Saturday, May 4, 2013

Sex -- Second Installment

I wrote a post a while ago about sex.  I thought I'd write another one today.

These are just my thoughts.  If you roll differently, that's cool.  I'm nobody's judge and jury.  Believe me, I know what it feels like to be judged.  And it doesn't feel too good.

I am Catholic.  Growing up Catholic, I was taught the Catholic ideas about sex.  Many people misunderstand the Catholic ideas about sex.  I have heard Catholicism referred to as an "anti-sex cult."  That makes me giggle.

Anyway, amongst all the theological sex discussion that I grew up with, there is one statement which still stands out to me to this day.  It was spoken to my by my Italian immigrant peasant-farmer-turned-candle-factory-worker Nana.  Before I tell you what she said, though, let me tell you a little bit about her.

My Nana was cool.  And she was no prude.  In the family, it was known that she and my Grandpa were, as you might put it, "into each other."  And she loved the handsome blonde guy on "The Lawrence Welk Show" and she loved her soap opera hotties.  I tell you, if "The O.C." had been on when I was a young girl, my Nana would have been right there watching it with us.  I think she would have dug Sandy Cohen and Jimmy Cooper (and, yes, even Ryan Atwood).  Although, as we watched it together, she probably would have injected some of her Nana-wisdom into the whole situation.  For example, she would have told us that the whole idea of Ryan in that poolhouse just wasn't good sense.  She would have made him leave all the blinds open 24/7.  And he would never have gotten away with taking off in the Range Rover in a fit of temper.  My Nana was like 5'11" and 180 -- and Ryan just would not have gotten away with crap like that.  Ryan would also never have been able to pull the wool over her eyes in his attempt to sneak across the border to finish off that Volchok character.  My Nana would have seen that coming a mile away.  And it just wouldn't have happened.  She would have sent him outside to dig post holes or paint the house until he cooled off.  That was her way of dealing with youthful passions.  The digging of holes was high on her list of techniques for coping with teenagers and their ways.  But, even with all that, she would have watched every single episode of "The O.C." and loved every minute of it.

When my Nana spoke, then, you listened.  Because when she spoke, she always made sense.  Because when she spoke, you felt like she understood you.  And she always had a little gleam in her eye when she dispensed advice, as she did comprehend the hearts and minds of young people.

So, here I present to you the one piece of sex advice she ever gave me.  I remember it clearly to this very day.  We were in her "TV room" -- probably after watching one of the soaps that she loved.  She was standing up, stretched out to her full 5'11'' height.  And she said:

"Why should you have sex before you get married?  If you have sex before you get married, then what will you have to look forward to?"

That was all she said.  Nothing about sin or hell or the Theology Of The Body.  Just, "What will you have to look forward to?"  And, boy, in the midst of the Sexual Revolution, that did give me pause.  Because when you are in the "middle of it" with a hot guy (or a hot girl, or whatever), it is hard to remember theological stuff, but it is not hard to remember a statement like that.

Again, this is not a judgement on anybody.  Everybody is free to make their own decisions about sex.  It's just something I present for your consideration.  And it is a memory that brings a smile to my lips.

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