“Take a good look!”
“Inspect things closely!”
You hear these often, don’t you?
Well, I’m here to say that after almost 53 years on this planet, many times its best not to look too closely.
“Why is that?” you might ask.
“Who cares?” you might think.
It is my belief that you should care- and that is because this tip is about to save you a respectable amount of possible heartache in the future.
I am well aware that for some people , belonging to generation zzz (my middle son being the best example -at least one of the top in my opinion)-the future is not really a thing- its a tale- made up by old people, that are scared of becoming useless , thus scaring young people by gory tales of “the future”.
In any case-
Should you hear me out on this one, it might ease your relationship with yourself and -or- others, a bit.
Since I believe wholeheartedly there is nothing better than a good example to make a point, here I am, holding 3 (!!) excellent examples to prove that sometimes its best to keep a safe distance from things: not get too involved , not be in the “inner circle” not go near where the big things happen.
Great example #1:
Wait until you look in the mirror.
Getting an up-close look at your (makeup free- if you use any make up) face , especially if you happen to own one of those magnifying mirrors, can really damage your over-all sense of well being.
Even if you are an avid potions and lotions user, get Botox shots and whatever- still- after a certain while on this planet, the skin gets blemishes, and pores, and wrinkles, and “fine lines” and pigmentations and what not-it is certainly not as perfect looking as it looks when passing briefly by the mirror- or looking from afar-most definitely if you are a makeup wearer.
Great example #2:
Jolly flower beds.
Looks great, right?
Same flower bed- only closer. much closer.
I am sure this happened to you- you go on a car trip. you see a lovely green meadow.
You think-“this is like an 19th century painting! Claude Monet in Giverny!! “
“Lets get a selfie so everybody acknowledges that I am alive and happy and will be tremendously jealous!”
You stop the car, and as you get closer to the green bed of soft grass, you find out the patches of dry grass-thorns-flies-etc.
You take the picture anyway, knowing that from afar- the thorns and flies and patches will disappear, leaving everyone at awe .
Great example #3:
I am most definitely NOT an expert on anything- let alone relationships, couples therapy or men- for that matter.
I can only share my point of view, hoping it might make sense to any of you, seeing as we do live in quite a hectic world, and maintaining a solid reltionship became rocket science-so it seems.
The thing is-in my opinion-
From afar- (far in Instagram land)-couples look so happy !
They smile- all the time-and hold hands-constantly hug and kiss and what not, and go to fancy vacations, where they rub each others backs while chatting happily with their toddlers about Chopin’s relationship with George Sand.(I agree it is an interesting subject).
Occasionally they write-in retrospect -about a “difficult time” they experienced “a while back” -just so they’ll seem realistic and people will react with the necessary :”oh! I hope everything is better now!”.
The only reason to believe those Instagram photos, Is if you believe what you see in Hollywood movies.
Just to be clear-I am not talking about abusive relationships of any kind, but about your ordinary “after 14 years of living together” couple.
I don’t envy long time couples I see holding hands, because I know it doesn’t necessarily mean they can’t keep their hands off each other , rather- many times it is habit/fear/anxiety -although there are exceptions to the rule, I guess.
Only now, at the (ripe) age of almost 53, I get it.
I get that if you follow that loving couple back from a party, you just might see them sulking in the car, and shouting their lungs out when they finally get home.
I get that if you follow that elderly couple back home from the store, you might hear the sounds of silence and minimal communication-at best- mostly regarding food and household necessities.
I get that if you follow that Instagram family on that dream vacation -and get closer to the shade they are sitting under, you might hear the children shouting and begging for something or other, and you might see one parent getting all worked up, while the other one is sleeping off the second tequila he-she just had.
Your relationship isn’t like that?
You’ve been with your partner for more than 14 years and you still love them as you did in day 1?never quarrel? never think evil things about them?
Well- does one of you work in a job that keeps him-her away most of the time?
Either that- or you are a true unicorn.
One of the rare world wonders.
The other options aren’t really pleasant-
You are either oblivious to what is going on in your partner’s mind, or in denial of what’s happening in your own, or you -or your partner- made a conscious decision that the world surrounding us is so intimidating, that you must make a pact to stick together no matter what- “us against the world” kind of situation.
Because-as opposed to Hollywood movies- after 14 years together, if you look closely- you’ll see the truth. and the truth is that people tend to get the point.
They get used to the situation, it bears no novelty, no excitement, and no sense of chase.
Don’t get all worked up here-
I am not saying couples should split as soon as the clock ticks 14 years. (though some definitely should).
Quite the contrary.
I believe there is much to say in favor of true friendship and love that has conquered its worst enemy- time.
In my opinion- it really doesn’t matter if you quarrel with your partner, think his mother is cruella de ville, get upset when driving with him , can’t get a simple project done together without blaming each other- whatever-
If you still respect your partner, laugh (genuinely) from his-her jokes, think he-she looks good, and smells good (even when not wearing perfume, just simple soap), and you feel you can share your most vulnerable secrets with him-her+you feel there is true value to his-her input on things –
In my vocabulary- this is love.
Even if no diamonds are in the sky, no fancy Hawaii vacations are planned, you quarrel occasionally and you don’t go to the store holding hands, in fact you don’t go to the store at all, because you buy everything on-line.
Again- the only caveat is any kind of abuse– that is unforgivable –and no amount of rubies -pearls-vacations or tennis bracelets can make up for that.
The same idea applies to the 2 examples above:
If you feel the urge to look closely at your bare skin, that’s fine.
Just don’t expect it to be flawless.
Because time can do serious external damage- to your skin, to flower beds, and to relationships.
It means things will look different, and perhapes even be different as time goes by-
And you have 2 choices –
You can either accept that life is built from constant changes, and disappointments, and failures, and that’s OK, because there are many moments of happiness-
Or you can refuse to succumb to that- and keep looking for that perfect new untouched thing-whatever it may be-
new look, new house, new job, new partner, in hope that starting fresh will keep you away from fading out, from becoming obvious, becoming irrelevant-from dying.
As always- it’s your choice.
Enjoy- the cooliflower.