Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Am I a Prude?

Yesterday, someone called me a prude.

Now I know it was meant as a joke, but sometimes things touch deeper than they should.

Ouch. That one, for some reason, really hurt. I was being labeled by someone who didn’t know or understand my thoughts, someone who obviously sees life differently than me. And I hate being called something I am not.

But if someone wants to tag me a prude because I choose to not read blatantly sexually explicit books, well okay then. But I call it selective reading rather than prudism. I find content in a book very affecting to the way I view life. Although I read a vast array of mostly fiction and some non-fiction, I veer away from novels, autobiographies and “real life” subjects that I easily can discern are full of inappropriate materials that in no way will uplift or expand my mind for the betterment of me.

If I am labeled priggish because my choice in music is not about making it with someone on the dance floor in front of everybody or about sleeping around with anyone available or about killing, raping, mutilating, or degrading anyone, then okay; I choose to select music that doesn't need to come with an advisory label. I view music as a form of poetry. I relish all sorts of music, groups, and artists, but I think I can appreciate someone’s artistry without having to listen to “It’s getting hot in here, so take off all you clothes” or “I’m #!%&* gonna &^%$! get !*%#@ you *#@%!” That’s just not my style.

If I appear humorless because I generally don’t find obscenely rude or graphic jokes funny, then I guess that person will have to think of me as being dry. But they would be incorrect. I poke fun at the best of things, find much humor about me and laugh almost daily at myself and life in general, because, really, laughter and a really good gag is the best medicine.

If I’m considered stuffy because I don’t enjoy movies that are all about sex, be it soft or hard, well all right. It is not that I am not comfortable with the human body. Trust me – I am. But I call it being protective of my sense of reality because, in my humble opinion, movies for the most part don’t show the realness of sex. Let me clarify that even further. They show much of the ecstasy, but rarely any of the messiness, the hardships, the consequences, the attachments that follow. They falsify and trivialize it over and over again.

If I’m branded a straight-laced girl because I chose to wait until after being married to make love to my husband, then that’s all right. But I do not see it as being naïve; I see it as making my virginity as a gift to be cherished by one man only. Although times were plenty when I wanted to “do it,” I reminded myself that to wait would be sweeter than the pleasure of the moment. There are no words that can wholly express how I felt giving myself to my husband, his knowing full well that no other person on earth would experience this moment with me. He understands that sex was not and still is not, in anyway, insignificant to me. It is fun and exciting, sure, but it always comes with an emotional security attached to it. And I don’t feel as if I “missed out” on anything by forgoing sex until after marriage. I have listened to a number of friends, male and female alike, who wished that they had waited, but they knew that they could never go back to that state. Plus, I never had to worry about unwanted pregnancies, STD or the emotional connection that comes with giving yourself so fully to someone else. All in all, I think I got the better outcome in the end.

If not watching TV, even going so far as to not have cable by choice (Egads!!!) makes me silly/naïve/impractical/ unrealistic in the eyes of others, then I can live with those terms. But remember that I have other things with which to fill my time while the name caller is watching TV; I have time well-spent with my kids, books to cultivate my mind, a husband who longs to be with me, and friends who value playtime, brownies and coffee as much as I do. The name caller usually only has a poorly played laugh track.

I tell my kids that words are just words and just because someone calls you something, it doesn't make it a fact.

For example, when my daughter was teased about being “weird”, I called her a redhead. She looked at me and said, “No I’m not.” And I showed her how just because somebody says something, it doesn't always mean it’s true.

I guess I will have to follow my own words of comfort. I am what I am and that’s all that I am. I'm not a prude; I am a Christian… and that’s all right by me. And if you really know Christians, we are anything but prudes!

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