Monday, August 11, 2008

Why I'm wearing white on my wedding day--or--Amoré the Prude (Part 1)

Wikipedia defines the word prude as "a person who is described as being overly concerned with decorum or propriety. They may be perceived as being uncomfortable with sexuality, nudity, alcohol, drug use or mischief.

"The name is generally considered to mean excessive modesty, and hence unflattering, and is often used as an insult. A person who is considered a prude may have reservations about nudity, participating in romantic or sexual activity, drinking alcohol or consuming other drugs, or participating in mischief. These reservations may stem from shyness or strict moral beliefs. Actions or beliefs that may cause someone to be labeled a prude include advocating or practising abstinence, advocating prohibition, advocating censorship of sexuality or nudity in media, disapproval of being nude in public, avoiding or condemning public display of affection, or exhibiting unusual levels of discomfort with sexuality, alcohol, drugs or mischief."

(image source)

Often times, the image conjured up when you think of the word "prude" is that of a Puritan.

Two things you should probably know about C & me.
1. We don't drink. At all.
2. We are both virgins.

Unheard of, right?

My father is a recovering alcoholic. He has been sober for nearly 15 months now. That means that for the first 21 1/2 years of my life, he was a practicing alcoholic. For me, this meant that my father was emotionally absent for most of my life. He was often embarrassing when around my friends--making inappropriate comments. He always had a beer, and to this day, I cringe when I hear a can open. Dad's alcoholism left me with several scars, including a hesitation to trust men mixed with a strong desire for approval from men. Nice combo, right? His alcoholism has also led me to research the disease further, to try to understand it better. One glaring piece of information I've come across time and time again: alcoholism is inherited. Children of alcoholics are much more likely to become alcoholics themselves. And because of the family dynamics present in alcoholic homes, children often seek out similar personalities and find themselves married to addicts in their adult lives.

As a result of this knowledge, I have decided to simply not drink. The only way I can know that I won't succumb to this disease is to never let it have the chance to take over my life. Similarly, the only way I can know that I won't end up married to an alcoholic is to marry someone who has decided that he doesn't and won't drink either. C has seen the heartache that has resulted from my father's alcoholism. He was a part of my life at the time of my parents' separation, and he has witnessed the miracle of my father's sobriety. He has also had to deal first-hand with the issues having an alcoholic father have posed in my life. He made the decision long ago, and on his own, to not drink.

For the record, I have no problem being around alcohol or around people who drink, or even being around drunk people. I was in a sorority in college, and I certainly have seen my fair share of intoxicated individuals. I have no judgment for people who drink. I don't think they are going to Hell, and I don't think they are bad people. For me, however, alcohol is simply not an option. And I'm at peace with that.

Next up: Still carrying my V-Card.


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