Monday, December 14, 2009

Eyes, Hands, and Men (oh my!)

This book is a story of two young lovers and you know what that means. So far there have been several times that the characters mention their need to restrain themselves. There are several references to the attraction that Mary and Joseph have for each other and there are many descriptions of their beauty. This is my favorite regarding Joseph:

She longed to search his eyes, to see if his mood matched that of the morning, but she did not dare. Instead, she fastened her gaze upon his hands. How large, how rough and fiercely beautiful were the hands of a man...his nails were blunted and bruised; there were callouses from the hammer and saw. A mute pity went through Mary. Vaguely she sensed and was awed by the tremendous burden of being a man. (page 40)

First, I love the beginning where she talks about searching his eyes for his mood. How true it is that you can sense the way someone is feeling by their eyes. You can see if they are feeling sentimental, feisty, apologetic, desirous, tired, or lonely, all in one simple glance. But sometimes tears are a hard one to gage. Are those tears of anguish? Sadness? Delight? Love? Sympathy? Thoughtfulness? Happiness? This is coming from someone who has teared up over the smallest of all things several times a day over the last 5 weeks. I think that tears can sometimes gloss over what the eyes are really trying to tell you about what you're feeling. Maybe that's good, maybe not. I'm not sure.

Next are the hands. Oh my gosh, the hands!!! Yep, if I were to say there was one thing I notice about a man it would be his hands. I don't like sissy little manicured hands. Give me some big, rough and calloused hands and I'm set. I'm not saying that they shouldn't be clean and well trimmed, but I'd like them to have seen some manual labor sometime in their life and they definitely don't have to be baby soft smooth. A little rough around the edges are fine by me.

Finally is the burden of being a man. I've heard a few conversations about this in the past few weeks and still haven't decided where I stand. One was actually a discussion of whether there was more stress on the job or at home. I would imagine that a full time bread-winner and a stay-at-home-mom would both have their arguments to back up their side, but I'm going to have to say that they are equally as stressful, just in different ways. I do believe that there is a pressure on a man to make a living that will never fall on a woman. This I am grateful for. I also believe that the support of a good woman can make that a little less burdensome. And inevitably, the pressure of keeping a house running falls on a woman. It pains me to see the lack of support that many really good women get from their husbands in this department. I'm not just talking about actual physical help like doing dishes or helping with the kids, I'm talking about just the encouragement that they are doing a good job. A simple acknowledgement that the un-paid labors that go on in the home while a man is out bringing home the bacon can and are strenuous in their own right. I actually worry about some of my friends because of the attitude of their husbands. I know they don't mean to do it, but sometimes men take for granted their wives and all that they do behind the scenes to keep their family happy and the house running smoothly.

Now, just to get Bill off the hook here I will say that he doesn't take me for granted at all. He is a great man with some great hands whose mood I can read with a glance into his eyes. I think I'll keep him.

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