is too young to be prematurely old!
I think of the two older singles that I know best (one in her early forties, the other in his fifties), and both are very set in their ways. The woman would likely be willing to change a bit, but not completely. The man, on the other hand, has no desire to get married, and his main reason is based on the fact that he isn’t ready to change at this stage in the game. He loves his life, he enjoys the freedom of being single, and he doesn’t think the cons of adjusting to a relationship would outweigh the benefits.
I am a single 30-something gal that desires marriage. Great! But I sometimes feel very set in my ways and sometimes think singleness is the easier route. Marriage seems scary to me at times. At least in my singleness, there is some predictability. But the price is loneliness. I’ve heard of people that got married later in life and their response was “Why did I wait so long?”
While this wasn’t everyone, the number of voices like this was hard to miss.
Now, again, it’s silly to prejudge *simply* because someone’s older. That is, just because someone is older doesn’t necessarily mean he or she is automatically set in his/her ways. There just seems to be a trend, that’s all, so I think it’s worthwhile to point out this phenomenon. As I’ve noted before, this is one of the hidden costs to explicitly delaying marriage.
Can you escape the trend of being “set in your ways” if you are a single in your late 20′s and early 30′s? Well, of course! That doesn’t happen by accident, though. My guess is that if you are one of the folks intentionally putting it off until later (late 20′s/30′s), the adjustment will hit you hard, for that very attitude of intentionally putting off marriage is the culprit for many a hard-to-break single tendencies. On the other hand, if you haven’t married yet but are explicitly preparing for it and pursuing it, you *might* have a considerably easier time even if you marry late. These folks could be more aware of the need to adjust and could be more open to embracing the challenge and sacrifice. That’s just my hunch, though.
Convention today tells us to delay marriage longer and longer (average age of first marriage has hiked up quite a bit in the last 30 years), and most people, including many in the Church, are content in going along with the convention. Many, for example, harp on the notion that marrying at a young age puts you at a higher risk for divorce (what they often don’t realize, however, is that this applies mainly to those who marry at 19 or lower. Once you get into the 21/22 and up range, the risk trails off significantly). Very few have paused to think about the possible long-term ramifications, both for individuals (as this post gets into) and for society as a whole.
As I was driving home tonight, I was incredibly joyous. I had just worked a 12 hour day, I was exhausted, and I had some more work to do when I got home. I had been up since 5am, and it was 8pm when I walked in the door. This has been the norm the past 2 and a half months. You’d figure I’d be dragging my feet in the door, but I skipped in the door with vigor.
Late tonight I asked myself “why”?
I think it’s because of my wife.
Now, don’t roll your eyes. Hear me out on this. Part of my upbeat-ness is, no doubt, from my job, which I absolutely love. But I can’t ignore the roll my wife has played in this. Sure, we’ve had to adjust to each other’s quirks and we’ve had some disagreements, but I’m having the time of my life with her. Sure beats coming home to an empty apartment or coming home to roommates. Sure, I was friendly with all my roommates and I got along with them great. But I wasn’t one with them. None of them was my sole (as opposed to soul…there is a difference!) mate.
When I first walk in the door at night, I am greeted with a long, much needed hug. It is the highlight of my day. Without it, my energy supply to get through the day would be considerably less.
What’s more, not only do I get to come home to a hug, not only do I come home to a home cooked meal, not only does the responsibility of being a husband enhance my own sense of my manhood. Not only do we get to talk to each other about our day(s), but we get to be goofy together. That laughter is absolute soul food, and it is giving me quite the unexpected lift in my step.
Some who have been married longer (or those who haven’t been married at all) might scoff at this: this won’t last. Wait until kids. Then your life will really be over. Or if kids don’t “end your life,” just….just wait. Things will change.
Perhaps. Yeah yeah, maybe we’re still “on drugs” as they say, and we are bound to come crashing down. But you know what? I don’t care. It says in the Old Book, “He who finds a wife finds a good thing.” I am currently enjoying that which I have found and which God has given.
You ever notice that there are an abundance of men who constantly play the “court jester” these days? I’m not talking about guys who are really funny, goofy fellas that are fun to be around because they know how to light-heartedly tease you, or men who use the art of sarcasm well to make a deep point. I’m talking about fellas who seldom seem to take much of anything seriously.
Two of my friends on Facebook displayed this characteristic today within minutes of each other. The first, after another friend wrote a comment about abortion, remarked that he thought it was good because it’s “population control.” The other faked his own marriage on Facebook (and, I admit, did a pretty good job of making it look real). Both are Christians.
“Lighten up, Bordner. Why don’t you just learn to laugh? They were both just joking. What’s the harm?”
I enjoy a good joke like the next guy. Ask my wife: I am constantly teasing her, and it adds some lightness and laughter to our marriage. There is a time to laugh, joke around, and be sarcastic. But that is not all the time.
For both guys, I know by now to take their words and actions with a grain of salt…I knew right away, for example, that my first friend was only joking about abortion really being a good method of “population control.”
Therein lies the problem. He was only joking, and I learned long ago to simply write him off.
The result of such flippancy is that both men have lost the ability to speak truth into my life and probably others’ lives too. Both, in being so irreverent, have become totally irrelevant and impotent.
If you are a guy like this, you might not think it’s a big deal. In fact, you probably like this sort of thing. You like shocking people, because it brings you attention and people think you are funny. But what about when you actually want people to take you seriously? What then? If being a shock jock is your bottom line, what will come of you when it is time to buck up and be useful? After all, when his hour came, no one listened to the “boy who cried wolf.”
This is not something a man does. It is something a boy stuck in Peter-Pan syndrome does. We need a few more good men in the world, not this douche-baggery.
I know that term might offend some readers. Oh well. I’m tired of seeing this phenomena in so many young men. It’s time to call a spade a spade. I mean, c’mon; why even joke about abortion? Men who call themselves doctors split a baby’s skull open with forceps and suck out her brains. That is not the sort of thing to joke around about. I feel silly even saying such an obvious thing.
Another illustration: I watched Paranormal Activity this weekend. With it’s fixation on the occult, I should have walked out of the movie. It wasn’t so wise to stay, but that’s another post for another time. In the movie, the main female character is being pursued by a demon. Her boyfriend, with whom she lives, sees this as an opportunity to be entertained and buy cool gadgets. He buys a bunch of high tech gear to record the entity in action, and teases it constantly. He just wants to see a lil’ action and doesn’t take his girlfriend’s distress seriously. He thinks it’s all one big joke. When he finally does get serious, the situation is out of control and he can do nothing about it. Spoiler: he ends up dead and his girlfriend ends up possessed.
Why all the irreverence? A few things.
First, our society enables men to postpone responsibility. Years ago we didn’t even have the category of “teenager.” Next we added the category “adolescent,” and recently, some sociologists have begun to talk about the phenomenon of “adultolescence.” Countless numbers of adults, especially young men, attempt to extend their adolescences into their late 20′s and early 30′s, and many well-meaning people encourage this attitude (“Wait until later to get married. Have fun now!”). My bet is the “flippant boy” persona is an extension of that attempt to run away from responsibility, even if only at a very subconscious level.
Secondly, our society tends to idolize the persona. There are a large number of TV shows, such as Family Guy and South Park, that stand upon this type of humor, and there are a number of actors who’ve made a career out of playing these types of characters (most male actors in Anchorman, for instance). It’s all around us, so it’s not surprising that young men would seek to emulate what our culture praises.
Thirdly, for some young men, it can be a way to hide insecurity. We all have our fig leafs, and this is an awfully big one. I once dated a woman (Ironic that I’ve been talking about men doing this all along. I guess women can do it too, though it’s much more common in men) that displayed this. Whenever someone would get personal and deep with her, she would start laughing and cracking jokes. It was her way of running from facing her ish.
What do you think? Do you see the same issue? Do you even think it’s a problem? If so, what are some other ways in which we enable this attitude, and how can we exhort young men to drop the fig leaf and grow up?
Recently, Boundless blogger Suzanne Hadley Gosselin asked a few interesting questions. I’m gonna pose them here; who knows, could yield some interesting comments!
If you are a single guy, what do you wish the girls around you knew? If you are a single woman, what do you wish you could tell guys?
One request: be honest! No need to just parrot what you think makes you sound spiritual.
Now this is funny!
The seniors I teach are embarking on their research paper this week. For many of them, it’s “freak out” time.
It’s an enjoyable time for me, though, for most of the students choose interesting topics, many of which I’m quite familiar with. Today, a surprising number of girls chose abortion, for instance. All of them except one were arguing for the pro-life position, and the one girl that wasn’t solidly in that camp was leaning that way. She was pro-choice with pro-life intuitions (most girls that choose the topic argue the pro-life position, I’ve found). This is all very encouraging to me, if only from an anecdotal standpoint.
I was able to discuss sources with them and point them towards some excellent pro-life papers and books, all written from a scholarly view. I also pointed them towards what many consider the most famous pro-choice argument ever made: the “violinist” argument of Judith Jarvis Thompson (after I mentioned the paper, one student even found it in a book she checked out!). I’ve lost count of the times I’ve ran into that paper ever since my college freshman ethics course.
Why would I point them to that source? I’m not worried: quite a few of the pro-life sources I pointed them towards do an excellent job of answering Jarvis’ argument. Besides, why should I fear? When the truth is put next to the lie, truth wins every time. In my mind, this experience will do nothing but strengthen their ability to argue and dialogue effectively in the public square.
Then there was another student–one of the many class clowns in this one particular class. Good kid…makes class interesting.
I asked him what he was doing his paper on. “Religion and war,” he said. “I love arguing those topics…I HATE religion! Religion has caused so much bloodshed over the years.”
Hmmm..Ok. Well, I’m kinda glad he chose the topic, because I know a thing or two about it.
Without overwhelming him or outright showing my cards, I brought up the fact that he’d need to even-handedly deal with counter-arguments to his thesis (same point I made to the pro-lifers…that’s why I mentioned the Thompson paper) and I pointed him towards “Christianity’s Real Record,” a paper on the whole “religion and bloodshed” deal by Greg Koukl. Before that, though, I asked him why he hated religion, and he told me about his experience in private school. Supposedly, a priest told him he was going to hell. “Why would that matter?” I asked. “That’s horrible,” he replied, “don’t impose your beliefs on me.” (the judgment was directed towards the priest, not me.) Supposedly the priest did just that.
This was curious to me. I mean, I get the fact that many in our modern society are offended at that. It’s just, well, why is offense a good reason to reject a religion or claim? If I have cancer, that fact might horrify and offend me, but that’s not the question I’ll be asking. The real issue is, “do I have cancer?” In that respect, the bottom line question the student should ask is, “does hell, completely aside from my feelings in the matter, really exist?”
I hope that question really makes him think twice about putting anything like that in his research paper (using his feelings of offense as a litmus test for truth). Offense isn’t much to stand on when you are writing what is supposed to be a scholarly paper.