Growing up we only had four television channels—five, if one of us held the antenna at a certain angle, but we really didn’t like that channel anyways—plus we were limited on the amount we could watch, so we had lots of time for reading and playing outside. Growing up in a place where it rains, or at least drizzles 80% of the year, we had lots of inside time to fill, so I was quite a reader. Like most young boys I liked my ancient warrior books and I grew up on the Iliad and the Odyssey, in condensed form of course, King Arthur and the ancient Greek myths. These came to my mind recently.
As a Priest I am called on from time to time to listen as people pour out their sorrows. This can take place in all sorts of locale, though I have to say the airport terminal and the Wendy’s parking lot are a few of my favorites. Working on campus I have had an increased number of “my relationship fell apart” encounters over the last three years. The classic literature came to mind, because I have been consistently surprised by how quickly relationships move these days. In my books a guy would have to do a series of quests before he could even see the face of the princess and now sometimes all he has to do is smile right.
While I knew the stories were a little over the top I rather liked the heroic ideal of having to prove myself before I could gaze upon the beauty of the maiden. The problem for me was limiting myself to just one, I just like serving everyone, and I wasn’t sure how to find out if the princess already had a suitor. I kid you not, I was afraid I might have to fight someone if I stepped on the wrong toes. In my defense, anyone who has seen Disney’s Bambi knows precedent is set when Feline is all grown up and Bambi has to fight Bruno for her.
It’s not a “Macho” thing. Women are just as capable as men, sometimes more so, but I rather liked the idea that the girl would have some sort of expectations of what sort of guy was worth her time. I suppose you could say the same thing for everyone, that we shouldn’t settle, I guess I have had more encounters with the feminine side of things. It’s just hard to see people getting so hurt, because they were so hungry for love that they gave away the treasure they are as individuals without much of a quest. Ladies, and guys too I guess, I think requesting the head of a Minotaur or magic fruit is totally legitimate. You’re worth it! So don’t settle, expect great things from those you date or marry. Make sure they’re committed before you commit, you won’t regret it and it might just save you some pain.
Prayers Always, Fr Joseph Altenhofen