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Saturday, November 17, 2012

The qualities of a soul-mate.....

are often hard for young ladies to find in the opposite gender these days. Frumpy, sullen, and totally self-absorbed, many YAMs (Young Adolescent Men) strut about shopping malls and supermarkets decked out in ratty tee-shirts, dingy jeans, and cheap earrings stuck through their nostrils and ear lobes. Some of them parade around hand-in-hand with their “girl-friends”, massaging them in inappropriate places in full public view. Sometimes these “couples” even stop off at the Family Planning shelf and chat about which Birth Control methods will work the best for them. It’s thoroughly disgusting and distressing.

    That’s the worst case scenario. Next on the list are your random home-grown YAMs who seem to enjoy tormenting girls by refusing to enter into intelligent conversation with them. Instead, they’ll mutter such marvels of thought as “Yah,” “Nah”, “I guess”, “Sure”, “Bye”, and then pull out their game-loaded, gizmo-gadget cell phone and start plugging away at it! When there is more than one of them in the same room, they are even more intolerable. They start making imbecilic jokes, jumping on each other’s heads like Billy-goats, swinging around blunt objects, and behaving like juvenile delinquents fresh out of kindergarten. All logic and yearning to pursue the finer things in life seem to vanish in a twinkling. In short, they become neanderthals.

    Moving on, we come to the intellect YAMs who have an encyclopedic attitude towards life in general and girls especially. They seek to “analyze” the female species from a distance, and yet show a serious lack in social graces when they actually interact with them. Their perspective on romance is a black-and-white textbook diagram strictly designed to avoid unpleasant encounters. Sometimes they get so caught up in their own contemplations, that polite conversation gets bogged down in the morass of their minds and it takes great determination on the part of the other party to stick with it and stay on even footing. 

    Next, we come to the talky-talky YAMs who think they are king of the hill. They suffer from the “Big Man Syndrome” and want to prove their manliness by showing off and exagerating their circumstances. They say they want to emmerse themselves in guts and glory, watching violent films and wrestling around because they claim it's “a guy thing.” This attitude often comes off as rather annoying and lacking in sensitivity. I will grant that boys have a different make-up than girls and are naturally more aggressive. But I don’t think that being highly combative is necessarily “a guy thing”; it’s all in the personality type. Furthermore, I think they misread the female mind many times by trying to be excessively “macho” as opposed to more genteel and understanding.

    Then, finally, we meet the friendly, intellectual, polite, and thoroughly delightful YAM….who is sadly undependable. It’s a hit-and-miss operation; first you see them, then you don’t. They mean well, but they have so much on their plate they can’t keep with it all. Hence, instead of merely communicating less, they often drop off contact all together and it becomes a pleasant rarity when you finally relocate them for a brief spat. Trying to get them involved in long-term projects is usually a futile effort. They are a bit like puppies to which you throw a stick, but something along the route catches their attention and they bound after it instead of bringing back the stick.

    Now I’m not saying that the young men who fit into the categories above are “bad kids”. Even the first category often consists of those who simply lack love in their lives and are seeking it in all the wrong places as our modern society dictates. I remember once encountered a black-clad, earring-wearing youth in an antique mall when we both started studying an old guitar standing up in a booth. I was intimidated by him at first, but then we casually struck up a conversation, and he surprised me by being much friendlier than his appearance would have had me believe. It made me feel sad, because I could tell he was something of a lost soul. There are many others like him.

    The bad-attitude Billy-goats, the black-and-white intellectuals, the guts-and-glory warriors, and the puppies-after-a-stick usually have good hearts, too. They just get caught up in either themselves or their surroundings and forget that other people are observing them....especially the ladies! Okay, so maybe I expect too much. Maybe I'm thinking too far ahead. Supposedly, girls mature faster than boys. But somehow I just can't picture these guys "maturing" in less than a decade, which is when most of them will be off and married. I can't help but wonder about my prospects for finding a soul-mate.

    All girls, no matter who they are, day-dream about Mr. Right. It makes sense; after all, unless we plan on joining a convent or something, we are going to have to tie the knot with someone and hunker down for better or worse. We might as well try to figure the type with whom we can be most compatible as a spouse. The results of these contemplations for many girls often turn into a composite character of Robin Hood, Aragorn, King Aruthur, and few hundred others that randomly come to mind. For me, there is something a definite shape coming to mind about the type of man I would like to share my life with someday.

   First and foremost, I want to marry a practicing Catholic, orthodox in his beliefs, but not too far to the right or left. I want him to have a devotion to Our Lady and the Saints as well the Sacraments. I would also like him to be a political conservative, but also with a true sympathy for the plight of the poor. I would like him to be passionate in his love of country and devotion to good causes. I would want him to love history and view it with a balanced perspective. His love of all things British, I hope, would match my own. I also hope he would like animals and nature, as I do, but also be understanding about my allergies!

    I would want him to be on good terms with my parents since I am an only child and we have a very close-knit relationship. I would also hope he would be open to starting a small family of our own, but be understanding about my own health conditions and my inability to cope with a large family. I would also hope he would be understanding my own modest sensibilities and respect them. Personality wise, I would like him to be kind-hearted, humble, considerate, balanced, and intellectually-minded. On the flip side of the coin, I would like him to be passionate about the fight against evil in this world and courageous when called to stand up for the truth. Also, I would like him to be a responsible worker, but also know how to enjoy light-hearted fun. As a wife, I would have to learn to give back the fullness of my love and be considerate to the needs of my husband. That's not even counting all the effort that goes into running a house and raising a family! It comes down to giving all I can, as best I can.    

    So these are dreams that dance in my brain every now and again. I know full well that no man in the world will ever be perfect nor fill every desire in my heart. That place is rightly set aside for Our Lord Jesus Christ alone. However, I do believe that having a soul-mate, joined in purpose and love with you, is one of the most beautiful things on earth. So pray for me in my journey to seek out my vocation, and I will do the same for all of you on the same path.

Someday, perhaps.....;-)



  1. Dear Pearl,

    The first two paragraphs could well be about our Secret Service, the FBI, the CIA, and our generalissimos. Popular culture has long sneered at manly behavior, and our leaders have bought into it. The bratification of the nation is complete.

    - Mack in Texas

  2. A very thoughtful and enjoyable post...but why did you have to use the abbreviation YAM? Now I want the edible yams, and there are none in the house (unless my mom has them stashed somewhere for Thanksgiving...).

    Oh, something useful you might want to consider (I don't know if you're doing this already) is to say a prayer each day for the man you end up marrying one day. You may not know who he is, but God does, and He'll work to prepare both of you to meet at the right time...but don't forget he has to pass my inspection first! ;)

  3. Very nice post! I sympathize with your frustrations regarding the opposite gender, because I witnessed the same problems for myself in my 4H days. All the boys in the county fell into the "bad-attitidue-Billy goat" category - needless to say, I concentrated on my dog shows and attended as few meetings as possible. Of course, all the girls were just as bad. My dad coined a perfect phrase to fit them all - "waste of humanity" - which has since become a classic in our family vocabulary.

    It's certainly discouraging...especially when it seems like the only decent men are fictional characters like Frodo Baggins, Luke Skywalker, John-Boy Walton, and Peter Pevensie. But that's why we just have to trust in God - if marriage is our vocation, then we WILL meet someone. Like Emerald, I also pray for my future husband, whoever he is, and I have the same general criteria as you. First and foremost, he must be a devout, practicing Catholic. There can be compromise in other areas - no human being is perfect - but that requirement is non-negotiable.

    I had the privilege of witnessing a wedding for the first time in my life a couple weeks ago. I didn't know the couple, but our priest asked my brother to serve and, well, somebody had to drive him to church. Oh my was BEAUTIFUL. I felt twinges of envy, I admit, but it also encouraged me to keep hoping and never give up. That's my most cherished dream: to have a holy marriage with a man I love and raise a large, Catholic family (hopefully a dozen or so kids) to resist the hostile culture and give glory to God.

    - Ellen

  4. Hi, everyone!

    @Mack: Indeed, it is a shame the way principles of manhood have gone into a slump in Western Society. Hopefully there are enough decent ones out there to give us a ladies a chance to find reasonably compatable mates.

    @Emerald: Sorry about drumming up cravings for Yams...the edible ones, that is! I simply love candied yams with marshmallows and brown sugars. Terrible for you, but delicious, nonetheless :-) Did you have any for Thanksgiving?

    Thanks also for the tip about praying for a future soul-mate. I do that sometimes, and I always wonder exactly who I'm actually praying for! So much for female curiousity ;-) Yes, of course, whoever he is will have to pass your inspection first! After all, you will be my Maid of Honor if all pan's out well!

    @Ellen: Hee, hee, "waste of humanity" does come to mind sometimes when observing certain groups of people! They just act so out of control and ill-mannered, it's rather disturbing. I know no one on earth is perfect (including and especially yours truly!), but we're all supposed to be working to better ourselves and be the best we can in Christ Jesus. I guess it's something of a test for us to be loving towards people who get on our nerves!

    Indeed, like you, my main priority would be that the man I marry is a devout and practicing Catholic. Also, that he is a basically decent, understanding, and good-natured person. And that we share common interests, I would hope.....I could go on! But I sympathise with you about feeling occasional twinges of yearning about getting married. It's one of those things we'll just have to wait out. I'm sure you'll make a wonderful wife and mother when the time comes :-)

    God Bless,

  5. Yes, I did have yams for Thanksgiving...and they were delicious.

  6. A very thoughtful post, Pearl!

    Of course, in all fairness to young men nowadays, I have to point out that there are all too many young ladies who are just as bad. And there is hope - while I have met boys whom some of your descriptions fit perfectly, I have also been lucky enough to meet some good, decent Catholic young men. They do exist! : )

    Loving difficult people can be hard, though I wouldn't go so far as to call a person "a waste of humanity" - after all, I can't help feeling kind of sorry for young people who weren't raised Catholic. Growing up isn't easy, and if someone doesn't have the Truth, there's no telling where they might look for it. I recently found a quote that makes me laugh which I will try to keep in mind when encountering such people: (Have you figured out by now, Pearl, that I love quotes?;)

    "When you are outraged by somebody’s impudence, ask yourself at once, “Can the world exist without impudent people?” It cannot; so do not ask for impossibilities. That man is simply one of the impudent whose existence is necessary to the world... You have only to remind yourself that the type is indispensable, and at once you will feel kindlier towards the individual."
    - "Meditations" of Marcus Aurelius