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ImageOver the course of a few weeks, relationships have been the topic of discussion in my social circle. Not just for pleasure, but a few of us are working with our church to develop a curriculum for single Christians about dating. Our candid conversations and a few focus groups have somehow continually led back to a train of thought: is “the one” prepackaged, or must you create him/her?

Let me back up…the conversation really was about men and women having to be taught how to care about their mates. The question was, if it’s really the person for you, should you have to teach that stuff? Shouldn’t it be instinct? Chemistry? Prayers to baby Jesus and Mattel about the exact person for you?

I was watching the very first episode of Sex and the City a few weeks ago with a friend, and tonight with my boyfriend in various states of sleeping and waking on the couch. I remembered when I was watching with my friend, several blogging ideas popped into my head, but I couldn’t remember what they were. However, at about 10-13 minutes into the show, Samantha made a statement that popped out at me. Samantha and Miranda were doing their men aren’t worth it thing, and when Charlotte announced that giving up on love is sick, Carrie said, “Believe me, if the right guy comes along, all this these two are saying…out the window.” Samantha responded with “The right guy is an illusion, don’t you see?”

Whoa. Time out. Hmm…is she on to something? I think that’s about right. I don’t think any guy – or girl for that matter – comes with no assembling required. My male friends (boyfriend included) beg to differ. They tend to think that it should be effortless, no lessons, etc…

I think that both are true…there should be some instinctual characteristics that should be present from jump…personalization of said characteristics require training. For instance, I love when anyone I’m dating calls me to check on me and see how I’m doing just because he wants me to know he was thinking about me. I do not, however, like voicemails. Now, according to the guys in my circle, if he was really for me, he would instinctively know that, call me 3 times, and then leave a text. If he does, however, leave voicemails, it’s a sign it wasn’t meant to be! (This is hyperbole, but you get my drift.)

I do believe relationships take a bit of both. Characteristics are instinct, but personalization requires lessons…what say you?

Merry Christmas everyone. Happy Birthday Jesus (well…almost celebrated day of birth. It’s 10:55pm on the 24th.)

Love,

–V

There are a few nostalgic moments in a relationship: Butterflies at a phone call, first kiss, the odd/awkward “are we together?” exclusive conversation, saying “I Love You”, and meeting the parents…

…but um…about that last one. Is that subjective? Like, does meeting someone’s parents show specific and important intent? For me, because my family and I are so close, if I was dating some random person, he could have met my mom just because she’s in town…and she’s made of awesome. It actually had nothing to do with my feelings for him, but rather, my feelings for her (shout-out to you if you really love your mom-dukes!). There have been many a person who met my mom, sister, best friend, etc…just because. However, I’ve found that if you are meeting the men in my family, you are important to me.

"Where I come from...meeting the parents? Oh so big." --Carrie to Aidan

Carrie had two encounters with parents: Big, whose mother she desperately wanted to meet…hmm…let me rephrase that. She desperately wanted for Big to want to introduce her. And then there was Aidan’s parents who she met once she scared herself (Season 1, “Oh Come All Ye Faithful; Season 3, “Drama Queens”). Mostly, it was about what meeting the parents represented: For Big, that she was “the One”…(which he said she wasn’t, but totally offered her an all expenses paid vacation. I can’t lie…I’d have gone and just been mad on the plane.) For Aidan, that she was “the One” – something she wasn’t ready for. But is it parent specific?

My mom and my sister are very close to me, so anyone around can meet them because they’re awesome. My brothers? Um…you gotta mean at least more than a little bit of something to me. But meeting my daddy??? Big chips right there buddy, Big Chips.

My dad isn’t nice for nice sake. He’s political, confrontational, argumentative, and always right. He’s a Lakers and Saints fan, and all hell and damnation to anyone who feels differently. He remembers facts and details down to the nth degree. He’s a conspiracy theorist. He was kicked out of school for participation in a protest. He’s in school for his PhD as we speak. He has a dry and sarcastic sense of humor, and is a bit more irritable in his age. And I love him for it. So do you think I would let any old body just meet my dad? Hell, you need to be trained and I need to be planning for you to be around for a while.

My best friend probably goes on this list as well. Because we don’t see each other often, we have to make a specific trip for introductions to be made. If this occurs, we are probably together for real.

Who is the person that your significant other has to meet for it to be “serious”? Is it traditional…like your parents? Or more non-traditional, like your barber? Berger had to meet the “Prada”…Do tell 🙂

Love,

–V

P.S. My boyfriend is coming home with me for Thanksgiving. Pray, lol.

First things first…I’ll let you guys know that I had an awesome Valentine’s Day. Thanks for the wishes I received! I was very much so impressed…he did good 🙂

Now, this blog was inspired by my best friend who has had nuggets for the past few days that I have kept me doubled-over in laughter. We were having a conversation about my sister and the subject of romantic possibilities came up. I said, “There are obviously people interested in her, but to me they’re a bit lame.” Her response?

“Of course they’re lame! Your sister is like awesome…a complete package. People with their stuff together think out the details before they approach someone. All these dorks are going to be like, ‘wooooooo! Let me try to get on it and upgrade myself!’ Bring on the idiots!”

After I stopped crying, I got to thinking…where do the lames get their confidence? And even more so, what would happen if we attempt to change them?

Now, let me clarify. I’m considering lame to be something that is unattractive to 95% of the datable world, i.e. bad breath, braids when you are balding, illiterate and proud, sweaters tucked into white socks with black dress shoes and high waters, etc… I am not talking about idiosyncracies that might not be my style (like being a Gucci Mane fan), but would be good to a whole slew of other people.

VerySmartBrothas, a favorite blog of mine, had a post today about being interested in folks who aren’t interested in you. This reminded me of Season 1, “The Turtle and the Hare”, when Samantha was continually approached by “The Turtle” (I want to say his name was Danny Turtletop, but I could be wrong) for a date. Samantha began seeing some guy who walks away from her mid-date because he saw someone else who caught his eye. When Samantha was about to leave seeing as her ego had taken a crushing blow, The Turtle gives her the affection she needed in that moment. She decides she’ll make him a guy she wants to be with instead of pining away for the guy who rejected her. (Yeah…Samantha doesn’t pine. Whatever.)

Now see, The Turtle had a few issues: he was balding (not an issue to me, but it was mentioned quite often by the ladies on the show in reference to men), had weird conversation and habits (trying to figure out the exact ingredients of dinner dishes), and above all? His breath stank. Reeked. Badly. He had horrible pick up lines (“Do you like this shirt? My…ex-girlfriend picked it out.”), and seemed to be just generally awkward. When Samantha mentioned his herb-induced stank breath, he just made a joke after his explanation, and kept it moving. He didn’t have any pretension, and she liked that about him. So after a shopping spree and a facial…viola! A (sorta) new man.

Carrie couldn’t believe it! Why would her friend subject herself to such a man? Was it shallow of Carrie? Was it mean of Samantha not to accept him how he was? The thing is, first impressions can be deceiving. Not judging a book by its cover and whatnot. However, no matter the cover of the book, you can’t change the pages. The Turtle was still himself…awkward and slightly weird, and eventually it never worked for Samantha. I know plenty of people who will try to change a won’t to a will. It has never worked for them.

There has been a time or four where a guy (or girl for the fellas) has been interested, and you couldn’t fathom it. How do you handle this? Do you give it a go? Do you stand firmly on your no? (Hey, I rhymed. Double points.) Do you use it as an experiment? For me, I’ll befriend anyone who I genuinely like as a person (cute or not, if I don’t mesh with you, I won’t stand around to see if I do), but that doesn’t mean it’ll go romantic. But if it just becomes weird and uncomfortable, I’ll just distance myself.  What about you?

Love,

-V

P.S. The word tortoise looks like it is always spelled wrong. For some reason I want it to have a U in it, lol.

P.P.S. No shade to anyone who has bad breath, braids when you are balding, illiterate and proud, sweaters tucked into white socks with black dress shoes and high waters. You need love too. And I’d still like to know where that confidence comes from, lol

The second opinion

Are two heads better than one?

We have all done it. Replayed a conversation over and over and over, listening for miscues in inflection, or emphasis that we might have previously missed. And if that weren’t enough, we will call a friend for the “second opinion”…

This is the opinion that you get to either confirm or deny what you really think. There is a moment in Season 1, “The Valley of Twenty-Something Guys” where Carrie asks Miranda to listen to a message to figure out if Big is meeting her as a “date” or as a “friend”. This moment is often overlooked as it shares the episode with the “Up the Butt” conversation…which is classic. However overshadowed it may be, it let me know then that this show would be something special because it truly captured a moment that could actually happen in real life. It reminds me of the frantic times I have called my best friend three states over to reread a text message to figure out what it means. Just this past week, as I am in the throes of a relationship-“whatever”, a text message that ended in “sweetheart” threw me for a loop. “Are we going to stay together? Why would he say that?” We must’ve talked about this cryptic sweetheart for 20 gotdamned minutes! We even asked her husband what he thought (to which he promptly left home to go to the gym and leave us to our analysis…punk).

But really, where does this overanalysis get me? Just with one other opinion besides my own in my head as I’m trying to fall asleep. But, I’m addicted. I need a second opinion. On shoes? No. On what the heck this dude is thinking? Yes. Why? I guess it’s our Achilles’ heel when we can really reach no resolution anyway. It’s only a golden helmet when it can lead us somewhere. (By the way, that’s an Athena reference. Get your Greek mythology game up!) Either way, it is therapeutic to have someone trying to figure it out with you. At least that’s what I’ll tell myself. Am I gonna stop doing it? Probably not…I’m addicted.

Til next time,

-V

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