On the MGTOW sites, the talk about “the red pill”. Here’s one of mine. Please excuse the jargon.
J and I were in the church band. We shifted in together to share a flat. On a side note, It ended badly. There was a pattern in J’s life – when things got hard, he would simply quit. I lost my job, got depressed, got tough to live with. J simply walked out and left me with the lease. It’s not just women, you know.
J was, I think, an alpha-minus. Tall, good-looking. Son of a pastor, which counts for everything in christian circles. Church women are as relentlessly hypergamous as any you’ll ever meet. The all want to marry a pastor, and J was always going to be one.
(Why do they want to marry a pastor? Because the pastor’s wife gets to boss about all the other women, that that’s the most important thing in a woman’s life: their hierarchy among one another. They are not sweet and communal. They are rigidly hierarchical, more so than men understand.)
Lot of red pills. One in particular.
J married K. K is a career bitch, very much so. For her, J was a trophy husband, a pretty boy. His family reckoned that he married his mother, and they were probably right. He should have married L, but L was a smart cookie and married R, who was (*gasp*) barely even a real christian. R went on to own his own used-car business, and employed L’s brother as a used-car salesman when L’s brother’s church (by which I mean: the church that he was pastor of) collapsed. Smart cookie, as I said. She’s a country-western singer now, with a fan page, and sounds pretty good. Way better than the mousy post-adolescent squeak that she had when I knew her. Well done, L.
J played sax, danced. He had moves. I remember him doing one of our periodic church musical things, playing the sax, being on stage – performing. I was at the mixing desk. K was there, smugly smiling to me, nodding “Yes, and J does his little dance!”, her voice rippling with good-humoured amusement and disdain. Her man, her boy. I knew then, the contempt in which she held him. Probably still does. But there’s another red pill I had in mind when I sat down to write this.
J played sax. He was good – better than I ever was on guitar. After a year or two of marriage, wanted to be in a band. The friction! The drama! The issue was – simply – that K knew that J would cheat. And realistically, she was right. He was going to be having hot, nasty sex with groupies. Eventually, K put the foot down. No: J may not leave her alone in the house and play gigs till 5 in the morning. So K got a dog. A golden retriever. But no, no – not good enough. J may not leave her alone in the house with nothing but the dog for company, either. No sax playing for J.
Meh. Marriage: compromises and accommodations. Fair enough, perhaps. Maybe.
K, “career bitch”, got a very senior role at X. A role that required her often to work late. What an opportunity! What an advancement! She grabbed it with both hands and I’m sure did an excellent job. The job was legit – I don’t think she was having an affair with some man that she could respect more than she could ever respect J. The alpha-male of the site … well, he could do better than K.
Here’s the thing, though: I couldn’t help but notice that now J was alone at night with nothing but the dog for company, exactly what K said was simply not good enough for her.
And there it is. I think he understood, then, the life that he had chosen for himself.
Luckily for J, K’s brother was (probably is) a very skilled musician. They, and some other guys from church, formed a very good local band. He was permitted to gig again, with the brother-in-law there to hold his leash.
It was ages ago. K is a pastor. now – just as he was always going to be. He’s gray these days, and not just his hair. S, who I ran into the other night, told me that he looks so unhappy. He was at one of our gigs (I was in a local band for a year or two). He was so awkward! So out-of-place and uncomfortable, to be at a bar where people were drinking and hooking up and having a good time. A decade ago, he would have walked in and owned the scene.
The band he and K’s brother formed is long since a memory. But whenever I think of that song “The Sweetest Thing”, I always think of their version of it. Better than U2, IMO.