Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Bait

Let's call it Bait the Catholic.
It's kind of like Devil's Advocate, but with more stupidity.

I was baited today and I'm still steaming.
It started with an innocent conversation when someone kindly asked me if I wanted kids. Yes, I had wanted children, I had longed for a family, but I'm 43 now and single so we're not banking on that ever happening.
A reasonable person would say, "Yeah, I can see that. That's too bad."

But you know how it is. Another voice chimes in. "You COULD have a baby if you really wanted one."
Well, I'm not going to go into how I don't have sexy time with men I'm not married to, so not so much. I shouldn't have to explain that in casual conversation, with a conversation interruptor.
I'm certainly not going into the fact that if I didn't feel right about having a baby by myself when I was young and fertile, and had endless energy... it's even less likely that I'm going to decide to have a baby by myself when it hurts to walk through IKE@ wearing sneakers!! And I can't touch my toes to begin with. If I wasn't having sexy time with non-husbands when I was young and h@rny, I'm not going to suddenly start now!

No, I'm not getting into that with someone who is baiting me.
But I did say, "What am I supposed to do? Spend 2/3rds of my salary to put a baby in day care while I work 43 hours a week just to put a baby in daycare?"  I figure referring to cash flow problems is the easiest way to appeal to secular do-what-you-want-that's-all-that-matters-anyway types.

She continued, "That's an excuse."
Um, no. That's a reality. I'm a single woman in an occupation that seriously, pays me only a few thousand more than what a year of day care costs. If I would have ever gotten married, I knew I could easily make the argument for me to be a stay-at-home mom. It's silly to work if your take home salary after day care expenses is just enough to cover your travel expenses to and from work. But I digress.

She threw it out there. You could have a baby if you really wanted to.

No. I want more than a baby. I want a family. And I want any babies that come, to have a family. A mommy and a daddy. Not a stressed out, broke mom with no resources and no family nearby.
And in order for that to happen, I need a husband.

Then I did have to resort to explaining how in order to have a husband, I had to live in a different era, one in which men saw a reason to get married. When society started telling men we didn't need to them to have babies - they heard it! They've responded accordingly! That's fine for you maybe, but you've ruined it for women like me.

She said it again. "That's your opinion."
Oh super. The great secular argument. Every option is an opinion.
I wish my brain and mouth would engage in the moment, because I should have said, "No. It's not my opinion. It's the truth. It's the truth of the Bible and the truth of the Catechism.  There's a right way to do it if you can help it. And I'm not here to please myself, I'm here to please God."

Maybe I AM more stubborn than selfless, but if you're speaking to someone who is obviously counter-cultural by way of being Catholic... putting up straw men about how I COULD have a child if I really wanted to is just insulting and rude. You know how I'm going to answer, and you're just trying to win an argument rather than listen to what I believe and why it matters to me. You're trying to shoot holes in my faith.

What you're really doing is trying to validate your choices and opinions.
By that reasoning, yeah, I could have a ferr@ri if I wanted one... I could steal it and drive it around until I got caught.
Want to live in a spacious, luxury mountain home? You could if you wanted to .... just stake out a nice place and attack the family, lock them in the basement and enjoy the place. You could live there if you WANTED to.

Like I said, maybe I am more stubborn than selfless. Maybe God would be absolutely fine with me having a child to love and raise in the faith. Maybe my holding out for a man who shares my faith and values is purely stubborn and not what God intends for me.
After all, I have plenty of relatives who aren't waiting for marriage for s@x and babie, and God is not striking them down. Maybe my holding out was silly. At least I would have loved someone.

Sometimes I picture myself arriving at the pearly gates and God and Saint Peter just shake their heads, sadly. "Oh TRS, you could have had so much more. We admire your fight, but you were fighting the wrong battle."

22 comments:

Catholic Mutt said...

Ugh. I hate this kind of reasoning. As if children are a right, and we can have some if we want them (or abort them if we don't want them). But they are people and they deserve to be put ahead of our selfish desires, even if that means that we don't get to have children. Sometimes things happen and there are single parents, but I wouldn't purposely choose that for a child, either.

TRS said...

Thank you Catholic Mutt, for confirming my position.
I woke up this morning feeling a bit more charitable, realizing that maybe I thought this person was jumping on the Catholic, knowing full well what I believe and was just working to be contrary.
Maybe i stead, I should view it as an opportunity to enlighten her. It's just so hard when you feel attacked.... And that Gods way is so obvious and true. You feel like you shouldn't have to.

Mel P said...

I think the person was just trying to help you. Focusing on problems instead of coming up with solutions isn't going to help you achieve your goal. But I think your goal based on what you write in your blog is to stay a devote, single Catholic. And that is a fine goal. There is nothing wrong with it.
Yes, children are expensive. You could get married and adopt a few. You could find a way to afford them. None of this would go against your religion. You wouldn't have to do crazy things other than work harder at improving your own life.

TRS said...

Mel, to be clear, she was not trying to help. The scenario I explained was with two different women, the second one was bluntly challenging what she knew I hold to be true.
If you could hear her tone of voice... You know the tone... It's the, "if it weren't for your silly, old fashioned,Catholic ideas, you could have everything you say you want."

That's the point of this post... calling out the rudeness of attacking someone who is living for God, and trying to convert them to secular ideals.

Yes, if I made more money or won the lottery, I could adopt. But the life I have right now, that would be the wrong decision for a child. (I'm not going to share my financial situation here... It's no ones business, but I will say there is plenty reason not to subject a child to my world as it is.)
If I ever find my husband, I would consider adoption or foster care.... But not in the life I have now.

MrsK86 said...

I have been following your blog for a while, but never posted before.

I imagine you don't particularly welcome the viewpoints of someone like me, seeing that I'm engaged and living with my fiance before marriage (our wedding is in 7 months), but I am very curious about something you've never really covered in any depth. Feel free to ignore my question if it's too personal :-)

You are looking for a man who is also Catholic and belives in abstinence before marriage. Would you prefer your future husband to be a virgin? Would you be okay with it if he had had sexual partners in the past, but had later decided to remain abstinent until marriage?

Furthermore, the truth is that not everyone is sexually compatible. If you married someone and it turned out that you were not compatible in bed, would you get a divorce, or accept that it was God's will that you end up with this person?

theveilofchastity said...

MrsK86:

The vacuum in your marriage will come. One day, it will be as if the a deep sink hole swallowed up all the secular 'love' which you have built upon sand. Sin is kinda reassuring in a way for those that follow the Lord.

MrsK86 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MrsK86 said...

Your life must be rather empty if you have nothing better to do than hurling hurtful comments at strangers on the internet.

I have always had such tremendous respect for the Christian faith, but it is people like you who give your fellow believers a bad name.

theveilofchastity said...

Hi MrsK86,
I don't make the rules, I just observe their effect. We in the Christian faith are not the problem, your unwillingness to practice chastity is the problem. Don't hate the messenger.

You come on here and taunt TRS and then you expect her friends to reply to you with, "I am sure your decision to live in sin with your fiancé will turn out fine because you have ensured that you are "compatible" in bed."? No.

Genevra said...

MrsK86- I didn't find your comment or question disrespectful in the least. I especially enjoyed your response about the respect you had for a faith, but maybe not the way the followers interacted with others who didn't share their same beliefs.

TRS- As always, I enjoy reading your posts and your point of view about your experiences. I loved the last paragraph in particular. I think it is always wise to ask ourselves and God, are we fighting the wrong battle? It can be easy to become too tunnel visioned in any area of life. Big hugs to you and I hope you find the answers and peace of mind you are looking for. You are an amazing person TRS.

MrsK86 said...

Genevra, I have read some of your blog as well, and you seem like such a sweet person. I can't imagine you ever saying a mean word to anyone.

No taunting was intended, I am simply curious about TRS' perspective on this issue.

For the record, my fiance's parents and my parents also lived together before marriage, and both couples have been happily married for over 30 years. If you are a good match for each other, living together before marriage will not diminish or change that in any way. When the relationship is right, it's right. I also know many happily married couples, some have been married for a decade, who also lived together before marriage. So I'm afraid your "observation of the effect" is not infallible or correct in every case. I also don't see how it's Christ-like or charitable to wish marital problems on others.

theveilofchastity said...

MrsK,
If I have upset you, then I am sorry.

TRS,
If you find my comments uncharitable toward your visitor, then I am sorry for that also. As you know, I feel very protective when others tell single chaste girls that "everything will be just fine if you cohabitate like us." It seemed like taunting to me. ;)

MrsK86 said...

I would also like to make it clear that I was not trying to tell anyone that they have to cohabitate before marriage. It's a personal choice, and I have nothing against those who wait until marriage at all.

BTW TRS, I fully understand your choice not to have a child without a husband. I also find it selfish when women make a conscious decision to bring a fatherless child into the world, because they think that it is their right to have a baby if they want one. All children deserve to grow up in a stable family with two parents. I'm sorry that people won't respect your choice.

TRS said...

Oh my, hello kittens! So sorry, I got wound up in my week and missed all the drama here! Time to moderate!

First of all, I don't see MrsK's initial question as taunting or disrespectful. In truth, I would never discourage questions from people who perhaps live different values from mine. Instead, I see it as an opportunity to learn from one another, and to influence people with my faith.
(Although I will say MrsK sort of launched an attack on Mrs Veil in her second comment - but I'll get to that later.)

To MrsK's question; At this point, and at my age, no - I wouldn't expect my potential spouse to be a virgin. In order to live life, we make mistakes. We make decisions that seem right at the time, the important thing is that we learn from them.
So yes, MrsK - I would be very accepting of someone who has given in to the worldly path, then saw the better, narrow path, devoting himself to live for God - knowing full well it's even more challenging to do so after life experiences.
It would be important to me to know he was someone who valued sexual intimacy as a gift from God, and hopefully only did so in very important relationships - rather than someone who abused his sexuality by "sharing" it with every girl he ever met, or picked up at a bar!
Also, at my age, I'm turned off by men who have engaged in serial monogamy - for years at a time. I would be so insulted if my man kept me on tabs for years at a time without upping the ante to marriage. That's just insulting, and shows he's not a godly man.

Second, yes, sexual compatibility is important - but I refuse to believe that people need to go through great lengths to "practice" and "learn" how to do sexy time. Let's get real. It's so easy, a caveman could do it!
Also, I believe that when two people really love each other, and put God in the center of their marriage, they will be blessed to overcome any differences or misunderstandings about sexy time.
I think it's more important to develop communication skills toward that end than it is to "perfect" your sexual compatibility. I mean, there would have to be MAJOR physical and emotional (perhaps mental) complications for sexual compatibility to be that hindering in a marriage. Furthermore, if one doesn't have multiple partners for comparison, it should be even less of an issue.

TRS said...

Okay, now to address Mrs. Veil's comments.
She certainly wasn't wishing MrsK trouble in her future marriage. If anything, she was issuing a warning, in hopes MrsK won't be blind to certain pitfalls.
Because yes, challenges WILL come!

Now, here, I'm going to take the liberty of assuming some of Mrs Veil's intentions. I'm going to suggest, and I think she would too... that before you get married, take some time living apart, or at least move to separate bedrooms and see what happens when you can't use sexy time to mend fences in your relationship.
What will happen when your greatly pregnant and not up for sexy time, or post-natal - same situation? Or he's in a rock climbing accident that renders him incapable of sexy time for a prolonged period or forever? Is your marriage over then? Because you "deserve" sexy time? Are either of you entitled to seek sexy time outside of your marriage should the other be "incapacitated" in that area? Are you sure?

Or is your relationship strong enough, because it's based on your desire to help one another get to heaven? Rather than what you can do for one another?

It's just that our culture has made sexy time the end all - be all -- to the degree that politicians want to ensure that 11 yr olds have access to Plan B! Like all female entities are supposed to be available for sex beyond all else?!?!? Crazy.
Sexy time should be gravy in a marriage. Not the main course.

Now I guess that doesn't really address Mrs Veil's comments.... I kind of took the opportunity to speak for her... knowing that she didn't mean to sound uncharitable. (Au Contraire! Mrs. Veil is quite charitable - and from what I can tell, not the type of Christian who hypocritically holds others to different standards than herself.) I do believe she was 'speaking' passionately - and as we all know, intentions can get lost in translation in comm boxes!

Another thing I've noticed MrsK is that you're already assuming your married title. Mrs. Same as you have assumed martial privileges - and I suppose you're performing household duties as well.
I'm speaking from experience when I say, a woman should NOT behave like a wife until she IS a wife.
Even the household tasks!
When I was dating Mr. Burns, I spent far too much time at his home, doing laundry, cleaning dishes, even scrubbing floors - as a way to show my love.
Yes, he appreciated the "hired help" but he actually resented my performing those duties.
Wrong wrong wrong.

Mrs. K you have seven more months to figure out how compatible you and your mister are in the MOST IMPORTANT ways. Faith, communication, love languages. Don't enter into marriage without knowing those things

I hope I haven't come off too opinionated here, I really am speaking out of love.
And I wish you the best in your impending marriage. May God's love abound!!!

(whew, that could have been a whole other post!!! probably should have been! Sorry Folks! )

Genevra said...

TRS- I'm going to share my opinion about this because I was sadden by how it went down. I know you and respect you as a person, so I will trust what you say about Mrs. Veil being a charitable person overall in your opinion, I don't know who she is and I haven't read her blog in depth other than to briefly look at it when this happened. To me this is a case of she let her upset feelings get in the way of how she phrased what she thought. In my opinion she was not that charitable at all in her comments to Mrs. K. And while she may not have meant to come across as harsh as it did, how Mrs. K took it exactly how I took it. The bottom line we can all be attacked by someone else for what we believe. And being "passionate" about our opinions and what we believe is not an excuse to treat someone less than kindly and appear less than tolerant. While I admire Mrs. Veil for being protective of you, the way she did it was less than kind. Casting the harsh judgment that was cast so quickly, wasn't charitable in the least. So I can't fault Mrs. K for casting a judgement back in defense. It is natural to be defensive when you feel someone is unjustly attacking you, which ironically that was the whole point of your blog post. You felt the tone of voice and manner in which the woman engaged you about YOUR life choices was rude and disrespectful and you didn't like it being done to you. You felt you had to defend yourself. Then that exact thing was done to a commenter when they asked a valid question and wanted to know your point of view on something. So for her to be attacked when she wasn't attacking first, was indeed uncharitable and unnecessary. That said, I appreciate the attempt to clarify and apologize by both you and Mrs. Veil. End of my "passionate" opinion.

And Mrs. K, congratulations as well on your upcoming marriage!

TRS said...

Genevra, You make a great point.
Particularly that which was the point of my original post.

In review, I see that Mrs. Veil came off harshly. Just calling the action sin is seen as harsh. Seeing as Mrs. K didn't make an accusation at all in her first comment, Mrs. Veil overstepped a bit. MrsK only asked my opinion.

Now that I'm doing play-by-play, Mrs Veil didn't throw an accusation at Mrs K either... just a prediction - which wasn't exactly friendly.

On one hand, the can of worms was opened by way of presenting the question in a forum.
And, sadly, I didn't have the opportunity to check in on my own blog, and therefore let it go unchecked.
I hope we can all remain friendly and respectful here. Haven't heard from either of the Mrs. just yet.

TRS said...

Wait... when I refer to the can of worms, I am in no way suggesting that asking the question was inappropriate.
I welcome discussion. Kind, tempered discussion.

And I hope my lengthy two-part response is taken as respectful.

And G - you know you're AWESOME too!

MrsK86 said...

Hello ladies, I'm sorry if it seemed like I was saying that my relationship with my fiance was based solely on sex. Let me clarify :-)

We moved in together after 16 months of dating because we knew we wanted to get married, and we both saw living together as a huge commitment in itself. I felt confident moving in without the ring, because I trusted that he would not make me wait years and years for a proposal. He kept his promise, and we got engaged last year. We're having a two-year engagement in order to save up money, because let's face it, weddings are not cheap :-)

We've been together for 4 1/2 years now, and in that time we have had our share of hardships. We've experienced illness and death in both of our families, my career change (this has been so hard, especially in this economic climate), and we're currently tackling a cross-country move in order to be close to his parents after his dad suffered a stroke earlier this year. Our love and commitment has grown stronger and deeper through all these things, and I truly feel that we will be able to face life's difficulties as a strong unit. Our relationship is primarily based on shared values, ethics, life goals, views and mutual respect. He has not once attempted to pressure me for sex, nor has he ever treated me like a maid or housekeeper. We both feel that housework should be shared, so we always do the foodshopping together, and split cleaning, laundry and cooking 50/50. I have acted like a wife by living with him for three years now, but he has in return shown that he will be a wonderful, caring husband to me.

TRS, I also want to share something with you that I hope will be of encouragement. I frequently visit a wedding forum where you can find people from all walks of life. There is a lady there who was a first-time bride at 47. She had previously, at 30, ended her engagement to her boyfriend of three years because they belonged to different Christian denominations and therefore disagreed on major theological issues. At 45, she met a divorced pastor on eHarmony, and moved cross-country to marry him. She is now a happily married stepmother and stepgrandmother. Like you, she was abstinent before marriage, and though it was challenging, she found her soulmate. I hope you find the man of your dreams, and that you get to have your dream wedding too.

TRS said...

Mrsk,
To clarify, I did not have the impression that your relationship was based on sex. Surely, it's a part of it - and moving in together is often a point of convenience ( relations being a part of that.)

Mrs veil told me privately that your inclusion of that fact, felt to her like sticking it in our faces (us being devout Catholics) like "baiting". but I didn't see it that way. I see it as simply giving background to your situation as you framed the question.
She admits her inner mamma bear got riled! Which is funny because I'M usually the tough love type!

Then the accusation of Christian Hypocracy didn't smooth anything over.
But I think we can all put the bad feelings in the past.

Surely, I can't know the depths of your relationship with your mister. I did not hope to presume that I did.... So if my writing came off that way, I apologize.
But we all know that sexy time can be a crutch for many relationships, married or not! That was what I meant to address.

I wish you much grace and peace and happiness as you start your married life together.
I would be curious to know what he thought of this conversation. Hmmm?

MrsK86 said...

I just wanted to clarify, in case it came across as if I was saying that sex was the most important thing in a relationship, because I fully agree with you that it's not :-)

TRS, I have also read your posts about Mr Burns, and I have a strange feeling about the entire thing. Maybe I am completely wrong here, but I have a suspicion that he's a misogynist who has a fundamental dislike and mistrust of women. It's weird that he would resent you for doing nice things for him, that's a sure sign of someone with deeper issues going on.

And don't forget that there are plenty of people who meet their spouse later in life, like the lady I mentioned above. My fiance's aunt also married in her 40s. She and her husband never had any children, but they are happily married and are close to their nieces and newphews. All I'm saying is that you don't have to resign to the idea of never getting married, the possibility is definitely there :-)

As for my fiance, he thinks it's silly to argue with strangers on the internet haha. I personally think it's interesting to hear different opinions, even if you're not talking to the person face to face.

mel p said...

I find this discussion interesting, but view it in an entirely different light. I think your core differences lie in your locus of control rather than who is having sex when.
Some people are very structured and do well with sets of rules and religion provides that. They are great with an external locus of control. Others crave freedom and are very driven. They take responsibility for their actions and outcomes. They are typically not good with religion.
DISC personality typing helped me understand why some people feel attacked when other people don't view it that way.
I do hope that you can find a way to accomplish your goals within the structure and framework of the religion you love. (Although, when I was religious I could never figure out how much control God wanted me to have and if he really was in control. It didn't make sense that we could sin, but that wasn't what God wanted, but God supposedly could make things happen. Never fully understood it.)

https://www.boundless.com/psychology/personality/social-cognitive-perspective/the-difference-between-an-internal-and-external-locus-of-control/

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