To: Yetinayet From: Adey Subject: I see your Earthworm and I raise you a Light Beam
Maybe I have watched to many Hollywood movies. I can't imagine standing before all of my friends and family and committing to someone for the rest of my life if the mere mention of his name doesn't make my heart beat faster. I think that people assume that love to young people today is about looks or lust or a combination thereof and that may be the case some of the time. However, I would really like to believe that the love we want so much comes from the fact that our potential partner has earned our respect and from being compatible and being able to communicate from the BEGINNING.
In answer to your assertion that "something has happened to a professional class," that something is called the Feminist movement. With the rise of women entering the work force and gaining economic independence, women have become less tolerant of men who beat them, abuse and belittle them and the men who step out on them(cheat). Although I believe in the institution of family, I would not change the rise in divorces if it means that we return to the kitchen -- barefoot and pregnant. (For one thing, I can't cook). Actually, I believe that the very idea of family will evolve as the women's rights movement continues to grow and evolve. We have made great gains but we still have a ways to go. (We still don't get equal pay for equal work!)
Oops! As you might have guessed, this is a sore point with moi. Let me end my diatribe on the Feminist movement and return to the topic at hand. Ummmmm… yes…
You and I agree totally about child rearing. "Why would a woman who spends three quarters of a year carrying the most uncomfortable of loads and suffering morning sickness and irrational bouts of incomprehensible desires want to have any child let alone more? you ask. Can you see why I am so taken by the prospect of adoption?
I am loving the whole explanation of our desires to have children. I would love to see how you will explain where babies come from to your children. According to your theory where would people who do not want kids fall?
I thank you for your words of encouragement regarding my "plan" to adopt. I find it ironic that in this day and age we still have such a narrow definition of family. People are still very uncomfortable with the single mother's, gay couples, inter-racial marriages, marriages between people of different religious and ethnic groups. While I can't say I am completely innocent of these biases, (the whole black man and white woman thing still gets to me sometimes), I think generally I prescribe to the idea that if its good for you, go ahead.
P.S. Amharinahin alchalkutim!
To: Adey Abeba
Dear Adey Abeba,
Why does your name make me want to put on a skirt and go singing from house to house praising the newness of spring and a brand spanking new year? No - wrong gender. It reminds me of the one time of the year when every boy suddenly decides that he is Afeworq Tekle, or a budding Picasso, and so armed with nothing more than a sheaf of some colorful water paint, embarks on a systematic shakedown mission of the village notables and the more approachable relatives. Hmmmm - ech! wrong country, wrong calendar.
Anyway, back to the topic at hand.
Racing hearts you say? I distinctly remember when that happened to me last. Yeah, a morning stop at the local TOTAL gas station and convenience store - you stock up on 20 ounces of one of those Cappuccino/Irish Cream/French Vanilla cocktails, and baby your heart is a-rockin' at supersonic speed.
Yes, yes, I know what you meant. One would think that on such an auspicious day (hey I just learned that word and I had to use it - see?) you do not want to remind yourself of the educational credentials and the stock portfolio of the person standing next to you. Perhaps, you would like to remember the times when you laughed together, or how that person was the only one who had faith in you when even you thought you were the worst bum this side of heaven, or how of all the people you have dated that person is the one who makes you forget why you decided to be angry in the first place. And yet, I know of one loving couple who have lived and prospered together for close to forty years now after the man went looking for a woman who had to meet only two requirements; that she call her husband "antu", and that she is "qey".
Speaking of "I do"s, I also remember when I was a mizae and it seemed to me the words compelling one to promise perpetual faithfulness to bride and religion were a shocking demand on the bride and groom. Maybe the wedding and the church service are nothing more than ceremonies, but you are saying your "I do"s in front of God, possibly a hundred witnesses, and scariest of all, in front of Abba Gebre Menfes Qedus - that fiery yenefs abat to half the town. If there indeed is a God, the statistics on people keeping the words they promised in church on their special day has to make him believe that his technique is not working. Maybe he'll have the last laugh, warming himself with the comforting glow of souls roasting in perpetual fire.
Speaking of unorthodox families, I do not understand why (feminist ?) women find it easily acceptable to see one parent families, interracial families, gay couples etc and yet find the whole notion of one man-many wives completely non-grata. It seems to me as long as all parties to this arrangement are happy, this is a good situation to be in. Hey, even human demographic statistics all over the world bear me out. I know the guys will back me on this one (of course they would never admit it to their sweetheart lest they be scalded with yefela aTmit).
I still believe that adopting is not the quick shortcut you make it out to be. Obviously, if that is your choice, you are welcome to it. Just adopting the child will only begin the whole process of parenthood. Once you are responsible for a child, as a good friend of mine says, "your life is over". You have surrendered your freedom, your wealth, your time, even your dreams to this potential person who may never realize just what you put aside to raise his or her ugly mug (not to say you will adopt a melke-Tfu). I suppose it is one of those "woman" things that we men are doomed to never understand - this urge to "nurture" something. So speaking of urges, which of the explanations do you identify with - the "el-wormo" one or the lightshow thingy?
You asked me how I would tell my children about how children came into this world. Easy! I will say that one day I asked their mother for a surprise and I'll be damned if she didn't "deliver". (I know, I know - very weak pun - completely unplanned I guarantee you.) On second thought, maybe she may just decide to give me another "surprise" so perhaps I will leave it for them to find out from the great yonder sometime before they are old enough to make themselves daddys and mommys. No? You don't like that either? Well, I guess until they are of age, the old "Maryam seTechign" story, told by endless numbers of Ethiopian mothers to still innocent children, beats the old Norse/German flying stork tale hands down. Who would argue against St Mary, the venerated Saint of all mothers?
I would call people who do not want to have children the only ones with completely sane minds. I would also think they are too perfect. They feel no need to immortalize themselves, to remake themselves, to give themselves the joy of seeing something flourish under their care, to humble themselves, to make themselves the most important person for other human beings. Isn't this world a better place for its imperfections?
Speaking of humility though, I have this nagging suspicion that most young Ethiopians outside of the motherland are not getting married because of pride. Do you think we are all too proud to commit to a relationship where we have to submit to the whims of another? Questions, questions, questions…
YenE shemonmwana, I await your mels with yemideliq lb.
PS: Please return the favor, what do you do?