Monday, January 31, 2011

Write something, quick!

If I don't post this today, it will mean a whole month has gone by without a peep. Why so silent?

In large part, because it's hard to write about my life when there's a sweetheart in it. Not that there's nothing to write. Oh no. I've got personal issues and old patterns coming out my ears. I probably need a therapist.

But because I'm thrifty, and because Someone Who Loves Me made sure Lori Gottlieb's book was staring me in the face from the new books shelf at Ballard Branch Library, I recently read Marry Him.

Not that marriage is exactly out on the table, but I'm not dating simply to pass the time. I think a lifelong partnership is my next adventure. It would be foolish for me to get sidetracked for long with somebody who isn't interested or won't do. But how does one know?

Marry Him is a terrific handbook for today's confused woman. And we are confused. The old rules for marriage got thrown out, but nobody gave us the new ones. Sure, "we want a man, we don't need one," and we refuse to settle for less than we deserve, and -- my personal phrase, always said with a little catch in the throat: "What if I settle for (insert name) and then one night as I'm dancing in his arms I glimpse the face of my true soul mate over his shoulder?" Sob.

On the other hand, Mary, what if you just get real and grow up? Here's a thought from Lori: True soulmates are made, not found.

And a few more thoughts from the notes I took as I read.

What's a husband for, anyway? Not in a bad way, like "who needs one?" but realistically, what is one for? One way to think of marriage is as a non-profit small business. Which jobs do you want, and which do you want the partner to handle?

We often speak of shared values. Gottlieb says an essential shared value is that two people share a similar vision of the kind of life they'd like to build together.

She describes "maximizers" and "satisficers." The maximizer is the one who finds the perfect sweater at the first place she shops, but spends the whole day checking out every other sweater in town in case there's a better one, or, possibly, the initial one is available on sale. The satisficer just buys the first sweater and puts it on and takes a walk.

Shortly after I read this comparison, I fixed dessert for my sweetheart and me. As we sat down at the coffee table, I said, "Is this one bigger? Or that one? Which would you prefer?" He just looked at me and said, Is yours big enough? I nodded. He said, I'll take this other one then.

So obviously you get why I don't post that much. You can't just tell any old random person about stuff like this.

All material copyright © 2009 by Mary Davies