I guess I didn’t really know what it’s like to be in a relationship. I thought a relationship meant romance, you know, like scented candles, flower petals in bed, chocolate syrup in your crotch.
If I knew better I’d have set my expectations differently--I wouldn’t have put my boyfriends up on a pedestal. I also wouldn't have used my Ralph Lauren sheets--chocolate stains like a bitch.
I mean, who tells you these things? It’s like a vast conspiracy. Everybody will tell you how wonderful being in a relationship is. C’mon, ask a friend, “How’s things going on with you and so-and-so?” and invariably, the answer will be “Things are going great, could never be better!” This is what they tell you right up to the day before divorce court.
When it comes to their relationships, I think people are compulsive liars. It’s practically an epidemic.
I’m not any different. I find myself telling friends how Brian and I hardly spend any time apart, how we finish each others’ sentences, how we get along sooo well--you know, all the sweet and mushy things that make my single friends puke inside.
You know how when your friends get coupled, you never see them ever again, like they dropped off the face of the earth? I think this is because single people cut their brake lines. I would too, if I had to listen to myself.
I think it is this misconception of the true nature of relationships that doom 51% of them to fail.
It’s probably all those damn fairy tales. They really work a number on you. What Disney didn’t tell you was that Snow White was really just shacking up with seven midgets, who were probably chronic potheads. C’mon, they have names like Sleepy, Happy and Dopey. Snow White probably had a nasty cocaine habit, hence her name.
And our parents, geez. When I was growing up, my own mother, who in full knowledge of my dad’s cheating, never failed to tell me to find a nice girl and get married. She would tell me this as she cleaned and dusted my ceramic doll collection. For the longest time, I thought getting married meant getting a cleaning lady.
So, we spend all our time trying to find the perfect person and so when we find it, we can’t really turn around and say, wow, that wasn’t what I expected.
Yes, for awhile, it was The Dream, the romance. But before you found out yourself, did anybody tell you exactly what Happily Ever After meant? And if somebody did have the balls to tell you, did you believe them?
Let me tell you what comes after Happily Ever After: it’s a ticket to The Jerry Springer Show.
I think maybe, if we were all taught what to expect, then maybe the success rates would be higher.
Look, I’m not knockin’ relationships. It’s great and wonderful and all that la-di-dah. But it’s not a Valentine’s Day card. It don’t smell like roses or honeysuckles or scented candles all the time. More often, it smells like wet socks, morning breath and farts under the blanket.
Once a person really understands what this all means, maybe a relationship has a decent chance to survive.
And maybe that's when you'll be able to appreciate all the smells of a good working relationship--farts under the blanket and all.