Friday, December 01, 2006

Actual Serious Post (Egads! From Shalee?)

Although this post is "clean", it will contain a real-life conversation that I had a couple of nights ago. You may think me a bit forward after reading it, but if you’ve been reading me for any time, you know that I would rather have an honest conversation than a trivial one. Thus ends my cautionary prologue.

Believe it or not, someone asked if I was a prude again... This, after the "Get your hands off me" incident and a fun cozy dinner of nine after the retirement party. It really was a nice, get-to-know-your-business-associates type dinner, filled with mini Dr. Phil moments.

On the after-dinner ride back to the office (where my car was), the driver remarked with a sly chuckle that we could have eaten at Hooters for dinner, to which I responded, "No thanks, I just can't eat at a place like that." The other person in the back seat replied that he hadn't eaten at one either. He, the driver (yes, it was a he - now there's a surprise), asked what was wrong with eating at Hooters. He felt that the food was great.

I remarked that my comment had nothing to do with the food; it was all about the atmosphere and the lack of clothing on the servers. I then explained that the one time I had ever crossed the threshold of a Hooters was about 15 years ago, when Mr. Right and I , fresh out of a Christian university and only 3 months married, were on a trip and we pulled over for the night around 9 PM:

We were hungry, and there was this new restaurant next door to the hotel called Hooters. We walked in and sat down. As I surveyed the place, I have to admit that my eyes were as big as pancakes. I felt as if I had just walked into a strip bar. I turned to Mr. Right and said, "Honey, I don't think I can eat here." He breathed a sigh of relief and replied, "I was just thinking the same thing." We were collecting our things to leave when the very voluptuous, scantily clad waitress came up to us for an order. We sputtered something about how we couldn't stay, all the while averting our eyes to the wooden floor and scooting out of the business. We drove another 20 minutes to find a "decent" place to eat.

The driver could not understand why we would choose not to eat at an establishment due to clothing or the lack thereof. He replied that the waitresses were just nice kids who were working - that not too much gets out of hand - well except when you can get them to drink with you and then the occasional breast may fly out...

Here was where the employee in the back stated that he probably wouldn't want to eat there either, but he didn't have a big problem with the restaurant. And then I asked him, after hearing what the driver just said, would he want his daughters (he has 3 teenage girls) to work there, having guys ogling them, trying to come on to them or just lusting after them. Silence from the backseat... followed by a thought-filled no.

I expounded on how I make certain choices by what I believe and how those choices affect different parts of my life. I gave him the for instance of holding onto my virginity until I was married.

He sputtered, "You mean, you did that?!" After responding with a yes, he asked, “Wait a minute. What do you mean by 'virgin'?”

I gave him a you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me look, which he didn’t catch because it was dark, paused with reflection of how best to explain my meaning and then said deliberately, “My hymen was intact before the wedding. It was not broken. I did not have sex before marriage.” There were all sorts of appropriate hand talking to emphasize my meaning as I spoke. I would have made an excellent Italian momma at that moment, thankyouverymuch.

The passenger in the backseat started laughing, saying, “Well that’s pretty clear, don’t you think? You definitely know what she means by virgin now.”

Okay, my friend the driver could not wrap his brain around that at all. “You mean you’ve never slept with another person? You’ve only been with one person your whole life?” he asked, as if that was some sort of torture that I’ve been self-inflicting on myself for my entire adult life. He sneered, “Don’t you ever wonder what it would be like with someone else? Don’t you feel that you’ve missed out not knowing how it could be with another man?”

I answered that I’ve only been with my husband, that I in no way consider it a hardship, that I don’t think I’ve missed out on a thing, especially since I am a very happy woman in my marriage and marriage bed. Then I replied that I want to keep myself out of indecent situations, which included things like how I dressed and where we chose to go or not go due to the surroundings – like Hooters.

Then the driver scoffed, "Well, aren't you the prude... Well if you won't go there, you might as well not watch tv."

And then I floored him when I told him that for the most part we don't. If he could have fallen out of a seat he would have. "You don't have a tv?!!! That's just not right."

I recanted that I do have a tv; however we use it sparingly for football games and movies and the occasional show.

When he heard movies, he immediately threw an unexpected question in my face. "Have you ever watched porn?"

I, after debating how to answer it, settled for the truth. I regrettably replied yes, but then I asked him to ask me how long ago it was and how I felt about it. I said that I wish with all my heart that I had not, that it added no value to my marriage bed, that I felt guilty over it for a long time. I don't think that was the answer he was expecting, but I really wish I could have honestly said no.

I pointed out again that what I believe, I try to live, that I've made - and I'll probably continue to make - lots of mistakes, but I do try to walk my talk. I continued that one of the reasons that I do it because I want my children to understand that they don't have to follow everything the world says is right. I want them to do what is right in God's eyes.

You should have heard the explosion of "That's just not possible!", "You are fooling yourself!", "You are expecting too much out of your kids!", "The world just doesn't work that way." that I got from both of them.

I replied calmly (Me? Calmly? Can you imagine? But I did.) that though my children probably will falter and most likely will make poor choices in their lives, I do not think that trying to teach them to think and to react differently is wrong. There is no harm in trying to teach them to be in the world, but not of it. They both conceded that there was nothing wrong with it, that it is something that is needed in this world, just that it will be extremely difficult for them. I didn't disagree with that statement at all.

The last thing said to me as we pulled into the parking lot was from the passenger in the back. "Well I've learned quite a few things tonight. Some very surprising things." This comment was given with a smile of friendship and amazement - in a good way. I think that perhaps I gave them some food for thought, something they may have been starving for, by their replies.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I felt really good that I was being questioned for my actions, my views, my choices, my beliefs.

And it felt even better that I had answers to give.

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