Tuesday, June 12, 2007

She's Getting Ready

what'll she look like when she opens her eyes
will she see just what I see
will it be a surprise
to see that she hasn't changed,
her eyes are just a little wider now
and she's getting ready
(Stephen Speaks)

There are moments, early on in a relationship, when any thought a woman has seems like it borders on pure fantasy. Oh, what will it be like when he meets my parents? Oh, will my friends like him? Where will we honeymoon? It's all too early, and she generally knows better than to really say these questions outloud to anyone other than her closest girlfriends (who already know she's nuts) or to her journal, or, depending on the woman, to her mother.

And then, there are those things that a woman decides long before meeting the man of her dreams, or the prince in a car that actually runs. There are those things like: he must be tall, must share my religion, must want to live close to my family. He must have gone to college. He must want oodles of children. He must be pro-life.

There are those things that the woman can decide, haphazardly if she chooses, to abandon. Tall? Well, what's tall? As long as he's taller than me, that's fine. My religion? Do I even have my religion anymore? Children? Well, she wants them, but maybe "oodles" might be more than she can handle.

She realizes that her older, wiser friend was right, that there are some things on a list that can easily be set aside in the interest of the things that really matter, like the fact that he can calm her down, that he listens when she babbles endlessly about work, that he at least pretends to understand why she's upset when she can't find the right shampoo at Target. That he is honest, honorable, and a good man who can unclog the dishwasher.

But there is always one thing on which she will not budge. For each woman, it's something different. As women fall further in love, they worry that they will be called to put into action the stance that they set for themselves long ago and truly still believe. The man she marries must be pro-life. She's budged on a lot of things, but on this one, she remains unmoved.

She didn't really want to have him answer the question, though she should have had him answer long ago. She shouldn't have waited so far into the relationship before getting a real answer, but she also knows that in this day and age, it's hard to find a man with that belief. Especially a man with that belief who is not an evangelical Christian, because she just couldn't handle that kind of religion.

Finally, they talked. They talked openly. She, a former activist of sorts, he someone who has never been touched by abortion in any way. Of course, her feelings are stronger on the matter, but he said those words. He said, "I'm pro-life," and she didn't even need to ask the question.

Of course, after the conversation, she realized how little she had to worry about, which is, perhaps why she hadn't asked the question in the first place. She knew his politics, his religion, and that statement is closely in line with both of those. But still, her heart lept into her throat, and she was flooded with relief.

She would not have to call into question her own stance on what beliefs couples should share. She would not have to reconsider the relationship. An answer she gave herself long ago remains true.

And she is preparing herself for the other questions. The real and possible questions of what it means now that all of her other questions have been answered. Of course, she still doesn't know what his, "I love you," means in terms of a lifetime together. Now, though, she has no qualms about moving forward.


Beth said...

I love this post. There are definitley some things on my list that have dropped down in the importance in place of other things. Knowing how to unclog a dishwasher? That's a good one.

I'm glad that you were able to see eye-to-eye on the issue that is important to you. I'm pro-life, too. That's a big one on my list, too, that will never change.

singlemuslimah said...

I love this post and I'm glad y'all see eye-to-eye on the important stuff.

brandy said...

Awesome post and really well written. I think having those big talks, make such a huge difference in the end. And even though I feel I'm more pro-choice, I appreciate anytime people are able to state their view, or give their view in a way that comes across as smart, and based on a reason, not just out of the air. Good stuff!