One of my single friends recently told me that several of her friends have said, "Don't let yourself go or you'll never get married." I immediately sensed my own incipient rage building to intolerable levels. To prevent myself from flying off the handle (Yes, I have a handle.) I decided to use my enormous intellect to figure out why someone would say something like this. I came up with a traditional tri-lemma (the best ones use alliteration so you can remember the three choices without referring to a note card). Why would someone say this to a woman? It could be one of three things: One, they could be Idiots. Two, they could be Ignoramuses. Three, they could be Iniquitous. Idiot, Ignoramus, Iniquitous.
IDIOT. Perhaps they are too stupid to recognize the patent falseness of their statement. Perhaps they have never noticed that not every woman who gets married looks like someone from the cover of a magazine.
IGNORAMUS. Perhaps they, like the character in the 1615 play by George Ruggle, are simply ignorant. This is another way to say that maybe they are more inexperienced than Stupid. It's possible I guess.
INIQUITOUS. In other words, evil. I favor this interpretation, as the theory that a woman's main marriageable quality is her body is clearly one spawned by demons. Although some people will use the Bible verse, "Women, be sure that your body is thin and anemic so that your husband will be attracted to you -- for lo, a man cannot be attracted to a woman unless she looks like an air-brushed, half-starved, surgically-enhanced and unattainable cover model" I assert that this verse is taken out of context. In fact, it seems that women are regularly encouraged NOT to become caught up in their outward appearance. You know that old verse, "Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. " (I Peter 3:3-4 NIV)
Okay, some of you think I am being harsh. You are thinking, "C'mon, Matt, it could be that these friends are just victims of the culture which they live in and meant no harm by saying that your friend should be sure to focus on her outward appearance to make sure to draw a mate." I will grant you this point. But it seems to me that even if we are parroting the evil philosophy of our culture, that doesn't make the philosophy more acceptable. "The culture deceived me and I ate." Doesn't sound too convincing to me.
I am not denying that people care about exterior appearance. I'm not denying that many relationships start from across the room when someone says, "Hey, I like the looks of that person." I am denying that this is the most important aspect a woman should be concerned about in finding a prospective mate.
That's why I've taught my kids an important lesson. If a man ever comes up to them and says, "Don't let yourself go or you'll never find a husband" I have given them clear directions: Kick the guy in the crotch and say, "And you'd better toughen up or you'll never find a wife."