I took two of my godsons to Barnes & Noble today. Jason read three children’s books all by himself. It was pretty cute to see him sound out the words. Jonathan just looked at books on guns. I read one book on relationships. It was giving a handful of good reasons for people to get married:

  • You are excited about spending the rest of your life with her.
  • You are willing to give 100% of yourself to her.
  • When you are with her, you are passionate with her.
  • You trust her with your life.
  • You have great respect for her.
  • You like her sense of humor.

Of course, these reasons apply to women, too. One only needs to switch the pronouns around. There were also some questions that I ought to ask my loved one:

  • How would you describe yourself as a small child of five and twelve?
  • What have you learned about men while growing up?
  • What are three or four of your early childhood memories?
  • How would you describe either of your parents?
  • What were your siblings like?
  • What’s the difference between your ideal self and your real self?
  • Do you fear, that if you were not in a relationship with me, that no one else will ask?

What profound questions! I should answer them myself. How would I describe myself as a small child of five and twelve? I was an old soul trapped in a young body. I was precocious. I respected authority gained by merit and reputation, not by age. I was labeled a brat because I rebelled against what I thought (and I still do even when I reflect on the situations now) was tyranny from my aunts. Thought I may be a brat at home, I sought to be liked by my teachers. I took pride in being called nice, considerate, and otherwise praised by them. Amongst my peers, however, I was a loner. I did not have many friends. I would hold incredibly long crushes (from three to five years) with the prettiest girl in school. Academically, I did okay. My goal wasn’t to be a scholar or a brain. I sought to be, as Mr. Bucey of 5th grade put it, a kid with “a good head on my shoulders.” When he gave me that compliment, I had been crying during his end-of-the-year speech. Perhaps he appreciated my sentimentality? In which case, I would say I’ve been a pretty sentimental guy.

What have I learned about women as I grew up? I believe that women are equals to men, but society screws us all up. There is a “glass ceiling” that women encounter. There is an undercurrent of belief that men are superior to women, even if only by a little. I believe relations between the opposite sexes are strained and confused because of these social constructions, and I try to be sensitive towards bias and sexist behavior. Women can be nice or mean, conservative or liberal or radical, honest or deceptive. The variety of women are as many as the variety of men. I learned that the women I tend to be attracted to depends on my own self-image. Say, for instance, when I was younger, I was attracted to the quiet, shy and demure women. Back then, I had a low self-concept of myself. I had low self-esteem. Now, I am attracted to confident, intelligent and strong-willed women, women who know what they want and are not afraid to go after it. My self-concept, now, is very high. Ironically, I am turned off by exactly the same women I was attracted to when I was younger.

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