I am not a big fan of people, that’s no secret, and if you didn’t already know that you haven’t been paying attention. Even though I don’t really think much of most of the people I come across, I think we are all very alike in a lot of ways. It’s kind of like DNA. It doesn’t take much variance gene-wise to create a wide variety of life. People are all individuals, yet at the same time they’re all made up of the same basic ingredients. They share many of the same desires and fears, feel the same insecurities and feel foolish about all the same things.
They also think that nobody else could possibly feel the things they do and they are all much harder on themselves than they are on each other. That’s probably the biggest reason the human race has even made it this far. Self-doubt has kept the majority of people’s ego in check and preserved the status quo to some degree. Of course, it’s also held us back in almost every way, stunting us emotionally and as a species as a whole.
It’s allowed the people whose insecurities and fears have made them controlling bullies to ruin the lives of those that have let their insecurities and fears make them weak and subservient. That’s a shame. It’s also a very simple way to sum up what is most likely the biggest problem facing the human race now and throughout history.
But that’s not really what this is about, anyway.
This is about people and relationships, or more exactly about how people in those relationships almost always seem to have to settle for less than what they really want. I’m not even talking about in the grand scheme of things; I’m talking about in little ways that nobody even appears to notice. I could be wrong about this, but I think if you examine your own life and relationships and what you really want (and I have to believe that most people on the planet have the capacity to dream or I’m just going to check out right now) I think it may be one of those little happy moments when you discover that we do all think about and desire the same things.
It happens like this: Whenever anyone pictures something they would like in their head they always have an ideal image of what that thing will be like, and they will inevitably be disappointed when in reality it doesn’t work out that way. That can’t be helped in most cases because that is how life works. You can’t control the weather so the rain ruins your picnic. You can’t control the laws of physics so your team loses the game. You can’t control the population so your dictatorship is overthrown by a military junta that sets up a regime even worse than the one it replaced. Okay, the last one is a bit extreme, but it’s just that there are too many variables in the world that seem to conspire to make sure your dreams never come true. It’s always a gamble and the odds are against you, and you just have to learn to accept a little disappointment in life.
Unfortunately, I think most people get confused and they rail at the things they can’t control and accept the things that should be unacceptable. This is where the relationship part comes in.
Let’s say you realize you want to spend Sunday with your husband or boyfriend doing a little shopping and maybe having a nice lunch. You picture the new pair of shoes or skirt you want and imagine the car ride a few towns over to the store that has the shoes you like. It would be nice to go on a little drive, listening to the radio, pointing out the sights or just shooting the breeze with the person you love. Maybe once you get there and park the car you can hold hands while you walk down the sidewalk to the store. Maybe you can even let him think he’s helping you pick out your shoes or that his opinion matters one way or the other. Really, what do guys know about shoes? Then you can go to a nice little restaurant, maybe with an outdoor patio and have a pleasant meal and share a desert. On the ride home you can both be so happy that you don’t even have to talk, but at some point you will look at each other and you will both think about what a great day it was and you will smile one of those special smiles that are only brought on by the feeling of complete love and comfort that you only feel with this one person on the planet.
Before you even map out half of that fantasy in your head, you feel foolish for even thinking it. You instantly realize that it could never happen that way. You would settle for not getting into an argument over something stupid on the ride there, him not running out of patience in the shoe store and you not swearing that you’ll never go shopping with him again and not getting in a fight about which restaurant to eat at. The silence on the ride home would be fine because at that point you wouldn’t want to speak to each other anyway.
Then you realize you even put up with all that crap if he would at least want to go with you.
When you are disappointed about the rainy picnic or the losing game or the regime change, like I said, it’s a gamble. When your little fantasies are ruined on a continual basis by the person you love , well that’s just shitty because you should be playing with a stacked deck. It’s not gambling, it’s counting on the one person you’ve given your heart to and them not caring at all.
You can’t control another person the same way you can’t control the weather, but once in awhile the man or woman you love should make a little effort to make some of your dreams come true. The world loses more of it’s magic the older you get, and if you can’t pull your head out of your own ass for a moment and make it magical for an hour or two for the one you love, then why the hell are we in relationships anyway?
People accept it all the time and I don’t think they should. I’m not saying every couple in the world should be living in a fairy tale land where all of their wishes come true, I’m just saying once in a while you should bite the bullet and miss the football game and get off your ass and make your girls fantasy day happen.
The same thing happens to men, too. We have our ideal fantasy situations (and no, I’m not talking about that one) that never seem to come to pass. Guys do have some thought and romance in them and maybe because society dictates that we are not expected to possess those traits most woman never notice it.
Maybe we should talk to each other and find out what the other person wants and not chastise them for wanting it but simply make it happen. We can’t all be that self-absorbed and unwilling to put forth a little effort to make even the dreams of the low-expectation creatures manyof us have turned into come true. There is precious little magic left in the world and it all exists around love.
Here’s hoping all your dreams come true.
© 2011 David Ferraris