What I`m Looking For
Here’s the thing. A few years back, someone asked me outright, “What are you looking for in a man?” And I gave a weird, convoluted answer, like, someone I can do this and that for — so, effectively, I could get a parakeet and achieve the same effect.
It was a dumb answer and sorta showed where my head was then.
And not that I`m any smarter now, but some things are different. I have a dog. This means all my goopy maternal instinct has a nice tidy receptacle, and when I feel like making food for someone I just put peanut butter in a Kong and I`m set. Also, I’ve learned you can’t change people. This means I can save myself a lot of time.
I have an urge to make this list, but there are at least three reasons such a thing is very silly:
- I’ve seen some bad marriages, and I can tell you exactly what’s wrong with them. I’ve seen some good marriages, and I have no idea how they work. So the notion that I`m equipped to “get it right” is way off the silly-ometer. Almost as silly as using the term “silly-ometer.”
- I have essential malfunctions that I have a hard time overcoming. This may or may not be normal. F`rinstance — I let a friend drive my car, and there’s a light rain, and he’s using the windshield wipers. The rain sort of peters out, and the wipers are still on. This gets my attention and I *can’t stop thinking about it.* I almost say something. Then I`m like, why does this bother me? Can I just let it go? But it’s bad for the windshield, right? I wait a moment, then I say something. No big — he turns them off.
But this was an interesting laboratory experiment. What if it was something else — something he liked to do, or something he couldn’t help? Like, my mom won’t let my dad floss upstairs because of the clicking sound the floss makes on his crowns. That always seemed unfair to me. But now I wonder, what if it’s like the windshield wipers? It reminds me of David Sedaris writing about his compulsion to pat a little boy on the head — innocent enough, but a real compulsion, and if that’s the sort of compulsion a real pervert feels, then he can sort of sympathize.
This is a long ramble, but I worry about stuff like this. What if I end up treating my loved ones unfairly because of some behavior that shouldn’t bother me but does? Or is it better to make your husband floss downstairs than to suffer in silence and eventually hate him for it? (Mebbe the solution to this particular problem is for *her* to go downstairs to avoid hearing it, or them to alternate, I dunno, it’s a pickle.)
- Even if I get stone tablets of wisdom on a mountaintop, there’s no indication it will actually pertain to whom I get an interest in. I’ve had the hots for a few good guys and a whole lot of ba-a-ad ideas. Meanwhile I’ve been courted by excellent guys I didn’t have a spark for. Lame.
Yet I proceed. I hope to update this from time to time — if it doesn’t change, you know I`m not getting any smarter:
- [ Mellow ] At least as mellow as I am, which is to say, certain things at certain times can make him crazy, but odds are good his won’t overlap with mine. Level head in a crisis. No yelling. No throwing things. But no going into a silent sulk either — this is my bad habit, but I can be shaken out of one (or know to ask for time alone; and that’s what I ask.
- [ Can-do Mentality ] Like, “Okay, that sucks, let’s fix it.” I would say positive attitude, but that sounds so corporate.
- [ Not Too Chaste, Not Too Debauched ] Ju-u-ust debauched enough. And not just in terms of sex — beer but not cirrhosis, rassling but not fighting, swearing but not like Tabitha King. Moderation!
- [ One Household Chore He Really Likes ] And one he really hates. F`rinstance, I hate washing dishes. Don’t know why — it hasn’t killed me yet. But I like… well, I sorta like everything else. Except dusting. Point is, if there’s one thing you like and do regularly, it keeps you engaged in the maintenance of the household. Then we can talk floors and laundry.
- [ Can Take Him Home ] It’s not that hard in the early stages — compliment mom, firm handshake with dad, good posture, good eye contact, loud clear voice — they really respond to that. In the later stages… well, mom will eventually have a problem with you, and dad formed his opinion in the first thirty seconds anyway.
- [ Not Going To Die ] Social smoker, I don’t care. Kinda beefy, that’s how I like `em. But I`m going to live longer than he will on gender principle alone, so please don’t let him make it worse.
That’s it for now. Is that enough? Of course, don’t get me wrong — I ain’t worried about it. If it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen — I`m pretty damn happy with Jacob T Dog.
He’s a very good Jacob T.