Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Focus On Past Attachments
A friend of mine recently told me that the first girl he fell in love with had three missing fingers and beat him up as a child. His mother still talks to her mother and says that her daughter remembers my friend with great fondness. With a start like that, how could I expect things to be any better than they are? he asked. Which got me thinking about love maps, the term some psychologists use for the way we form our ideal lover early on, explaining the people who have a "type." My friend Hank's type, much to his horror, was "small, crazy, dark-haired dramatic women." He dated a gorgeous blonde with a square jaw who people did not like very much ("that square-faced bitch" was something I heard often in conversation about her -- I didn't have an opinion as my only dealings with her consisted of a long car ride where she decided she was going to read me a Pam Houston story, offered me half her M&Ms, and halfway through "Cowboys Are My Weakness," fell asleep on my shoulder, drooling all over), and a kick-ass red head whom I adored -- she had lovers of both sexes, two wonderful little sons, and a propensity for dreadlocks and combat boots. The small, dark, dramatic types, well, those were his unobtainables for which he pined, his love map if you will. I never had a physical type -- I dated lots of people who others considered reasonably attractive to those who were not in the eyes of the general populace -- I cannot tell you how many times I heard the old "Beauty and the Beast" line by people who thought they were the first to bring it up -- clever and funny, ha ha! I also think the fairy tale is one of the most obnoxious ever; you are physically flawed and I love you and you become lovely. Also, I hate Belle who seems like a sap. I'll take the Velveteen Bunny over that one any day.
My ex-husband had an excellent, strong jawline -- one of my friends liked it so much that he said he thought about cutting it out and using it for himself. So maybe like Hank, I was drawn to men with strong jaws. But by and large, I don't think a love map has to be physical although it can be. I know men who date women who look exactly alike all the time which is kind of cool and creepy all at the same time. One of my friends stated after many glasses of scotch, I wish I could stop falling in love with all these psycho bitches. He said it with great wistfulness, like he didn't have a choice. And I suppose maybe he didn't. The bottle was almost empty.
Michelle's Spell of the Day
"I do not write about nice people. I am not nice people." Dorothy Allison
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Trash Dorothy Allison -- the newest version has a great introduction titled "Stubborn Girls and Mean Stories"
Benedictions and Maledictions