I at last got around to booking a hotel in Manchester for the weekend of July 11th.
Why this date?
Because this is when Sparkle 2010 is due to happen … you can read all about it here: http://www.sparkle.org.uk/
I was a little underwhelmed by Sparkle 2009, but I’m putting that down to the fact that I kind of just turned up at it without giving much thought as to what I’d do. This year I’m planning to … well … plan it.
Today during my lunchtime walk I was thinking about things that we tell each other and things that we don’t. And the difference that it makes.
Initially I was thinking about people that I know that, for one reason or another have partners that are unaware of their dressing habits.
Whether or not a partner knows has a big impact upon some things. What clothes can I buy? Where do I keep them? Where do I get changed? Where do I put makeup on? How thorough do I have to be in taking it off? Can I shave my legs … my arms. All kinds of things.
For myself, I know that life became much easier when the whole thing was no longer a secret at home.
And yet … it wasn’t an easy thing to begin to talk about.
In many ways the things that led me to a position where I needed for my wife to know were all tied up with feeling that whatever the risks were - the stresses and strains involved in keeping the secret were worse than the risks.
Of course, hindsight helps. Sally has coped with this whole thing better than I ever could have hoped for. And life in the “now” is better than it was in the “then” – for us both, I believe.
By and large, other people that know of Andrea have also been more accepting of things than I would have believed possible. Sally told me that she had chatted with her sister about things. We spent a few days visiting her sisters family a few weeks ago and though the topic was never raised, there was no sense at all of any awkwardness. In fact, almost the reverse.
But I know, things could have been very different. I understand why some girls aren’t in a position to tell their partners.
As I thought about these things, I also thought about the kind of things that I write here in this blog.
Several people that I know read it – people that I chat with online, tgirls that I know, my wife.
This, I know, influences the kind of things that I write about.
It' made me think of the stories in the news a few weeks back where people have been dismissed from work because of things that they said about their jobs on Facebook.
So far as I know, no one from work knows about Andrea – though maybe my fingernails are unusually long and shiny. But work is fine so I don’t feel a need to sound off about it.
There are, though, things that are not said because of the people that will hear them. And, I think, this is how it should be.
To me it’s associated with an unintended consequences kind of thing. Some things are better left as thoughts that are forgotten. They are better not put into words. Better not acted upon.
Thoughts are not the same as words or deeds.
This reminds me of a time in the past when I had this notion that the “thinking” was as bad as the “doing”. And some people give the impression that they believe this still. Take a look at this for example: http://www.evangelicaloutreach.org/lust.htm. Part way through it are these words from the Sermon on the Mount:
But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed ADULTERY with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into HELL.
and then, commenting on this:
Nowhere is this form of adultery, though solely mental, less serious than other forms, although many treat it as such
I think this interpretation is missing something. It all depends on the perspective. Whatever Jesus meant when he said what he said, it is self evident that the thought is not the same thing as the deed.The outcomes are different. The consequences are not identical … especially for the woman.
In the same way a thought is different in its consequences than the words.
I know I’m not alone in having said things that I wish had never been put into words. Unthinking something is more of a possibility than unsaying it.
And yet, having said all this, the opposite is also true … some things that never get beyond the thinking really should be expressed as words and actions.
And there are things that are even better if they are left unthought.