Sunday, July 14, 2013

"Picture Perfect"

I was noticing a friends’ interactions with his girlfriend at a wedding last night.  This would sound crazy if you didn't already know that while I’m singing, I have very little to do with my brain.  Over the 20 years I've been jumping around and singing in a band on the weekends, I have observed some of the most interesting things.   I find that if I think too hard about the lyrics, I have no idea what they are anymore. SO- I just watch.

Background on my friend:  I actually don’t know much about him but I have seen him out throughout the years and from where I’m standing, he is a truly beautiful person.  When he smiles across a room, he has a spark that lights up the place.  You can tell he comes from a nice family and has charisma that many guys just don’t have in this day and age. 

That being said...I couldn't help but notice how he and his beautiful girlfriend interacted with each other.  It was clear to me that either they were fighting, or though they really “like” each other, that “love connection” wasn't quite there.  They sat a couple of feet apart from each other and spoke with the other people at the table.  He would lean in and kindly ask her if she needed anything if he was getting up from the table.  When they danced together, she would rest her head on his shoulder but he would look around and smile and interact with the people around him.  When she talked to him, she seemed to have a frown on her face that seemed to be scolding him every time she spoke.  Of course I could go on and on...BUT that’s really NOT my point here.  I’m quite certain that she is an amazing person.  I’m also reasonably sure that they both want this to be “it.”  Unfortunately, it is transparently obvious to someone who is watching from the outside, that “it” - it is NOT.  I found it interesting that every time someone went to take a picture of them, they cuddled up like the cutest couple I've ever seen.  She would smile from ear to ear and he would grit his teeth and “smile” too!  (I’m SO happy.  Boy I LOVE this girl!...oh God what am I ever going to do?...I wish I was with anyone else but her.)

The “picture” of happiness seemed to me to represent the reason they were together to begin with.  Everyone in the family went out of their way to comment on Facebook about “what a beautiful couple they are!”  On paper, this was a match made in heaven.  It reminded me of a few years back (before I got married of course ;)  I had been single for a long time and my family and friends got sort of sick of it.  Once all of your friends start getting married, the pressure starts taking its toll on you.  Everyone you run into on the street has to greet you with:


...uh...I’d be like “um...So?  What?”

.... “Are you in love?”

um...Really?  This is all they could think of when they saw me?  I’m the single girl who needed to be in a relationship right then or else they thought something was wrong with me?  It was apparent that people started to think that the problem was me being “too choosy” or “looking for something that doesn't exist out there.”  This really bummed me out because I started to wonder if they were right.  What I knew to be the truth was that I was really hoping to meet someone who I was attracted to, who inspired me intellectually, and made me smile when I thought about how he touched my hand the first time we met (and didn't make me throw up a little when he called me too much).  BUT- the kind, ‘non-pressuring’ onlookers who were oh so helpful kept pairing me up with the “perfect” guy.  There was one guy who resurfaced over and over again.  He was exactly what I was looking for- catholic, Italian, businessman, nice looking, never married, wanted a family...He was apparently the ONLY one out there because more than one person fixed me up with him.  I tried SO hard to like him.  Everyone thought we looked great together.  In fact we may have been “picture perfect.”  The problem was that I had absolutely NO interest in him.  When we talked, I felt stifled.  When I looked at him, though he was admittedly really good looking, I was utterly unattracted to him. I actually wanted to put more clothes on when he kissed me!  I tried over and over again to like him.  It got to the point that I started to believe what everyone around me was saying. (By ‘everyone’, I mean friends and family who so kindly pointed out over and over again that “maybe you just don’t want to be happy and need help”)  Ouch!  Did I need therapy?  I wondered over and over again if they were right?  I had been single for a long time and had met some nice people and yet nothing really seemed to stick.

SO...What did I do?...Well...I tried to like that guy a few more times.  Still nothing.  So I went on about my business.  Did I need to see a therapist to “fix” what was wrong with me? HA!  Probably.  BUT not because I didn't want to marry the guy that everyone else thought was perfect for me.

If I was my friend, looking back, what would I do? Having been on both sides of this, I know how I feel about it. Of course when it comes to human relationships, there’s no easy way to fix it.  I started to think that it might just be easier to not get involved at all because for some reason my “breakups” never took.  I would say what I thought I needed to say to end it and yet the guys always showed back up as if I had dreamed the whole conversation.  This happened more than once.  I’m sure I just wasn't being clear though. The old “I’m sorry but this just isn't working but I think you’re really nice” was received as a “maybe I’ll like you tomorrow.  Just leave a bag of clothes here so you have something to wear next week when you come over.”  In the end, I started using something more direct like- “It’s not me.  It’s you.  I can’t stand you. “ I digress...oh yeah...I was trying to come up with a solution for my friend ;)

First -He needs to really decide why he is with her? 

Is it because she’s beautiful and the families think they are “picture perfect” and ending it would affect everyone around him? Or when he met her, did his stomach flip when she giggled at him?  Did he used to look at her with that smile that I've noticed when he shoots a look across the room at other girls who may have shown him interest?  If so, why is it so much work all of a sudden?  Does he still get that feeling of not wanting to be anywhere else in the world when he is with her? (Did he ever?)

Next- If he answers those questions for himself and the truth is that “you can’t fake true love”, he needs to understand that he is NOT broken.  His family will understand if he simply tells them that he just didn't love her -no matter how hard he wanted to and couldn't waste her time because she deserved to be with someone who did.  They can grumble about it among themselves later. When he does meet “the one”, they will get over it because he will be noticeably happier himself.

What was my ending?  I waited it out.  I did meet my catholic, Italian, businessman who would become my best friend.  Yes.  I needed to adjust my views a little in order to balance out what was “right” for me with what my definition of “attraction” was.  But that’s a story for another day...

Moral:  “Picture Perfect” is really only good for the photo album.  Living a lifetime sharing your innermost thoughts with a book that might one day get washed away in a flood in your basement makes for a very unfulfilled heart.  Live the life that’s picture worthy and be sure to take the time to notice what that photo looks like that is snapped when you aren't aware the camera is there.  That’ll take your breath away!