The older I get, the more I’m starting to think that maybe Artemis had the right idea.
I mean, sure the appeal of a loving relationship with limitless cuddling and unrestrained affection isn’t lost on me, but, really, if I wanted that for myself, I’d find a beagle.
My sister thinks this’ll be my ultimate downfall. According to her, I have the sexual drive of a kumquat, and will inevitably die alone if I don’t get over my aversion to emotional intimacy and strong feelings. The problem is, I don’t want to.
Men are great. I mean it, I really do love men.
They’re big and tall and they can reach things in high places and fix stuff and they’re nice to have along when I find myself having to be alone at night in deserted areas (which is alarmingly often, come to think of it). But, unfortunately, I more or less ascribe to that immortal Mary Poppins quote, “Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group, they’re rather stupid.”
I went through my boy-crazy phase when I was younger as I’m sure most girls did, writing simpering poetry in my diary for my one true love and generally making a complete fool of myself whenever he was around. I, too, came to a point in middle school when I had a strange compulsion to be noticed by any and every Y chromosome in the building. It’s only natural. But then I actually started to talk to said Y chromosomes, and I was forced to acknowledge one immutable fact: men are… bizarre.
They are truly creatures that deserve honest and deep study, creatures that should be examined thoroughly for some kind of clue as to what exactly makes them tick. Now, to be fair, I hear all the time that men don’t understand women either: That we’re irrational creatures, that we play mind games, that they never know what to expect from us.
They’re not wrong.
But where women actually do work on a system of logic (albeit logic that doesn’t make a whole lot of sense at times), from what I’ve seen, men seem to have done away with logic altogether, preferring to send it the way of instruction manuals and terms and conditions pages and other generally useless things, and opt for the easier route of simply not thinking at all.
I don’t know how they did it, but men have mastered the art of doing absolutely nothing for hours on end.
And when they do finally decide to do something… Well, let’s just say that there are many, many excellent reasons why women live longer, and most of them can be found on YouTube. Now, I am a highly cerebral person. I like logic. I like control. I like for things to make sense. I like easily traceable patterns of behavior that may be attributed to a definite source. So, as you might imagine, I find the behavior of the bored American male absolutely baffling. Unfortunately, I’ve been this way for a while.
My mother had forbidden me to date until I was sixteen years old, but I think she came to regret that later on, seeing as I ended up never dating at all. It’s not like I was actively avoiding men; on the contrary, my best friends in life are mostly male. If anything, they become more precious to me the longer I know them.
The problem is that they also become more or less sexless in my mind, taking on the form of larger, more masculine gal-friends until such a time as I would accidentally walk in on one of them naked and remember that there is, indeed, differing anatomy betwixt the sexes.
I think that men are beautiful. Where women are built in curves and slopes, men are angular and blocky, roughly hewn from the most basic of geometric shapes, their faces carved from hard and unyielding triangles, their hands like strong square blocks. Each is a work of art, and it saddens me that, while there is a great push in society to remind women to love themselves, no one seems to remember to tell the men what beautifully crafted beings they are.
I love to watch them move, love to study the fluid grace of muscle and sinew beneath skin, the quirking of the brows, the ghosts of smiles lurking in the corners of their mouths. I love men. So why is it that this love is expected to go hand in hand with sexual and emotional desire?
To be perfectly honest, I get more of a charge thinking about the slice of pizza I’m about to eat that thinking about the possibility of human contact.
I love my friends, I love hugs, and I love being with people who know me and care for me.
But the fact remains that I am still a sexual kumquat. I don’t want a boyfriend. I don’t want a romantic relationship. I don’t want the emotional stakes of allowing myself to care so deeply about another human being that my continued happiness rests completely in his hands, because there is no one on earth besides the Lord Jesus that I trust that much.
Men are wonderful creatures, and I’m thankful that some of the most profound relationships I’ve ever had have been with them. But the fact remains that I enjoy my freedom. Eventually, I do want to have kids and a husband, but definitely not at a time when I feel more for a slice of Tuscan Three-Cheese than I do for the sensation of another hand against mine. I know my mother and sister want to see me happy and complete. Unfortunately for them, I feel most complete on my own.
And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. It’s okay to be alone. It’s okay to find happiness in platonic relationships.
It’s okay to be a kumquat.
All that matters is that you’re happy.