Aunt Moxie column one
I have a tendency to ignore the writing on the wall. Especially when the writing says something I don’t want to see.
Take relationships, for example: I often stay in them because I like the idea of them, more than the reality of the situation at hand.
Perhaps at the base of this blindness is reality-fear: a refusal to accept that what I want may not be. Or maybe it’s because we’ve been taught from Day One that we shouldn’t be selfish; that we should “think of the other person" and “not be so quick to judge.”
But whatever the reason for ignoring reality, my experience is such that it’s not serving me well. I think what I need is a new way of thinking. That and, perhaps, a pair of wide-open eyes.
Recently I went out with an interesting sort. Despite his being very different than me, I was attracted to him. But after Date One I knew we weren't a match -- not for the long-haul, any way. We had about as much in common as tomatoes and motor oil.
So why on earth would I decide to go out with him again? One reason: he was good-looking.
I find so few people attractive (for a variety of reasons) that I figured that maybe I was being too quick to judge. So, I decided to double-check that I hadn’t misread this book (or its cover, any way). And with that we went out a second time.
And on Date Two, I learned more about him; and the more that we talked, the less attractive he became.
Yet no sooner had Date Two ended, than the rationalization started. Maybe we were really more alike than we knew. Maybe we approached problems from two different angles. Maybe we could learn from one another.... Maybe his motor oil needed a bit of... Lycopene.
Never mind the fact that we thought nothing alike. Forget that we had entirely different world views. Pay no attention to the fact that as far as our backgrounds and values were concerned we were on completely different pages: I still contemplated going out with him a third time. Why? Because I thought he was cute? Am I kidding myself? What is this: Third grade?
I remember, about 15 years ago, going out with a guy who's list of "cons" was substantial. I had made the list of pros and cons because something didn’t seem right. On my list was "an anger streak" and, more alarming, "he scares me." And the "pros" of this guy? He was handsome and smart.... Really?
Fortunately for me, I've been blessed with good friends. One listened to my list and said, "And you're confused why?" Point made. Eyes opened. Good friends like this have been the wake-up call I've needed at times.
I think that with age I’m starting to get wiser. At least where facing reality with dating is concerned. I'm cutting things off when I know they're not right and reprogramming myself to not ignore the deal-breakers. If I seem “too quick to judge,” well, what can I say?
You see, I’m finding that my best friend is that friend named Reality and that I usually fare better when I think more about me. I can stick my head in the stand or pull it out and read the writing.
The answers are there, but it’s my choice to see.