Wednesday, August 03, 2005


U2 has a lyric that I especially like. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. During one of my numerous years in a dormitory, I had this phrase on my message board. Most likely it was defense against my boyfriendless status, but I loved the way it sounded. One of my fellow dorm-mates commented to me, "That doesn't make sense. Why would a fish need a bicycle?" As I laughed, I knew that I couldn't explain it. She looked at it too literally, taking it for the letter, but not the spirit of the declaration. Or perhaps, she couldn't imagine being without a boyfriend. I, on the other hand, never had a problem with that. During high school I had my share of crushes and friends who were boys. If I hadn't gone to a parochial school, rumors probably would have floated about my sexual tendencies since I didn't have a boyfriend once during the four years. Looking back, there might have been one or two that were interested, but I was a geek and it wasn't cool. (Note: write to producers of The OC and thank them for making Seth Cohen a geek, but uber cool anyway.) College was slightly better. I dated a few guys during my first year, before I dropped out. The year inbetween lead to one serious boyfriend. That relationship ended when I returned to the parochial school system and the higher calling of public ministry as a teacher. Once again immersed in the world of church combined with schooling, I was a social outcast. Oh, I had friends, but not that special person that so many of us crave. It never bothered me, especially when I was often the confidant that heard the horrors of having a significant other. Eventually things turned for the better and I did find someone that I love and loves me. My husband and I have a good relationship, I feel, yet that phrase sticks in my head. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. A friend of my husband recently complained about how his wife often times her returns from shopping expeditions with his own arrival at home so that he can carry in the products of the trip. His complaint was mild-mannered. He just wished she would take more initiative in other areas rather than rely on him so often. My husband responded with a laugh and a description of my last shopping trip. I carried in four or five bags from the grocery store, juggled a kid, his back pack, my work briefcase while opening and closing various doors. Unfortunately, this is the norm, not the exception. I have theories as to my inability to ask for help. But could it really be a simple as taking a lyric from a song to heart at the tender age of fourteen?

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