Thursday, January 26, 2012

Oh So Lonely

I have noticed that after men marry, if they find themselves alone they are frantic. If they were so unfortunate as to lose or misplace a spouse, they are swift to rectify that omission, not finding their new single state remotely attractive. 

There was an episode (entitled "Pasadena") of the short-lived Law & Order: LA, which was a knockoff the the John Edwards scandal. His wife dying, her husband had already lined up a replacement wife who was also pregnant with his child.  

The female ADA Price was perplexed, but Morales (Alfred Molina), says, "You're young; you don't understand. It's the one thing men fear most: being alone." 

Dominique Browning analyzes this phenomena. She finds herself now without a man, and she is giddy. 
. . . of course, if we were lucky enough to fall madly in love with someone again, we would gladly trade in our single ways and hitch up.
But the key word is “madly.”
Because many women, once released from marriage, seem to feel that it would take an act of madness to move back into a setup that involves not only housekeeping in all its manifold time-sucking beauty but also husband-keeping.
Men do seem to require a lot of maintenance. 

After falling on her driveway, with no spouse to assist her, she has an epiphany. 
Until I fell, I never understood exactly why men were so loath to remain alone. Surely it wasn’t just a sexist reliance on having a mate who did the shopping, cooking, nesting, scheduling and child-rearing? All around me were plenty of men who pitched in at least a little on all those things, men entirely capable of taking care of themselves.
Men do not want the security of dinner. They want the safety of someone who will have their back.   

My father went to be menachem aveil a widower. The man wailed, "What's going to happen to me? Who will take care of me?," despite the fact he was as rich as Croesus and could easily employ an army of people to ensure his well-being. He remarried in record time. 
Home is where I am supposed to be safe.
And that’s when the circuit breaker tripped. Men are hard-wired to feel danger all the time. I know there must be science around somewhere to back up this assertion, but seriously, that’s what makes a man a man. A man is on guard because that is his job.
Her perspective is that a man, as the quintessential hunter gatherer, expects danger, no matter the surroundings. Whereas women, as nesters, equate home with safety. 
We love our nests. We tend them, and in exchange we expect them to keep us snug and warm and serene and safe. Which, generally, they do. Because nests are reliable. 
But men know that even the home can fail them. Which is what she learned when she hit the driveway. 
Women do not walk around alert for danger. Nor do we feel that being alone is dangerous, except in the rare instances when we fall and crack our tailbones. Women are hard-wired to read the signals that keep us from danger, and, when confronted by trouble, we escape, fleeing into our homes. 
But who will help you up when the nest can't? 
Suddenly, everything I learned in the ’70s seemed refreshingly clear-eyed. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.
Now I understand why a man needs marriage like a fish needs water.
At least, alone, it is quiet enough to hear myself think. But the guys may have a point. 


SiBaW said...


Princess Lea said...

Aw, even Kim Jong Il had a hole in his heart.

Ish Yehudi said...

I disagree; if anything, a man would be frantic/alarmed because he did not expect the home to be a place of danger, a place that could fail him.

It is an alarming and painful realization to come to.

Otherwise, men would be hyper-vigilant before marriage and during marriage as well.

Princess Lea said...

Ish - You mean "A man's home is his castle?" To a man, home is a fortress, which needs to be protected with high walls and guard dogs.

Women (other than me) see it as a place of calm, whereas men are all to aware of the danger that can make its way in.