Mr. Darbeckiglamen

A few months ago, I invited a friend to go see a new romance/drama that had just come out in theaters. It had gotten good reviews, and I thought we’d make a girls night of it. To my surprise, her response was “No thanks, I don’t see movies like that anymore.”

I was curious what she meant. “Well ya know how people say chick flicks are like porn for women? So I don’t go anymore. It’s unhealthy for me cause it creates unrealistic expectations about guys.”

I was really impressed with her commitment!

It made me think of a comment that “Some Guy in CA” had written in response to Msgr. Pope’s blog Marriage Can Wait. He wrote:

I think the main problem is that most women (including faithful Catholics) have extremely excessive expectations of what they expect from their “suitor”. If the initiative that he takes falls anywhere short of the kind of nonsense they see on TV and read in magazines, then it is not happening…There are certain types of good, orthodox, faithful, single Catholic girls that I meet that I find attractive but have learned at this point to not bother with because I can sense that they have this unhealthy view of romantic relationships. Guys: just don’t bother with those particular gals. It is up to them to fix themselves.

Wow, I can definitely see where he’s coming from! Honestly in my mind I’m probably looking for some combination of Mr. Darcy (wisdom and real estate), David Beckham (athleticism and edge), Enrique Iglesias (he’s Latin and he sings), and the-holiest-man-on-the-planet-who’s-not-celibate (whoever he is).

Mea culpa, gentlemen. What I do is exactly what I accuse guys of doing with regards to porn. With porn, guys can customize their experience with whatever woman they want in whatever scenario they want. With chick flick-supported fantasies, I get to imagine falling in love with the star soccer player after hearing him sing with his band during a party at his Georgian estate after which he escorts me home (instead of to his bedroom) confessing his deep love and respect for me as a sister in Christ.

But Laura, Mr. Darbeckiglamen doesn’t exist!

So I should probably get real and:
1) pray for purity of heart and mind
2) follow my friend’s example and not watch chick flicks
3) stop comparing the men I meet to Mr. Darbeckiglamen
4) encourage all men in their realistic pursuit of realistic women

Who’s holding the umbrella?

Listening to Rihanna’s newest single “Umbrella” I can’t help but ask why her man isn’t holding the umbrella.

Now that it’s raining more than ever
Know that we’ll still have each other
You can stand under my umbrella

When I voiced this question to my roommate, she told me that there is a song with a similar theme in the 1948 film “Easter Parade”.

I’m just a fella
A fella with an umbrella
Looking for a girl who saved her love for a rainy day.

Notice the gender swap.

Now, obviously both women and men are capable of holding umbrellas. But philosophically, for which sex is umbrella-holder a more appropriate role? If Adam and Eve were walking in the garden in the quiet of the evening, would Adam have held the umbrella or Eve?

This might seem like a silly question but I’m curious: Women, would you rather hold the umbrella or have it held over you? Men, would you rather hold the umbrella or have it held over you?

What Happens After the First Date?

Wow! In case you haven’t been keeping up, the “Marriage Can Wait???” post has 35 responses! I think Msgr. Pope hit a chord.

To continue the conversation, let’s just imagine that Boy X and Girl Y meet at a party. They get into a great conversation (she’s flirting and making it obvious that she’s interested) and he asks for her number. They go on a date, it’s a great time, and they are both excited about going on a second date. Now what?

Well, let’s talk about friendship! Certainly, taking initiative and asking a person out is a big deal. But the process of becoming friends is where the relationship really starts to take shape and where a deeper discernment begins.

Does she have strong relationships with the women in her life? Does he have strong relationships with the men in his life? Do they know how to begin a friendship with someone of the opposite sex? Will this person be a faithful husband or wife? Will this person be a loving father or mother? Do I see virtues in this person that I admire? Will this person help or hinder our journey toward Christ?

All of our friendships, whether romantic or non-romantic, have as their goal God who is Love. What does this mean to you? Leave your comments and attend our next Relationship Speaker and Discussion Series! Working with insights from Pope Benedict’s Deus Caritas Est as well as Scripture, Dr. Yohe will speak on how to be a good friend,  the importance of same-sex friendships, and the importance of opposite-sex friendships as a groundwork for dating and marriage.

Sunday July 19 – 6:30pm (after the 5:30 Mass)
Cathedral of St. Matthew the Apostle – North Conference Room
The Essential Groundwork of Friendship

Dr. Katherine Yohe received her Ph.D. in Historical Theology with a focus on spirituality from Catholic University of America.  Her dissertation was on human friendship as a means to grow in union with God, and most of her publications and lectures have centered on the lay vocation and friendship. She has taught at Catholic University and LaSalle University and is presently teaching Scripture and Catholic Doctrine at Trinity School at Meadow View. She has been married for fifteen years and has a thirteen year-old son.

Marriage Can Wait??

Young boy proposing a woman at the parkOK guys, time to man up and ask her out on a date! Too many of you men are slow in looking for a bride. When I was ordained twenty years ago I had a lot of marriages. Today there are far fewer, and those that marry are much older. Perhaps maturity is a good thing PRIOR to marriage but couples are really waiting a long time these days. Now I was not born yesterday and I know that part of the reason for the delay is that couples are often fornicating and are just plain shacked up as well. True marriage is delayed as false notions of sexuality and marriage are indulged.

But there is also another phenomenon that is harder to understand. I have quite a number of young women, who are very attractive I might add, tell me that they are seldom asked out on dates, that young men don’t seem very good at taking initiative when it comes to dating and marriage. Now come on guys, be a man and get out there and ask her out!

I remember back in high school and college when I was a dating man, prior to discovering my call to be a priest, I remember that there were risks that you took when you asked a girl out. She might say no. She might even laugh. I might feel humiliated or depressed. Well? Welcome to life! Some of the more embarrassing moments of my life are related to the dating game. So I understand guys. But do what I did: get out there anyway! Take the risk, ask her out! Forget about your fragile little ego, be man and make the ask. You might be surprised. Many attractive young ladies are just waiting for some one man enough to ask them out on a serious date. I’m not talking about some vague thing like, “Maybe I’ll see you at the social tomorrow.” Ask her out on a real date. Just you and her.  Spend  a little money on her and dress well for the occasion.

It is odd that today with so many ways to communicate, it seems harder than ever for men and women to meet. Though our ways of communicating are more than ever, real and actual communication seems hard to come by. The simple fact is that we need to work on this, actually get out there and meet, communicate, date and marry.  Interestingly enough, a number of the recent marriages I have celebrated began on the internet, at a Catholic dating service. It’s not all that bad. Individuals signal their intention and wish to meet members of the opposite sex, share a significant amount of their values and expectations, and then meet to begin the process discernment. The Catholic faith is the starting point.

There is a lot of focus today on the issue of vocations to the priesthood and religious life, a good thing. But we need to wake up to the fact that marriage is on hard times. The statistics are sobering. In 1974 there were 46 Million Catholics in the USA and 400,000 marriages. In 2004 there were 70 million Catholics and only 200,000 marriages. Most priests know this personally. We just do a lot less marriages today. Further, the birthrate has dropped significantly for Catholics. One explanation: we are aborting and contracepting ourselves out of existence (the future world will feature a lot of Muslims and far fewer Catholics). But  another explanation is that marriage rates are dropping and many delay marriage far into the years when fertility is diminished and limited.

There is also a lot of talk about evangelization so let me recommend a fundamental pillar to the Church’s Evangelization Plan: Let’s have a lot of young Catholics get married FIRST, have lots of babies and raise them Catholic. 🙂

Alright young men, get out there on the field, MAN-UP and ask her for a date!  Young men and women, get serious about marriage. It is a holy institution established by God himself. It will make you holy, enrich the Church and ensure that we have a future. Are you up to it? We’re depending on you. Young men, don’t make the ladies wait and DON’T make me come out there and force you!

Here’s a fun video about the “Adventures” of Internet dating entitled “WEB SITE STORY”