I came up with the idea for this blog last Thursday.
I was struck by how fortunate I am (in so many ways), and instead of focusing on areas where my life is lacking, I wanted remind myself occasionally that I have a great deal to be thankful for.
At the top of my “Thankful List” was the amazing support and companionship I receive from Joe. I consider this first, because relationships have always been difficult for me.. I often wondered whether Mr. Right would ever find me, or if I would dump him 10 minutes after our introduction in some petty fashion.
I sat down to compose a Top 20 List, highlighting all the things I love about Joe.
In and of itself, this was not a challenging task, because he causes me to fall in love with him each and every day… and his fine qualities could inspire 50 such lists.
However… *cough* when I reviewed the initial list, it seemed overly negative – as it dwelt mainly on comparisons between ours and failed relationships from my past.
I wanted this exercise to be positive, and yes …even romantic, so I put the list away and forgot about it.
Until this afternoon.
Re-examining my list, I realized it gives insight into my way of thinking, screwed-up as it may be.
I’ve never been able to pinpoint exactly what makes me fall for someone. I never had an image of the “perfect man” in my mind.
On the contrary, I chose men based upon how dissimilar they were to my growing list of inexcusable flaws.
“Has he ever beaten his girlfriend?”
“Has he ever shot at a cat with a gun?”
“Does he shave his butt, or measure the circumference of his arm muscles?”
If they passed, I dated them. And as each relationship bit the dust, my list continued to grow.
There are countless ways to be a jerk…
1. You don’t call me up, drunk, quizzing me on where you are and who you’re with.
2. You don’t share juicy, intimate details with all your friends; or if you do, only with friends discreet enough not to pass the tales back to me.
3. You don’t “rank” me among your exes, and tell me how I might improve my overall score.
4. You haven’t tried to dump me for being beneath your standards, while setting me up on a date with your desperate friend or relative.
5. You don’t flirt with other women in my presence, in a lame attempt to seem desirable.
6. You’ve never told me that your ex was “so special” that nobody will ever replace her in your heart.
7. You don’t insist that we spend quality time with your sleazy cousin, who makes it known to everyone (including his girlfriend) that he fantasizes about being with me.
8. You don’t write letters to your other (secret) girlfriend, and give them to ME… to deliver for you!
9. You don’t kiss like a dog, by licking all over my face, including my nose.
10. You never insisted that I think about you every second I’m not with you, or call you on the phone every possible chance I get… because obsession “is a healthy measure of love”.
11. You never forced me to wash my hands after petting a cat, because deadly “Cat germs” are transmitted through holding your partner’s hand.
12. Likewise, you never insisted that rinsing a cat’s water-bowl in the kitchen sink, would cause deadly “cat germs” to grow in the basin; mutant germs impervious to bleach and detergent, that will contaminate any dishes which come into contact with the sink… and ultimately kill people.
13. You never started a serious argument with me because I didn’t reply to each of your 150 daily text messages.
14. You never claimed that only “a whore” would be seen at a gas station after dark, in mid-summer, wearing shorts.
15. You didn’t try to convince me to quit my job, move, re-invent my wardrobe, or change my beliefs simply because the reality of who I am didn’t live up to the fantasy in your mind.
16. You don’t require me to “prove” my feelings every time you’re feeling insecure.
17. You don’t invent imaginary conspiracies, where everybody at your office, the fellow commuters on your train, and the strangers behind you in the Subway line, are all plotting to ruin your life. (Because you know the universe does NOT revolve around you….)
18. You don’t tell me that my hobbies are a waste of money, and my time would be better spent cleaning the house.
19. You’ve never fed me cheesy sci-fi plots as an excuse to break-up.
The classic Comet-Interfering-With-My-Brain line: “You see, the ME from the FUTURE traveled back to this point in time, where the comet appears. Now that TWO versions of me are here, I can’t think straight.. and I need some time alone, to separate my thoughts from my future self’s thoughts…”
And yes, someone did try that! And no, I didn’t buy it.
Last but not least:
20. This list wasn’t your idea. ;)
I love you because I don’t need to spell out my feelings eloquently in blogs every week… you KNOW I care, and you’ll care for me just the same, even if this list never gets published.
You’ll never know what a relief that is… (because half of my blog ideas never do)
And for all my exes out there: If you stumble across this list, and start wondering whether certain remarks herein were making reference to YOU…..
Excuse me. *cues the Carly Simon music*
You’re – so – vain…
And you’re absolutely right!
I am also thankful for the time I spent with of you, because without your idiotic ways and immature behavior, I never would have recognized Mr. Right when I found him at last! :)