Random musings on a writer's life & times, with occasional input from acquaintances


Saturday, December 06, 2003

Mr. Black & Blue once again offers advice to the lifelorn.


DEAR MR. BLACK & BLUE: I am a 48-year-old woman who has been married for 24 years and has two children. A few days ago, a female friend gave me this little quiz question.

For me, life without sex would be like life without . . .
a) oxygen
b) music
c) pancakes
d) gum surgery

I told her my answer would be pancakes. I would die without oxygen. And my life would be bleak if it contained no music. Pancakes are okay once in a while, but I don't care much about them and I wouldn't miss them if I never had any. Gum surgery? Well, it's excruciating, so maybe it goes a smidgen too far as a metaphor for sex.

My friend gasped at my answer. Sex should be as important as oxygen to a healthy married woman, she said. Or at least music.

She more or less accused me of being a weirdo, but I bet most married women would agree with my answer. What do you think?


DEAR IT: You are right. Most married women prefer French toast to pancakes or sex.

But seriously . . . it's interesting how societal changes have impacted this situation. Back in olden days (before "The Pill"), it was generally believed women were terrified of sex when single and endured it as a distasteful chore after marriage. Then came "The Pill," and women became zestful about sex "with the right man" when single and bored by sex with just about anybody after marriage. It's open to debate as to how and why this works. I tend to think today's women use sex as a lure to capture a husband, then toss it aside as no longer necessary (except for procreation, if they are inclined to procreate) once they've got a hubby corralled.

Unfortunately for him, today's man -- like men throughout the ages -- would answer that quiz question a). Pardon me while I open a window. I can't breathe.


DEAR MR. BLACK AND BLUE: When a friend of mine expressed pride in her daughter because she graduated from beauty college, my son -- who is completing his Ph.D. in linguistics at Ohio State University -- admonished her. "That's not college," he said. "It's trade school." My friend was embarrassed and hurt. I think my son should apologize for his cruel snobbery, but he disagrees. What do you think?


DEAR CO IN CO: Beauty college IS trade school. Pointing that out to a proud mom is not very diplomatic, however. Perhaps when the girl earns her master's degree in pedicure, your son should make amends by sending her a gift. A copy of Leo Tolstoi's "War and Peace" might be appropriate. Or "Yertle the Turtle," by Dr. Seuss.

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