What, doth my lord of Suffolk comfort me?
Lay not thy hands on me, forbear I say,
Their touch affrights me as a serpent's sting.
Shakespeare, 2 Henry, III, 2
WHAT'S in a touch, that most innocuous of feelings, that slight brush, the gentle rubbing of the fingers or legs against other, or that heavy blow against the side of your head?! All those are touches, and a touch can be so important, as it's often the first indication that someone cares, or doesn't care for us. People will meet and talk, but do not touch, and until that gesture is made, then no one really knows where the relationship is going. This goes for friends too, and not just lovers, as two bredrin can either shake hands, bump fists together, slap each other on the back, or even hug. Yes hug, men do hug too, and nothing is wrong with it, as long as you don't linger with the embrace. "Okay, okay, you can let him go now."
Women seem to touch more than men, and indeed place more emphasis on touching than their male counterparts. Girls will walk hand-in-hand down the street, or even embrace while strolling, and it's acceptable. Yes, that touch is so important, and of our other senses -- sight, smell, taste and hearing -- touching ranks way up there for, if you cannot touch and feel, you're in big trouble, as we'll find out right after these responses to The Error of Her Ways.
I have seen so many women taking on their men as projects to fix and display, but for most men it often never works out, as either the men cannot or do not want to change, or the women are just too picky. I have heard of a case where one woman could not find her ideal man to marry. Her last boyfriend was dumped because he sat on the couch one day to eat while watching sports on TV. As for the lady who thought that the taximan was beneath her friend with the MBA, many of these taxi drivers in Toronto are immigrants who came to make a better life for themselves, and this was just a start. Many of these men had so called 'noble' jobs back home, such as engineers, doctors, professors. As I heard one guy say, "Here I am janitor, back in Russia, I am nuclear physicist."
Regarding what you said about women wanting to change men, it's not simply wanting to change them for change sake, but more to improve them. What is wrong with having your man look good when he goes out? I have seen so many couples where the woman is all dressed up and the man looks like a scruffy homeless beggar beside her. As a woman, I would not be seen in public with that man, as it reflects badly on me. Nothing is wrong with dressing him correctly in a nice shirt, with fitted pants, clean shoes and hair neatly groomed, plus a nice cologne. After all, men take care of their cars, don't they? Well, they are our cars.
I always remember an older friend from long ago, a prominent sportsman too, who would boast about laying on of hands on his wife. Poor naïve me, for at the time I was very young and didn't know what he meant until I first saw his wife all battered and bruised up and with black eyes too. His laying on of hands meant beating her on occasion, and he took as much pleasure in boasting of his heavy touching, as he did doing the deed. Well, women do like to be touched, but I'm sure that's not the kind of touch that they have in mind or look forward to. Touching is key in any relationship though, and is not reserved to humans only. Just observe how so-called lower animals relate to each other, and see how they touch frequently. Cows, horses, goats, dogs will nuzzle each other. Even ants will stop and touch their antennae to exchange information. So why should we, the so-called dominant species, be any different? I always view people who are afraid to touch or hug, with great suspicion. I also am wary of those who like to touch too much. "Is how him so touchy feely and familiar and I don't even know him?" There is a balance to touching. But you have touching, and you have touching.
Very often we hear of cases where women complain about being touched inappropriately, and this can be most confusing at times, for it all depends on the time and place of the touching. Touch a woman on the street and chances are she can call for your arrest. But take a complete stranger on the dance floor and rub up on her like you're grinding cassava with your hips and it's quite acceptable. Plus, women can touch men whenever and wherever they want, and it's no big thing. I have lost count of the numerous times that women have touched me while I was growing into manhood. I was a tall handsome lad... really, and I guess they just couldn't help it. So they squeezed me, spun me around and felt my arms, my legs, my chest, my glutes and other such indiscretions. And yet, I took it in stride and laughed with them. After all, I was flattered. But men dare not play that game with women. What's even more confusing is to hear when doctors are cited for inappropriate touching. How can you differentiate when a gynaecologist is simply doing his job, poking around, peeking and squeezing and pulling and touching where the sun doesn't shine, to inappropriate touching? What is a bad touch as opposed to good touch? And what if a man goes to a proctologist and is examined thoroughly, can he accuse that doctor of inappropriate touching when he has his fingers up his you know where? It's all so confusing. Well, you should become suspicious if your eye doctor asks you to drop your pants, I suppose.
What is clear though, is that when it comes to children, that's where the line is drawn. All touching, except in obvious areas, is deemed bad and parents should educate their children about this. "No uncle, no friend, no stranger must touch you anywhere but on your hand, you hear... nowhere else."
But touching is crucial to people, especially women, who insist that it's done as often as possible. Children who are nurtured and touched often by their mothers are more emotionally balanced, the experts say. But when it comes to relationships, women also see touching as very important, even more than sex itself. "I just love it when my man touches me ever so lightly with his fingers, his toes, or rubs his leg against mine. It shows that he cares." I have heard women say so. Men will do this, but many times it's a prelude to something else. Women though, will just touch for touching sake. So much so, that many women will know exactly what a man wants, just by the way he touches her, and conversely, many men will confuse a woman's touch with her initiating a bout of lovemaking. At times, both are confused. "Honey, you touched me, you want something?" "No, babes, I just touched you because I love you, that's all."
You have tangible touching though, which is physical and can be felt, and you also have intangible touching which is often far more effective. I'm talking about being touched by a woman, and any man who has not been touched by a woman is missing half of his life. I'm not being sentimental or romantic. Well, maybe I am, but this was brought home to me even more a few weeks ago when I watched Michelle Obama as she spoke about her husband, President Obama at the Democratic National Convention. What a beautiful, brilliant, erudite, eloquent woman she is, to speak lovingly about her man. As I watched, I thought, where would that man be without that woman's touch? Would he be where he is today if she wasn't the woman that she is? And where would he be if he was a single man? Certainly not the President of the USA.
Women touch men and make them into better human beings. At least the good women do, for Lord help you if you pick up a witch who does nothing but nyam you out and tear you down. But I have seen good women elevate men time and time again, even in my own family. Men touch women too, but somehow a woman's touch has such a great influence on a man's life, a fact that so many men do not appreciate. But as in all things there is a downside, and a bad touch from a woman can spell disaster in a man's life. This started with Adam and Eve, as it's been said that it was Eve who fell prey to temptation and persuaded Adam to follow suit; something about some apple and eating forbidden fruit and what have you. We can argue apples and oranges, it doesn't matter, the rest is history as, men have been touched by women ever since, and will continue to do so. As soon as a man gets a little money, he seeks out a woman or women to spend it on, and men will continue to get touched this way by women until the end of time. Many women have led men down the path of rack and ruin, as their wants outstrip their needs, and the men just can't keep up. Now that's a bad touch by a woman, but mercifully it's not as frequent as the good touches that most women give to their men.
I observe women, wives, girlfriends, sisters, mothers, aunts, grandmas, and most of them give good touches to those with whom they interact. Sometimes they go overboard, but essentially they mean well. When I see our women struggling to make ends meet and hold their families together, I get all choked up, for a woman's touch is really what keeps us all together. More time.
Footnote: As the saying goes in Jamaica, 'Everybody want to eat a food' but at whose expense? Without being emotional, let's examine the facts surrounding the scrap metal trade. Examine and note how many people and organisations have suffered from theft of their metal, from gates, bridge railings, train lines, telephone lines, water pipes and fittings, manhole covers and cars. Call it a great coincidence, but all these thefts took a break until word was given that the industry was to resume, then they resumed with a vengeance. What a coincidence.
Research all the countries in the world where there is a scrap metal industry and you will see a similar pattern. Do that, then next time you drive across a bridge with no rails, or fall into an open manhole, or go to lock your front gate that's no longer there, then come back and state the case for 'everybody want to eat a food.'