Friday, December 13, 2013

Sex and the Single Christian (Woman)

If you believe that ‘fornication’ is the second biggest ‘sin’ in the world, then please don’t read any further.  Okay, I take that back.  Instead, move your cursor a little to the right and please join this blog, then you don’t have to read anymore…….today.  But do return, because a future topic will most likely not offend you.  Those of you who are interested in a different perspective and are willing to read with an open mind, stay with me.  Now remember that I’m speaking from a secular and scientific point of view, so we won’t agree with each other on every point. 

Physiological needs are crucial to one’s survival.  They are air, food, water, sleep, homeostasis, excretion and sex.  Let me make this clear:  we NEED these seven things in order to survive – in order to live.  Do we have to get them every single day?  Although they are vital, NO.  But human beings cannot go without any of them for too long a period before something goes awry.

However, for some unknown reason, single Christians are lead to believe that they can do without sex.  I’m not making this up.  Single Christians breathe, drink water, eat food (and church people eat a lot of that), sleep (especially during sermons), maintain homeostasis and excrete (usually after church buffets); but as soon as they engage in sexual encounters, they immediately feel guilty.

In some churches, if two young people of the opposite sex are spending too much time together, right away they will be pressured by church leaders to marry so that they don’t get tempted to ‘fornicate’.  For single Christians, breathing is called breathing; food is called food; water is called water; however sex is called fornication, a term that carries so much stigma that no one wants to admit doing it.

These leaders don’t care if the couple is mature enough or financially stable enough for marriage; all they know is there will be no fornication taking place under their watchful eyes.  They don’t instill in these young people that marriage is not only about love and attraction and that compatibly, compromise and empathy play a huge part in any successful marriage.  No way.  Their agenda is not the couple’s everlasting happiness.  It is making sure that they do not engage in illicit actions.

In some churches, if an unmarried woman gets pregnant, she is banned from the church altogether or prohibited from taking part in certain actives and leadership roles.  However, the other single people who are engaging in sexual activities, but have managed not to get pregnant are allowed to take part in any and all activities.  After all, they have been lucky enough to keep their activities in the dark.  Some churches go as far as to remove the ban once the woman gets married.  So, all other ‘sins’ that she partakes in go unabashed, but that one, whoa.  If a single Christian woman has a child out of wedlock, she carries that guilt with her for the rest of her life.  Living with shame and guilt forever seems like a tad bit long, just a tad.  Now, you Christians know better than I, so correct me if I’m wrong, but Mary wasn’t married to her baby daddy, and nobody ever gave her a hard time.  Do I hear an "Amen"?  No?  Too soon?

Although I am not a Christian and cannot relate 100%, like every other church going adolescent/young adult, I have thought about taking that step.  However, several things kept me from taking the plunge.  And sex is NOT even one of them.  Just the idea of living my life as someone else is enough to deter me from being a serious member of any religious organization.  Are you telling me that I’ll have to stop laughing at crude jokes, and I’ve never met a rude joke that I didn’t like.  Are you telling me that I’d have to feel guilty every time I told a white lie, slipped a baker’s dozen, gossiped, laughed at someone, thought something negative of someone?  And I’m not implying that that is all that I am.  I’m saying that with my good comes my not so good.  Why?   Because I’m human!

To me, being a Christian seemed like hard work, and I just pictured myself always forgetting not to drop the F bomb in inappropriate places.  Sure religious leaders tell you that it is okay to come as you are because only Jesus is perfect, and then in the next breath, they remind you to strive to be like Him.  Right away, that is a set up for failure.  I was born with a conscience: I do not need a conscience police every time I do something.

For instance, and this is completely hypothetical.  Suppose I purchase an electric deep fryer and try it twice, but realize that making my homemade fries in my own pot taste better.  Suppose I decide to return the deep fryer to let’s say, Bed, Bath & Beyond, and the cashier/manager is the person I go to.  What if I’m in hurry and when he inquires if the item was used, I decide to say no?  Now remember this is all hypothetical.  Then suppose when he opens the box, and visions of fries, oil and burgers are flying through the air.  Then what if he gives me a look, like “Seriously dude!”  Then what if I hypothetically say, “Oh I just put oil in there to try it.”  Then he hypothetically responds, “You were going to get your refund anyway.  We just wanted to know if we can put it back on the shelf.”  Now if I were a Christian, I would feel guilty for a long time and beat myself up; but since I’m just Myra, if that were to happen to me, I’d just laugh it off and say, “Oh well.”

Digression aside, I’m still amazed at the number of people who still frown upon an individual, especially a woman getting her grove on, if she is not married.  Am I the only person who realizes that lack of sex can lead to insanity?  Yeah I said it, and I’ll say it again.  Show me a person who is not having sex, and I will show you a crazy person.  I’m not saying that everybody who is crazy is not having sex.  I’m just saying that every time a person goes crazy, lack of sex tends to be involved.  And if she is a Christian, it’s just a quicker way to insanity.

Of course I don’t have any scientific proof.  I just know that growing up, whenever someone went deranged, it was usually due to a combination of two factors:  too much religion and too little sex.  Again, I’m not implying that every religious fanatic who is sexually deprived will become insane.  I’m just saying that after witnessing a few people from my village who lost it from too much religion and too little sex, the writing was on the wall.  They usually quoted scriptures, cursed God and pranced around naked.  You do the math.

I still cannot figure out why sexually active, grown, single women find the need to hide their acts from others.  Don’t they know that sex is as important to humans as oxygen?  Don’t they know that they can still be good Christian women and continue to serve the Lord?  What is up with all the guilt?  What is up with all the crying on the altar? 

Now please don’t read too much into my words.  Don’t assume that I’m the biggest sex fiend there is and assume that my husband is the luckiest man alive.  Please don’t go there because like most mothers and wives, I still have chores to take care of that make me very tired at nights.  I’m just saying that if I was a single, grown, sexually active woman, I cannot imagine who on this earth would make me feel guilty about being who I am.  And certainly not those pastors who expect the church to be their personal harem, but that’s a different post altogether.

Maybe it’s hard for me to wrap my head around it all because I haven’t been single as an adult.  And I don’t want to appear insensitive, but these non-virgin, adult, Christian women are really not fooling anyone.  Am I going to believe that because they are church goers that they are celibate?  I know it sounds real cynical.  Maybe I’m a cynic, but I’m also a realist.  The adult woman that probably has the least sex is the married one.  So who is her husband going to get his grove on with?

I know this is not dinnertime topic, more like men’s locker room topic, and not the topic for the married mother of three young children.  But again, am I the only one who is tired of all these taboos that we have to live by?  There are enough laws to obey that can actually put people in jail.  I have no time to remember the ones whose main purpose is to make life more comfortable for other people and more stressful for myself.  But just like I don’t expect people to drink dirty water when they are thirsty, or food from a pig sty when they are hungry, I’m not saying that these women should be promiscuous.  All I’m saying is if a grown woman thinks that she has found someone that she wants to share her body with, it is her prerogative because perspectively speaking when you gotta go, you gotta go, and when you gotta come, you gotta come.

Monday, December 9, 2013

It’s My Birthday, And I’ll Cheer If I Want To!

So it’s my birthday today, and I did something my mother never got the chance to do.  I turn 44.  Not only me, but all her children made it to 44; but since I’m the youngest, I feel like we have all escaped her tragedy.  Death is a very powerful thing.  All negative energy is powerful, but death is in a class by itself.  My mother accomplished many things in her short life.  She experienced good, and she experienced bad.  I never in the time that she was gone, ever lost sleep wondering, “Will I be as hard a worker as she?  Will I be as wise as she?”  But for some reason, for years, I feared that I too might die at a young age, leaving my children to grow up without a mother.  And consciously, I know that worrying doesn’t help.  I know that there are some things in life we cannot change.  I know that life is going to be what life is going to be.  Unfortunately, subconsciously, fears always creep in.

Many people think birthdays are just another day.  Some even think birthdays are only for kids.  And others refuse to even acknowledge their own birthdays.  They dread the fact that they will be one year older.  What they don’t realize is every day they become one day older, so really when that birthday arrives, another day is not going to make that much of a difference in age.  But I’ve always loved birthdays because they are unique.  A holiday is for everybody, but a birthday is just for that one person.  And it doesn’t matter how many people are celebrating on that day, it is still for the individual.  But more importantly, when you realize that amidst everything that was taking place in the world, your mother put it all on hold to ensure that you were safely delivered, then how can a birthday not be a special day?

Although people are living longer in these times, many are also dropping like flies.  We all know someone who was fairly young and thought to be healthy, and the next thing we hear is that individual has suddenly died.  Sure every day should be celebrated, but a birthday is the pinpoint to mark that one has completed yet another cycle.  When I was employed outside the house, I did not work on my birthday.  That day was for me to reflect and take stock of my life, not for me to be stressed on somebody’s plantation, making more money for him.

So forget about getting older.  Please, I know the feeling of staring at the reflection in the mirror and wondering where the younger version of what I see went.  Enjoy your birthday because you only get one a year, if you were lucky enough not to be born on February 29, or quite frankly if you are just lucky.  I’ve said it already, but I’ll say it again: birthdays are cool because without one, it means that you are no longer around, and perspectively speaking having a birthday sure beats the alternative.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Paul Walker Dead At 40!

It is always weird when celebrities die, especially suddenly and tragically.  Some people feel like they know them because they have seen them so often and know so much about them.  Some people feel like their lives and those of said celebrities would have never intertwined, so it is a non-issue.  Some people get depressed and mourn their losses.  Some people think, “Who is that?”

I’m not a big fan of movies like Fast & Furious.  I probably watched the first and second ones, in bits and pieces.  Personally, if you have seen one, you’ve seen all.  But to each his own, because I can see myself watching The Best Man - Nursing Home Days.  Yup, I can never get enough of that cast.  So I don’t begrudge people who feel a sense of loss at the passing of Paul Walker.  I, too, invest in certain celebrities and think of them as friends in my head.  One thing I will say about his passing though is this, “Such a waste of some good eye candy.”  Don’t know him like that because I don’t watch a lot of his movies, but I knew who he was, and he certainly was fine to look at.  So that was my shallow moment!

At any rate, this post is not so much about him, but death in general.  When I was 25, I went to my aunt-in-law’s funeral, and I was amazed when some cousins said that was the first funeral they ever attended.  By then I had been to more funerals than weddings.  Granted they did not live in Antigua and wouldn’t have been to some of the funerals I had been to; still that was astounding.  I attended an old spinster’s funeral in my early 20’s, and I believe it was that event that changed my mind about funerals forever.  Since then, funerals have become more lavish, but twenty years ago, I had never seen anything like that.  Her funeral reminded me of the wedding she never had, with the balloons, though black, and all the pomp and substance.  From that day, I vowed to have a funeral as low key as possible.

Every time someone mentions his funeral or death, coincidentally about a week later, everyone else is planning it or talking about it.  I’m not usually superstitious, but I’m not taking any chances, so knock on wood, cross my fingers, cross my heart, the whole nine yards – I’m referring to 59 years from now.  Okay!  Anyway, when my time comes, forget about the flowers, forget about the ceremony, forget about the expensive casket (that might be the cheap side of me talking), forget about people flying in for that day.  Please, please, please, don’t make my funeral (which will occur sometime after December 2072) more eventful than my life.  Love me now.  Visit me now.  Call me now.  Think about me now.  Cherish me now.

Whether you believe that there is life after death or you believe that we are just worm food, I don’t think there is anybody who would enjoy a more beautiful funeral to a beautiful life.  I know this is one of my big pet peeves, but I really get annoyed when someone lives abroad and has no time for her relatives back home, but for the funeral, she returns with her brood and make a huge spectacle of herself.  I might be wrong, but I’m sure Granny would have preferred a visit or two while alive.  Just my opinion (as if there is ever any other), but Granny is not really aware that the funeral is taking place.  This is just for the survivors. 

Or the family members might say, “He had such a good send off.”  Again, I think he would have preferred some of that money used on airline tickets, clothes, flowers and food to cover his living expenses for a month or two or three or four before his death.  Call me cynical, and yes I’ll answer, but using that money for a casket that is going to be rotten in months or years, I don’t really know what they are made from, and I really don’t want to know, could have been better used on the actual life of the person lying in said casket.

So yes, I don’t care if I’m buried in a box, just not a saltfish box.  Heck, I don’t even care if I’m buried, cremated, frozen.  It really is not a big deal to me.  What I care about is life.  The lives of my family, my friends, my neighbors, people in general.  People who were subjected to work on Thanksgiving Day instead of spending that time with family.  (You know I was not going to let that go immediately.)  People who are devastated in natural disasters, but not just while the cameras are rolling – their lives before and their lives after.  People who are subjected to live without proper healthcare, attend subpar public schools, live in subpar housing.  Basically, the lives of my fellow men.

There is nothing more important than life, and all the things that make life worthwhile.  Love, family, laughter.  When I explained what a wake is to my children, my daughter said, “I don’t want anybody having a party and having fun if I’m dead.”  My sentiments exactly.  Have a party for me when I’m alive.  Celebrate my life when I’m alive because perspectively speaking, when I’m gone, the celebration is just for you.