Men. You like football! You think about sports all the time. Maybe you should think about your wife a little. Think of her as a football. Don’t leave her laying on the Astroturf; hold her next to your ribs on one side.
Sometimes I wonder what kind of creature is making editorial decisions. If my husband uses “porcupine” and “pigskin” in one sentence in which I’m the subject, and then sends out the video for all the world to see, I’m filing for divorce.
How did we get here? You start walking down a hall to get to some place. The hall goes on and on, it turns and meanders. You lose sight of your destination. You vaguely forget where you came from. You keep adjusting your context. Eventually you’re creating a pseudo-reality almost completely disconnected from where you began, or from the reality outside the hall.
The Christian media culture is desperately irrelevant. This is cultural dementia. A piece of video like this actually speaks to almost no one. But the tropes are so deeply etched in the unexamined narrative that they take on a kitschy facsimile of reality. Something once real was conformed to the trendiest version of popular culture, stylized again and again, frozen in trope and repeated for a couple decades until it seemed like truth.
Dementia creates its own narrative, tenuously connected to reality. Hunks of memory are lost, the blanks are desperately filled in with invented content, accommodations are made to the newly invented parts. This cultural narrative is deconstructed and postmodern at its core.
We could study the regression of the sitcom husband over the last 60 years from all wise father to dumb self-absorbed fratboy-in-recovery (recovery supplied by long-suffering bitchy wife). Sometime in the 90’s, translate that caricature to the Christian media culture. Plunk that boy down in “teaching” videos and use him as a don’t-be example. Then have famous sports figures and media-culture leaders themselves assume the caricature in confession sessions meant to relate and instruct all their bros, who are assumed to have the same issues that swollen-headed celebrities do.
How many times am I to be “taught” how to be married by someone who nearly wrecked his marriage? I was an adult responsible for my actions but I chose to be a complete jerk to my wife for 25 years. But then I suddenly understood something obvious. Learn from me.
Those are your problems, buddy. My husband never fell for such stupidity. Why don’t we hear from people who’ve had good marriages all along? Might they not have some wisdom?
I think the essence of marriage is that you do not “come at” one another. My husband is the one person in all the world whom I can expect will be with me, on my side. If, in your marriage, someone is still coming at someone, you have not earned the right to instruct me on marriage.
The Christian media culture requires little any more but a very, very simple analogy to go to the presses or the cameras. When this one appeared in my Facebook newsfeed I knew I had to speak up. They’re getting worse– insultingly dumb, almost completely lacking substance, and in this case, difficult to find useful.
What can this analogy mean? How is one to apply this piece of wisdom? Should you compare your wife to a tightly stretched pigskin filled with air? Should you express your love by running up a field with her, forcefully knocking people over if they come close? Should you pass her to another receiver so he can get her over the goal?
Is there some mystical knowledge about “receiving” the ball that only your sportball brotherhood understands?
My husband suggests: Finally! Now I can be a wife receiver! I can’t wait to tuck you under my arm and cross the goal line, then watch the place kicker boot you through the uprights for the extra point! YAY!!!
Football is pretend war. It’s a game; it is not designed to reflect real life. As such, it does not seem a fitting place to find analogies for marriage.
But the worst thing about the marriage support media stuff is that it has bought into the unbelieving world’s premises. It teaches compromise and patching-up for a relationship seen as intrinsically combative. God has made married men and women one flesh, uniquely united in a way no other human relationship is. The ideas promoted here serve to sustain division where we ought to be promoting unity.
Men. You like football! You think about sports all the time.
Maybe you should think about your wife a little. Think of her as a football.
Yeah. Wisdom here. Just lap it up. Because we need to teach you things by making them into relatable sports analogies that aren’t too difficult. Because all you MEN are white, suburban middle-class sports fans. And all of you are dumb and clueless and clumsy at relationships. And all your wives are sweet but eye-rolling at your selfishness.
Football players know all about marriage, after they clean up their selfish selves.
Yeah. This will open your eyes. Be a wife receiver.
Money quote: “Sometimes my wife coming at me looks a whole lot more like a porcupine than a pigskin.”
“The true fact of it is that there is no real correlation between legal abortion and maternal health,” Ekeocha said. “There is rather a real correlation between the standards of our health care systems and how women are actually surviving or dying.”
“We need access to real prenatal health care, we need skilled birth, we need care and support after birth,” she said. “This is non-controversial.”
Our message to African women is clear.
We have such sympathy–the poverty, the third-world infrastructure, the lack of medical facilities and expertise! What you women of Africa must endure!
We in the first world want to help. Here’s our solution and we’ve spared no expense. We will happily see to it that you have the funds to reduce your population.
We know, from our own experience, that the one thing standing in the way of your freedom, self-actualization, health, wealth and happiness is your uncontrolled fertility. Throw off the shackles of the patriarchy.
Yes, we help out from time to time. Our 1%-ers send millions. But let us tell you what your real problem is: there are too many of you. Here’s some money right away to fix that.
Familiar names at the tops of the lists of the wealthy make headlines when pledging millions to provide access to abortion services to third-world women. Such philanthropists wow!
I see no headlines describing the same wealthy names donating their millions to provide even basic necessities like hospital equipment, medications, medical expertise. These are the things that are needed according to the recipients of their largesse.
And how easy it would be for them to alleviate so much suffering. Instead they offer death.
We were asked to move my Mother to a second nursing home because she became too difficult. She has dementia. She cannot remember that we’ve been taking care of her 24/7 for the last three years. She cannot remember that my Dad’s been gone for 30 years.
No one’s going to tell her what to do or keep her against her will. They tried calming her with a mild sedative, then a stronger one. The stronger one effected her paradoxically; it enraged her. They eliminated the drug to no avail. She made for the exits. They put an alarm band around her ankle. But she kept trying to make a run for it.
So the powers-that-were politely asked us to find her a new home.
I wanted to say: She’s a ninety-six year old woman in a wheelchair with the strength of a kitten. Was she too much of a challenge?
I could have argued but I realized the truth: they were not willing to handle her.
She’s articulate, clever, intelligent, sarcastic. She also has almost no short-term memory and is often confused. She can get belligerent. But I thought nursing homes were where one went to get care when one became disabled, particularly when one was cognitively disabled.
Apparently not so, unless one is cognitively disabled in a compliant sort of way.
In the span of six days at her new place, she has tried to take the elevator down, pulled the fire alarm, and threatened to press charges against the staff. She doesn’t cooperate even when it’s to her benefit, hanging on to the table’s edge when they’re trying to pull her chair out from where she’s wedged herself. Never give in. She’d make a wonderful protester.
To be fair, when we pushed the elevator button to go home, there was a bag taped to the wall next to it. Yes, they have installed the fire alarm right next to the elevator button. In a dementia unit.
My 96 year-old Mom: kicked out of one home, making the second home create new procedures.
When we get there, she gradually calms down, she jokes, she brags of her badass-ness. We re-orient her, we reassure her. We talk about her grandchildren. We explain that she cannot take care of herself at home right now and so she needs to be there. We take her out to the gazebo. We manage to persuade her to submit to another overnight, we promise to be back next day.
And try to be nice to the staff; they’re just doing their jobs. We’ll be back tomorrow.
This must be repeated every day. Her kids are her only link to stability. She cannot remember new people so everyone else is a stranger. Sometimes our reassurance and persuasion go down fairly well, sometimes it takes hours, and sometimes she still isn’t buying it. She’s going home.
She will never not want to go home. She is nursing home-resistant. I hope the new place is ready for permanent non-compliance because she is not going to assimilate.
I am trying to plant an idea in her mind. Although it may seem cruel, I’m trying to suggest that when you are almost 100 years old, it’s no shame to lean on others. It’s no shame, and maybe even necessary, to accept some help. She could be so much more content.
So far it’s not working.
Well, I’ve put off reading this long enough.
Be honest about what you ultimately want from your life. This is tricky because we’re dishonest with ourselves about this. And when we’re young we think there’s endless time and endless opportunity to change direction.
But time passes so quickly, along with opportunity.
If you want to look back at your life from the end and see a happy home and family of your creation in partnership with a person of the opposite sex, do not pussyfoot around with politically-correct posturing through your twenties and thirties. Stop trying to impress your peers and social media contacts. Get to work looking for that partner and developing yourself into a person who can create that home.
Decide what you really want from life. Shut out all the other voices around you and think about what you would regret not having done when it’s too late. Too late comes much faster than you expect.
If that’s the career of your dreams, go for it. If it’s public significance and gravitas, go for it. If it’s purpose without recognition, go for it.
If it’s a lifetime working together, shoulder to shoulder, with the person you admire and respect most in the whole world, go for it. Get to work.
Is there a person in your life who is kind, dependable, willing to commit to you? Do you think this person will support you through life’s rocky road? What more do you need?
If it’s you standing at a sink of dishes with a toddler or two roaming around wrecking havoc, go for it. If it’s watching your kids become unique and valuable human beings who better the world by their presence, go for it.
None of the options will just happen. You have to be intentional about what you pursue. Yes, sometimes things mysteriously fall into place, and God does drop things in our laps. But we must be able to discern those things as gifts, and not devalue them and throw them away.
I’m afraid we throw away gifts like garbage all the time.
Do we imagine that God’s methods, the ways he designed us to actualize those chances, are too outmoded for our enlightened times? What pride.
We are made for relationship. There is not one thing on earth more significant than building good relationships. The question is: what kind of relationships do you want as you walk through your life? How deep, how lasting? What will you have when it’s too late to change direction?