Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Women, the Cause of and Solution to All of Life's Problems

I wonder if anyone does start reading this blog regularly and then meets me after the fact what they will think of me. But it really doesn't matter that much, especially since I've written nothing too off-putting, just mildly embarassing at most. Well, perhaps the whining would be a little worrying, but hopefully if I cut down on that in the future and if I can build a large archieve of these to dilute the previous whining ones, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. So on to other things.

Let me talk about a subject near and dear to my heart, women. Ah, women, as the title of this session suggests, they are the cause of and solution to all of life's problems (paraphrasing a little something from the Simpsons (Homer vs. the Eighteenth Admendment)). While the phrase is remarkably catchy, I think it is also amazingly accurate. Women have an amazing ability to make men sweat, just by their very presence. Around women we stand up straighter, hold in our gut a little, clean up our jokes, etc. I wonder what men would be like without women. I know I for one would probably be bathing once every three days, brushing my teeth half as often, and I'd probably be twice as fat. I mean sure I like bathing, brushing, and keeping my body in not awful shape for personal reasons, but all that stuff takes up time and energy and I need to deal with rather akward anxieties surrounding them. My own purely personal motivations aren't enough to drive me to take care of my appearance, however, I know that women are all around me, so I know I have to spend at least some effort (although I don't really spend enough time maintaining my appearance). But back to my point, women make men sweat. And that does make them do good things, but it also can overwelm them with anxiety, it's the two sides of the same coin, women cause men to perform, and performance can be highly productive but it can also wrack nerves raw. And that's just the mere presence of a woman, once you start talking to her, well then, that's when things get interesting.

It's been my experience that women are potentially calming figures in general. With other men, even friends there's this underlying air of competition, in some way we are competing, trying to show ourselves off stronger and better than the others so we can impress some woman, add to this a tendancy among males to be naturally more ambitious and agressive (take good note of the word tendancy, I believe while men tend towards certain personality types, and women tend towards others, the tendencies are not overwelming nor are they cast in stone, I've met women more aggressive than me and men much, much more passive than women) and you get a sort of tension when men get together that's not present when a man meets a woman. Instead, once of course the whole man's anxiety over appearance and behavior settles down, a woman can have a positive effect. A lot of this I think has to do with the female aesthetic and it's influence on men. The looks of women make men happy. Men like the faces, curves, skin, etc. of women (as you should understand by now I'm talking about heterosexual men), even in a non-sexual sense. Women, in general, are beautiful. Perhaps this is my personal perspective because I have perhaps a wider perception of beauty in women than other men (I realize that might sound highly vain, but what the hell, I am Rand after all), but being around a woman is often like being around a work of art, your mood is soothed by the positive aesthetic.

Right now I have only skimmed the complex relationship between men and women who are not in a relationship, but I feel I should move on a little to the relationship. Here my personal history allows me to show how accurate the idea that women are the cause of and solution to all of life's problems is, however, if I were too specific, I might make embarrassing remarks and possibly give offense to other people so I'll talk in more general terms. In a good relationship, women are highly effective in moderating the destructive sides of the emotions of men. Durkheim showed that men who are married have far lower suicide rates. When a man is in a good relationship he's able to find a santuary from all of his problems in that relationship, he also becomes more invested in life because if he messes up he suddenly has something to lose other than himself, so he's less likely to take stupid chances. I think men tend (again this is only a tendency not a rule) to take more risks and tend to expose themselves to more danger and so a good relationship between a man and a woman tends to favor the former more than the latter though undoutably, if the relationship is actually healthy it should be beneficial to the woman as well. That said, the relationship is often the source of countless problems for men as well.

Good relationships help men, yes that's true, but finding a good relationship with a woman is often difficult and can spawn many annoying and/or serious and/or annoying problems. I mean it's not hard to imagine this, a man and a woman have to form a connection in a relationship where neither knows what the other's thinking. One interprets something this way, another interprets it another way, suddenly there is a conflict which can overwelm both their lives with misery. Two people can never know really what the other thinks. Much of what exists in our minds is inexpressible, and so we are left groping in the dark trying to do the right thing to build the relationship, and if we do the wrong thing we are struck with guilt, shame and sorrow. It's not easy. I'm not sure if men or women have the worse end of this situation, but it's hard on both sides. Many a good man and woman has been brought to destruction by the struggle to find a good relationship, but we keep on trying, it is in our nature.

Ok, with all of that having been said, I will admit that the title and phrase exaggerates things. Women are not the cause of and solution to all of life's problems. There are problems, indeed some of the most important ones, that have nothing to do with women. My toughest problems have usually to do with crises of the mind, and although women sometimes intertwine themselves in these, ultimately the problem lies in my head not in them. Still, I have had plenty a headache from women, and yet, well, there was one brief moment when I felt like I was in a relationship, and whenever I talked to the girl I felt a wave of peace come over me, it was an intoxicating feeling, on the other hand when my illusions about the relationship were finally dispelled my mood plummetted. Still even those feelings were intertwined with my cycles of mania and depression during that period. Perhaps it would be more accurate, although bulkier and less catchy to say women, the sometimes partial, sometimes full cause of and solution to many of life's serious problems, but that would be bulkier and less catchy. And if we took a grander view we could see that without women we would not have humanity, and without humanity we would not have life's problems or solutions.

So here's to women, the cause of and solution to all of life's problems.

So take it to your head, take it to your heart and remember Rand rocks. Goodnight Folks!

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