Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Not a judgement, not a prescription. Just an observation.

Reading over at Claire's this morning, she's talking about the joys of growing old. The example of one of those joys struck a chord.

Once when I was much younger somebody told me, "Some guys are just meant to be bachelors, Joel, and you are the classic case." I grew up knowing nothing good about women except that they were mysterious, pink and soft and I wanted one, despite the fact that all the women I knew were prone to yelling and hitting and I wasn't allowed to yell and hit back. I wasn't even sure why I wanted one. Television and movies suggested there was more to them than that.

As I got older, of course, I discovered at least one of the whys but I didn't know how utterly unsuited I was to actually pursue a relationship with one until I disastrously gave it a try. One of the things the experience taught me was that they come honestly by their propensity for yelling and hitting. As far as I can tell they're driven to it by guys like me. Even though we honestly mean no harm.

At the time, that observation about bachelors seemed a cutting remark, an insult. Now, of course, I understand that it was just an observation - a correct one I should have paid more attention to.

I'm not convinced that the benefits of growing old outweigh the liabilities. But one of those benefits, if we have the wisdom and circumstances to take advantage, is a pearl of great price. That's the ability to look at who and what you are, warts and all, and understand that it's not something that needs to be condemned or even corrected. I thought that the way I am made me a bad person. I didn't like being a bad person, so I spent decades trying to be some other sort of person. All I did was make everybody miserable. I felt really bad about that, but try as I did there didn't seem to be anything I could do to change it.

So - despite the monumental external plumbing - I'm not built to be a great lover. Hell, I'm not built to be a decathlon champion, either, but it never upset me. Now, at this far happier phase of my life, I can relax and enjoy. Some guys are just meant to be bachelors.


LJH said...

So are some gals - case in point, yours truly. Not gay, not hetero, simply NOT INTERESTED. Just want to be alone in the woods with my books & toys & critters. Prolly why I get your lifestyle so well; I am you, only not as pretty.

Anonymous said...

I have always thought that it's a good trait to be content with yourself as company. If someone comes along that's equally good company, by all means invite him or her along for the ride, but that person is no substitute for my own character.

I came up with what I consider an excellent analogy for how the oposite sex should be viewed. Being a woman, it describes men, but can be used equally I think to describe women. DH doesn't appreciate it.

Men are like horses, beautiful, high maintenance manure machines, best enjoyed from a distance or on a rent-to-ride basis. ;-}