Thursday, January 25, 2007

Burns Night

Tonight is Burns Night and which celebrates Scotland's favorite son and poet, Robert Burns. I will give you a preview of tonight's dinner with a copy of my toast to the lassies:

First of all I would like to thank Marcus and the lovely Fiona for helping us to organize this occasion and enlighten us with the poetry of Scotland’s favorite son. When Fiona asked me to do the toast to the lassies the other day, I was quite in a quandary. After all, the toast was usually for women who would cook the meal. In the Jonathan House, that is obviously not the case here. In fact, it is rare to find a woman in Washington DC who can cook. After all how could one woman take the place of ten roommates, bunk beds, sleeping 4 men to a room, and occasionally seeing Matt Lahr in a toga. Most of us here are not married, myself included. Since I am not married and am no Cassanova, I therefore cannot speak with authority on the ways of a lady.

After all it was King Solomon, the wisest of men who wrote the following in Proverbs:
"There are three things that are too amazing for me, four that I do not understand:
the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a snake on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a maiden.

So I could not help but shed light on the last of these which I too find perplexing. If I may borrow a page from another writer, for example:

- A man will pay $2 for a $1 item he wants. A woman will pay $1 for a $2 item that she doesn't want.
- A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband. A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
- A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend. A successful woman is one who can find such a man.
- Any married man should forget his mistakes - there's no use in two people remembering the same thing.
- A woman has the last word in any argument. Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.
- A man has six items in his bathroom: a toothbrush, shaving cream, razor, a bar of soap, and a towel from the Holiday Inn. The average number of items in the typical woman's bathroom is 337 and a man would not be able to identify most of these items.
- And finally, children. A woman knows all about her children. She knows about dentist appointments and best friends and favourite foods and secret fears, and hopes and dreams. A man is vaguely aware of some short people living in the house.

Why should I bother trying to understand? Sigmund Freud writes: "Despite my thirty years of research into the feminine soul, I have not been able to answer... the great question that has never been answered: what does a woman want?"

I am not a particularly emotional individual and I have been accused of going overboard in my rational nature. The rationalist treasures logic and conceptual understanding but yet my logic and knowledge falls short. There is nothing like a fine lady that causes a man to lose all kinds of rational. It is very common to find a man in Jonathan House who is laboring steadfast in his chores and cooking responsibilities and as soon as a group of young ladies walk in the room he loses all sight of his tasks. George Carlin writes: "Here's all you have to know about men and women: women are crazy, men are stupid. And the main reason women are crazy is that men are stupid."

Tonight’s celebrated poet writes of a certain beauty that captivated his heart.

Handsome Nell

O, once I lov'd a bonnie lass,
Aye, and I love her still;
And whilst that virtue warms my breast
I'll love my handsome Nell.
As bonnie lasses I hae seen,
And mony full as braw,
But for a modest gracefu' mien
The like I never saw.
A bonnie lass, I will confess,
Is pleasant to the ee,
But without some letter qualities
She's no a lass for me.
But Nellie's looks are blithe and sweet,
And what is best of a'
Her reputation is complete,
And fair without a flaw.
She dresses aye sae clean and neat,
Both decent and genteel;
And then there's something in her gait
Gars ony dress look weel.
A gaudy dress and gentle air
May slightly touch the heart,
But it's innocence and modesty
That polishes the dart.
'Tis this in Nelly pleases me,
'Tis this enchants my soul
For absolutely in my breast
She reigns without control

It is no secret that Burns was quite taken by members of the fairer sex and they were often the inspiration for his poetry. Lassies were a source of awe and puzzlement, possessing qualities and emotions that as men we are conscious of but rarely convey; beauty, gentleness, and love. George Sand said “Where love is absent, there can be no woman”. And Anon said “God could not be everywhere and therefore he made mothers".

It is written in the word: "For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.

So I resign in my effort to understand why a man woos a woman and acknowledge that this is and will probably remain a mystery while we are on this earth. However, let us come to the heart and conclusion of this matter that as we entreat the ladies in our lives we fulfill perhaps the main goal of the Jonathan House…we become more like Christ.

So Gentlemen! Charge your glasses, and join me in a toast to the lassies!

To the Lassies!

1 comment:

Maximus Doom said...

...found your blog by accident; but its wit, humor and truths certainly are no mistake. Great blog