Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Don't know how the heck I'm so late seeing this crap, but I'm feeling irate after glancing at this news story. The silly (and badly written) headline: "'Who would want to be married to someone who nobody coveted?' Charles Saatchi explains why he's happy viewers fancy Nigella."

Nigella is a TV cook. I've only ever glanced at her show, so I can't tell you about that. I can tell you that she's a nice-looking woman - not drop-dead gorgeous, but really good-looking. I can understand her husband's sentiment. It's not what he said that bothers me, it's not even him. What bothers me is that whole attitude about "having" someone beautiful.

I guess I'm just touchy about relationship ideals. I always have been. The idea that people want to be with someone beautiful or handsome is fine. So is that idea that people want to be with someone wealthy or powerful. The problem (in my opinion) is that if that is all that attracted you to someone, where is the love part? Where is the genuine affection and pure wonder of the attraction?

Women have body issues and men have ego issues because of the beauty-wealth disease. I'm not a man so I can't really tell you what a man feels, but I can tell you about the anxiety a lot of women have. Women worry that when a man is attracted to her, the attraction will only last as long as her looks hold. And before you snicker, haven't you ever heard men joke about trading in a woman for a "newer model"? I have. I've seen it happen. Women know that there are men who won't want a woman who:

  • Isn't a certain size or shape (some men want a woman with a butt, some want Olive Oyl)
  • Doesn't look good enough to make other men drool with envy 
  • Won't do certain things in the bedroom
  • Isn't good in bed or "adventurous" enough
  • Won't do anything in the bedroom before a certain amount of time or event
  • Doesn't have cute feet or the right kind of hair or a dimple on the left side of her face...
  • Doesn't have a certain level of education
I am sure that men have their relationship anxieties too. They know that there are women out there who won't date a man who:
  • Doesn't have a job or profession
  • Doesn't have the "right" kind of job/profession
  • Doesn't make enough money
  • Makes good money but isn't handsome
  • Is handsome but doesn't make enough money
  • Doesn't drive the "right" kind of car
  • Isn't a "bad boy" or is "too nice"
  • Isn't good in bed
  • Are too "old-fashioned" (read: gentlemen)
  • Isn't into the club scene
The crazy thing is, when a man or woman gets with their "ideal" person, they start to resent the things that made the person "ideal."

For instance, a man will get a woman who is, by social standards, a perfect 10. He should have nothing to complain about, right? Wrong. He will talk about how high-maintenance she is, she's always in a mirror, she doesn't do this or she doesn't do that. Well, duh, you dumbass. You married a woman for her looks, so, probably, she cares more about her appearance than she cares about you.

Then there are the women (and I know plenty of females who live this) who wanted a Mr. Money-Handsome-Swagger-Man, then when they get him all they talk about are his faults. (He's materialistic, he's conceited, he likes to run everything...) Basically, they got what they wanted only to realize he's not what they want.

I don't really get it.

Here's what's always scared me: if a man wants you for your looks, what happens if you lose them? I mean, you'd better hope he learns to love you deeper before you get something like stretch marks, wrinkles or, worse, worse,worse case, cancer or something that is really going to put your body through some changes.

And I really feel for guys who have to wonder if their woman's going to be around when a financial crisis hits. Will she be there when a job drops off? When maybe the money starts to get really, really tight? Will she be there for you if life goes all twisted for him? (Chris Rock jokes to men that when they lose their job, "she may not leave you right then, but the clock is ticking.")

This is scary stuff.

I personally know someone (and I know them very well) whose husband has threatened her for the whole almost 20 years of their marriage. His threat? If she gains over a certain amount of weight, he's gone. When I asked her about it once, she had the best answer. Basically, that's fine with her because when he can't keep her in the right jewelry and zip code, she's out too.

Well, damn.

The best thing (at least for that couple) is that they have made it through quite a bit of time. I think they are going to make it now.

I guess the only good thing about people who live with these crazy expectations is that they wind up with someone they deserve.