The Best Romance

Okay, I admit it … while channel-surfing Monday night, I paused at ABC‘s The Bachelor just as the last rose was about to be presented. (See my previous post here.) I didn’t catch the fainting part, but while I watched, the unfolding melodrama seemed as predictable as if I’d written the script myself.

I’ll defer to Chris Harrison voice-overs to belabor the question of whether Ben will “find true love.” In splendid counterpoint to that bachelor’s situation, I offer a tale of genuine love — in action. Continue reading “The Best Romance”

Happily Ever After?

Flipping through the channels last week, I stumbled upon the season premiere of The Bachelor. Against my better judgment, I paused long enough to be temporarily drawn in. I was intrigued by Cheryl, (a 72 year old grandmother who, upon shaking Ben’s hand, promptly declared her love for him), curious about Casey S. who neglected to greet Ben but moved directly from the limo toward the house, and amused by Lindzi C.’s unusual (but memorable) approach (choosing not to arrive via limo but instead, riding a horse).

[A disclaimer:  I didn’t watch the season where this young man was one of 25 entrants … eventually the one whose heart was “crushed” when The Bachelorette (Ashley) rejected his proposal.]

Since The Bachelor and its spin-off, The Bachelorette, began airing in 2002, I’ve viewed a handful of episodes. In terms of success in capturing viewers for ABC, these are ratings winners. The ratings, of course, translate to advertising dollars for ABC — which is what ultimately keeps both shows on the air. Continue reading “Happily Ever After?”

Taken Captive By Culture (II)

In yesterday’s post, I condemned the devaluation of language that leads to a culturally-defined understanding of marriage. One writer suggested marriage and divorce are in evolution. I disagree.

Words (like dollars) have value; words communicate meaning. However, when this currency (our language) is devalued, communication suffers or ceases.

Hence, my strong conviction that our understanding of marriage must not be taken captive to cultural dictates (i.e. redefinition).

A word to alternative lifestyle folks:  Refer to the definition I quoted in yesterday’s post here. You have the option to enter into marriage. No disrespect or unkindness intended, but based on definition alone, same-sex unions aren’t marriage; please create a different (better suited) word to define your unions.

Beyond general devaluation of language, as I see it, the greater injury (over the last half century) to marriage (as a bedrock institution of society) has been inflicted by the increasing prevalence of divorce. I’m hesitant to view divorce (like marriage) on an evolutionary continuum, but I concede divorce has had dramatic impact on society.

By definition, divorce has always been the legal means to violate the inviolable. What makes divorce a cultural phenomenon is how commonplace it has become; terms like amicable divorce, blended family, serial monogamy and starter wives are fairly recent entries to the social lexicon. Culture adjusts conversation and mindset to reflect everyday realities. Continue reading “Taken Captive By Culture (II)”

No-Fault Divorce

My earlier post, No-Fault Marriage, offered my thoughts on societal attitudes toward marriage. Not long after writing that post, a friend of mine (in the 43rd year of her marriage) received word that the divorce [her husband sought] had been finalized.

This didn’t come as a complete surprise to my friend; still, it was stunning for her to realize this organism — of which she had been one half for nearly all her adult life — had officially been declared donekaputfini! Even though she’d been preparing herself mentally, the finality of it hit her hard.There were no custody issues, the division of property had been addressed somewhat rationally, and whatever details remained were being handled soberly. Voilà! Is this what cultural elites identify as the “amicable divorce”?

A brief aside:  why would anyone be amicable when the basis of the marital bond (till death do us part) calls down divine intervention to sever?!! Years ago, a women’s magazines (can’t remember which) ran a monthly column titled “Can This Marriage Be Saved?” At least at that time, saving marriages was recognized as a worthy goal! (So quaint and totally yesterday, right?)

So back to my friend. Even faced with the knowledge her husband cavorted with other women, her knee-jerk reaction wasn’t to retain a divorce lawyer. Her intent was to honor her marriage vows, despite what many folks saw as “just cause.” Continue reading “No-Fault Divorce”

No-Fault Marriage

When a columnist discusses marriage, the piece usually captures my attention, at least for a few paragraphs. John Hawkins’ recent essay — Why I’m Glad I Haven’t Gotten Married … Yet — provided an interesting perspective.

I don’t know Hawkins … his post indicates he’s a thoughtful man who acknowledges his hope to marry one day. He explains how his (un)employment and personal development necessarily have dictated (for the time being) a lower priority for matrimony.

Laudable. Reminds me of Dirty Harry (aka Clint Eastwood) in Magnum Force: “A man’s gotta know his limitations.” Hawkins reflects insight and the sagacity with which one should approach the prospect of marriage.

When Hawkins justifies his pause, he is well-advised. Alas, I am driven to nit-pick, especially because Hawkins cites “the ramifications of divorce up close … ” as a possible rationale for remaining single — and safe?

I don’t think Hawkins intended it, but follow the implicit logic:

  1. If people must be married in order to divorce,
  2. and some marriages end in divorce,
  3. therefore, marriage causes divorce. Continue reading “No-Fault Marriage”

Doing Hard Things

Several years ago (when I thought I’d have more time to write seriously), I set a goal for myself:  to complete 100 sonnets. I’m under no illusion I’ll be able to “master” the form, but perhaps the effort will permit me a reasonable level of proficiency. I love the sonnet form, and writing 100 of them should be good training. With a few sonnets already written, I gave myself a year.

Didn’t make the goal, but I’m pretty relaxed (for better or worse) so the objective remains with an open time-frame. (I know, management gurus like Peter Drucker and his followers would despise me!)

To date, I’m more than halfway, and I have several in progress, so I’ll keep striving. It may not happen till I’m breathing my last, but I will reach this goal! (Can you envision me on my death-bed furiously penning the last couple of sonnets? Don’t take me yet, Lord! The final stanza needs some fine-tuning!!!) Continue reading “Doing Hard Things”