Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving Weekend 2006

Wow. What a weekend. Few things are more difficult than going back to work after an awesome extended vacation. The only reason I feel so miserable at work is because I had such an amazing four day weekend. I doubt any of you really care much about what I did, but when I read this again in ten years, I want to remember what a great time I had for one weekend.

It all started Wednesday night when our Men's Group had the annual Turkey Fry. The turkey was delicious (as were the Funyuns), and we fought over the crispy skin as usual. Luckily for us, that night also corresponded with the anniversary of C.S. Lewis' death. We decided to read some favorite quotes and passages and use those for discussion and something to do while drinking beer. (Rab's post with favorite quote)

I'm going to include an excerpt of one passage that was read from Mere Christianity. It's long, so feel free to skip it.

"Chastity is the most unpopular of the Christian virtues. There is no
getting away from it: the old Christian rule is, "Either marriage, with complete faithfulness to your partner, or else total abstinence." Now this is so difficult and so contrary to our instincts, that obviously either Christianity is wrong or our sexual instinct, as it now is, has gone wrong. One or the other. Of course, being a Christian, I think it is the instinct which has gone wrong.

But I have other reasons for thinking so. The biological purpose of sex is children, just as the biological purpose of eating is to repair the body. Now if we eat whenever we feel inclined and just as much as we want, it isquite true that most of us will eat too much: but not terrifically too much. One man may eat enough for two, but he does not eat enough for ten. The appetite goes a little beyond its biological purpose, but not enormously. But if a healthy young man indulged his sexual appetite whenever he felt inclined, and if each act produced a baby, then in ten years he might easily populate a small village. This appetite is in ludicrous and preposterous excess of its function.

Or take it another way. You can get a large audience together for a strip-tease act-that is, to watch a girl undress on the stage. Now suppose you came to a country where you could fill a theatre by simply bringing a covered plate on to the stage and then slowly lifting the cover so as to let every one see, just before the lights went out, that it contained a mutton chop or a bit of bacon, would you not think that in that country something had gone wrong with the appetite for food? And would not anyone who had grown up in a different world think there was something equally queer about the state of the sex instinct among us?

One critic said that if he found a country in which such striptease acts with food were popular, he would conclude that the people of that country were starving. He meant, of course, to imply that such things as the strip-tease act resulted not from sexual corruption but from sexual starvation. I agree with him that if, in some strange land, we found that similar acts with mutton chops were popular, one of the possible explanations which would occur to me would be famine. But the next step would be to test our hypothesis by finding out whether, in fact, much or little food was being consumed in that country. If the evidence showed that a good deal was being eaten, then of course we should have to abandon the hypothesis of starvation and try to think of another one. In the same way, before accepting sexual starvation as the cause of the strip-tease, we should have to look for evidence that there is in fact more sexual abstinence in our age than in those ages when things like the strip-tease were unknown. But surely there is no such evidence. Contraceptives have made sexual indulgence far less costly within marriage and far safer outside it than ever before, and public opinion is less hostile to illicit unions and even to perversion than it has been since Pagan times. Nor is the hypothesis of "starvation" the only one we can imagine. Everyone knows that the sexual appetite, like our other appetites, grows by indulgence. Starving men may think much about food, but so do gluttons; the gorged, as well as the famished, like titillations.

Here is a third point. You find very few people who want to eat things that really are not food or to do other things with food instead of eating it. In other words, perversions of the food appetite are rare. But perversions of the sex instinct are numerous, hard to cure, and frightful. I am sorry to have to go into all these details, but I must. The reason why I must is that you and I, for the last twenty years, have been fed all day long on good solid lies about sex. We have been told, till one is sick of hearing it, that sexual desire is in the same state as any of our other natural desires and that if only we abandon the silly old Victorian idea of hushing it up, everything in the garden will be lovely. It is not true. The moment you look at the facts, and away from the propaganda, you see that it is not."
-C.S. Lewis from Mere Christianity

Full Text Here

Thursday was Thanksgiving in all of its gluttonous glory. I drove out to Granny's to spend some time with her. Then felt guilty on the drive home that I don't visit her more often. Then played games at the in-laws until feasting time. My folks came over, along with my wife's entire side of the family. It was a lot of fun and the nice weather allowed for a few games of washers. Then we went home for a nap and ended up sleeping through the night.

Friday's highlight was Monopoly and poker. I won one of the two games of Monopoly that we played, which is a great accomplishment for me and probably the most productive thing I did all weekend.

I spent a lot of Saturday reading "A Confederacy of Dunces," while the wife did a lot of homework.

Sunday was church, lots of Yahtzee with the wife, a little bit of shopping, then more reading. Then I got killed in two games of Scrabble while we waited for the Colts game to start. The game was fun to watch, especially the first half when everything seemed to come together (finally) for the Colts. Hopefully Dallas Clark is back soon. It was embarrassing listening to the NBC broadcasting team try to keep the viewers interested. They talked more about Denver's quarterback dilemna and Romo than they did about Addai and the Colts. And if John Madden ever says the words, "It's just amazing that he [Peyton Manning] never gets injured..." he should be fired from ever doing another Colts game again.

So that was my great weekend and now I'm back at work wondering why I still haven't found a way to figure out what I want to do with my life. Maybe I'm already doing it. Anyways, life goes on.

1 comment:

Luke Beecham said...

Dude, I hear you. I commented to Janna yesterday that it doesn't matter how long the break is, when that "Monday" eventually comes, I never want to go back to work.

Wednesday night was great. Thanks for putting that passage here. It's one of my favorites. I'll bask in the glow of that night for awhile.

Thanks for the reflections. As you know now, there's nothing quite like a relaxing weekend reading and playing games with the wife. I pray God continues to bless you with good times. :-)