Saturday, January 26, 2008

A Take on the Ideal Marriage

When transferring old files to my new computer, I found the following discussion and thought it would work for a blog posting with my real world comments in ( ). Remember when blogs didn’t exist? Whatever did we do?

I don’t believe an ideal marriage exists. If people are flawed, and people make marriages, then marriages are inherently flawed (This logic could be applied to just about anything, such as blogs—if people are flawed, and people make blogs, then blogs are inherently flawed). With that stated, I now will go into a world of make-believe.

My ideal man is intelligent, conscientious, hard working, loyal, centered, an exquisite kisser, healthy and clean (cleanliness cannot be overemphasized. I don’t know about you, but smelly feet are well, smelly). He cannot be addicted to any substance, but he must enjoy sharing a perfectly aged bottle of Red Zinfandel (or white or even something from Trader Joe’s. Getting older can make one very flexible). His conversation should be exciting, profound and informative (I like to be entertained as television can’t quite keep me tuned in). He should revel in a long recap of his day, complete with feelings felt and exquisite detail with just the right mix of gossipy news (I know, I know).

When he is home (which would be ideal if he liked to come home), he would be an equal partner. However, if he hates to cook, at least he should do the dishes and entertain the kids leaving me to play.(Idyllically though, he must cook and the kids would be living happily ever after somewhere).

His willingness and assumption of sharing childcare duties would never be in question in the middle of the night, because he would take one night and I would take the other (However, this whole thing can be avoided with aged ovaries—okay, okay, kind of gross so just think of the concept as a good wine).

He should be industrious and self-motivating. If he sees dirty laundry then he should wash clothes, fold them and put them away without any questions on where they belong (he should have hanger preferences, plastic or wire, don’t you think?).

Sharing and compromising would flow throughout the house; for example, although he loves to watch boxing on TV (Isn’t boxing the stupidest sport ever?), he would gladly give it up to attend an opera with me (I’ve never been to an opera and I’m not sure it would be as appealing to me either. But if we sit in the back and sneak out after the first act and find some really great gelato…).

Moreover, as we decide on which movies to see, he and I would choose the ones with lots of talking, beautiful photography and not one car chase or gratuitous, but ever-so-loving prostitute. After the movie, he would revel in a discussion of all the nuances and meanings of what we watched, cozied-up in our bed under the fresh smelling sheets he had changed second thing that morning (Yep that’s exactly what I mean).

Yet, he would never give up his masculinity for anything pink and fluffy (unless he really, really liked pink and couldn’t live without it).

Seriously, (Can I be?) I suppose the ideal marriage is one that allows us to be ourselves. Although our first priority would always be each other and the family we create, we should be free to pursue our individual dreams (And agree to hire a housekeeper).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Musings on Whitman's Ideals

In 1881 Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself” was firmly titled. The epic poem addresses the issue of democracy. The Webster’s New Universal Unabridged Dictionary defines democracy as “the acceptance and practice of the principle of equality of rights, opportunity, and treatment; lack of snobbery; as, there is real ‘democracy’ in this school.” Whitman, in Song of Myself, writes of this democracy.
Whitman points out that equality is essential in Americans. He states, “And I say it is as great to be a woman as to be a man”(line 427). He seems to say that gender should not dictate superiority, “And that all men ever born are also my brothers… and the/women my sisters and lovers”(line 85-6). He means that everyone has a commonality of experience on the earth. The sights, sounds and workings of nature are there for everyone despite social status, intelligence or economic status.
Although there are laws, Whitman feels it is essential to allow humane treatment to override obeying certain policies. For example, The Fugitive Slave Act required that northerners recapture runaway slaves; however, Whitman overlooks this law in favor of what is humane. He assists a fugitive slave, gives him food, shelter and medical care before sending him on his way. “He staid with me a week before he was recuperated and passed north”(line 189). He refuses to compromise his principles of American freedom.
As it follows, Whitman speaks of taking his place in this world. He disagrees with having contempt for people of lower status. He states how satisfying it is that an illiterate person could think less of a learned person who lacks standards. He believes in stepping aside and sharing the earth with his fellow Americans, “And am not stuck up, and am in my place”(line 349). In so doing, everyone and everything becomes something better.
Whitman wants unity, democracy, a true American spirit.