The beef cubes I bought for $7.53 looked to me up close like they were starting to turn brown. They’re now sizzling on the stove next to the pot of canned sweet potatoes I heated up for some food after not eating lunch. I wasn’t hungry then, and besides, we were driving. The kids and I were on our way home from an Advent visit, a field trip to take us all briefly back in time, to remember with friends from the faraway lands.
One child threw up in the van on the way down. We had to make an emergency stop on the way home for another one’s intestinal emergency that had also kept him awake through the night. They handled it like champs, the one managing to throw up in his Wendy’s cheeseburger wrapper, miraculously keeping the up-chuck contained. The other boy communicated by the grimace on his face, that no, he could not wait until we got home to stop. Had the Casey’s General Store gas station not been just a mile or two down the highway, the nice farmer’s cornfield would’ve simply had to serve as a toilet.
My husband wasn’t able to come on the trip. Unlike me, he had to work, and I promise I say that with zero resentment. I’d already been sad he wasn’t able to come, and we’d had our little short-lived spat about the matter. I’d already lamented to him and myself the mystery of the two separate lives that we’re living, that someway, somehow are said to be one. I’d already repented of my part in a text, because by then we had each gone our own separate ways–he in one van, me in a another. After fifteen years of marriage so far, I rarely communicate “I miss you” in a loving, peaceful, (non)confrontational way.
There’s a crock-pot of bone broth simmering on the counter. I sent another text the next day, asking if he could take it out of the cold and get it heating. If there was any more thyme left in the fridge, I asked if he could dump that in as well. I have yet to figure out a way to make broth that doesn’t leave the house smelling faintly like somebody needs to take out the garbage. Broth is supposed to be good when you’re sick, yet I’ve a hard time getting the kids to actually drink it unless it’s been loaded with chicken and noodles.
I told the kids the rest of today was for mandatory bed-rest. Read a book. Watch a movie. Absolutely no more sugar. I picked up my phone to find something to read, this time the blog of The Wintery Knight. This is one of the blogs I found back in the summer when I also started reading the blog of The Transformed Wife. When I read these two blogs, not only do they produce a kind of cognitive dissonance in my head, they sometimes create an even stronger (angry-ish) reaction in my body. I keep reading them anyway because I feel like it’s helping me find the words to “think again”. I still find the subjects of feminism, culture, and male and female “gender-roles” fascinating.
From The Wintery Knight’s More and More Women as Asking Why They Can’t Find a Good Man to Marry:
If you wonder why men are no longer performing in school, and exchanging careers for video games, the answer is simple. Men have realized that young women today, under the influence of feminism, are not interested in traditional husbands during their late teens and 20s. During these years, women are interested in travel, fun, drinking, hook-ups and cohabitation with amoral atheists. This is what I have personally observed. In the minds of young women, the highest value men are good-looking men who have no religion, and make no moral judgments, and are left of center politically – especially on abortion. There are many good men who are romantic about women from their youth, and want to get married. But when they see what young women really want, they just give up on school and work, since doing the traditional male roles has no value to young women. Many good men even give up on morality and Christianity because they want a relationship with a woman so badly…
I’m one of the last men who followed the marriage-preparedness script for traditional men who wanted to marry and have four children and have a stay-at-home homeschooling mom to raise them from birth to graduate school. I find myself now in my early 40s, with a 6-figure income and a nearly 7-figure net worth. I declined to use those assets to play the field with hot bad girls, preferring instead to keep my sexual past completely clean for my eventual wife. However, what I observed in my late teens and 20s and even early 30s was a complete lack of interest in marriage ability, from non-Christian women and Christian women alike. Christian women aren’t learning to value early marriage from their married parents or their evangelical churches. None of the traditional husband skills are valued by young women, i.e. – chastity, gapless resume, alcohol abstinence, undergraduate and graduate STEM degrees, experience nurturing and mentoring others, stewardship of earned income.
I recently caused an uproar on my Facebook page by saying that even if the perfect woman showed up right now to marry me, I would not pursue her because the critical time where the woman could have applied maximum youth, beauty and fertility as a wife to make an impact on my education, early career, health, and finances has passed. A younger woman develops value to her husband precisely by applying herself to him and to her family in these critical early years. Men who have experienced this self-sacrificial love and support are loyal to their wives even after their wives lose their youth and beauty. Why? Because the men know that they are much better than they could have been, having enjoyed that early investment of value made by their young wives.”
There’s a whole other world out there that I, as a woman, know nothing about. I have also lived a very sheltered life in adulthood. I never partied or slept around in high school or college. I didn’t even think people actually slept around like that except for on television shows like Beverly Hills 90210. I wanted to be Brenda. I wanted to be Kelly. But I also wanted to be married and to be a mother and if I was never anything or anybody else in this world besides that I didn’t care. I married at age 20 and spent the decade of my twenties and early thirties having and taking care of babies. I am 36 now, and though I have years of fertility left, the time of me having babies has passed.
According to The Wintery Knight, I have done everything right as a woman. I dedicated the maximum years of my youth, my “beauty”, and fertility as a wife WITH THE HOPE of making an impact on my husband’s “education, his early career, his health, and finances.” Most of that happened apart from any other human being, including him. The only reason I emphasize the element of hope is because so many times this life is lived WITHOUT A SHRED OF EVIDENCE that this was, in fact, the “right” way.
I’ve read a few blogs and listened to TED talks about women who feel like they wasted their youth. All of them thought they had plenty of years ahead of them for marriage, maybe children. They pursued their careers. They moved in and out of romantic relationships. And now they find themselves at 35, 50, or somewhere in between wondering what in fact they’ve done with their lives. I’m starting to wonder if we all go through this? It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of life we’ve lived. We all wonder.
I’ve tried to leave comments for The Wintery Knight, but most of the time I think I come off sounding bitter. I am sometimes, but I don’t want to be. We’ve all built our lives around some kind of narrative, and I think, at some point, we need to rethink them. Life rarely works in the way we imagined, no matter how logical or “right” it had seemed. The Wintery Knight has made a good life for himself. Don’t sell yourself short of the happiness in front you because you can’t get over a belief–a fantasy–from the past.