Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Top Five Things I’m No Longer Willing to Give Up In Order to Be Happy

The Top Five Reasons Why I Shouldn’t Like The Electrician

1) He has a child (I’m not really into kids).
2) He has been divorced twice.
3) He lives in another state.
4) He has lots of emotional baggage.
5) He has dogs (I’m not really into dogs either).

The Top Ten Reasons That Overrule the Previous Five

1) He is unbelievably kind.
2) He is incredibly honest.
3) He has the biggest heart of anyone I’ve ever met.
4) He is totally devoted to me.
5) I believe everything he says.
6) He always wanted to be in my life in any way he could, even if he couldn’t date me. “I would feel cheated if I didn’t get the benefit of knowing you,” he says.
7) Before he had a kid, he was willing to do anything to make things work between us. Even with a different sort of commitment in his life, he is just as willing (as is possible, given the situation).
8) He calls me every night.
9) My family loves him and he is totally natural around them. He hangs out with them and can talk to them about anything.
10) He makes me feel special.

The Top Five list is a really big one, in my mind. Back in the old days, I was first on the list. Now he’s got someone else who is top priority. And as much as I understand that, it’s hard when you don’t want kids and someone you really like has a child. You can’t have the sort of carefree life you really want.

I love to travel. I really want someone who can hop on a plane to Rome with me in a moment’s notice or take me for a long weekend in Napa. From my experience, though, the only men who have ever had the luxury of being able to do that never wanted to do those things with me (see: Mr. Corkscrew and The Mad Scientist). But The Electrician does. It’s just that he can’t.

“I wish I could be that guy for you,” he says. “I know it’s what you need.”

For a long time, I thought it was. But now I’m beginning to wonder, are the things you thought you need, really what you need? Or do you need something you never anticipated? Like someone who respects you and can repeat back everything you say in a conversation instead of someone who can take you to the best gelato shop in Tuscany? Someone who knows every curve of your face or someone who knows how to rip off your blouse with his teeth but doesn’t know the color of your eyes? Someone whose voice on the other end of the phone makes you feel warm and safe or someone who never calls when he says he will?

I used to think I wanted the unpredictable, the passionate and the carefree. Often, you have to give up so much in order to get those things.

Kind of makes me want to craft a new list.

The Top Five Things I’m No Longer Willing to Give Up In Order to Be Happy

1) My freedom.
2) My self-esteem.
3) My body.
4) My dreams.
5) Myself.

What’s your top five?

1 comment:

Date Girl said...

Oh I LOVE this. I struggle with this all the time. If I date a man, do I have to give up my independence? Or do I have to give up what's important to me? I like your thoughts.
On one note, about the electrician: would you be willing to move where he is? With him having a child, he's not going to be able to move to you. I would say that would be a huge factor. The other would be, could you love the kid? Because if you could, you guys can make it. The traveling thing can come later, or you can bring the kid along. Plus there are always weekend getaways!