There once was a man with two sons.
Now, the man was a wealthy man. He was born into wealth, as was his father, and his father’s father, and his father’s father’s father. Both boys grew up knowing they, too, would receive a large inheritance one day.
But the father loved his children. Though the boys received a larger allowance than most other children their ages. In fact, most of the local children received no allowance at all. For the father and his two sons lived near some of the poorest families around. Every day, several children would come by the white picket fence around the father’s home looking for food, or perhaps some money.
The father was a kind man with more money than he could spare, but he also wanted his own boys to learn a lesson. Rather than just give the children some handouts, he found little chores for them to do. He had them help out in the garden, or sweep the floor. Some of the little girls were skilled with a needle and thread; he often found clothing that needed to be mended. For their work, each child would receive a meal at the man’s house, as well as a basket of food to take home to their families.
And the years came and went, and eventually, the father grew very old, and very sick. Until, at last, he died.
When the father died, his two boys were to receive their inheritance. However, the father was a wise man. Just as the neighborhood children had to work before the father would give them food, his own sons also had to work for their allowances.
Each boy received a letter. The father, not one to give money away, decided that his sons had to earn their inheritance checks somehow. When they were small boys, they both went through a phase where they loved anything related to pirates. So, the father decided to send his boys on a world-wide treasure hunt. It was more than just finding an “X” buried in sand; they would have to complete different tasks: jumping out of airplanes, rafting down rivers, seeing the different wonders of the world, and more. The tasks for each boy were slightly different (though, both did have a few identical tasks).
So, both boys set out on adventures that would take at least a year to complete.
One afternoon, about halfway though the journey, the younger son was grabbing lunch near one of his adventures when he met a young woman. The woman was certainly attractive, but the son could not risk giving up his check. When the woman heard about the adventure, she laughed. “If it’s money you want, just come with me. My daddy was rich too, and since I was his only child, he gave me every last cent he had when he died.”
The boy thought it over when the woman told him just how much money she had. He wasn’t sure how much money his father left, but it certainly could not have been much more than what he’d get by going with the woman. He was also growing tired of these adventures.
So, with a little thought, he made the decision to abandon the journey he was on.
The older son met a similar temptation as well, but he thought about what he would give up by reaching for immediate satisfaction. The treasure map he held was written in his father’s own handwriting. He planned out every single adventure. This was about more than a sum of money; it was about one last adventure with his father (even if his father wasn’t there physically).
Both sons ended up with his own money. One lived a comfortable wife with the woman he met (though, he never got the money his father left). The other decided to move back into the house where he spent most of his childhood.
However, if the younger son was completely honest, he would have admitted that he was a little disappointed in himself. He felt like he had missed out on something much greater than a thickly padded bank account.
Several days ago, my friend, Grace , posted a picture on Facebook. It was this little message about how girls want guys who romance them- who do little things like write letters, or throw rocks at their windows in the middle of the night. Being my usual non-romantic self, I commented that if a guy threw a rock at my window, I’d probably throw something harder back.
Then, another friend of mine, Viviana, left a comment:
“Whatever happened to wooing the girl that you love and want to spend the rest of your life with? Boys don’t want to work at anything when it comes to romance. Sheeesh! “
This warranted a more serious comment than one about throwing hard objects at guys’ heads (although, honestly, if a guy did just about anything to woo me I would probably go into immediate cardiac arrest- assuming I wasn’t completely oblivious to his advances).
So, I left a comment explaining the simple reason why guys don’t work towards romance.
They do not need to.
Have you stepped outside recently? Have you been online? We live in a society where girls practically throw themselves at guys.
There is a local (within New Jersey) frozen yogurt chain that is known for its deafeningly loud “club” music. Cashiers wear tight, low-cut shirts (they hire almost only female employees). In addition to the frozen yogurt, they also sell the same tight, hot pink shirts the staff wears and bikinis. The walls are adorned with pictures of women in bikinis, and even the logo (two cups of frozen yogurt) resembles a bikini top.
Frankly, if you have a good product (which they don’t), then you don’t need exploit women to sell it.
Many, many, many, many years ago, people used to cover the little feet on pianos because they resembled a young lady’s ankle. Nowadays, people will make logos that resemble a bikini top to sell frozen yogurt.
Why do we expect guys to work towards romance? Let’s face it: by nature, guys are generally scummy. They’re visual people, and we live in a world where they get their satisfaction without any problem. (And there are far too many girls out there who willingly give themselves away physically to anyone and everyone).
It used to be that a guy would not see as much as a woman’s ankle without earning it. Nowadays, I feel like many should be arrested for indecent exposure when they step out of the house!
Personally, I want a guy to work for me. I’m not big into every stereotypical romantic gesture, but I’m not giving myself away to just anyone.
[Please excuse how terrible the story was. I haven't written any fiction (aside from some narrative poetry) in several years, so I'm a little rusty there.]