Tales From The Front: Did the Ugly Duckling Become a Swan, or Did He Just Think She Did?
You know the way mothers and fathers say they love all their children equally? They don't. They have a favorite. Well, I freely admit that Mickey in today's column is one of my all-time favorite writers.
Mickey: I love my girlfriend. I mean truly and deeply love her. Not only can I not imagine my life without her but I can barely remember what it was like before she came along a mere 15 months ago. I suppose that neither one of us would qualify as the "perfect package." I'll leave my shortcomings to her to list, but here's the person I met that wonderful night.
She was more than a few pounds overweight, and she had an overbite that was so severe she lisped. Her hair had a mind of its own. It kind of looked like there was a thick, black mop on top of her head.
She was just back from studying abroad in Europe for two years, and she was planning on returning sometime in the summer as she still, at age 34, didn't have a degree in anything. She was unemployed with no prospects for employment. She was living with her mom and didn't have a car. On paper, she wasn't much of a catch.
But, when she sat down across from me, I was instantly captivated. She's brilliant, funny and full of great stories. Her smile was so radiant it could very well be the source of global warming. It just lit up the room. She laughed at my jokes (most people roll their eyes), and we had inside jokes and asides within 10 minutes. We just clicked.
I thought I knew better than to get too emotionally invested in someone who wasn't planning on sticking around, but now we're talking about moving in together. She now has a fantastic job -- makes more than I do, which is OK with me -- a new car, and is as in love with me as I am with her.
If I had let a few things get in the way, I never would have found a relationship with the most amazing woman I've ever met. And to be clear, when I look at her, I think she's absolutely beautiful.
Nicole: Now that I'm in my mid 40s and on my second marriage, I'm learning a lot about the complexities of attraction and how it evolves as we mature. What I found attractive in my 20s I cringe at now with real embarrassment. (Struggling "musician," anyone? Ewww!)
I definitely find certain physical qualities attractive or unattractive, and I know men feel the same about whatever qualities I have. Going through dry spells when you're dating makes it seem like every strikeout is personally directed at you, but it's not. You know when you're just not into someone, it's probably not personal; it just is what it is.
They call it "that special someone" for a reason. It's rare.
JADEN: Why can't a person have both -- the cover and the contents? Why not looks and character? That's what both sexes are looking for. If the outside isn't great, make it better. If the inside is lacking, work on it.
Got a problem? Send it, along with your questions and rants, to firstname.lastname@example.org. And check out my new e-book, "Dear Cheryl: Advice from Tales from the Front."