And of course we all know the sexual exploits of the cunning Odysseus.
If he had a sexual encounter on each of the islands on the way to Ithaca it is no wonder the return leg of the journey took him over ten years.
I have tried to replicate I them what I have hoped to accomplish in myself as a hyphenated American.
While everyone assumes that Greek men will cheat, that is not the case for Greek women.As a wife, she is supposed to be the Penelope and remain virtuous, even when her husband is a two or 22 – timer.“ti tha pei,” the middle-aged ladies of the Philoptochos will chit chat, “tha parei xeno? It is considered a desperate measure, a settling for seconds should a girl marry a xeno someone outside the Greek golden race. But I believe that if the saying “a good man is hard to find” is true than the chances of finding a good Greek man are even slimmer.What the poet Rilke said is true not just for Greek but all relationships, ” in relationships it is men who do not know how to love.” Perhaps the answer then is to re educate Greek men and women in a new paradigm of sex relations that translates into genuinely equal, mutually respectful and satisfying marriages and families. Not chopping up Jason’s children in a fit of revenge for his infidelity nor divorcing Odysseus after all the years you invested in your relationship.Although I have not done formal surveys and research on it, my hunch is that they cave into the pressures, consciously or unconsciously, to marry greek because our culture puts so much stake at keeping the Greek culture alive.
Since it is the mothers who transmit the culture, the drive for endogamy is very sharp in Greeks of the diaspora. It depends whether the Greek or Greek american has absorbed the mores of a more egalitarian sort of marriage and can respect the woman.Personally, because I value my own self respect more than keeping up with the Pappas’ both times I have chosen to marry non Greeks. I have managed to promote a very real sense of Greek pride in them by teaching them Greek literature and Greek language, entrenching them in Greek values and a living Orthodoxy, and by taking them to Greece whenever possible.I have religiously adhered to Greek food and traditions in the home.We have heard stories of so and so cheating on his wife for many years.As a young girl I remember one of my father’s friends boasting,”I have had relations with hundreds of women.” I have stepped outside the Greek milieu and asked straight up Americans about what they thought of Greek men, “a–holes,” “proud” “immature”” shrewd” “good with money and business” but mostly arrogant immature “d—-“.Relationships are extremely complicated, I know that.