Tuesday, 21 February 2017
Casualties of War
The First World War wiped out almost a generation of British men, and thus there was a generation of British women, often young war widows, who found themselves without a man to marry because there were no men to marry (i.e. in their own social class). Muriel Spark mentions such long-time Singles in her The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie. Indeed Miss Brodie is one of them, her lost love Hugh buried in some far-off battlefield.
Spiritually, Catholic women are in a similar situation, for Catholic culture as our parents (or grandparents) might have known it was destroyed after 1963. It lingered in some places (and still exists to some extent in Poland), but the culture has been blown up even in such tribal enclaves as Glasgow. Saving himself for marriage, steering clear of mortal sin, finding a nice girl to get married to and having lots of kids...? Are there still men like that in Glasgow? Outside SSPX circles, I mean.
If our parents and grandparents bothered to fight the culture war against Catholic marriage and family, they lost. Losing wars has severe consequences. Generations not even born during the war can suffer from it. This is why it is important for our generations of Catholics to keep on fighting for marriage and the family. Otherwise one day a telephone call from a concerned teacher will land your imaginative child or grandchild in sex reassignment therapy. You laugh? I almost laughed, back in 1991, when a pro-life speaker predicted men would marry men one day. I think he mentioned legal euthanasia, too. What a loon, eh?
Meanwhile, there are Single Catholic men out there of two kinds: (1) the spiritually dead, in a state of mortal sin, and definitely CINO, if they even admit to their baptism, and (2) the wary. The spiritually dead you cannot do anything about. They're dead. With the grace of God they will come to life again, but you're not the grace of God, are you? They may have live-in girlfriends, or they may be serial womanizers, or they may have internet porn addictions. They are easy to spot by the third date. By the third date, sex is in the air, so you mention that you believe sex should be reserved for marriage, and he disappears. Behold!
The wary are the ones that interest me and should be the ones that interest you. Unlike many married friends, I do know some great Single Catholic men. They go to Mass. They read Catholic blogs (like this one). They strive to live their faith. But they're wary because there are such things as no-fault divorce and as the economy. Some may prefer traditionally feminine girls, but there don't seem to be many traditionally feminine girls around, or no traditionally feminine girls who are interesting as well as traditional. The men I know don't seem to fall in love with pretty empty-headed nincompoops. I am not sure why, as these seemed to have been the women men preferred back in the day.
Incidentally, I know of a young woman who told a young man I know that he was the first guy she had ever met who was smarter than her. If I ever meet her, I will shake her hand because that is the most brilliant, worldly and cynical chat-up line I have ever encountered in my entire life.
The greatest gift you can give to a man who has a crush on you (and upon whom you have a crush) is freedom from the fear--often mentioned on the manosphere--that you will divorce him out of boredom, take all his money and poison his children against him. How you can communicate this assurance is a mystery although I suppose it might come up naturally in one of those talk-until-3 AM sessions people on the brink of falling in love seem to have.
Another good gift is the ability and willingness to work at least part-time even once you are married and even when you have children. No, you may not really want to do that and maybe you won't have to, but I'm afraid poor old Joe Generation Y is not Saint Joseph and most of the time he will not be able to support an entire family on his sad Generation Y salary right now.
Meanwhile, I cannot say it enough: although the internet has helped kill off your generation with porn, it does have the ability to form links between likeminded Catholics, male and female, all over the world. Read the blogs, chat on the blogs, flirt on the blogs.
I shall now clean out another set of kitchen cupboards, for lo I am a married woman, and cleaning out kitchen cupboards more than once a decade is part of the job.