Wednesday, March 19, 2014

First Kiss

Lately there's been a video going around of strangers kissing each other for the first (and probably last) time that has made the internet gush with words like "sweet" and "beautiful". 
Then everyone realized it was actually an advertisement and the people involved were all models, musicians or actors. People seemed to love it anyway so a number of other videos - like this one from Vice - have popped up doing the exact same thing but with kissers who are far less attractive. 

People seem to like that too because now it's supposedly real. 
I have to say that I am not impressed by any of it and am, in fact, quite repulsed. Kissing is a profoundly intimate act that has been cheapened to greater and greater degrees. Before I got married it seemed like kissing was expected shortly after shaking hands. The older I got the greater the expectation seemed to be but at the same time there was less meaning that went with it. It had been reduced to a somewhat fun activity that people seemed to expect while waiting around for me to agree to full blown sex. I was not impressed. For me, these videos just sum up the downward spiral that kissing has continued to take. 
I suspect that for quite a few people the appeal here is being given a glimpse of the first kiss between people who have never kissed before since that is generally something that's assumed to not be observed very often. However it may not actually be the first time you've seen a first kiss. If you attended my wedding you might be among the 120 or so people who witnessed the first kiss I shared with my husband. While I certainly don't expect everyone to do what we did it does make me extremely sad that so few people will even give themselves the chance to try anything as meaningful. To kiss someone for the first time who they have shared a long friendship with, who they don't feel awkward or shy around, who they have confidence in, who they know has feelings of attraction equal to their own, who they know they will be kissing thousands of times again and who will likely be the only person they kiss for the rest of their life. 
Maybe that isn't desirable to everyone but has kissing really sunk so low that we think watching people get paid to kiss strangers is sweet?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Learning About Courtship

Last night I had the pleasure of hosting a deepening on the topic of Baha'i courtship. It was something that evolved out of a couple of conversations I had with friends who are getting into romantic relationships. They are finding the same thing I found when I was single, which is that the Baha'i community in general doesn't spend enough time having meaningful discussions about finding a mate. We have abundant guidance marriage but talking about finding someone to marry? Not so much.

We desperately need to change that. We're at a point where the way that the rest of society goes about these things is so at odds with the Teachings and so disfunctional that we can't afford to just let single Baha'is flounder on their own without support or education. People want it and they want to do things right. When the subject comes up people look desperate to talk about it. Given how much importantance marriage and family are given in the Faith it boggles my mind that more attention isn't given to the subject.