open-booked love

The open book and open news sources on my desk and desktop last week mushed up my brain.

I just read Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley and then I read this and then I read two diatribes against Victoria Secret’s new line of underwear, which I haven’t seen, but understand is way too sexy, for girls way too young.

And my mushed up brain wants to scream at the world we live in that puts diatribes in newspapers but writes casual sex as matter of fact into stories about 17 year old young men and then markets those stories to 17 year olds.

But wait.  You need to know.  I sort of loved the book.  Sort of.  I’m flummoxed about how many goodreads stars to give it but here are the good bits that deserve 5 stars:

  • The writing – so good!  John Whaley does this amazing thing where his character tells the story in first person but then when things are rough, he goes third person and it so works.
  • The story – so touching, so interesting, so engrossing. You fall all into this book and these characters and by the end you’ve picked up some of their mannerisms.
  • The relationships between the characters – so believable, so enviable, so raw.  One conversation between the brothers is sheer heaven.

I love the world this author created but I’d like my real boys to be nowhere near it when they are 17.  Mock me my naivete – you wouldn’t be the first nor the last, I’m sure.  I’m not really interested in knowing if 3 sexual partners by 17-years-old is typical.  I don’t actually care if that is what is happening in every high school in America.  I am interested in how to protect my boys from it.  I am interested in teaching them respect for womanhood and the sanctity of sexuality, and I’m even okay passing on some of the naivete that has served me so well.

“Used to be, it seems, that if women had high expectations and a man wanted her — well, he had to rise to those expectations or move on.

Women, apparently, no longer have those high expectations…

Whether it’s single women in their 20s who bemoan how difficult it is to find a good man, or the women my age who say the same, almost to a one they end up ‘putting out’ early in the relationship (whether they want to or not) and putting up with a certain level of nonsense. All because they think they can’t ask for more.

Yep, men are off the hook in the hookup culture.” – Betsy Heart

I think Betsy is on to something – that was certainly the case for the character in Where Things Come Back.  But at my house?  We’ll have a big helping of no thank you.  I get that I don’t have any control, that my boys will make their choices and break their share of hearts.  But they will never wonder where I stand on how they should treat someone they love – even if it’s love only for a moment.


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