Sunday, December 20, 2009

Not a neck

My dad buys maps of every city I live in so I can call him if I get lost and need directions. My step-father bought me an ice scrapper and stashed it in my car. My god-father sat with me in the emergency room while I screamed from my reaction to the morphine. My grandpa will always be the man who rescued me from a tree when I got caught on a branch and was hanging by my underwear. My uncle called me every day during my stay at our family's cabin to make sure I was alive and our country neighbor came over in the middle of the night when I got the flue on the fireplace stuck and filled the house with smoke.

Some women have daddy issues and for a while I guess I thought I did too. But I have come to realize how very lucky and how very spoiled I have been by the father figures in my life.

The bar has been set high. I have been well taken care of and well loved.

These men, in addition to all my cousins and friends have made me a real champion of the opposite sex. Sure I may bash the ones who cyber stalk me or booty call me at two a.m. or never ever seem to learn tact, but really I have got to say, guys are pretty great. Different, mind-boggling, but great.

I think sometimes guys get a raw deal. It isn't an us against them situation. It is easy to just say "guys suck" every time one screws us over. But then I feel guilty. Maybe it is a Catholic thing, but I can't cast off the whole lot just cause of a few run-ins with Mr. Wrong.

This weekend I sang in my cousins wedding with two other great men in my life, young men, my cousins. I was so glad I had that opportunity to perform with them and share music, something has always played a large role in my family's life.

It was beautiful and a wonderful celebration of two people I love very much.

The only part of the wedding I didn't thoroughly enjoy was the sermon by the minister. It was the whole, "He is the head of the household. You are the submissive 'helper' thing." I guess he tried to rationalize it, misquoting Moonstruck (it is actually My Big Fat Greek Wedding, I think) "The man is the head of the house, but the woman... the woman is the neck and she can turn the head any way she wants."

I come from a family of strong-minded loud-mouthed women. Submissive really isn't in our DNA. The very suggestion of it tends to make some blood boil.

I could actually feel seething coming from my hippie cousin behind me and my godmother to my left. It was hard to swallow and no matter how many good intentioned men try to make that passage of the bible work for me, it is never going to happen.

Luckily, I feel like I have grown up in a family of men who get that, who understand what I believe the whole "head of household" thing to mean – men who take care of their families, love their wives and respect their communities. Men who tape car keys into my gas tank so I don't lock myself out of my car – which I did today leaving the hotel after the wedding today, with the car running.

They don't expect me to be a "helper to her husband". They have raised me to do fine on my own. Even I know how to dial a locksmith.

They are great men. Like my god father who leaned over to my cousin Maggie during the wedding and said, "Don't listen to him," they remind me everyday how many great men are out there and one day I might find one that won't mind marrying a head instead of a neck.

Just don't expect to hear that passage at my wedding.

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