Economics 101, a Novel, ch_27 -- Keeping Important Things Important

[JMR20160418: I had to re-work this quite a bit. You can read the backup here:
JMR20160419: Still having to rewrite extensively, so I took a second backup, which I have added to the post with the first backup.]

(The story starts here:
The previous chapter is here:

So, are you wondering why Bobbie and Karel seem to be so much into emotional S&M?
But they aren't, really. Sure, there is some pain here. But it isn't sadism and it isn't masochism. They are not denying themselves for the fun of it, nor are they denying each other for reasons of pride and conceit.

There's something about faith that can push us to do things that are hard, whether it's religious faith or faith in friends and family or faith in your job and your company or faith in scientific principles or faith in yourself, or faith in whatever.

It's only when you use that faith against yourself that it turns into masochism, and it's only when you use that faith against someone else that it turns into sadism.

What Karel and Bobbie are doing is negotiating some very important things, getting to know each other better, and developing certain kinds of inner strength that are necessary for people who are married to each other.

For mortals, marriage is always a collection of ambiguities. That's a big part of why it's important to make promises to each other that we intend to keep, and to obtain social recognition for those promises in the form of a marriage license or the equivalent.

And to obtain the blessings of God and Nature, in the form of religious or other solemn ceremony. It's those blessings that make it possible, when we try, to keep those promises.

And a big part of why it's important to do both of those things before you begin the practical part of marriage.

Bobbie finally broke the silence and said, "Sometimes I think you're superhuman."

"You, too. I mean, you're superhuman, too."

"I WANT you to be superhuman! Uhm. For me."

"Trying to be superhuman is not good."

"Four months and two weeks we've been in these islands, testing each other like this. Little things that make us happy, and then we have to back off."

Karel wanted to say something, but he didn't know how to say it. "Yeah."

"You know, when Professor MacVittie and our roommates and our parents were telling us we should be thinking about each other in a different way than just study partners, we could have ignored them and ..."

"... done just that."

"... and talked seriously about our feelings when we first realized we liked each other so much."

"When was that?"

"I think I first understood I had feelings for you when the travel agents thought we were planning our honeymoon. And I called it silly because I didn't want to admit my feelings"

"Yeah. I definitely recognized that our oppositeness had something good in it by then. And I didn't admit it, either."

"If we'd been more honest about our feelings, we could have gotten married before we came."

"But we didn't."

"Oh, dear. We're talking about marriage again. I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry, too, but we have to do this. I mean, we have to talk about it."

"Maybe I shouldn't have admitted I want what's impossible."

And Karel asked, "Impossible? Marrying each other here is impossible?"

"No bishop or stake president. No justice of the peace, no county offices to get a marriage license. No temple."

Another uncomfortable pause, and then Karel said, "You and I are the justice of the peace and the county officers here. There's no one else to turn to. We are the only law on this island. If we want a marriage license, we'll have to make it ourselves."

And they both thought about this for a bit.

Then Karel continued. "But we still have one problem." And he looked earnestly at Bobbie. "This island is no place to have a baby."

"Why not?"

"Uhm, ..."

"I'm a licensed nurse in my home state. I earned money for grad school as a nurse in the obstetrics wing of a hospital, and as a midwife's assistant while I was at school. You know that."

"But I'm the one who would have to be the nurse and midwife."

"I'll teach you."

"What if there are complications?"

"God put us here alone, He can jolly well make sure there won't be anything we can't deal with."

"Jolly well?"

"Something my mom sometimes says."

Karel sighed.

"You sighed."

"I think we should be superhuman a few more weeks."

"Why? Making a marriage license won't take that much time."

"But if I we, uhm, that is, if I get you, oh, ..."

"If I get pregnant, ...?"

"If you're going to be pregnant, if were going to have babies here, it would be better to already have a hut for you to be pregnant in when we need a hut for you to be pregnant in."

"Okay, I guess I'll need some protection that the tent can't give us."

"And maybe, just maybe, we'll be rescued before we finish the hut."

Another break in the conversation. A pause for a hug. I think they may have kissed each other. I won't bore you with the details.

But no more than a hug and a kiss and holding hands, mind you.

"I'm not sure I want to be rescued." Bobbie's voice was muffled against Karel's shoulder. I guess the hug lasted a while. "Maybe we'll forget how we feel now."

"I'm not sure I want to be rescued, either. Except, ..."

"Except we want to be married in the temple." Bobbie completed the thought.

"Yeah. And if we get rescued, we can get married in the temple."

"Do you think our bishops will believe we haven't done anything?"

"Anything wrong, you mean. They would definitely approve our talking about things like this."

"Mff. Hah. I can just imagine everybody's faces if we told them we ignored each other the whole time."

"Aaarrggghhheh! heh." Karel covered his eyes with his free hand.

The mirth subsided and there was a bit of sighing and Karel continued. "But if we get married here, we won't be able to get married in the temple."

"We can be sealed."

"True. They might make us wait a year, but sealing is always possible. Although, if we die before they find us, how do we tell anyone we actually got married?"

"Hah. No one could tell them we didn't spend the whole time ignoring each other." Bobbie sighed. "That's one thing the marriage license would help with, if it gets found."

"One thing of many."

"I've heard there are cases where waiting a year is not required, because there was no way to go to the temple first."

"I don't know if it would apply in our case. And what if they rescue us right after we get married?"

"And what if we get rescued before we get married?"

"If we are, let's come back here to live for a while. We can call it an advanced applied research project."

"Hah!" Well, actually, Bobbie snorted, but snorting is not supposed to be romantic. Whatever.

And they both laughed.

"Actually, we could," Bobbie said.

And they both sighed, again. Karel said, "Oh, too much, too much. We need to step back and think and pray."

So they prayed together and then they prayed separately. And then they sat together again and prayed some more. And what they said in their prayers is their business, not ours.

"Let's get started on the hut. Where's some paper so I can draw some diagrams?"

"Sand is better than paper, maybe?"

So Karel started drawing some diagrams in the sand and explaining how they might be able to build various parts of the hut.

"I guess this is okay?" asked Wycliffe.

"What else could they be doing, if they don't want to end up hating each other?" replied Hanaka.

So they spent the next two weeks planning and building the hut, and writing laws so they could write the marriage license.

And being superhuman for each other.

Keeping busy helps when you need to forget things you want to do but can't.

(That is, I'm not planning to just skip everything that happened during the next two weeks, but we need to know which way things are going while the writing slows down so I can get back to making my own family a living. It's a little bit late in the season, but I need to go looking for some more classes. Tuesdays and Fridays, anyone?)

(The link to the next chapter will be here when it's ready is here

(The chapter index is here:

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