Colin's Cornucopia

Welcome to my world of discovery

To Lucinda

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Dear Lucinda,

There is no point in getting upset over boys. They are only having a go at you only because they all fancy the pants off you and don’t know what to do about it or how to behave. You are a woman – and you will have to teach them. Otherwise they’ll never learn – they’re men. They like cars and motorcycles and planes and skydiving and skiing and football and computers and pubs. Women must build their homes; they must carry their babies and they must rear them. Your nature forces that on you. Many men are very supportive and help throughout their lives. Some do not.

I am sure that not too many granddads tell their granddaughters the facts of life and I’m not going to try to tell you about sex, but I will tell you about life. You are a woman now and have to learn about these things – and they are not always easy.

I have already told you about your inheritance but it is worth repeating. Life isn’t just something that is – it has taken billions of years of development to get it where it is now – with many hiccups along the way. Your mum and dad had to seek each other out and mate to produce babies and rear them to the point that you will soon be ready to start your own independent life. Their parents had to do exactly the same as did their grandparents, and my parents and grandparents. This process has been going on for billions of generations and every single one had to be successful. Not one single break – otherwise you and I would not be here. That is some inheritance. Every single one of your billions of ancestors successfully mated. The forces within you demanding that you continue this process are obviously very, very powerful. They have to be. That is what we mean by life.

Your body, at 14 years, is now mature and you are no longer a child. You are technically capable of producing a child. The boys who so upset you are going through similar changes – and they don’t know how to handle it either. Their fumbling and embarrassed attempts to chat you up are simply part of the difficult process of growing up. Both you and they will eventually learn to come through this. It’s called the mating game. You have to learn how to play it - and enjoy it.

The bodies of both woman and man are at their peak at 18 years of age. Until the quite recent onset of our civilisation, life expectancy was as little as thirty years so it was necessary to mate as soon as possible so that you could rear your children to their own maturity before you died. Most women had babies by the time they were eighteen. When I was young most people still got married and started families by the time they were 21.

We have changed many things in our civilisation since then. The development of mass consumerism has meant that everybody has to work most of the time to pay the bills. In my day every woman left work when she became pregnant and did not return until the children grew up. In my granddad’s day the women often never returned to work. Such is progress?

The factors that have brought this about are many and varied but it has happened and you must deal with it for how you deal with it will shape your future. Now society expects you to contribute much in the form of work – and have babies in your spare time. In my opinion this is a backwards step but you will still have to deal with it in some way. You will almost certainly have to get a good education to allow you to get a good job. You will have to take care not to have babies in the meanwhile for they are very demanding of time and energy as it is almost impossible to have babies and an education. Having babies too early is now economic suicide.

You have to learn to handle these hugely conflicting urges. Your ancestry is urging you every moment to continue the species by producing babies. Your genes have only one purpose – babies. The civilisation in which you live has quite different needs and objectives for you. It wants you to work. I have not the faintest idea how you will resolve this conflict but you will have to face it.

You have probably heard about the current banking fiasco brought about by a few greedy people and a lot of stupid people. I suspect this may be the start of a fundamental change in the way we structure our society but even if I am right it probably will not change soon enough to benefit you. But if you understand what is going on then you can help bring about the changes that are desirable. You also have to learn to understand this complicated world and play your part in shaping its future. These may sound like huge challenges but I assure you that you can do it. It just takes understanding, determination, hard work and time.

You have to do all this with reference to men, or a man, whose priorities are quite different. They want to move the world and do a million other things and they expect you to build a home and have the babies. You must take charge of them for they don’t know what they really want. The pressures on them are quite high too.

But you must take charge of your relationships with men (or boys). Treat them like the children they are. Treat them kindly but firmly. You know the things about life that they will not know for another 50 years, if ever. Take charge of yourself. Take charge of your relationships, Take charge of your emotions. Take charge of the men. That is what women do.

Exactly how you do all this you must learn as you go along. But you have made a good start so far.

Just one final piece of advice. Everything a man does is guided by his pride. Try to understand that. Use your knowledge. Never try to destroy his pride – but a little gentle ribbing usually does no harm. You hold the power. Use it wisely.



Colin Walker. 2010

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