Confessions of the Divine Miss K

Friday, March 05, 2010

Lolita or Pollyanna

Is there anything worse than a goody-two-shoes? Seriously, admit it, we all hate anyone who tries to act morally superior to us. Charkins can famously recall a time when we were like 14, at the height of our obsession with Hugh Grant (we had a binder of newspaper and magazine clippings dedicated to him and Brad Pitt – yes, we were creepy). My parents had gone away for the night and so we decided to rent this avant-garde film that he starred in, I believe it was called “Night Train to Venice.” Anyhow, the movie was just bizarre. I believe there was like a rape scene and other sex scenes in it. I really can’t recall that much about it except that it was very European and “arty”, way beyond our scope of understanding (which I think was the problem in the first place – the movie wasn’t necessarily “bad”, it was just much too old for us) and kind of boring. Charkins kept saying that we should turn it off, but whether this was because her conscience was bothering her or she just wanted to go to sleep like every other time we watched a movie past 10pm, I don’t know. Nevertheless, I insisted we keep watching. Did we finish it? I can’t recall. But the next day when my parents got home, my mom asked us what we did. I casually mentioned that we had watched a lame Hugh Grant movie. Charkins, however, piped up with the news that it was actually a terrible film, sinful even, and that SHE had wanted to turn it off… I shot her a death glare and later chewed her out for being, what else, a goody goody, to which she bowed her head in shame.

So see? No one likes a Pollyanna. And yet, suddenly that’s what I’ve become in my marriage with Adders. Now, I can’t really say if it has anything to do with the fact that I’m about to become a “mom” in two months. Or whether it’s the fact that for the past 8 months I’ve really started to get serious with God again but either way I find that I am suddenly much more “uptight” about things that I used to not blink an eye at. First there’s the cursing. Now, I have always had a bit of a potty-mouth and have no problem with a high-pitched exclamation of “ohmygod!” or the words shit or fuck (although I readily acknowledge that there is a time and place for it, and my God, fuck shouldn’t be used as an adjective in every sentence that you mutter – that’s just crass). I’ve even uttered my share of “goddamns” even though this curse was considered verbatim when I was growing up (my mother to my 13 year old self who had just muttered goddammit at her: “Don’t ever use that word! God doesn’t damn anything! HELL FOR YOU!” or something to that effect).

And yet, in the past few weeks I’ve noticed that whenever Adders has gotten angry about something, like missing the first 10 minutes of the Russia/Canada hockey game because I had used up all the milk that morning and he had to run to the corner store to get some as we needed it in a recipe for dinner, he shouts a string of “Jesus Christs” and “Goddammits” and wow, do I cringe. The hairs on my back literally stand up. It upsets me so much, even though, does Jesus really care? I don’t know. Maybe. But I do. It completely bothers me. Even last night making dinner together, Adders was throwing around curse words even though he was doing it in a stupid playful joking way. But I couldn’t resist the impulse to ask him to stop. I even pulled out the baby card: “You have to stop swearing so much! The baby is going to mimic you and how embarrassing if his first words are ‘fuck’.” Adders laughed and didn’t seem to mind my nagging that much, but as much as I was cringing at his cursing, I was also cringing at my rebuking of it.

But wait. It gets worse. So we have satellite TV and once in a while late at night there will be some show, whether it be on the Discovery Channel or Spike TV, that is basically a documentary on some whackjob that features soft-porn sex. Now I have always had two conflicting views on pornography. On the one hand, I think it can be a terrible, horrible, evil thing, leading to unrealistic expectations in men, the degradation of women, and the encouragement of meaningless, soul-less sex. Plus, hello, addiction! However, like many things in life, used in moderation I also realize it can be used as a periodic tool in the bedroom to add a little bit of spice in that department. I mean, it’s a natural human curiousity to want to watch people having sex, we all enjoy being titillated, and if you channel that in a healthy and respectful way between a couple, is it a bad thing? I don’t know. I used to say no.

And yet last night Adders got home from the gym around 10pm and came and sat beside me on the couch, flicking through the channels to see what was on. He stopped on some program that was, not-surprisingly, a documentary about some crazy (and butt-ugly) woman who makes porn on the side in order to fund her bisexual/transgender art gallery. So it showed the cameras filming her sex scenes with various women and men and wow, was I ever horrified. I mean, first of all, part of the problem was the type of sex they were having. There was nothing loving, sensual or even erotic about it. It was literally like watching two animals hump. There was biting and scratching and clawing at one another’s boobs, there was sucking each other’s assholes which was so disturbing I gaped in horror at Adders. But whereas before, I would have tsked tsked but still been interested (and admittedly a bit turned on) because hey! Crazies having sex! It’s like watching a car crash – you can’t help but stare, absolutely fixated. Yet last night, oh no, last night I was just disturbed. And sad. I frowned and told Adders to turn the channel, while commenting, “How do people get like that? How sad is it when sex rules your life, and instead of being just one itty bitty aspect of who you are, it somehow becomes your entire identity. How depressing to live your life so much in the physical.”

The people in the documentary seemed so stunted to me, like they were stuck in the throes of puberty, consumed by a sexuality that they don’t have any perspective on. And yet, Adders just kind of laughed and said, “Oh, Courty, stop being so uptight.” He also likened their wholehearted embrace of the physical to being just as twisted as people who live their entire life in the spiritual. I didn’t say anything in reply (was that a shot at me? Perhaps) but instead decided I would head to bed instead.

But this morning I thought long and hard about that incident and what my role should be. I am the spiritual leader in our household, and as horrifyingly icky as that statement sounds (and trust me, I know it sounds SOOOOO icky and creepy), it’s the truth. I need to set the standard and rules for what’s acceptable or not, for what we believe in, what we stand for, and where we draw the line. Of course, this is going to change over the years, both for Adders and me and for our family as we raise kids together. But it’s going to be up to me to set the benchmark. And yet, how do I do that without being, well, a goody goody? What is acceptable and okay? Is a tasteful porn movie once in a blue moon when Adders and I feel like getting frisky morally kosher? Do I chastise my husband for his “Jesus Christs”, hoping it builds awareness and respect or am I instead alienating him from God even further with my constant nagging and morality? And my God, I haven’t even begun to anticipate the struggle of being a parent – what movies/video games/books/magazine, even friends, are acceptable and what aren’t.

No seriously, how do you stay spiritually pure while also living a physical life? I was raised in the church my entire life, I’ve always had a relationship with God, I’ve always been more or less a “good” girl. And yet I feel like I’ve now been called to a higher standard. But how do you walk at a higher level if you still have to maintain an intimate relationship with someone who isn’t there yet? How do you still have fun and remain appealing/relevant to someone, while also being intimate with God? I don’t want to be a goody-goody. I want my husband to be able to relate to me and for us to have fun together, whether it be in the bedroom or elsewhere. I want to be able to watch a movie or a TV show or listen to music and not get uptight. I also don’t want to raise my kids with guilt over sex or other hang-ups. But I do want Adders to understand that that lady on the show last night? Maybe her physical body was writhing in ecstasy as it was bitten and scratched, but her spirit, oh her little spirit, was sitting in the corner, absolutely hopeless and dejected. And it was heart-breaking to see.


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