I had an interesting conversation with a friend today… we help each other pass the time (what would I do without you dollface?!?… I know you would probably be a lot more productive without me…ha ha)
My friend made the assumption, that many do… that I am more conservative than I really am… she uttered the words “well I know you wouldn’t live with someone before marriage”
To which I replied, with a whole lot of indignation… that I was actually not against the idea. Don’t get me wrong I still think that abstinence is the best policy. But I don’t necessarily think that that is incompatible with living together: More difficult? Yes.
A lot of self-control can go a loooooooooooooong way, is it not? Or am I wrong on this one?
I just think that it’s possible to share a home, with a significant other and not let it get more physical than you want it to be. Of course control, and well-laid boundaries have to be set. I just think that things like maybe not sharing the same room (or the same bed for that matter) would help a lot.
At any rate, my friend thinks I’m a loon. And I must admit, this is not something that has crossed my mind too much as of late or, ever.
But whatever… Maybe I am naive, and if so, I guess I will continue to be just that. I think the larger issue on my mind is culture melding. Partially due to culture, partially due to the disposition innate to me, I am on the conservative side.
However, I am not a 2013 Puritan. As I get older the more I realize just how entrenched non mainstream views are.
Case in point, in another conversation with the same friend, I relayed to her a story about a man from a certain region of Africa (where exactly is besides the point for this post) who married a woman from a totally different region of Africa and was disowned by his entire family for doing so. Fast-forward a few years later, his wife cheats on him. He goes crazy and kills her and then commits suicide.
I must admit that from the cultural (or familial I haven’t quite decided yet) milieu that I come from, the man in this case is seen as the victim (albeit he shouldn’t have killed his wife, leaving his kids complete orphans). In general when this story is relayed in my circles, it’s with great pity on the plight of the husband, and chastisement of the wife for cheating on him and leaving him, when she knew that he had no one else in the world.
My friend, however, saw it differently. Although she didn’t agree with the wife’s cheating, my friend felt that the husband “knew what he was getting into” before he married his wife and accepted that his family would disown him. My friend’s reaction wasn’t visceral, but she was adamant that the wife in this story had every right to fall out of love and she wasn’t responsible for her husband being completely alone if she left him.
That conversation struck me as interesting, because I did see it not just two different personalities at play (mine and hers) but two different cultures at play. I still hear her saying that the wife in this tale had every right to fall in love, and hear my own response… No she didn’t! She was cruel!
But who is right? I suppose it depends on your perspective. Our frames of reference are not the same. We are friends and (heterosexual) females so it doesn’t matter.
But what about in real life and love? I guess I’ve just been hit with the fact that cross-cultural relationships can be more complicated than the Pollyanna way that I envision them.
When I told my mom the story about the husband and wife, her reaction was the same as mine, revealing, perhaps where my perspective originates. But, that’s not the full story: children are rarely the spitting image of their parents.
It’s not that I don’t know how these things can turn out, my family has enough mixing in it racially, ethnically and religiously that I can see the good, bad, ugly and beautiful possibilities of it all.
But all the same I am thinking and thinking about it more.