'The Taming of the Shrew', one of Shakespeare's goodies...You know, I truly wonder if he foresaw the plight of the religious dater. As I give you a run down, guess who my character soul mate is.
The run down is this. Katherina and Bianca are the daughters of a wealthy widower. The youngest is fair, sweet, quiet and accommodating and has a good number of suitors pounding at her door. In contrast, the eldest is a bit more lively, opinionated and shrewish...which equals zero suitors. Their father lets it be known that no one is to marry his popular younger daughter until the older one is wed. Problem is no one will touch Katherina with a ten foot pole!
Have you guessed? Yep...
Once upon a time I was the younger daughter in this scenario. I had little life experience, I had not really seen much of the world or educated myself enough to really have an opinion on much. I had the blessing of youth and my body maintained a shape that required little attention or work, only just out adolescence. Now getting into my late twenties I finally I know what I want, have less patience for stupidity and more inclination to voice the fact and I have ideas and opinions. I joke now that my brain has finally grown to it's full size, although my body is perhaps a little exasperated and doesn't have the skills to effortlessly hold everything in. At times I feel like jelly not fresh out of its mould but after it's been poked with a spoon.
That is correct. I AM THE SHREW*.
Now, although I am absolutely fine with my identity as a shrew, the fact of the matter is that where I am, most men my age don't want a shrew. In my experience most Mormon men want to marry Bianca not Katherina. Tell me that this is not so. And ladies, there is nothing wrong with being Bianca...but what I have noticed is a strong, independent woman is a less favourable choice than a fresh from Young Women, woman who has a little more to learn in life I guess. Remember this is life according to me and is not the be all or end all.
Once upon a time I went on a few dates with this guy. He was cute, a bit mysterious and seemed to like me enough so I thought I'd explore it, try something new like being a bit more assertive in that area. I was watching carefully for anything a bit suss, I had heard some things- nothing horrible but I wanted to find out for myself. On one of our dates he happened to get a text msg from a girl he'd met on the weekend and proceeded to text her during the duration of our whole date. Hello sussness. Unfortunately I was still willing to put the feelers out there to see if he was still interested in me as this girl was from a different state. He went for the girl, who I found out was much younger than me...Rejected using useless metaphors about balls in courts. Later on a bit deeper into his relationship with this lass, he came over and chatted to me about her immaturity, implied some unsteadiness in her spirituality and made a comparison with me. My side was more favourable.
So the question is why didn't he go for me when he had the chance? I was as attractive as her, I was fun, easy to talk to, doing everything I could to be a good person, I had a job, was good at lots of things, far superior...tick tick tick....? Right?
As I considered this dilemma I busted some brain cells but came to the conclusion that he needed a damsel in distress, someone to think he was amazing and build his ego, someone who relied on him temporally and spiritually. The shrew just didn't do that!! I realised that this particular guy didn't need to feel less by being around someone who he felt didn't necessarily need him. And it was true, his priorities were not my own in the gospel and he sensed that.
Now in the play, an eccentric man named Petruchio volunteers to 'tame' the Shrew and marry her for her large dowry. His motives seem to change and he is adamant that he tames and makes her love him. She fights him all the way but eventually he, due to his quirky ways, rough exterior, hard headedness and a love of a challenge wins her love and manages to tame her.
Finally, the point of my saga. Girls. There need only be one man that tames the shrew and he will tame you and you will love it. Don't lament that you'll dance barefoot at your siblings' weddings but be the best you can and prepare to make room in your life for someone else. Petruchio didn't so much as make Katherina into a stepford wife by curbing her spirit and making her a different person - he showed her how to harness it, and their relationship developed. He didn't need her to build his ego up and to place him on a pedestal but allowed her to be his partner and equal. So. Never fear, for the Hortensios, Lucentios and Grumios...are not for you. For although Petruchio's ways were slightly unorthodox and perhaps considered as abuse in this day and age, he worked hard and earned the love and respect of a strong independent woman.
* A shrew or shrew mouse is a small mammal with the appearance of a long nosed mouse and small sharp, spike-like teeth quite different to that of the rodent. Despite its appearance, its bite is quite painful.