Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Fact is Sadder Than Fiction

Every time I see an advertisement for that movie, The 40 Year Old Virgin, I think of a friend of mine. Let's call him Matt.

I met Matt my Freshman year of high school. He was a Senior. I was in a play that he had to go see to get credit in a class he was taking. I don't know how he wound up at the cast party, but he & I and a couple of friends ended up hanging out all that night together including driving around town in his huge beat-up truck with surgical masks on all our faces laughing like hyenas.

I think what solidified our friendship that night was when we drove by a house that had a Gremlin parked on the side. I said, "Those are the UGLIEST cars. Who in the WORLD would own one of those??!!" He said, "That's my house. My brother & I drive it sometimes." Of course I busted up laughing and so did everyone else (do you know how hard it is too continuously laugh your head off while wearing a mask and not suffocate? I think part of the hilarity was due to lack of oxygen to our brains). The next time I saw him the first words out of his mouth were, "Hey! You know that Gremlin? Well sometime that night, someone STOLE it!" I said, "Holy crap! How hard up for a car do you have to be to steal a Gremlin?!" We both doubled over with laughter (he never saw the car again).

I met him at the end of a run of party years for him. He had been a heavy party drug user and drinker. The death of a friend had sobered him up & he never touched a drop of anything again that I knew of. Which, at the time, was great for us because we always had a designated driver. He was completely happy to accompany us to the party and laugh at our drunken antics and make sure we all made it home in one piece. He was then,and is now (for a rainbow of reasons), a great guy.

He wasn't particularly religious when I met him, but he became more and more so as the years progressed. At one time he even discussed attending seminary school, an idea I whole heartedly endorsed because it just seemed so "right" for him (and y'all KNOW how I feel about organized religion). Somewhere along the line, I have NO idea where, he decided to "save himself for marriage". That's right, remain a capital "V" Virgin until "I do" meant he could "do IT".

I KNOW, for a fact, that he has had , ahem, dalliances along the way. One particular episode revolving around a variety of produce that I won't get into. But he never actually went all the way. He was very Clinton-esque. We, typical teenagers, joked about sex all the time. He was ALWAYS making cracks about how big Mr. Johnson was and that he actually only had one leg but Mr. Johnson was so big that he just stuffed him down a pant -leg and into a sock and shoe (which may be true because I never saw him in shorts - ever). But the older he got, the more serious he became about finding "the one" and the less the good times rolled.

The years went by and the criteria seemed to become stricter. She had to be a good church-going woman was the big one. Did I mention he has lived in Las Vegas for the past, oh, 15 years or so? Yeah, the odds are not exactly in his favor in 'ol Sin City. Last time I checked he wasn't requiring the woman herself to be a virgin (he has even "dated" a couple of single moms), so that may be helpful. He has a top secret job that takes him out of town to some "base" somewhere for most of the week. Now, his elderly parents live with him. I'm pretty much coming to the conclusion that he should just join an order and become a monk. He's basically already there anyway.

It makes me sad really. Here is this wonderful man, who would make a great husband and father, that has made the road so unbearably hard for himself because of some self-imposed rules and ideals. How hard is it to find Mrs. Right when you don't even get a couple of Mrs. Wrongs in there to help you figure it out? How much had he missed?

Now I know my whole vision of him is colored not only by my fondness for him but also by what I feel and believe. When you are a big fan of sex and all it's inherent dirtiness and sloppiness, it's hard to understand how someone could put it all on a shelf marked "sacred" and only take it down and open it under the most reverent of situations. I tend to agree with Ayn Rand, who said in The Fountainhead, "There are two things we must get rid of early in life: a feeling of personal superiority and an exaggerated reverence for the sexual act."

I know there has to be a balance between "giving it away cheap" and hoarding. I don't condone teenage pregnancy or sexual addiction. I DO think that anything that happens in private between two consenting adults is okay-dokay. I also agree with Laurell K. Hamilton when SHE says (in Narcissus in Chains): "You share so much more than just your body during sex, it's one of the reasons you should be careful who you do it with." It's taken me YEARS to fine-tune this wishy-washyness people. YEARS I tell you!

If I had a time machine, I wonder if I would go back and seduce him just to, you know, break the seal? Set him on a different path? "Save him"? Nice of me, hunh. Again, maybe I'm just all wrong for wanting to save an endangered species - the male virgin. I just can't get over the feeling that he sold himself short. Cut himself off to so much life and living.

Maybe I'm the freak.