Thursday, February 17, 2011

Deep thinking at the HuffPo

No, I'm not joking.  The question of what it is to live, and love, and to fully be human is the great question of our time, just as it has been so down through the ages.  At HuffPo, Tracy McMillan (one of the writers of Mad Men) looks at this question through the lens of you're a thirty-something woman who's not married.  I cannot recommend her post more highly.

There's a lot there for the men, too:
When it comes to choosing a husband, only one thing really, truly matters: character. So it stands to reason that a man's character should be at the top of the list of things you are looking for, right? But if you're not married, I already know it isn't. Because if you were looking for a man of character, you would have found one by now. Men of character are, by definition, willing to commit.
It's said - truthfully, in my mind - that the definition of "manly" is written by young women, in each generation.  However, the wisest of these recognize that part of this definition is that a man controls himself, by committing to his woman.  And recognizes that the commitment is no sacrifice.  Guys who whine about their commitment are viewed by other men - real men - as unmanly.

But most of this is for the ladies.  I expect that most of my readers are men, but for any young ladies in the audience, you need to RTWT.  Especially this:
No, you want someone better than you are: better looking, better family, better job.

Here is what you need to know: You are enough right this minute. Period. Not understanding this is a major obstacle to getting married, since women who don't know their own worth make terrible wives. Why? You can fake it for a while, but ultimately you won't love your spouse any better than you love yourself. Smart men know this.
We sure do.  And her conclusion deserves to be engraved in marble, in letters of gold:
The good news is that I believe every woman who wants to can find a great partner. You're just going to need to get rid of the idea that marriage will make you happy. It won't. Once the initial high wears off, you'll just be you, except with twice as much laundry.

Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we do. Probably because for them marriage involves sacrificing their most treasured possession -- a free-agent penis -- and for us, it's the culmination of a princess fantasy so universal, it built Disneyland.

The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it.
It's a different, and more modern way of saying this:
Love is patient; love is kind
and envies no one.
Love is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
never selfish, not quick to take offense.
There is nothing love cannot face;
there is no limit to its faith,
its hope, and endurance.
In a word, there are three things
that last forever: faith, hope, and love;
but the greatest of them all is love.
- 1 Corinthians 13:4
I cannot recommend this post more highly.  The author has drunk deeply from the Cup of Life, and shares this wisdom with us.  The Free Internet Ice Cream is nourishing indeed, for the soul.

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