Thursday, February 10, 2005

Sex, Lies, Pants and Plungers

Boy that doesn't sound very wholesome, does it?

Embarassing moments in U.S. History, Chapter XIV:

1. My wife got a Victoria Secret coupon in the mail for a free fragrance, or something benign like that. "Honey, would you be embarassed picking this up for me?"

"Me? Of course not!"

Well, what do you know. I am standing in line in Victoria Secret a few women were ahead of me. I then felt like I was intruding on their privacy as they laid out their purchases for payment. Talk about embarassing. "Oh, I don't think I was supposed to see that . . . oooh, look down!" Victoria Secret purchases seem to me to be as personal as a one can get and boy did I feel like a fish out of water pervert standing there. Never again.

2. Walking through Walmart at 10:30 pm in sweats with a plunger in hand. We had a crappy toilet and kid potty training issues. It seemed pointless to get a cart since that was the only thing I was getting. It was not until I started strolling down the main aisle with this heavy duty plunger in hand, that I felt like an idiot. I could hear the whispers and snickers. Good thing I'm not God 'cos the bolt of lightning that would have hit anyone I suspected of snickering would make Zeus look like toddler play.

On the Today show, (I watched this segment online on the msn homepage) there was a segment on Why Men Cheat. According to the report, 25% of men have cheated on their wives. An expert on the show believed that the number was much higher. He feels it more like 1/3 or even 1/2! Wow.

I'll get back to this in a moment but a quick digression. On Fox's 24, in the first episode, protagonist Jack Bauer is shown in a hotel room and his girlfriend walks out of the shower, they are both in town on business. Her dad is Secretary of Defense and he is SecDefs number one guy. Anyway, before they leave the room, she holds him close:

"Jack I have something I want to tell you. You don't have to respond now, but I feel I had to say this. We've been together for nine months now and I feel . . . I am beginning to fall in love with you."

Wow!! Okay that blows my mind, but my life has been circumscribed in a Christian context so I experienced a moment of cognitive dissonance. How do you sleep and be with someone for 9 months and then just begin to start falling in love? That caught me off guard.

Then there is NBC's ER. Last week's episode began in Dr Pratt's apartment. He and some lady had clearly had sex that night and were cuddling. They were talking about stuff and he said something she didn't quite like and she responded by saying something like, "Pratt, you know, I just don't think this is going to work out. I'm looking for someone who is . . ." This is where I say to myself, "Okay," does it ever work the other way in the secular world anymore? Is sex ever an expression of love? Or is it always sex divorced from love and committment unburdened by love?

Anyway, back to the 1/4-1/2 of married men cheat. That is astounding and scary. I tried to google in numbers for Christians, but I didn't find what I was looking for. But I suspect that numbers among Christians/Catholics is similar. it is scary because among those Christians cheat are serious ones who never dreamed that it could happen to them, but it did. This is why we pray "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."

The Christian world has been rocked by infidelity scandals and I think we are all coming to terms with the fact that there is nothing magical about being a Christian. There is nothing automatic. You just have to work and pray. One thing that struck me as an adult was that as a child, you were told that such and such was wrong and don't do such and such. It was as though there was an invisible hand watching you and restraining you. And then, all of a sudden, you are an adult and you realize that there is nothing stopping you from doing anything. I think that people flirt and think that something will stop them at the appropriate time, but then find out that there is nothing to stop them.

I have worked at places were infidelity was not infrequent. The way it seemed to work was that if you respected your marriage or relationship, then everyone else respect it, but if you sent out signals, there were certainly takers. And the interesting thing for me was coming from a fundamentalit background, we normally assailed these people as sinners. But then in the situation, I knew these people and I thought they were otherwise wonderful people. It hit home finally, infidelity is not about evil people in another world, it is about regular everyday "good" people we meet and interact with everyday. Anyway, I hope the 1/2 number is not right.

In other miscellaneous news, Pull Up Your Pants or Else

The House voted 60-34 on Tuesday for a bill to impose a $50 fine on anyone whose underwear - boxers, briefs or thongs - peeks above their pants or skirts.

The fine would apply to people who display their below-the-waist underwear in a "lewd or indecent manner", the Washington Times said.

"It's not an attack on baggy pants," Delegate Algie Howell Junior said, according to the newspaper.

"To vote for this bill would be a vote for character, to uplift your community and to do something good not only for the state of Virginia, but for this entire country."

Go Christian Right, Go!!! I love it when conservatives show us what smaller more efficient Government should be doing.


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