Someone sent me a BB message, the other night, that asked, “After agreeing with your partner not to have sex before marriage, what will you do if you FIND THIS on your honeymoon?” The “this” in question was the lower body of a naked adult man, sporting (maybe that isn’t even the right word) the genitalia of a child. Quite frankly, his penis didn’t appear to have grown since the midwife looked between his newborn legs and called out, “It’s a boy!”
Naturally, after we had exclaimed in horror and pity, we forwarded it to a few girlfriends to get their answer to the question. One, a staunch believer in the endurance of marriage, whatever the challenges, reported that she “would cry and cry plenty-plenty.” Another, whom I would call her exact opposite, said she would not divorce the feller with the arrested development, but would do as she liked – no cooking, no washing, nothing – and that if he ever really upset her, she would just expose him … albeit the exposure, instead of being indecent, would simply be invisible. The third respondent to the questionnaire stated that, on first viewing, she thought she needed another visit to Dr Jillia Bird; and then, on second sight, declared that she has “skin tags that are longer than that….”
You can imagine, by now, that I was in stitches, or, as my mother used to say, “nearly cramped with laugh.” But then the fourth response came in – from the lone male to whom I’d sent the picture – and he simply said: “Till death do you part.” And, just so, the joke done … For, to borrow a local saying, “What is joke to schoolchildren is death to crappo:” No man wants what he considers to be his manhood made light of – no matter its lack of weight. And an underweight feller, apparently, still expects the same level of commitment from his wife as if he were well endowed.
I am certain that, before the disrobing in the honeymoon suite, the new husband would have made a point of reviewing all his good points, all the pluses that had convinced his bride that he was fine husband material. And then, after he had dropped his towel, followed by her outcry or fainting spell, he would have reminded her again, frantically this time, of everything else he brought to the table, if not the bedroom….
Now, it is interesting and instructive to note the difference in responses by gender. For even though the man might have turned out to be a champion in all the ways we women say we want – ambition, conversation, consideration, cleanliness, dependability, employability … all the good qualities down to Z – all of us women would consider ourselves to have been gravely shortchanged, nonetheless. Not one of us was buying the argument about “size of ship and motion of ocean” in this regard. For whereas we have always heard that what counts is what you do with it, we believe that there must be an “it” in the first place.
Which brings me to another, more important question: Should a woman agree to marry without having even seen the goods first? I try always to respect other people’s beliefs, values and religious convictions, no matter how shortsighted they might seem to me, personally. But I don’t see the wisdom in promising a feller everything, even under adverse conditions of health and finances, until the Lord takes one of you home, without having even an idea of what it is you are committing to. After all, none of us would buy a house sight unseen, and a marriage is way more significant than a mortgage (though, to some, they are one and the same). Matter of fact, half of us don’t even want to buy shoes via the Internet, because how they look doesn’t mean they will fit well. And if we don’t want to take the chance with footwear, of which we already have dozens of pairs in the closet, why be so risky with what you hope will be your one and only husband?
And don’t tell me that the husband-to-be’s endowment, or lack, would be covered under the “for better or for worse” clause, either. Because it is always better to know what you’re setting yourself up for before worse comes. Don’t tell me, either, that sex isn’t everything in a marriage. Who doesn’t know that? But it is such a significant part of it that even when it is available, on tap, inside, husbands go outside to find even more of it. Why, then, condemn a woman to settle for even less than a little?
I know there are some women (two of whom I know well) who argue that they don’t care about sex and wouldn’t mind never having it again. One has declared that all she needs, now, is to kiss and cuddle, while the other has said, simply, that she’d rather have a good steak. I don’t think it would be blasphemous to say that these sisters are taking, literally, the biblical admonition for a husband to “lay with” his wife, choosing to ignore that the “lying with” is merely euphemism, on one hand, and a prelude to what, naturally, ought to follow, on the other.
Anyway, let me get back to the question: Why wouldn’t a bride-to-be want to preview the merchandise? She’s right there in the choice of what rings she will wear; what style her dress will be; and determining her colours and wedding song. She spends weeks choosing her invitation and favours, and insists on having her own way even with the bridesmaids’ dresses. And then, you want to tell me, she shouldn’t have even a peek at how the night will end? Is she to rely on his physical reaction during their first dance, to try to decipher – through seven yards of tulle and lace, full-body Spanx, and pantyhose – what he has, or doesn’t, only when they sway sedately – in front of her parents and his – to the strains of My Endless Love?
I don’t buy that and you can’t sell it to me, either. I understand religion and I understand modesty and all that, and far be it from me to tell any sister to do the deed if she believes it is a mortal sin. But I do believe that this should be a frank discussion before they get to the point of setting wedding dates, and, in this instance, I advocate full disclosure – or, at least, disclosure from the waist down, Sisters. It is clear to me that the church does not intend for couples to go into marriage with dangerous secrets and impediments; that is why there is that announcement, prior to the vows, where persons with knowledge of things that might hurt the success of the marriage are asked to speak up now. And I believe that if a man is built practically the same way as his bride – and she, poor girl, doesn’t know – then that is “just cause” why the nuptials shouldn’t take place.
I would want to know, Sisters; and if I find out that your feller has that problem, I’m going to tell you, too. OK….