Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Great Expectations?

The most beautiful experience we can have is the mysterious. Albert Einstein said that. I’m not especially mathematically or scientifically inclined, nor am I prone to reading material on said topics, but I happened upon this quote. There was something inherently beautiful about it. More impressive were his sensitivity and romanticism. They surprised me. They moved me. And his words forced me to rethink the idea I had of him. I stopped thinking of him as just a science guy and thought maybe he was also someone who was maybe a bit romantic, too.

Lately, a lot of my ideas have been challenged. For example, I’m a single girl, and I’ve had this idea in mind of what men are looking for. I assumed that men were looking for the thin, busty blonde, who radiated confidence and sexuality. That is what they seem to admire, if you believe the cover of most of the men’s magazines…or beer commercials…or pretty much anything else marketed to the American male. And sure, there are a lot of men who would be happy to out take that kind of girl and fall madly in love with her ethereal beauty. I punished my faults and cursed myself for not living up to this ideal while getting irritated that this was what men wanted.

But this isn’t necessarily what men want. What I’ve noticed is that my faults matter so much more to me then they do to prospective suitors. To one person, the fullness of my hips and bottom were very feminine. To another, my bout of nerves at our first meeting on a blind date was wicked sexy. And to another, well, when we talked after going out a few times, he said didn’t remember me being all that plus size. It wasn’t that they were holding me to that unrealistic standard…it wasn’t that they couldn’t see what was good in me. It was that I expected these men, these nice guys, to want me to be something different than I was...and in reality, they liked who I was right then, at the moment when we smiled at each other.

Maybe this is a great way to start the new year…not with unrealistic expectations or goals that will fall by the wayside by February 1. Maybe 2009 will be more about being open and accepting with what already is than trying to change what doesn’t need changed. If I’m lucky, maybe I will find a few beautiful experiences of my own.

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