Nice Reformed Girls
This topic has assumed mythological dimensions both among some of my friends. The phrase started out either (1) in Niedfeldt ("need-to-be-felt") dormitory at Hillsdale College (specifically in Room 205) or (2) in conversations with my brother Daniel (who, unlike me, has actually dated a five-point Calvinist). Anyways, the ideal as originally formulated by myself with friends primarily involved theological compatibility (the "Reformed" part) combined with smiling wholesomeness well-suited to motherhood (the "Nice" part). In this version, the basic ideal is the girl who can honestly and actually understand the introverted, awkward (but genuinely nice) Reformed boy.
Subsequent redactions of the concept have added a whole cornicopia of secondary characteristics: intellectual capacity, organizational skills, great legs, heroic temper, and esthetic sensibilities. Important models for this extended ideal were Andromache (Iliad), Britomart (Faerie Queene), Jane Austen heroines, Brunhilde (Der Ring), Haydee (Count of Monte Cristo), and Ellen (Love in the Ruins). However, as this ideal has developed, it may have become less about finding some gracious Calvinist-minded young woman and more about articulating my older adolescent idolatry of the ideal woman, the eternal-feminine. Das Ewig-Weibliche / Zeiht uns hinan.
I guess I still want both. Is that too much to ask? Perhaps it is. Perhaps this necessitates a broader theory (?) of eros and philia and agape. Does the activity of loving change people, and how does that affect men and women, and does it affect them differently?