Monday, July 20, 2009

Finding Mr. Right

I don't know about any of you, but when I was in high school, I made a list of qualities, skills, and attributes that my future husband absolutely must have before I would even consider marrying him. And, as you might expect, the list was completely and utterly stupid.

Unfortunately, I can't find the list (it was probably thrown away), but I do remember a few things on it, and they reveal that I clearly had no idea what made a good marriage. For example:

- Must play an instrument. Why? I have no idea. As it turns out, Mr. Darling did play the trumpet in high school, but it has never had any impact on our marriage, as I've never even heard him play. Did I want to be lulled to sleep by the melodious and soothing sounds of a trumpet solo? Did I hope that he would herald my arrival each day by playing that trumpet-y song they play when royalty shows up in a movie? Why on earth did the ability to play an instrument translate to marital bliss in my teen-aged mind?

- Must love to read Shakespeare. Um, seriously? The only thing this reveals is that I was kind of pretentious as a high-schooler. Maybe I thought that my husband and I would sit around and quote sonnets to each other. (Shall I compare thee to a summer's day, Mr. Darling? No, I shall not.) Mr. Darling recently mentioned that he's never read Romeo and Juliet, and I didn't freak out or threaten to divorce him, so hopefully that's a sign that I've become somewhat less ridiculous in the last ten years.

- Must love animals. Apparently, liking them a reasonable amount wasn't enough.

Naturally, some of the things that are really important in our marriage didn't make the list at all. Here are things that weren't on the list but should've been:

-Must be slightly compulsive about neatness. I'm just going to come right out and say it - I'm a slob. And if left to my own devices, I would probably live in squalor. So some subconscious part of my brain that is responsible for self-preservation has always, without my knowledge, sought out guys whose need for neatness and cleanliness bordered on an obsession. This part of my brain is obviously trying to avoid me being the subject of a newspaper article with the headline, "Tragic Accident - Blogger dies by smothering under piles of own clothes." Mr. Darling likes things to be very neat, and he gets frustrated when the house is a wreck. So, my love for Mr. D keeps me from living up to my full slovenly potential, and his love for me and for neatness causes him to clean up my messes without too much complaint.

- Must have patience. I am messy. During one particular week of each month, I can be a bit cranky. If Mr. Darling weren't patient with me, we'd both be miserable. But he treats me with more patience and love than I could've hoped for, even though I don't always deserve it.

So what about you? When you were a kid, what did your dream spouse look like? And has your idea of the perfect mate changed significantly since then?


Sarah said...

hilarious! me and my friends all had lists like these, and even though high school was only a couple of years ago, they already seem stupid. one of the main points was having a really good singing voice... like bordering on professional. :/ i still want a guy with a nice smile though.

.::L said...
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.::L said...


Chardonnay said...

hahaha, I wrote a post similar to this a few months ago about my high school priorities -
16-year-olds are rediculous!

Dollface said...

I made one of those lists and on it I wrote they needed to have a beeper, haha xxxoo

Kris said...

So funny. I was a culprit of the "must play an instrument" quality. Now it's almost a blessing if they don't! hehe

Winna said...

I never made a list because I never thought I would get married, but I always wanted a guy who knew how to work on cars (how random!). Maybe it was because we always had the crappiest cars!

brit said...

Oh I definitely had the musician requirement. But I always seem to only date musicians or artists! Even before I know they are!

Proud Maisie said...

Actually, I always wanted a man with a beautiful face, long hair, and vast intellect... and I still do. Always one for boring predictability, me.

Legallyblondemel said...

Crap, you've just reminded me that I have just such a list in one of my diaries somewhere. I may have to post mine as well. Thanks for the reminder!

And it is so, so true that we get some of what we think we need, and some of what we actually need in our partner, if we're lucky. Well said.

Yvonne Todd said...

Thanks for the inspiration to take a trip down memory lane. You inspired my own post:

Candice said...

That was funny! I'm sure I have made lists similar to the one you described. What I totally related to was your need for Mr. Darling (or any mate) to be slightly obsessed with neatness! I'm the same way with my fiance. If he wasn't around, I'm sure my mess would be up to my ears! Thanks for the chuckle this morning!

Rachel said...

I had a similar list. Mine included (and I realize now that I WAS much more materialistic than I now am):

Drive a BMW (definitely not a VW).
Be Italian (definitely not German).
Be musical.
And a brunette.

BF drives a Honda, he's Polish, not at all musical and a blond. LOL. Ohhh how silly we were!

Tranquility said...

Those are great!

I had a list too.

Mine was more of a reason to not get married - I figured that getting married would be a waste of my life, but I was willing to concede that if I happened to come across the "perfect" man - I might be willing to consider keeping him. ;)

And that's nearly how it happened too. I met my husband during a time when I wasn't interested in dating, much less marrying, but he swept me off my feet and I realized I'd better hold on tight to him or he'd become someone else's perfect man. Well, that and I could no longer see any kind of future without him in it.

Come to find out, he's not really perfect after all - in fact, he isn't very much like my 'list' man at all... but he is perfect for me. ;)

Debbi said...

I have a list too.

And then I married it. And then I divorced it.

List Shmist!

I'm thinking the list I wrote when I was in highschool may not have been the BEST thing to weed out the so called Losers.

Me, Myself and I said...

Haha this is so true! I once made a list about all the qualities of my perfect guy but now that I think about it, porbably half of those attributes are really needed. :) Haha hilarious post. Thanks for calling this to my attention. I think I may have to go and alter that list now...

Fancy Schmancy said...

My mental list ended up with me having disastrous relationships. Still haven't found the one, but that's okay. I'm not really looking, right now.

Katherine said...

I had a list that I made in high school as well. I also can't find the list. My list was "have gorgeous eyes" (because apparently that equates to good marital skills" and "wants to go to college." I think that was the only practical item on there.

J.J. in L.A. said...

It never even dawned on me to make a list. Having 5 older brothers will do that to a girl. I didn't even have my 1st crush til I was 18 years old.

James ~n~ Amber said...

I had a list of decent things that I wanted in a mate and for whatever reason I married the exact opposite of that and that ended in divorce, but over a year ago I married a man that continually blows me away. He's so amazing to me and my daughter.

BTW, he plays several instruments :)

Hayley ♥ said...

I don't think there is, or ever was/will be, a single man in the world who fits ALL of the qualities on my list. I think I'm bordering on psycotic.

Go down to the one that is called the list. Sorry its in a small font, I wrote it a few months back and didn't realise it was small for ages,

Raine said...

I think my list was simply blond hair, blue eyes... That didnt work out so well, so my next list is going to be more inclusive :D

thora said...

Very nice post. I think that back in my teens my list consisted of the most common things like must be good looking or has to be romantic but after 2 divorces I made a new one and this was it:
a) he owns a washing machine and knows how to use it
b) he owns an iron and uses it
c) he has his own appartment
d) no kids (I have one daughter)
e) his mom lives miles away
f) he has to make me laugh every single day.
I met my man 10 years ago and we never married but we're really happy.

Shels DarkChocolate said...

I believe everyone @ 1 point made such unrealistic lists, but I think as we get older our priorities change and the lists may not be on paper but in the subconscious part of our minds.

Jin said...

Thank God, I got knocked up and subsequently married to someone with the same ideals!!! I had no list, I had no idea... And here I am, married to someone enought like me and different enought from me, to make a wonderful, challenging marriage!

I love your posts.

-Still wishing you lived near me!

In my opinion, we don't devote nearly enough scientific research to finding a cure for jerks. ~ Calvin & Hobbes