With Christmas coming up, this beast rears its ugly head once again :-)
From the first day I saw the following advert, an unfortunate association occurred...
Now I cannot hear this musical…
or a documentary like this...
Ticked off as I am that I have encumbered myself with a Pavlovian response that I cannot seem to stave off other than to not book an African safari anytime soon, it begs the question: just how do they do it? (The 'programming', I mean).
Or is this something that one does to oneself, aided and abetted by the materialistic society we live in?
How does one wean oneself off from such unwholesome 'conditioning' whilst simultaneously living in the West?
Weird associations aside, the silver lining is that it is from this same advert that I acquired a favourite catchphrase of mine.
Whenever something pleases me immensely, I express this with the phrase 'it makes my heart sing'.
I found a reason for my heart to sing recently.
A reason to have hope in the current SMP.
All is not lost.
At least not yet.
I have mentioned before that I do find gems in unusual places. This is no exception.
I came across a new blog recently. It is not the blog per se which interests me (although it is interesting for sure!) but a particular video I saw on that blog.
The blog is called 'Goldmund Unleashed', and is run by an American man who practises Game - a lot.
Goldmund is a man who is clearly confident in himself and is successful in the SMP.
I am happy for Goldmund, of course.
But it is not Goldmund I am interested in, for this post. In his latest post, he interviews a woman who used to be his room-mate. He and this woman clearly have a beautiful friendship and he describes her as 'family' in the post.
The warmth between them does come across very well in the interview (which spans two short videos - here).
Why would this woman 'make my heart sing'?
1) She is clearly a very smart woman. By this, I mean that she is a sensible woman. This woman is the very embodiment of what every young woman should be, in my humble opinion. She thinks deeply, and has a very clear insight into a lot of issues which matter. Frighteningly for Goldmund (and I think this is - paradoxically - one of the reasons he may be fond of her), she has a great deal of insight into him.
2) She is a pleasant woman. Sweet, but not soppily so. It occurs to me now watching the video how rare this feature is becoming, so it really warms the cockles of my heart whe I see this in action.
Even though she is (unsurprisingly!) 'disgusted' with his private life, she is still pleasant about it, because a) she recognises that it is his life and not hers, and he is free to live his life as he so chooses, and b) I think she also accept that men are wired differently, so she refuses to judge him even though his lifestyle is not what she would choose for herself. I really like this 'live and let live' attitude she adopts towards him. She is not a prude, but that does not mean that she 'high-fives' him about his lifestyle, falsely. She is refreshingly honest, but within boundaries that respect his autonomy for his own life. I like that very much, and I can see that he respects her for it.
3) I already touched on this. But it should be repeated.
Whilst she is 'nice' she is also 'not too nice'.
'Niceness' is a bit of a two-edged sword, for both men and women. It is a good thing, until it is not. I think you all know what I mean. This woman is nice, which is why Goldmund likes her. But she is (brutally) honest as well. She is not a supplicating, 'pleaser'. Very important quality in a woman.
One might argue that she does not need to be nice to Goldmund, because she is not romantically linked to Goldmund.
But traits are traits. In the end, we treat everyone the same whether or not we are trying to impress them, because old habits die hard, as they say. It is therefore almost certain that she is just as honest with her boyfriend (or husband?) as she is being with Goldmund here.
4) Her mannerisms are very feminine. She is a naturally pretty woman (if she is wearing make-up, it is light and not 'heavy' in a way that I see all too commonly) and her 'inner beauty' shines through to the outside. She smiles a lot, and she engages well with Goldmund to whom she is speaking. She may not be necessarily a 'people person' (is this shorthand for 'extrovert?) but she has this je ne sais quoi quality which makes people feel welcome in her presence. I know that introverts seek this quality in anyone they approach, and extroverts thrive on it :-)
She could talk to anyone, this woman. I wonder if she is a teacher? Teachers often has this quality in abundance...
5) I like how this woman is free of what I have now come to recognise as 'low-level misandry'. Bellita and I discuss this 'man-hate' a lot, particularly in this post.
This woman cares about Goldmund in a way that is unusual for non-siblings/non-romantically-involved. This point is perhaps related to point 2 above, but only marginally, I think. She is genuinely happy for him that he seems to have 'found himself' in the time-period that she has known him.
This is gold - for Goldmund (excuse the pun, lol).
So many women are poisoned with 'man-hate' from the crib onwards that this genuine type of friendship - let alone love - is really not possible between the sexes anymore. Tragic.
So Goldmund's ex-room-mate makes my heart sing for her genuine love for another human being, who happens to be male.
This reminds me of a phrase in italian. 'Ti voglio bene' which literally means 'I wish you well' is one way to say 'I love you'. Isn't that beautiful? This takes me back to a previous post on this blog, about love, in particular the 'caritas' kind. Love, or caritas, requires a certain generosity of spirit, which I can see this woman possesses in abundance.
By implication, I can bet with certainty that she has a genuine love for women too. The clue for this, I pick up when she mentions that she feels sorry for one of the women Goldmund had a fling with (?one night stand?).
And here I take a short diversion and vent my frustration at those people (aherm, looking squarely at feminists, cough cough) who fling the word 'misogyny' about like a frisbee.
Misogyny is a word that has come to mean anything and everything these days.
But what it is not, is denying women their 'empowerment'.
It is not taking away their 'freedom'.
It is most certainly not thwarting their desire for 'adventure'.
If all of the above desires leads to her (self-) destruction, and someone has enough love for a woman to divert her from said path to doom, let us not call this 'pulled back from the brink manoeuvre' - misogyny.
There is such a thing as misogyny. Oh yes. But it is presented as a 'friend' of womanhood, until it becomes all too clear it is not.
I do not want to detract too much from the positive tone of this post, but I have definite ideas about what misogyny is and isn't.
Perhaps a post for another day?
Our mystery woman, in feeling sorry for women who don't know what's in their own best interests, is showing compassion. That is philogyny right there.
6) She is clearly not American. There is a hint of 'foreign' in her diction. The relevance of this point is that I hear so many men lament the 'fall from Grace' of the American woman. This is a shame, of course. And a double-shame for me because I would love nothing better than to debunk this ubiquitous observation. But alas, not with this example.
So my search continues...
Is this woman a 'unicorn' of sorts?
I would argue...not.
I think there are many women like this who are normal, feminine women. But they live normal, quiet lives. They are not all in a video on a blog. They are not 'out there', so it seems like they do not exist.
How lovely when they are recognised for who they are by friends (like Goldmund), spouses, family members.
I think we should 'name and praise' these exemplary women when we see them (as in, opposite to 'naming and shaming' the bad ones, lol) for 2 important reasons:
1) That these lovely ladies are encouraged to continue their exemplary behaviour for which they are being commended.
2) That other ladies take note (we ladies are 'herd' creatures, lol).
3) That observers are reminded that these women still exist. Keeps hope alive, you see.
Whoever this lovely lady is, can I just say to you - well done for your wonderful demeanour. Props to you, more grease to your elbow and long may you continue!