I think Maria Elena Fernandez's parents have it right ("The All-Male Clan of the Cave Bears," March 20). What her papa said hits the nail on the head about fear and sharing those fears with the woman a man loves.
It seems that those guys who focus on this introspective, soul-searching stuff are really in love with someone else rather than their partners -- themselves!
When I need to, I retreat and come out refreshed with a new perspective.
But since we are Latinos, what we must have closest to our hearts and souls is treating people with respect, civility and honor. That is where love between two people is born. Que viva el amor! ("Long live love!)
Paul M. Villa
Maria Elena Fernandez's dad probably didn't mean exactly what he said -- which shouldn't surprise her. When we men finally get around to saying something about our feelings, we hardly get that right either.
I suspect what he meant to say was that "in life there are so many real things to be afraid of. But if a woman loves you, how can you be afraid of sharing your problems with her?" I believe he's really commending your mother's love for him, not his for her.
Might be something in that for women, don't you think?
My mom always knew how to handle my dad (Cave bear extraordinaire) and had a keen way of reading his mind, keeping her always a step ahead. Like your dad, my father believed that loving a woman and sharing with her takes the place of paralyzing fear. Although their marriage was tumultuous, they managed to stay together for better and for worse, in sickness and in health until his death in 1992 drew them apart.
As a gay man, I am not a Cave bear. I don't recoil when my emotions get the best of me. I am sensitive and communicative. I love to feel. And then I fell in love! I had no idea what it was like to feel and communicate at the same time. I learned to say what I feel and not run into my safe little cave. As a result, I feel free because the conversations are no longer just in my head.
In the process, I got the opportunity to discover that, gay or straight, I am a man.