You taught me languages;
And my profit on't
Is, I know how to curse.
— Shakespeare, The Tempest 1,2
It's always good to learn new things, and more importantly, to apply what you have learned. As the above quote said, that guy learned languages, and his profit was that he now knows how to curse. And isn't that the truth.
The linguist can curse in five languages or more, but is he knowledgeable in other areas of life? Some of the first words that I learned in Spanish from my Latino friends, were curse words. And I learnt them fast too. But guess who also learns fast, very fast... the man who decides to marry or live with a woman.
Oh yes, he learns life's lessons that no teacher or even his mother could ever teach him, for experience is the best teacher, ever. That's why when the little piglet asked his mother, "Momma, why you snout so long?" Her reply was, "Ah me son, you will learn in time."
I discovered all this from a group of gentlemen who were married for quite a number of years, and were kind enough to share their experiences with me. To a man they said, "Brother, when I got married, I learnt real quickly how things were run, and more importantly, who runs things."
So that's the topic this week, learning fast, or as my English teacher would correct me and say, learning quickly. So who's the student and who's the teacher in this relationship classroom? We'll find out right after these responses to 'Fornication fallout'.
As you correctly stated, fornication is human sexual intercourse NOT between a man and his wife, and therefore most, if not all, have sinned since the beginning of time. This will not stop or even slow down, as the animal in us drives us to this act. The only 'salvation' is education for safer and protected sex. There's also the consideration of taking matters into one's hands.
You forgot to mention that if people minded their own fornication business, we wouldn't have so many problems with this subject. How can an act that's practised by so much of the world's population be sinful or illegal? What moral or legal authority could decree that pleasurable act to be against the laws of man or nature? Certainly, even those who deem it sinful and illegal are enjoying the fruits of this pleasure. What a joke. Might as well they make breathing sinful and against the law too, for fornication is as easy and natural as breathing.
Ours is not to question, but to do. We know not why fornication is sinful or illegal in some countries, but the laws of God and man must be upheld. Blame it on Adam and Eve? Put any man and woman together for a period of time and see what happens. As the man said to the lady, "Anything rises we'll discuss it." What about self-control?
It's always a challenge and a learning curve when a man decides to live under the same roof with a woman. This may take the form of marriage, or shacking up, as it was called years ago. Now it's termed common-law marriage. Why common, I do not know. Maybe because it's so common I suppose, or is it because only 'common' people do it? And why the word 'law' behind it? I must consult my legal luminary friends.
But then again, they may charge me for seeking legal advice. The fact is though, when a man takes unto himself a woman, he learns real fast how things are run.
What struck me at the recent Kingston College Old Boys (and spouses) dinner was the fact that a past student got married on that same day, and yet attended the function with his new bride. Now that's school spirit and loyalty above and beyond the call of duty, and I admire him and his wife for doing what they did.
But what also struck me was what the emcee Bobby Smith said to the groom, to wit, "You're a brave man to take your new wife to the KC dinner on your wedding day, but you'll learn fast who's the boss when you try to rearrange the furniture when you get home."
Profound words, for we do know that furniture placement and things of that nature are the woman's domain, and any man who doesn't know that will learn real fast after a few weeks of marriage. Did I say weeks? Some of the husbands who spoke to me, on condition of anonymity, of course, said that even after many years of marriage, they are still learning.
What makes a woman get up in the middle of the night and decides to rearrange furniture or shift the plant arrangements around? Why don't men see the need to rearrange all that stuff? And worse yet, the woman always insists on not only moving things around, but dragging the man into the exercise too, especially when he's watching sports on TV.
"George, can you come and help me move this dresser to the other side of the room?" If it's not that, the entire house is shifted around to coincide with the seasons, especially at Christmas or when house guests are expected.
"I just cleaned the guest bathroom, so do not use it before my sister arrives in three weeks' time." One guy even told me, "I went home one night and didn't bother to turn on the lights before I sat down... and the chair wasn't where it used to be." He fell on his butt, but having learnt real fast, knew not to say a word.
Most single men like to have favourite clothes that they become very attached to and wear a lot, or judge, as we say in Jamaica. Upon marriage, he better learn real fast that his practice of judging clothes will no longer be tolerated. "Ahem... you aren't wearing THOSE shoes to the function are you?" Men love comfort and women love fashion and putting pain before comfort. Men had better learn this quickly. Comfort be damned.
My good bredrin told me how early in his marriage he was upset, dismayed and shocked to see his wife using his favourite T-shirt that he loved to sleep in, as a dust rag. This was a T-shirt that had contoured itself to the form of his body, as it was big, roomy and stretched in the right places. It offered comfort like no other. Yet his wife could not stand it, as it was old and tattered, so therefore it had no use but as a dustcloth.
"How can you sleep in that thing; Suppose something happen in the night and we have to run outside?" Now, almost every man alive has his favourite T-shirt or shorts that he loves to sleep in, but he had better learn real fast that what he sees as treasure, his woman sees as garbage.
There's this story about these three men who boasted about making their wives scream and holler. The Frenchman said that he used wine, fruits and whipped cream and massaged his wife with loving care. She screamed and hollered with delight for five minutes.
The Italian said he used olive oil and spices to massage his woman, and she screamed and hollered for 10 minutes.
The Jamaican, not to be outdone, said that he mixed a concoction of butter, sinkle bible, raw eggs, aloe vera, cooking oil, talcum powder and cerrasee to massage his wife. Then he wiped his hands on the curtains. She screamed and hollered for two hours.
The lesson learnt here is that furniture, household stuff and curtains take precedence over everything else. Every married man should learn that lesson real quickly.
A man would take great joy in bringing home someone of importance, like the US president. But what's more important to his wife is how the house looks, and she would be most upset if he didn't give her ample notice. The house should be spic and span with new curtains put up. Any man who doesn't learn this really quickly is in deep trouble. "But Honey, I got very little notice, and he was only in town for a few hours, so I had to bring him over now."
"You should have called first, the house is a mess, he can't come inside."
As for arguing with a woman, any man who hasn't learnt that it's a futile and dangerous thing to do, lives in the twilight zone. A woman must never lose an argument with her hubby... never, ever, ever. If so, everyone loses, and the man more so. Her face will hang down, her mouth will be set in a miserable tightlipped state for the silent treatment, and naturally and most importantly, she'll be in no mood for affection whatsoever. Sex is out of the question.
So is it really worth it to win that argument and lose the piece? Yes, piece. Newly married men had better learn this real fast. No wonder some brilliant man came up with the phrase that all experienced husbands now use when the dark clouds of an argument looms.... "Yes dear, you are right." His ability to learn fast has saved many men from lonely nights of frustration.
So, I'm a man who's a student of life, and like my other friends who learnt their lesson well, I learn real fast. But I always loved education, so I enjoy the process. More time.
Footnote: Speaking of learning, who teaches parents how to raise their children? There's a new book by Dr Barry Davidson and Dr Faith Linton titled Answers to Questions Parents Ask, that's endorsed by Family Life Ministries, and the Ministry of Education.
It's a Jamaican book that addresses the fears and questions that many young parents encounter when they have children. There is no manual and no secret formula to parenting. What's also pointed out by the authors is that many new mothers are barely 12, 13 or 15 years old, with grandma just 30 years old.
Parenting can be scary, but can you imagine the fears and questions of a 15-year-old mother? Many years ago, there was the parenting 'bible' by the USAs Dr Spock that many Americans lived by. That has lost its relevance in the USA and certainly in Jamaica. Now we have our own manual for parenting, and it's all Jamaican. Even experienced parents have questions, and this book addresses many of these.
I encourage everyone to read two articles about Pitbulls written by Dr Orville Taylor in the Gleaner, Sunday December 9, and by Bishop Howard Gregory in the Sunday Observer that same day. Both, interestingly, are titled, 'Gone to the dogs.' Enlightening and frightening, even as dog owners continue to justify the behaviour of those vicious animals. The statistics are scary.