Fix one bad habit, two take its place

Trying to rid your crush of every flaw will only breed more to nitpick


Often in our emotional lives we find ourselves wanting something so much we would do anything to make it happen.

She wants him to dump his unappreciative girlfriend. He wants her to stop being high-maintenance. She wants him to want only her. He wants her to stop liking that jerk with the charismatic smile.

But if he woke up tomorrow morning to find her standing at his door, ready to commit, he would find something he wants more. Now he wants her to stop spending so much time with her guy friends, or he wants her to stop whining about his bad habits.

We are a society of consumers taught to want more. We want more money in our education funds, more choices in our cafeteria, more Gamecock touchdowns and more people to love us.

Advertisements might as well try to sell us relation-ships, because no matter how many times we get what we think we want, we are always going to crave more.

If to-morrow he decided he’s ready to settle down, and he buys her contact paper for a drawer from his dresser, somehow she would have the same “Friends” Janice-esque reaction. She would run for the door, scared out of her mind.

We’re sold the idea of happily ever after – perfect picket fences perched in front of a perfect two-story home. Just like those awful Burger King commercials interrupting our “quality” programming, incredible-looking men, sexy women and bad dialogue sell us our relationship goals.

We’re told what to want like it’s Christmas all year round, but there will always be another Tickle Me Elmo ready to make you want to throw away that “so last season” Ty Beanie Baby. One year we want to be proud to be single, strong “Sex and the City” women and the next we’re begging dear old housewives to stick by their men.

As little girls we beg our parents for Barbie dolls, but by the time we’re old enough to be lonely, all we want for Christmas is that perfect “you.”

Maybe I’m being too cynical, and people can be happy with settling for what they’ve got now. But if that were the case, the divorce rate wouldn’t be so high – something we can’t keep blaming on gold diggers and Henry VIII.

Nothing will ever be perfect. She will never get him to dump his girlfriend, and he will never be able to make her stop liking expensive things.

Maybe if we stop trying to make our love lives the next episode of “Laguna Beach,” complete with handsome-looking boys, too-gorgeous-to-be-true girls and “Dawson’s Creek” style drama, we might find a not-so-perfect someone.

Keep in mind that sometimes you get dealt a pretty bad hand without any face cards, but then again, deuces could be wild.


(Originally written 11.9.2006)


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