I have a point here, but it's going to take me more than a minute to get there. Strap yourself in for the ride.
In general, I don't do gooshie eye la-la Romanticism well. Weird, because I mostly read Romance novels. Yeah. I know. There's an attitude I really don't get, one which shows up a lot around pregnancy and babies and sex. I have trouble putting it into words, but I know the feeling of annoyance I get when I see it. It's the adoration of the magical. The mystical occurrence which brings us all closer together while we experience the wonder of it all.
Discussions of menstruation bring this on too. As in the utterly stupid one of "Now I feel closer to all the women who have experienced this before me. I look forward to my monthly cycle so that I can be part of the cycle of the earth and moon and water and appreciate the connection of all women together in their fertility cycle throughout time."
UGH! Stop it.
Stoppit. stoppit. stoppit.
It shows up around sex too. But since society don't *talk* about sex too much, it's harder to peg in a conversation. I first noticed that I had a screw loose when I was in High School and two of my friends started talking about boners. "It's like there's really a Bone in there! God, it's so beautiful."
Excuse me, but WHAT?!?!
First of all, I knew she was a full on idiot for bringing up the Bone/boner thing, but secondly... what? Yeah, I know. I've got a screw loose.
I stumbled onto this in a book I was trying to read recently. The heroine started fantasizing about the hero's dick. I totally don't get it. Really. I could spend hours fantasizing about the curve of a wrist, the angle of two curved fingers on a wineglass, or the back of some one's neck. (Cary Grant had a great back of the neck curving into the shoulder. Sean Connery's neck is great too. Just below his ear. Sigh.) But to go on and on about a penis?
So not me.
I stopped reading the book.
(By the way, after I put this one down, I started reading Laura Kinsale again. Jesus. Does ANYONE do that mute expression of overwhelming desire better than her? I had forgotten how many times in Flowers from the Storm Jervaulx leans his forehead into Maddy's neck when he is desperately needy. No kiss, no words, just pure want and need and reliance. Help me, I'm passing out over here. *fans self*)
So back to my loose screw. Here's the thing: I grew up around horses, dogs, birds, and anything else that wandered in. And that involved taking care of them in the most in-your-face manner. Especially the horses. Mucking stalls, picking feet, sweeping urine off the floor. Flushing a gaping wound in the shoulder when a filly caught her flesh on a nail. Tubing a horse with gallons of water and oil when she colicked. Assisting in the removal of a mummified fetus from an infected uterus. Really gross shit.
But the one that tops it all: Sheath cleaning.
Thank god we didn't have too many geldings around. Because the big boys generally take care of this themselves. (Stallions drop down a number of times a day, whereas geldings are a lot more shy and therefore dirty. Requiring cleaning. Up inside the sheath. Your hands and arm smell for DAYS, no matter if you wear shoulder-high examination glove or not.)
In case you don't quite know what sheath cleaning entails, here's a link a friend sent which contains this excellent song (a version of which I've heard before somewhere). (Sing it to "Hello Mudda, Hello Fadda. Here I am at Camp Granada"):
How's it hangin'?OK. What I want to say here is that once you've required a ten year old to do this twice a year to her own horse, and once that ten year old has figured out that she can earn big bucks every summer by performing this service for all the geldings owned by her extra squeamish friends, this ten year old develops a certain attitude about the male of any species.
So much cleaner.
Aren't you glad I
washed your wiener?
I'll admit it's
that I had to stick my arm up in your pee-pee.
It was sticky.
It was gunky.
It felt icky.
It smelled funky.
It was cruddy,
it was crusty--
when you stuck it out,
it creaked like it was rusty.
After half an
hour of toilin'
and of squirtin'
baby oil in,
you're as fresh there
as a daisy.
Either this means I love you or else I'm crazy!!!
(Sidenote: Every heard Bill Cosby talk about baby poops? Same principle. When they're little babies, the parents say, "Aw. Would you look at that. She made a poo poo." And then God, who has a sense of humor, puts odor into the "poo poo", and it turns into "a mess." "Look what you did! You made a MESS in your diaper!")
Anyway. I certainly don't hate penises. They don't disgust me, but on the other hand I don't get all weak in the knees either. I don't quite know what to do about this. Well, not that I CAN do much about it at this point.
What I mean to say here is that every once in a while you start reading a book about really private things, things such as love, loss, trust, betrayal, honesty, sex and commitment. And then the author comes out with a sentiment that is so ingrained in her world view that there's not even a touch of explanation about it. And sometimes just the slightest thing is enough to slam the reader right out of the story. It's not usually a big thing, because big things are explained and built up to. This is a small detail, like squirting dishwashing soap in your tea, which comes up in the middle of a sentence and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, no matter how many times you go back a read it over.
I hate that.