On Toil, Life at 40-Something, Good Women (any left?) and Simple Joys...
by, Mark Baker
Hmmm, for whatever reason, it seems that lots of us Baby Boomers (1946--1964), especially those towards the tail-end of the boom (1958-1964) married BADLY! Perhaps we were naively imprinted by the idealic environment a vast majority of us experienced in our formative early years: Our Mother's were at home, 'Pong' hadn't even been invented yet, so we spent hours on-end 'OUTSIDE' with our friends playing sandlot games, riding our bikes, shooting BB-Guns, 'Lawn Darts,' 'Whiffle-Ball, shooting hoops, etc.
We reluctantly 'came in' only after our mothers hollered at us for dinner (or we’d taken a Lawn Dart in the thigh, lol), and then we had to scrub-off the top layer of grime before we helped Mom set the table and go fetch Dad from the watching Walter Cronkite, or fiddling in the garage. After dinner we (if we were the oldest kid, which I was damn-it) cleared the table and washed the dishes and then joined the rest of the family for TV (if our ‘homework’ was completed).
Together we watched the likes of 'Gunsmoke,' 'My three Son's,' 'Manix, 'The Courtship of Eddie's Father,' 'Hawaii Five-O' (remember Jack Lords HUGE hair, lol) and 'The Wonderful World of Disney. I couldn't wait to watch 'Mutual of Omaha's WILD KINGDOM. Remember how Marlin always had poor "Jim" do all the hard work for him, then he'd 'step-into' the shot to look victorious. I now feel that this was a subliminal warning to us, that in our futures, we would be subjected to 'older boomers' (the ones born before 1958) who being UNIMAGINATIVE, UNETHICAL PRICKS, would think nothing of taking credit for our ideeas and accomplishments.
This grand incubator primed a lot of us to expect a safe, idealic world and life ahead of us. We were mistaken. Not all of us shared this naive worldview, because they were the ones we married, "For Better & Worse" (Bata vs. VHS), "Through Sickness & Health", "Forsaking all Others..." (this is where the mates of us who married very badly, would later 'DIVIATE' from the game-plan on us (who'd of ever pictured Mike or Carol Brady 'Shaking-up' on the side?').
So, then, with that realization, like a few others (who'll know what I'm saying here), I dedicated myself to being the best parent I could be, and hopefully not screw my kids up too bad as a single-parent of three little boys from a 'broken home' (a term the PC world has banished).
Now, with my youngest on the cusp of leaving the nest, I find myself at a place where I can consider the possibility of finding HER, that one great woman, possessing the right mix of what ... "je ne sais quoi," I'll know it when I 'feel' it.
She, wherever she is (and I am old-fashioned enough to still believe that a good man and women can find each other). What I will not do however is continue to be so naive to allow myself to be hemmed-in by conventional wisdom that states that she necessarily be from my home state (Michigan), or even necessarily the United States itself. And while physical beauty is something I'll admit DOES play a role, I wisely no longer necessarily equate it as a primary factor of attraction. Rather, a woman who possesses integrity, wisdom, autonomy, passion, discretion and a good degree of HUMOR is a rare woman indeed. She may be white, black, asian, european, whatever. She could be next door, across town, state, country, or ocean. But regardless of any of that, the women I'm seeking fits the following:
She wakes with a smile and considers what she has before giving thought to what's missing in her life.She is comfortable with who she is, and the hand that she's been given to deal with.If she has them, she puts her children’s needs ahead of her own and NEVER resents having been blessed with them. She isn't caught-up in the neon-glow of the world we find ourselves in, but instead carries herself with dignity and grace driven by an in-dwelling desire to please the Lord. She thus possesses the inherent intelligence (or has learned through grand revelation) that 'the world does not rotate around her (or any person for that matter), and that we are all at our best when we pause to consider the needs of those around us. She is physically active and enjoys activities outside the home; a hike through a forest or along a secluded beach is far preferable to her to hanging out at the local 'meat-rack,' but on the other hand, neither is she a prude, and isn't afraid to belt-out some bad karaoke.
She is an 'Observer' of people, their actions and motivations and has developed a strong sense of discernment as to who's sincere and those who may not be.She has a strong sense of autonomy and self-respect, and although she'd prefer to have a man in her life, she isn't willing to "settle" for just anyone who pays attention to her, but instead has been holding out for the man she wants. She is PASSIONATE in love and with her affections toward the man she loves. She has a strong desire to travel and see so many places that she's yet to visit, but ultimately would love to do that with a man she loves and who loves and adores her. She is loyal and can think for herself; she laughs easily and frequently and her smile reveils her spirit.
Regarding 'Simple Joys:' I like my Honda HRR Series Mower, I REALLY like it! Like a good dog who immediately quits sniffing poop and comes to you when you call, or a ratty old pair of Adidas that feel great. When I reach down and pull that cord, I'm rewarded with a START, everytime! Yup, I know that sounds pathetic, but mowing with my Honda ranks right up there with folding hot clothes fresh out of the dryer.
It would be nice to find 'HER' someday, but if not, I've always got my Honda.