Thank Grog It’s Firday!
Like many of you, I had forgotten (or never knew) that Marge had tried her hand at authoring a romance novel. I had to do some research to find the information that I needed to jog my memory. But, then found myself still saying “Oh…right…” without really remembering the episode.
As it turns out, and after a little more research, it seems that most women who read, aren’t really into the truth (non-fiction), as much as something to take them away from the truth (real life). And, the more tawdry the better!
Is the penchant for consuming vast quantities of hot, illicit tales of passion just a “women thing?” Or does it point out an actual major difference between men and women in general?
With Valentine’s Day coming up this weekend, it is worth discussing, if only to help women admit their weaknesses (for romance) and men to understand why they will never really meet the standard that women have set for them.
And more to the point… Does Marge actually exude a primary weakness in women, or a strength that actually insures the survival of the human race?
Let’s start with “why I don’t remember the episode.” The episode that started it all was “Diatribe of a Mad Housewife,” E10S15. It aired on January 25th, 2004.
It only took me a minute to look at the date, and understand immediately why I didn’t remember the episode. It was because “I had no life of my own” from 1996-2006. I call it “the lost decade of estrogen.” Having five daughters, this decade was marked with an unrelenting barrage of “girl issues” that started with puberty, magnified during the “peacock era” (junior high) and reached its apex during the actual dating years of high school.
Anyone trying to do the math, would figure out quickly that my daughters (now 45, 43, 34, 32, and 30) came in two waves. The first with my “former, short-lived spousal unit” (who traded in husbands like some people trade in gym shoes, which go out of style the more you walk on them). The rest, with the true “love of my life,” after a substantial gap.
While the initial introduction into the “young female mind” from my oldest daughters should have prepared me for what was to come with the “next wave,” the brain has a way of compartmentalizing traumatic events, to protect you from developing facial tics, or constant, debilitating PTSD anxiety.
The running joke in our family, is that I became impervious to teenage angst gradually, but steadily, as each successive daughter ran similar routines of “FTD” (Female Transformational Disorder). This is that time in a girl’s life when hormones run wild, they discover romance, start re-imagining their personas, and begin to state emphatically and regularly that “NOBODY UNDERSTANDS!”
Having five daughters, who each experienced FTD in their own way, spreading across more than a decade and a half of turmoil, has a way of teaching the father to “just wait it out.”
I often tell the story of the metamorphosis of this advice, by remembering the first time my oldest daughter rejected my advice, telling me that “I needed to just leave her ALONE, because, I DON’T KNOW ANYTHING!” I remember literally walking around the block, weeping…and feeling that I had lost my daughter forever.
When the same thing happened two years later, with my second oldest, it still hurt. But I didn’t cry, because I had been through it before, and my oldest was already showing signs of accepting that I may still be “her Dad,” and that she still loved me.
Then, the age gap (it was almost 9 years between my oldest and the “Oldest of the Next Wave”) created a bit of “parental memory fog” and I forgot about FTD for a bit. But then, I was taken aback all over again, when the “next wave oldest” rejected my authority through a series of clever deceits, having to do with “where she was, with whom, and for how long” with a bunch of her cheerleader friends (never trust a cheerleader, they smile through their lies, and lie to protect one another, while chanting in unison). It hurt. Not only for the deception, but the implied rejection of our relationship. But, if felt very familiar.
The Miller Family 2001…in the throws of FTD. Two through it…one deep into it…two waiting to unleash the final FTD fury!
Cut to the youngest child…who went bat-shirt crazy early…and for an extended period of time (the youngest is always the hardest…sorry, but true!). She manifested her FTD in a variety of ways, as she provoked countless screaming matches about the music she loved (she was a Backstreet Boys freak, until she was a Drake freak, well after she was a Kurt Cobain freak), who she was “dating” (including one boyfriend who almost lived at our house full-time, and only went home to sleep), and why I “didn’t approve of her friends???” (most of whom have turned out to be perfectly nice…after years of therapy and rehab). But, when I didn’t get upset…knowing this was a phase…she would scream “YOU DON’T CARE!!!!!” at a volume that scared dogs and cats for blocks around.
I did, of course. It’s just that I had been through FTD four times before by this time.
And as it turns out today, we are all closer than ever before. They all turned out to be amazing young ladies, who became even more amazingly mature and successful women in business, medicine, and media…who have wonderful relationships, a passel of grandkids, and all laugh about their FTD eras (the same way veterans of war laugh about almost getting blown to bits by a rocket attack, but living through it).
However, make no mistake about it…they are all still nuts. It’s genetic. Because frankly, what I have learned from living in a house so full of estrogen that I had to wear a pair of “Kielbasa, Beer Sausage Water Wings” to stay afloat, is that “Women B Crazy.”
And MARGE actually typifies that very brand of Craziness that not only makes little common sense, but may paradoxically be required to keep the human race alive and thriving.
Let’s face it…Marge is the archetype for most women at heart. I am going to go way out on a limb, and simply list the things that make her profoundly “female” in the way she lives life.
- She married a guy because he made her feel special
- She stays married to him, even though he proves himself to be anything but special…hoping that he will change.
- She is still easily flattered by the attention of other men
- She escapes into a fantasy world of “what could be” while living “her life as it really is.”
- She never stops working on efforts to change her mate for the better, knowing full well it is futile.
And, BOOM! We have the fertile ground for the Romance Novel Industry.
Uhm…So I get it…Marge’s versions of Homer and the Hunk are fairly revealing.
Marge’s escape into an imagined world of romance, where a handsome suitor sweeps her off her feet, while making her husband jealous enough to “try harder,” is as old as the written word. There is a reason that 70%-80% of all Fiction sold today falls under the category of “Romance.” Yes…there are huge derivations of this general category, from “Historical Romance,” “Mystery Romance,” “Adult Romance” and many more. But, they all come down to bits and pieces of bodices being ripped, as the main character loses herself in lustful joy, to be finally fulfilled as a women.
I have a theory, that all of this romantic fiction is genetically necessary to keep the human race thriving. If it weren’t for the female penchant to obsess about romance, they would wise up, and cast men aside altogether; because we are such simple, one-track minded, louts.
I’ll write more about this next week, as the entire topic of Romance Novels is fascinating and illuminating.
But for now…knowing that Valentines is coming Sunday…I am going to give all of you men a piece of advice… The best way to deal with FTD is to turn that acronym on its head…and GET HER FLOWERS!
It is a scientific fact, that flowers are an age-old remedy to heal all that has gone wrong the previous year (or so the flower industry would have you believe). Jewelry is great. A nice romantic meal is fine. But, women have been indoctrinated for eons to believe that real romance begins with flowers.
Don’t ask me why. I have stopped trying to figure out women long ago. I just know that FTD is easily cured (or at least put on hold the way aspirin can reduce the symptoms of a migraine), by calling FTD!
Just do it. And, reap the rewards of your efforts!
**This post was not sponsored by, nor endorsed by
Florists Transworld Delivery (FTD)