About This Blog
It’s no secret that women talk about romance. A lot. Try almost every time they communicate. In fact, studies show that over 82%* of all feminine conversations involve some form of mention of love, or dating, or seeking the One… Et cetera, et cetera. Take your pick.
One lazy summer night during reunion weekend at my college, some friends and I went out for a few drinks. It was a pretty large and age-diverse group of women: from the alums who’d returned for their dreaded two-year reunion, and the newly graduating seniors, to the lowly underclassmen working at Commencement. The hot topic for the evening was (you guessed it) the men/women we’d been dating. Everyone had something to share, regardless of status: the happily-single-but-looking, the casual-daters, the (serial) monogamists with their serious relationships, and even the newly-engaged. However, I noticed a frightening pattern:
No one was fully satisfied with what they were getting.
Now, most of you wouldn’t believe this to be that big of an epiphany. Who’s ever completely happy with their man (or woman)? Yet that night, in my silent observation, I couldn’t understand it. I mean, here was a group of strong, successful women (undoubtedly some of the greatest female minds of our generation), over half of whom were in solid, happy relationships with people they loved and adored (mutual feelings, of course), yet they all complained endlessly. I sat there all night, with my ice melting in my drink, listening to them nitpick every little nuance. X with his never-calling-back, Y with her hair incessantly clogging the drain, and Z with the oh-so-clichéd leaving up of the toilet seat. I wasn’t aware of some of those things even being problems until that night. But problems they were, and these women were not happy.
Which is all understandable, I suppose – human nature is frighteningly predictable, and nearly impossible to change. We’ve all dealt with these annoying habits at some point, with somebody or the other. And we’ve all expressed our annoyance about them (or, if you’re anything like me, wallowed passive-aggressively, debating whether you should replace his shaving cream with fluoride toothpaste or cover the toilet seat with Icy Hot) hoping that maybe, just maybe, the other person might change for us.
That night was the first time I got to wondering, is there such a thing as the perfect man (or woman)?
I didn’t realize I’d spoken out loud, until I heard names yelled at me left, right and center. Darcy! McDreamy! Princess Leia! Seth Cohen! Buffy! Brad Pitt! Angelina Jolie!
In case you haven’t noticed the pattern, none of these people exist in real life. (Okay, well some of them do. But our opinions on celebrities too are based entirely on what we read and see about them, and are thus included in my “fictitious character” category)
So I started thinking. And thinking. And then I ordered another drink and stopped immediately.
A few years later, the question (and its thunderous answer) returned to me. This time, the trigger lay in the form of a mega-selling book series with a rabid fan base. If you’ve been paying any attention to pop culture lately, you’ll know that the series I refer to is the hugely popular Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer. For those of you who have been living under a rock, or in self-imposed exile from modern technology and material interests, the four-book series revolves around a self-conscious, clumsy human teenage girl named Bella Swan; a gorgeous, unattainable vampire named Edward Cullen; and a young, easygoing werewolf named Jacob Black.
Sound ridiculous? I thought so, too, initially. But try it before you knock it; it’s surprisingly good. (Yes, try it, even if you’re a man. Ask the Twilight Guy.)
But this “project”, as I like to call it, isn’t about my unexpected love for Twilight and its sequels (sorry to disappoint folks… I know it’s a popular topic on the web these days). This one stemmed from the global hysteria that the aforementioned Mr. Cullen has caused since the first book came out in 2005. Suddenly, everyone is talking and giggling and fantasizing about a certain sparkly, immortal being. Young or old, single or taken, every woman now wants an eternally seventeen Edward for themselves. Not since Austen has an author succeeded in presenting such a formidable case for the existence of the ultimate “perfect man”.
Which begs the follow-up question: what is it about fictitious (or unattainable) characters that appeals to women more than their very existent, very reasonable, and usually very charming prospects or partners?
And that, ladies and gents, is where I come in: your friendly neighborhood analyst for all swoon-worthy, yet imaginary, men and women. Week after week, I will be tearing apart your favorite, much-loved characters to bits and pieces, trying to help you, your friends, and your partners figure out what all the fuss is about. What makes these perfect people so perfect? Why does everyone love them so much? What can you do to bring your partner slightly closer to that unattainable perfection? I say closer because we still are dealing with imperfect humans here**, and because there’s a lot to learn from this.
And now, before I leave you to scour the archives, I will leave you with the requisite disclaimer in fine print.
I don’t own the copyrights to any of the characters mentioned on this website, nor to any of the pictures or material that I might post here. I also don’t personally know any of the celebrities I mention here, and mean no harm or disgrace to anyone. This is all in the name of good old-fashioned entertainment and fun.
So lay off them lawsuits, please? Thanks.
Also, I’d like to point out that I’m merely suggesting little pointers for your significant others, or things to look out for in seeking a prospective mate. This is, by no means, a comprehensive guide nor a Divine Revelation. Nor is it perfect. Nor is it entirely possible for a poor mortal to be perfect**. So give your partners a break once in a while; sometimes the best thing is them just being themselves.
With that said, let the dissection begin!
* All right, I made that statistic up. But really, it’s a safe bet.
** Although if anyone has any leads on absurdly perfect, tangible prospects, drop me a line! Email’s on the sidebar. Please note that I prefer non-mortals, but am willing to be open-minded towards promising alternatives. Thanks.