Words and numbers and other things that matter

Most of my free time in November was spent working on NaNoWriMo. I managed to write a bit over 54,000 words. That’s more than the NaNoWriMo target, but less than I’ve managed in some years. Which isn’t to say that I’m not happy about how much I wrote! I’m actually quite pleased that I managed to stay on track with everything going on.

There were a lot of things I wanted to blog about more in depth last month, but since I was trying to finish NaNo, I mostly kept my blogging to Friday Five each week and a few links posts in-between. More than one of those topics that I really wanted to talk about had absolutely nothing to do with the elections, the erosion of our Republic, or international issues.

For instance, a topic came across my various information streams a couple of times. One of the times was someone tweeted about how they didn’t understand why so many straight guys think that it is cool to commemorate the anniversary with their wife by posting a picture with a caption that said, “It took me four years, but I finally wore her down and she married me! Now we’ve been together X years and I’m so glad!” And further in her twitter thread she or one of the people replying to her original were just as boggled that there are women out there who think it’s funny that this is how their husband “wooed” them.

And I agree! Who wants to spend the rest of their life with someone who you coerced into the relationship? Why take pride in that? What you’re saying is not that you are a great husband, and certainly not that you are a great romancer, but rather that you managed to somehow convince them they would never get the kind of husband they wanted and deserved. And why do you think that’s something worth bragging about?

I understand how women are socialized to go along with this—for instance, all the romantic comedies out there are merely a subset of the ways that our culture is geared toward brainwashing us into accepting that when a man doesn’t take “no” for an answer it’s supposed to be charming (when in fact it is creepy as all f—), but it still flabbergasts me a bit.

Because here’s the deal: I think my husband is awesome. I consider myself very lucky that he likes me at all, let alone agreed to marry me and lives with me and has put up with me for 22 years. I am happy especially happy that he decided that I was worth dating, and continuing to date, and eventually moving in with, and so forth without me having to coerce him, right? And I am likewise happy that most of my friends have spouses who they think are awesome, and who think they are awesome in return (and, you know, these are my friends, and I think that anyone who loves one of my friends as much as each of their spouses do are pretty fabulous in their own right).

Yes, I have had friends who were dating or engaged to or (in a few cases) married to someone who I thought was awful. And I have been very glad (and eager to help) when those friends decided to dump the mother-f—er and look for someone better.

And to digress further: one of my happiest and proudest memories is when my ex-wife asked me to be her maid of honor at her second wedding, because, oh my goodness, her second husband is one of the nicest and most talented people I’ve ever known, and is so much of a better fit for her than the loser she was married to before!

(Some of you may need to diagram that out. I’ll give you a minute to do that.)

(I should also acknowledge that several of my friends—after reading the paragraph above the previous parenthetical—will chastise me for calling myself a loser; even though they will also know that I put it in there for humor’s sake.)

And it’s more than just learning to take “no” for an answer and moving on. It’s more than just getting a person to a point where they are tired of saying, “no.”

The word you want isn’t merely “yes,” but a yes delivered freely and with great enthusiasm.

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