December 3, 2012

Anybody heard of Pinterest?  If you haven’t, count your lucky stars because you’ve just ‘gained’ back hours and hours of time to waste on something else.  Pinterest is a virtual “ideas” cork-board – a place where anyone and everyone can put up a picture, post an idea or website or browse and gather ideas for things like wedding stationary, recipes, Halloween costumes or nailpolish tips and tricks. Occasionally I will come across some fascinating cultural ‘tells’, and this morning was one of those lucky mornings.  I came across a pin called “The Perfect Relationship”.  (Warning: Content)

Seems more to me like this author is talking about roommates.  With benefits.  Yeah.  Roommates who have sex.  And play mini-golf and watch illegally downloaded movies.  That’s about the extent of what the perfect relationship is these days.  Does anybody else think this is about as shallow as a bathtub full of cold, scummy water?  Ok, maybe it’s just me.  I read this pin and was left with a feeling of dissatisfaction and boredom.  That’s it?  That’s all there is to relationships these days?  Just coffee, making fun of people, eating, sex, mini-golf and video games?  Blah, blah, blah, boring.

Where’s the real meat?  Where’s the real love?  Where is that video gamer when his “roommate” is puking her guts out from the flu?  And where is the facebook-er when her “roomie” is feeding his porn addiction for hours on end?  My question is, do they even care? 

Seems to me they don’t care much past their own interests.  Each partner (and I’m afraid to admit this might be a good representation of relationships out there…) is like an island unto him- or herself, who occasionally extends a finger to the outside world/each other.  But only if it’s fun and interesting.  Otherwise, forget it.  Why should I put myself out there.  I’m not getting anything out of it.

Reminds me of the lyrics of a fairly recent pop song “I want the girl but not what she’s going through”.  Relationships these days aren’t about sticking around for the mess and crap of life, for housework or problems or anger or sickness.  It’s about one thing.  F. U. N.  Just check out some of the wedding vows that people make up these days.  They’re ridiculous.  “I’ll love you until I don’t” or “Our boat has brought us together, may it never sink”.  What their love, or the boat?  What about “I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health, I will love you and honour you all the days of my life.”   Dang, religion sure can be romantic sometimes.

Now I know this problem is endemic to our culture for various reasons, which I could only go into if I had 3 lifetimes to study and write about them.  But the truth is, when you don’t stick around for the messiness of life, you miss out on THE greatest treasure of your life too – a family of people to love you until you die.  People who know the true you and accept you with all your faults and love you just the same.  Trite, maybe.  Cliché, probably.  But worth it?  Abso-freaking-lutely. So go ahead, be a bachelor all your days.  Nobody (usually) gets hurt except you.  But don’t be surprised when the Super Mario Brothers don’t speak at your funeral or Colonel Sanders doesn’t cater.  You’ve made the bed you’re sleeping in.  

The Perfect Relationship (My Version)

He works
She works
(and sometimes gets paid for it)
Bills come out of their money
They split house chores
He has hobbies
She has hobbies
They mostly just love being together and will often enjoy their hobbies in the same room
They do stuff together like watch downloaded movies
Or stream one on netflix
She cooks him dinner
He runs a bath and fetches advil for her when she’s in excruciating pain
Or gets up in the middle of the night to get her a glass of water when she asks for it
They laugh and joke about almost everything
They are intimate every day
Not just physically but spiritually, emotionally and psychologically intimate
They reserve their intimacy only for each other and nobody else
Days off are spent doing regular stuff like housework together
Then they go out and have fun and do things
They go mini-golfing
Or to the movies
Or they play games: video, board, whatever.  
Who cares?  They’re together.
He holds her when she miscarries
She holds him when he loses his job
They have cute arguments over what colour fuscia really is
And what answers don’t count in scattergories
He’s patient when she flies off the handle about something small
And she admits she’s flown off the handle and asks forgiveness
He forgives her
She forgives him
And he kills all the spiders
They are a team.  A club.
A 2 person gang that everyone is invited to visit and that grows with each new baby
They deeply love one another.  And the world is changed by it.


  1. Omigosh. Not only did I feel the original link was shallow like cold, scummy bathwater, but I myself felt "scummy" after reading it. Then I went back and looked at it again and saw more of "why" I felt that way. It is a relationship that, even IF the two parties have gone through a marriage ceremony, is, as you pointed out, totally shallow. And there is even some sin as well. Like using other people as "entertainment" by making fun of them and putting them down. Judgements of others for sport. Stealing (movies). Becoming a two party gang that no one else is able to join... closing themselves off to others and (probably?) to new life. Not a speck of helping anyone else even implied here. Helping each other seems only part of a deal. I think you made excellent points in your post, and in YOUR version of the perfect relationship. Thanks be to God for marriages like yours (and mine)... for these are the relationships that reach out to and include and help and inspired others. And the world IS changed by them.

    1. Thanks Nancy, I completely agree. I felt scummy after I read that too...and rightly so. There was no charity, virtue or respect in any bit of that "perfect" relationship. Really does lend perspective to the perceived "ideal" relationship these days, doesn't it?

  2. But where do the fleas figure in this perfect relationship... On a more serious note, just before I got to the line about each man being an island unto himself, I thought to myself: Each man is an island unto himself. No kidding! Amazing, eh? The other thing that strikes me is that these people who engage in these relationships seem sort of frozen, cut-off, like something inside of them has died or perhaps never been allowed to live. I wonder if this apathy goes right back to infancy and the choices that their parents made about allowing those children to be attached to them. Were the kids shuffled off to places like the Lilliputian gulag (not my expression) where, despite all good intentions, they still felt abandoned and thus built the necessary walls of protection against becoming attached? The possibilities for offence are great in that statement but I said it anyway.

    1. Haha, my little pets are still with me Elena, hidden, waiting to spring again when the time is right. Or should I say my little pests?

      You and I are sisters from a different mother...and father...ok, we're sisters in spirit. And it's an interesting question you pose. That apathy/frozenness/closing off would have to come from somewhere, and it's more than likely it was their families. I once saw a lady driving a car with three little toddlers in the back seat, in the middle of January. It was freezing out and she was smoking in the car, yet she had all the windows down EXCEPT for hers. Those babies' cheeks were so rosy, I could see them in the split second I drove by them. THAT is what I think causes that "island" behaviour - that extreme selfishness experienced by the person who's meant to sacrifice themselves fully for you. Honestly, how does a person know what love really is when they've had a terrible gulag-ian (my word) teacher? (Ok, I have no idea what that word makes sense in that context, LOL)

    2. Sarah, I saw a quote the other day (can't remember where) in which the author lamented the lack of rigorous parenting meaning that parents are sort of just drifting through life just trying to make it and the kids too often are just entertained rather than parented. OK, that's what I assume the author meant. My parenting style tends to be a bit more rigorous (however, I thought that it was overly-analytical til I came across the rigorous description). This sort of parenting requires a real laying down of one's ambitions and death to the self in order to pour myself into my children. That means no career and filling in laundry on forms where I am asked what I do for a living;) p.s. If we are sisters, we should really see eachother sometime!

    3. Freakin' hilarious Elena...that we live, what, 4 doors down from each other and only see each other at church!! That's it I'm coming over. :)

      Again an interesting thought - the idea of non-rigorous parents just 'entertaining' their kids instead of actually parenting them. I can see how the rigorous style does require a complete sacrifice of self - even sometimes sacrificing something good for the children like doing the dishes or cleaning something in the house. If a baby's sick or needing some kind of attention, everything you want goes out the window. And I wonder if that behaviour can only be learned by experience within the family...or do you think we all instinctively know what we should do?



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