Monday, May 14, 2007

Monday ruminations

Eating, not eating: I liked the look of that pecan raisin loaf at the farmer’s market at Tompkins Square yesterday. But after learning that they wanted $9 for it, with $5 for the half (that’s roughly a dollar a slice!), I said no way. Who the fuck were they kidding? Wasn't over-priced bread one of the causes of the French Revolution? Aux armes, citoyens!

Listening to Leslie Bennetts recently on WNYC. She argues the rather obvious point that married women should earn their own keep, considering that half of all marriages end in divorce and that women generally live longer than their husbands. But evidently she’s been blitzed by the anxious stay-at-homes who believe she is attacking their “choices.”

Frankly, when I see mommies trudging their kids and prams down the sidewalk, I think of nothing less than pack animals, all that talent going to waste and nappies. One of my neighbors is a stay-at-home dad, and he’s pretty much alone in the local playgrounds. These issues are usually framed as personal choices, while the historical, economic, social and ideological forces behind them are ignored. For instance, why does the state, which claims such an interest in marriage, then turn around and say every [man/]woman for themselves when it comes to childraising?

Reading Mating in Captivity, by Esther Perel, subtitled “Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic.” I heard her speaking on the radio and put the book on hold at the library, but it took so long to get to me that I forgot what hooked me in the first place. Still, it’s intriguing and I haven't tossed it away yet. She argues that intimacy and sex are not necessarily the same thing, and that, perversely (at least according to our ruling mythologies about romance, relationships, et al) they can actually work against each other. Interesting. I like her alien perspective: she was raised overseas, as I was, so comes to American norms with questions, not simple acceptance-as-usual.


Anonymous said...

so what should we aim for in relationships: intimacy or eroticism? what makes a better relationship? and isn't revealing one's fantasies and giving up some power to another a form of intimacy? why the dichotomy?

A Brooklyn Bachelor said...

I don't know why the dichotomy, Anon. Hell, I'm just a bachleor.

I think the two, intimacy and eroticism, are intertwinned like limbs in the sack. The author's point is that many couples break them apart, usually without knowing why, and end up angry at each other for not having sex, for demanding sex, for children sucking up all their time and autonomy, etc., thus keeping therapists in the green and selling books like this one.

Meanwhile, I'm off to toast Jerry Falwell's death. Happy days.

Anonymous said...

. . . and as brainwashed as you are, very likely to remain one.

At least Jerry Falwell got to pass on his seed. Yours is going right down the toilet.


A Brooklyn Bachelor said...

I think we can safely assume that's a different "anonymous" from the one above.