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Boy what a can of worms! (Pardon the intentional male chauvinist pun.) Just like my observations about being black, I also can’t tell you what it would be like to be a woman. In fact, my biggest observation would be that they are so diverse, there is no actual mold. Just when you think you’ve got it all figured out, they morph into a new being. Sometimes it’s to a form you’ve seen before but sometimes they morph into something totally new and never previously seen by man, beast, or psychologist.

However I can tell you a few things about men and boys. Prior to puberty, things are pretty much cut and dried. You tolerate girls, learn how to deal with the bullies in your life without getting hurt, and enjoy playing the hero or good guy in most games. Girls? You can take em’ or leave em’. No big deal. Then comes the curse!

I use the term “curse” because when girls start their period I’ve heard some refer to it as “the curse”. We’ll I assure you this is not a curse. A monthly inconvenience at best, but definitely not a curse. Puberty in boys is by definition a curse. The curse of temporary insanity!

curse  (kûrs) noun  1. a. An appeal or prayer for evil or misfortune to befall someone or something. b. The evil or misfortune that comes in or as if in response to such an appeal: bewailed the curse of ill health.   2. One that is accursed.   3. A source or cause of evil; a scourge:

insanity   (în-sàn¹î-tê) noun  plural in•san•i•ties   1. Persistent mental disorder or derangement.    2. Law.  a. Unsoundness of mind sufficient in the judgment of a civil court to render a person unfit to maintain a contractual or other legal relationship or to warrant commitment to a mental health facility. b. In most criminal jurisdictions, a degree of mental malfunctioning sufficient to relieve the accused of legal responsibility for the act committed.  3. a. Extreme foolishness; folly. b. Something that is extremely foolish.

When puberty hits, all of a sudden that little girl you once ignored has a very strange effect on your body and mental faculties. It’s the beginning of a period of increasing insanity that onsets at 11-12 years old, peaks somewhere between age 20-30 and then starts into a very long remission that can last another 30-50 years!

I often have thought back to that time in my life and thought maybe the good Lord just gave me too many hormones! But, I don’t recall any of the other guys indicating they did not have the same feelings and problems at the time. There were times in Junior High School when I could not walk between classes had I not had a notebook and books to hold in front of me! How can you expect a guy to learn anything in Algebra when sitting next to him is a female pheromone factory breathing air in his direction? Looking back, if I could have taken shots that would totally stop the insanity until later in life, I would have taken them. I repeat, “looking back”.

It’s a known fact that when a man or boy gets an erection, his brain is then working with a diminished flow of blood and oxygen. Needless to say, the first thing to go is all rational thinking. What God should have done when he made man was put a big red flashing strobe light on a man’s forehead that came on during this time indicating the loss of mental capacity and recession into a mental state akin to a starved lion in a room full of lambs.

An aroused guy will tell you ANYTHING if he thinks it will work in his behalf. Understand ladies, he’s not lying when he does this, he’s just following orders from “the little guy in the German helmet”. An old black woman once told me that men were so messed up when under the “curse” that you could say “babe, will you buy me those new $500 shoes I want….you know the ones with the heels on the top, and the motorcycle engine in the soles?” and the man would softly reply, “yeah baby with chrome wings if you want”, …. “and will you go tell Big John the Pro Football linebacker he is bad ugly just like his mama and that next time he says something to me, you going to kick his butt from here to tomorrow?” “yeah baby” ….”and will you taste this apple the Lord says would kill us, cause He was wrong and it’s very good” …. “yeah baby”. (Just in case some of you don’t remember why we’re not still in the Garden of Eden) Anyway, having to go through a major portion of your life not being in total control is nothing short of being cursed!

Now, if you were brought up like I was, and in my time, of the 50’ and 60’s, you didn’t talk about sex without talking about marriage. Marriage being a state of union endorsed by both man and God. This is as it should be, because without values, restraints, and guidelines, the curse would eventually result in total chaos. The requirements and commitment to love, religion, marriage, etc. fortunately kept many of us high school kids somewhat protected for a few years. The only people I knew in high school who were coming anywhere close to having sexual intercourse were going steady and had been going with the same person since back in junior high days. The problem today is that the media, and society, now portray and accept that sex outside of marriage is natural and without consequence. This is a premise that offers many major heartaches and extracts a massive penalty from the teen-aged participants. I know this from personal experience and a failed first marriage. As an adult, I’ve watched the “curse” destroy men, marriages, families, and careers. Even history bears out the existence of the “curse” …. From Adam, through Sampson, Mark Anthony and all the way to Bill Clinton.

When men first flirt, or make those usually awkward overtones toward a woman, if she responds with a really hard putdown, his response will be to immediately put her in the same category with everything he associates with rotten, low class, ugly, trash. Whatever beauty or attraction she may have had is instantly gone. This is the male protecting the most fragile thing he has….his ego. But let her respond with just a little interest and indication that whatever he said was “cute” and immediately his system releases a little insanity hormone (testosterone) into his veins and he becomes an easily manipulated drooling idiot! Apparently God recognized this hormonal problem in man and in His wisdom gave women a brain no so easily influenced. Otherwise there would be no productive work going on anywhere.

Understand too ladies, men will equate and mistake sexual desire and passion for love. That’s where the old guy expression came that says, “Lay down, I think I love you” …. “Keep moving, I’m sure I do”. Unfortunately, afterwards, when that insanity hormone has been spent for the moment, he’s usually looking for a way and excuse to escape and love is no longer part of his vocabulary. When I was young and had made my escape, I might begin remembering the moment, turn the car around five minutes later and be back at someone’s door because I was “In Love Again”. The trouble being, I was in love with lust, my own selfish needs, and the moment, more than I was with the person. I don’t care what a guy tells you, it’s most likely a lie when he’s under the influence of the “curse”! Not a deliberate lie, because he actually believes it at that moment, but still most likely not truth.

So, if guys have this insanity that can cloud their thinking to where they themselves don’t know their own TRUE feelings, how can you know when a guy is really in love and you can trust his feelings for you? Sorry! If I had the answer to that, I wouldn’t have to be working for a living. Before marriage it’s VERY difficult to be sure. After a year or so of marriage one can start making a reasonable assessment. Forget the part about remembering birthdays and anniversaries…..that ain’t it! It’s the times He does something special or gives something special without any apparent reason. It’s not the value of the gift but the fact that while away from you he saw a card and sent it, bought a collectible you would enjoy, called an extra time or two, came home early, etc. These are indications he thinks and cares about you when away. If he talks proudly about you to others when you are not around. If he does things for you, or to help you, without being asked. If he still enjoys going and doing with YOU more than with others or the guys. There is more, but these are the kinds of things that can help you know. Marriage tends to move the sex thing to a back burner. That’s not to say it’s not an integral and important part of marriage, because it is. I’ve had sex for the sake of sex and personal pleasure and then I’ve had sex with love. There’s no comparison to the joys of sex when it’s mixed with true love. Sex in marriage will reach a point where it no longer can masquerade as being love. Unfortunately, that’s when a lot of people learn that love isn’t there and may not have been there from the beginning.

I can also tell you this, all men want to marry a virgin. Ladies, don’t you believe for a moment any young man who says being a virgin does not matter. That’s just another one of those lies when he’s trying to get what he wants. It does matter! There is nothing in this entire world more fragile than the male physic, ego, and self image. Yet, they’ll all tell you they are fearless, nothing hurts, and whatever comes their way they can handle just like water off a duck’s back. They’re lying there too! Men may like to compete on a lot of a playing fields, but the bedroom is not one of them. A man can be beaten down many times and still get back up and avenge himself from just about everything that comes his way …. except the rejection of a woman. Marrying a virgin is a man’s best insurance against ever facing direct comparison, inadequacy or defeat in that arena. God gave special status to virgins by having His Son born of one. Virginity is a God given state that a woman can give only once in her entire lifetime to a man that she loves and will marry. Maybe if more women recognized that fact, they would not give up God’s gift so easily and without His blessing through marriage.

One final thing about this and I’ll move on. Infidelity is like AIDS to marriage. I know of very few marriages that can survive an affair from either party, especially once it’s known. Common sense says that when one of the partners decides to have an affair, the marriage is already dead or it would never have happened. Some men will try and say that an affair is nothing more than giving into the “curse” discussed earlier and had no emotional meaning whatsoever. I’ll give you that the temptation in men can be exceptionally strong, and that men are the weaker of the sexes when it comes to controlling their urges, but a strong marriage and loving spouse will still win out when the relationship is solidly founded in true love. So, guys, you can quit all that crap about “she meant nothing to me”, it just does not fly in a true love relationship. An affair says there is insufficient respect and love present to continue a marriage. Cheating is like taking a divorce number on a Las Vegas roulette wheel. One incident and you get a number for life. Every day that wheel is spun many times. That one number could hit at any time. It may take years, but the risk will always be present. For very additional transgression you get an additional number and as life keeps spinning the wheel, eventually one of your numbers will come up. The more numbers you have taken the better the odds your number will come up sooner.

I met and began dating my first wife when we were both in junior high school. (That’s middle school to you younger folks.) We went steady from then on and as one might expect, got ourselves pregnant our senior year on senior night out. So, I was not very experienced when it came to women and girls. Actually I was a bit terrified of them. I know I liked them, but also smart enough to know I really knew nothing about them other than the fact they WERE different.

We had been married only a year or so, when she said she wanted a divorce and was in love with some guy in the hospital where she worked. Needless to say, my world exploded! I also made a big mistake at that point in my life. I should have simply let go. But coming from a broken home myself, her family was the only real family I had ever known and I loved her father and mother like they were my own.. So, I went to them and in so doing brought enough pressure to reconcile the situation … or so I thought. Although I had been successful in plugging the leak in my ship, I did not realize that I had lost my anchor in the storm.

I had been faithful in my marriage up to that point, but we all know how the devil works when he finds a weakness. My anchor in life, at that time, had not been first set in a good Christian relationship with the Lord. My only anchor had been in her … and it had just given way! Opportunities I had never noticed, became attractive, and the devil kept saying “go ahead, she did. It won’t hurt anything.”

Well, let me tell you it hurt a lot of things! We had a second daughter, who along with her older sister, suffered much the next ten years because of our destroyed relationship. Sure we were still married, still lived together, still went through the motions, but the marriage had long been dead and yet neither of us would admit it. As it was ending I recall my wife saying I had killed any love she ever had for me. Considering my actions during those final years, I was in no position to argue the point. Truth was that the fatal wound had actually occurred many years earlier. Maybe she did finally learn to love me during some of those years, but it was just too late. I know there are some marriages out there that can, and have, survived affairs. However, I maintain that when either party has an affair, the marriage is broken and has received a mortal wound. It is an infection that eventually and almost always will be fatal to the marriage. It may take years, but it is still almost always fatal.

When my first marriage finally ended in divorce, I vowed that I would never go through that again. I stayed single for almost twelve years before I married a woman who, at my age, was as close to being a virgin as I could find. I had known her as a married friend for many years and at one time she even worked for me. I knew she was committed to her marriage and would never cheat or cross that line. So, when her husband did cross the line, I was very quick to step in and pick up the pieces. Not as easy a task as you might think. She was fully aware of my free-loving single life style of “wine, women and song” and even though we were friends, wanted no part of someone like me. The toughest sales job I even made was me to her. However, with the Lord’s help and time, I “made the sale” and have never regretted it for a moment. With love, devotion and unbounded faith, she has been able to rub the tarnish off of my sorted past life style, while I have enjoyed discovering a true diamond that only needed the mud someone placed on it be washed away.