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What Would Women Do Without Christmas Mansplaining?

On July 12, 2016 I posted a blog called Dancing Alone at 3 A.M. It was a kind of confession that late at night, or rather early in the morning, I can become a somewhat sentimental jerk. I wrote:

"If I’m watching TV I’m more susceptible to sentimentality. I abhor sentimentality, except when it’s 3 a.m. I can be reduced to tears by a sentimental sugar coated film that I would not even contemplate watching at 9 p.m. Indeed, I would mock it without mercy at 9 p.m. Is this detour into schmaltziness good for me? I don’t really know. I’ve learned to accept it, however, in my defense this acceptance took years. I would never watch these horrible cheap morality plays created to manipulate my emotions and not nourish my mind and spirit if I knew someone could see me watching."

I’m afraid that during the Christmas season things get even worse. I seek out romantic Christmas stories that inspire me to take up heavy drinking, really heavy drinking. These are Christmas morality plays guaranteed to help us learn the true meaning of Christmas, at least if you’re a woman. If you’re a man, then not. According to many of these films, if you are a man you already know the true meaning of Christmas, which is to teach some poor sod of a woman the true meaning of Christmas. Simply really.

Many of these Christmas gems center around a female character. She is often wealthy and materialistic. She always lives in a big city like New York. Often she has a good, if not powerful job. She is often in a relationship with a shit of a man of whom we learn fairly quickly is selfish, obsesses over his job, is dismissive of her desires, and sometimes cheats. And for some reason, most likely business, our leading lady has to leave the big city and go to a small town. Oh, and she is always young, beautiful, intelligent, and, despite first indicators, a decent human being.

It is in the small town that we meet our leading man. He is the salt of the earth. Often he works in a simply but noble job—he manages a country in, or is trying to establish a catering business, or is an architect who teaches hockey to trouble boys in his spare time, or he struggles to make ends meet in his community center where he feeds homeless people. He is well known, liked, and respected in the town. If he is wealthy and in a powerful job, he is the most decent of men and only wants to use his wealth to help others. Often he wants to experience Christmas as it is meant to be experienced, as it was when he was a small boy, before he took on the burdens of the world, not to mention all that money. And while he may appear standoffish when we first meet him, which is usually when he first meets our leading lady, he has a good reason. It’s usually a broken heart or anxiety about his desire to save the world, or at least the small town.

The town is the true America. It has struggles, of course, but overcomes them all. It has its poor, but they are treated decently and with respect. (Poverty isn’t ever eliminated, however, for reason that are self-explanatorily American.) Everyone helps everyone else. They all know the true meaning of being an American and of Christmas, which is, of course, the same thing.

Our leading lady enters this town with some hesitation and judgement. She doesn’t really want to be there. She either has no time for Christmas or only embraces Christmas materialism. But, thank God, she meets our leading man who introduces her to—through love—the virtues of small town America and the true meaning of Christmas. She learns both by observing our leading man as he helps people in the town. It’s best if there is some kind of crisis in town. A blizzard that threatens the people and necessitates they pull together. Or a threatened factory closure. Or a threatened business take over from an evil big city corporation. Our leading lady observes all these simply but pure people helping each other and eventually engages in an unprompted act of giving or helpfulness that symbolizes here transformation. We see by her facial expression she is proud of herself! The leading man is more than likely pleasantly surprised, indeed moved, by her selfless act and realizes that he has actually fallen in love with her, as she has with him.

It’s doubtful the leading lady would have realized her transformation without first falling in love. Romantic love becomes necessary for epiphany and transformation. While the man is not transformed, he is healed—his broken heart beats again with love.

So, what do we learn at 3 a.m. watching Christmas schmaltz?:

  • The real America is found in small towns, not big cities. If you want to find the true meaning of Christmas you better high-tale it to some small town and fast.
  • Women have a lot to learn about the meaning of Christmas. Thanks God there are men to do a little mansplaining and manmonstrating.
  • You are doomed to failure in your quest for the true spirit of America and Christmas if you don’t fall into romantic love. Pretty much the kiss seals the deal.

Last night I was watching one of these gems and I kept assuming all the members of the town voted for Trump. It ruined the whole damn thing. Going down on them like a bitch and grabbing them by the pussy doesn’t quite seem like the appropriate way to teach the little lady the true meaning of Christmas. But, I could be wrong. After all 53% of women did vote for him.

Copyright © 2017 Dale Rominger

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