Sunday, July 5, 2009

Muskrat Love

OK Ya'll,
So I haven't posted in a while because the Big E has been quite busy getting her party on in celebration of her birthday. It was super festive, with an Official Big E Fanclub Sponsored Luau to commemorate my special day(photo provided) and many other soirees and various get togethers to mark the arrival of several of my other friend's entries into the "30-something" race. And of course I had to take time out to mourn the passing of one of my all time favorite celebrities--the incorrigbly loud Billy Mays. So I've been a lady with an agenda. Unfortunately, that agenda has not included L-O-V-E. Not that I purposely excluded it, but when you're dressed like a hula girl with some Lady Gaga face paint on your pulchritudinous puss, you can't be worrying about how many shots of tequila your boyfriend just took and if he's now harrassing the neighborhood pets, ya feel me? So it seems I have come through the first third of my life relatively unscathed in the dating department. I've not been married (or divorced, remarried, and put forth progeny with one or all of my ex-amours)and I've come out on the other end of some serious relationships for the better, or so I think. Yes, there are some scars, some of which still smart a little when you touch them, but for the most part they've all been buried under a healthy dose of cynical, self-effacing humor and some talk therapy. But herein lies the rub--why haven't I been married? Hell, most people I know have been there, done that, and have the alimony payments to prove it. I, on the other hand, have escaped such a fate, and I think it comes down to one big, fat, bo-hunkin' reason: I am really effin' picky. As in, I don't just subscribe to the 80/20 rule, I have created a whole other stratosphere in which most men could never hope to reside. Now, that's not to say that I haven't gone out with a variety of guys, and it's not to say that I found serious faults with all of them; it's just that some guys I dated at a 60 hoping the other 40 would be half good and half liveable, and some guys I didn't even check the scales on because I wasn't dating them for the conversation. And I have gotten involved with guys who were not good for me, or I tried to make work when the cards just weren't in my favor. And I see people all around me who are in relationships for all the wrong reasons, and I know I don't want to be that person. In my quest to understand my pickiness, I have determined that most people fall into two categories, best summed up in a domestic animal analogy: Dogs and Cats. Here's a list of the qualities I think describe each category.
Dogs: loyal, loving, want to be loved and need attention, crave togetherness, social, fun-loving, outgoing, sweet-natured, fierce protectors of their loved ones, thoughtful.
Cats: Keep you at arms length, want affection but on their own terms, guarded with their feelings, emotions are displayed in private and are usually not displayed often, need alone time, don't mind staying in, loving but aloof.
Basically all the things you think of when you think of these animals can also apply to people. The thing is, in most of my relationships, there has to be an oppositional attraction to best complement the other person's strengths. In general terms, I consider myself Primarily Dog. I know, I know, you're probably thinking to yourself, "you're only a dog in that you act like a bitch most of the time," but really, when I am in a relationship that I am invested in, I am much more canine in my actions. Ergo, I generally need someone more feline (with a hint of Dog for romance and affection) to balance me out. If you get two Dogs together, the schmoopiness can be disgustingly intolerable at best. If you get two Cats together, nobody knows if anyone gives a shit in the first place. So it takes a nice dichotomy to create the best synergy in my opinion. To me, my parents are the prime example of how this works. My dad is very much a Dog--he's very "mushy" and romantic, very sweet and hopelessly devoted to my mother and me. His biggest goal in life is to be the best husband and father he can be and to provide the kind of life for my mother that she wants. And he does a great job at it most of the time. If something were to happen to my mom, I think my dad would be pretty well inconsolable. My mom, on the other hand, is an Uber-Cat. She loves my dad, no doubt, but she is often accused of being "heartless," or "cold." My mother does not feel guilt. She is not easily swayed by romantic gestures. Although she does show my dad affection, sometimes to the point of grodiness, she would probably go to my dad's funeral and then come home and start working on her next craft project. My mom is a great mom, she has always been a very loving mother, but I see this side to her as a woman now and not just a mom, and it sometimes makes me feel sorry for my father. But then I think to myself, there's that balance there that needs to be there, or this whole thing wouldn't have worked as well as it has for the past 34 years. Dad needs the salt to balance his sweet. And he gets just enough sweet to let him know his Dog-ness is appreciated.
So I think that's where my dilemma lies--I haven't found the right Cat to balance out my Dog. I have glimpses of Cat and can Lean Feline, so perhaps it's more that I haven't found someone to be Uber-Dog and bring out the balancing Mini-Cat I know I can be. I know he's out there. Maybe he's just barking up the wrong tree.

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