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I was disturbed to find out that Charles Manson is engaged to be married. And I was disturbed not because Manson is still in prison. Or that he's a convicted serial killer. Or that he has a swastika carved into his forehead. Or that he's most likely nuts; I'm sorry -- mentally challenged. Or that he's marrying a beautiful, though perhaps deluded, 26-year-old woman. No, all that is beside the point. I was disturbed because Charles Manson found true love before I did. That really hurt.
Location, Location, Location! Where could I be on any given night? Anywhere. With anyone. My romantic partner would just have to trust that I'm remaining true to her and behaving myself. No such trust necessary for the future Mrs. Manson, who goes by the name Star, though her actual name is Afton Burton. She can be confident of her loved one's location every moment of every day for the rest of his godforsaken life. And that's security. Heck, that's maximum security.
Name Recognition. There are hundreds of Mark Millers. There's just one Charles Manson. Granted, what sane person would name their baby after a convicted cult leader/serial killer? So, his new wife will never have to ask for clarification: "Excuse me, which Charles Manson are you referring to?" And when she informed her parents, "Oh, by the way, I'm marrying Charles Manson," they immediately knew whom she meant, thereby explaining their no doubt placing their heads into the oven soon after.
Forehead carvings. I'll give Charles Manson one thing: the man knows about the power of personal branding. Literally. Of course, most people, including myself, would never carve a swastika onto the middle of their forehead. Or any other body part. I realize that that refusal eliminates a whole population of potential dates. Granted, crazy potential dates, but who among us is perfect? Gotta wonder, though -- is Star okay with the nutty swastika carving, or does she rationalize it somehow? "Oh, well, Charlie got that during a very stressful period of his life... You've got to take the time to look beyond the swastika carving to the lovely person inside..."
Not looking for love. There's an ancient Zen philosophy that says things we desire come to us best when we are not looking for them. Well, obviously, there's my trouble right there. I've spent so much time, energy and money in search of my soulmate, and she's just not appearing. In contrast, Charles Manson no doubt just accepted the fact that he wasn't destined for love, and so wasn't looking for it at all. Instead, he spent his time dealing with prison, playing guitar, issuing wacky proclamations, and carving offensive symbols into his body. And yet love came to him nonetheless. Lesson learned!
Cult leader. Charles Manson was the leader of the Manson Family cult, a group of people who worshipped and adored him and would do his bidding no matter how illegal, immoral, or deranged. That's a lot of power and personality and one could see how that kind of dynamic image might appeal to a woman young enough that her own personality and image are still being formed. Or perhaps Manson has even hypnotized her into loving him. In any case, I'm giving some serious thought to starting my own cult. Don't worry, though, I'll use my power for good, not evil. It'll be a two-person love cult.
"Helter Skelter." Manson is strongly associated with this famous song by a famous group, the Beatles. Supposedly, he misinterpreted the lyrics as a call to violence. It also became the title of books and movies on Manson. Obviously, I need to a theme song myself; I need to align myself with a well-known tune that will become associated with my image. Perhaps something polite, respectful, with an appeal to one of my soulmate's parents. Got it! Herman's Hermits' "Mrs. Brown You've Got a Lovely Daughter." What do you think? Too old school? Something more recent, perhaps, like Pharell Williams' "Happy"? I can be flexible.
Caring about the planet. Star says she was first attracted to Manson after reading about ATWA, Manson's environmental philosophy that stands for air, trees, water, animals. Smart. If you're going to be crazy and imprisoned for your whole life for cult murders, try to balance it out with a caring philosophy about the planet. Just think how many prisoners have to settle for love with their fellow inmates simply because they don't make public their deep and sincere environmental or humanitarian concerns. Attention, potential soulmates: Did I mention how deeply I feel about ending world hunger? Let's discuss it over a glass of wine.
No sexual pressure or disappointment. Because Manson is serving a life sentence, he and Star will never be allowed any conjugal visits; solely a hug at the beginning and end of each visit. Therefore, any exclamations of "Sorry, I'm not in the mood" are a moot point. As is any sexual dysfunction or the possibility of disease. Granted, that's not much of a marital sex life, but when you've snagged a man like Charles Manson, you get so much more in the bargain, that I suppose you're okay with that.
Ability to reveal his truer self to his woman. You and I obviously have one image of Charles Manson, one formed to a large degree by the media. But the future Mrs. Manson is looking way beyond that. She has stated to CNN, "The man that I know is not what they have in the movies or in documentaries and the books. He's nothing like that. He doesn't tell people what to do. He's not manipulative at all." Granted, Manson has accumulated 108 serious disciplinary violations in prison since 1971, has shown no indication of remorse for his nine murder convictions, and has been denied parole twelve times. But apparently when he's with Star, he's just the sweetest little angel.
Women go crazy for musicians. Charles Manson was an aspiring singer-songwriter-guitarist. You can hear him on YouTube. And we all know the allure musicians have for women. That does it. I'm signing up for music lessons today. If things go according to my plan, by this time next year, I'll be serenading my own "star." Maybe even auditioning for "The Voice." Just hopefully not from prison. And if I succeed, I swear I'll never admit that Charles Manson was my role model.
The thing I keep asking myself is "How?" How could a deranged serial killer find true love before I did? After much soul searching, tears, therapy, and medication, I managed to at least attempt to answer that question with the following ten fairly logical reasons Charles Manson found true love before I did.
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