(Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.)
It’s December 26th, and my holiday funk is starting to pass.
It was going well for a while. The past couple of weeks I’d been feeling unusually cheerful and festive lately, playing Christmas music in my car on the way to and from work or errands. L’esprit de Noël had arrived, like the Ghost of Christmas Present, all jovial and good-natured.
Then my roommate finally stopped mucking about and asked the girl he’s been texting about a hundred times a day to date him. She agreed (not surprising), and suddenly I found my Christmas spirit a bit deflated, for I was once again reminded that I’m lonely and single at Christmas.
Seriously, I feel like some sort of talisman or charm. Whoever I live with seems to find the love of their life. I move in with my sister, she’s dating this guy, next thing I know they’re engaged and now married. With a baby on the way. Last June I got an apartment with a buddy of mine. He starts dating the girl next door (literally), and now they’re married. Now the current roommate.
Seriously, what the hell??
I’m just starting to feel like being gay is untenable, or at least impractical. The current guy I’m interested in doesn’t seem to share mutual interest, is too busy, or doesn’t see me fitting into his life. Apart from a Christmas Eve “Howdy, Merry Christmas” text, he hasn’t returned any of my voice mails or texts, and I don’t want to sound desperate. This added to my funk.
Lately I’ve had this nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I shouldn’t be this way, or perhaps that God doesn’t intend for me to be this way. At the same time I’m a bit suspicious because this all started again a few weeks ago when I was outed to my family and they shocked the hell out of me by not freaking me out or reporting me to church elders. As my best friend said the other night, “You’ve always wanted unconditional acceptance and you never got it. Now that you’ve been outed, you’ve got conditional acceptance dangling in front of you like a carrot from the very people you’ve always wanted to love and accept you. You’ve waited a long time for what they’re offering.”
So I’m considering (read that: considering) the alternative—that God doesn’t intend for me to be a homosexual. Not out of any obligation to my parents, a desire to fit in, or fear of damnation (though that is a factor), but searching my conscience. I’m just asking the “what if” question, and considering its implications. I’m not attracted to women, and frankly, from what I’ve seen of marriages and relationships in heterosexual couples, I don’t want to be. So here are my “con” reasons:
(Two apologies: First, this will be rather rough since I’m just writing off the cuff; and second, if you’re a woman reading this, please don’t be offended.)
- Attraction. There’s the obvious: I’m not physically attracted to women. According to scripture, God made woman as a helper for man, delight to the eyes, all that rot. I’m open-minded and reasonable enough to admit the possibility that I could indeed be a “broken heterosexual.” Somehow, with the way that my parents raised me, any “traumas” I experienced as a child (‘trauma’ used very broadly here), and a failure to bond properly with the same-sex parent, I could’ve developed same-sex attractions. It’s possible. But the fact is that I don’t fancy female physiology. Women are just too soft, and I’ve always liked the hardness and angularity of the male figure. Then there are the breasts and… well… the rest of it.
- Masculine space. There’s just something about the directness and functionality of it that I like (maybe because I’m male?); but it seems that once women get involved, all these knick-knacks, scented candles and homey items appear. Things have to be comfy and nice, and pillows multiply like rabbits. (Ye gods, I’m sounding like Henry Higgins.) In the movie Juno, Vanessa “gives” Mark a room for “his stuff.” I thought this just happened in movies until I actually observed it happening to my married guy friends. And they put up with it rather than fight. This is known as the “abolition of masculine spaces.” Maybe some guys like that. Personally, I don’t. Maybe it’s true that men marry their mothers.
- R-E-S-P-E-C-T. It was one thing when women were brought up to cook and clean and be the “little wife” (don’t worry, the idea of that shocks my modern sensibilities too), but with the advent of the independent woman and feminism, guys just don’t get much respect in the home. To quote My Big Fat Greek Wedding, “The man is the head, but the woman is the neck. And she can turn the head any way she wants.” In most homes today, women make most of the decisions, or at least make the final call. My guess? Again, it’s easier to capitulate than to escalate.
- Period. There’s the fact that women tend to go crazy at certain times of the month. I know this is no fault of theirs, but honestly, who wants to endure that? A man would only put up with it if he really loved a woman, and was able to just shrug it off. And besides the moon cycle, women often seem to go out of their way to find fault or take offence with what a man says (which usually ends up with him sleeping on the couch or not getting sex for a while). Guys don’t play mind games like that (for the most part).
- Bedroom. As alluded above (and I don’t have experience), just from what I’ve heard women tend to be rather capricious sexually. And biology aside, I just can’t imagine that sex with a woman would be better than with a guy. Guys are just more intense… going at it. Without going into detail, a guy knows what another guy needs. With heterosexual intercourse, both are essentially guessing at what to do. (Maybe. Again, I don’t know.)
- Children. If you know me, you know how I feel about this one. I’m not a fan. There are some women who don’t want kids, for whatever reason; but (again—I’ve observed this) once women get married, they often start thinking about family and having children. I would be an awful parent, for one thing. But there’s also the inconvenience of having an infant (my friend Emily can attest, I’m sure), which is worse than having a dog. Child services tends to get involved if you leave a child alone at home all day. And it tends to turn your life upside-down. Permanently. Unless you go in for nannies and boarding school, which I think is a great idea.
I’m just thinking out loud here, because this is a stumbling area for me. I have plenty of reasons why not, but ultimately I have to bow to the fact that God is God. And it’s not like God never asks people to do hard things, but it seems utterly unreasonable for Him to expect me to endure marriage to a woman just because this is the only model we have in Scripture? Alternatively, is He asking me to be celibate? Because that would really suck.
Again, I’m just not sure. On the one hand, if what the Right is saying and this is a matter of life and death, I’m in a rather precarious situation because one can’t have cake and eat it, to borrow from dear Antoinette. On the other hand, if what the Left is saying and it’s all not a big deal, then I’m needlessly letting myself be tormented. However, neither do I want to be swayed by what sound like logical arguments, or arguments that cater to my list of wants, and “enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season.” I do believe that there is a battle going on for the allegiance of our souls, and this may well be a part of it.
So what do you do when both sides seem to make sense? Maybe I need to do what everyone seems to be pointing me towards and pursue God and let him sort everything out.