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

Cocktail Hour
Drinking short story collection suggestion: Trash Dorothy Allison -- the newest version has a great introduction titled "Stubborn Girls and Mean Stories"

Benedictions and Maledictions
Happy Tuesday!


whitenoise said...

Interesting topic. One could also flip it around- what does it say about a person when they attract the same types over and over...?

Cheri said...

I have a type too- assholes. Hah!

For a while I had this creepy thing going-

Over 6ft tall, older than me, blonde hair, blue/green eyes, left handed (every single boyfriend has been left handed, regardless of the blonde) and wearing glasses, or contacts.

Very strange. Current man is blonde, over six foot tall, blue eyed BUT right handed and has good vision. I might be breaking the curse!

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't think I have a physical type, at least not as illustrated by the women I've dated and/or married.

Brian in Mpls said...

I don't think I have a physical type they have come in all shapes and sizes but all of them have been strong willed, independent and intelligent with some sort of weird hobby or quark and piece of painful baggage that made them interesting like a gem forged out of fire and stress of the world.

There is nothing more beautiful then a cloth cut by experiences cruel hands.

John McCain said...

I had a strong jaw line before I was shot down over North Vietnam.

the walking man said...

First this theory was put forth by a psychologist which makes it suspect to begin with. He probably needed something to publish.

I have a love map and it has more fucking roads on it than an atlas so if the theory is that my ideal is a crazy mad opinionated Italian woman, anal to the max except when it comes to me because she knows to not bother then he was right.

But on the other hand if my love map was supposed to lead me to a woman like dear old mom well the fucker got it wrong.

Personally i think that to try to define any human relationship is beyond definition while it is ongoing...ergo no dumb ass map.



UHh check your mail

Anonymous said...

Love map? Don't think I've heard it termed that way before. However, I agree with you that the attraction doesn't have to be physical. I've always been attracted to the intellectual 'bad boy' type. Even after surviving my mispent youth, I invested some time trying to find a stable, kind, down-to-earth type of guy, ya know, the kind of boring type that you can rely and depend on.(Perhaps like a dog?) Unfortunately, I could not be satiated with this type of man. It seems that whenever I thought I found 'Mr. Stablity', he either wasn't emotionally exciting enough for me, or his facade was false and he had a 'bad boy' deep within screaming to get out. Somehow I always seemed to bring it out in them. I guess this stands to reason since I never liked the quiet type of dog. Ya know, a lap dog who obeys your every command, never leaves the yard, and doesn't stray too far from mistress when on a walk. The disobedient over the obedient. So now I've decided to accept what my subconscious, inner self, or perhaps even alter ego seems to desire the most. Bring on the 'bad boy'...or 'boys'. That could be an interesting avenue to explore.


Anonymous said...

Rodney D. Check your m.edu e-mail.

Paul said...


Pythia3 said...

Very interesting post.
I love the quote, as I just wrote a post titled "The Nice Vice" a few days back.
As for types, I am all over the map on that one...from GQ to IQ to tattooed biker to debonair Frenchmen to poor musicians to charming and crazy Greeks to...All I know for sure is if they are weak, I'll squash them like a bug and if they are so strong as to be controlling, I get squashed- can't seem to find a good balance for me.
I guess I need a type. LOL

Pikey said...

beware of girls with 3 fingers, nothing good can come of that.

Tim said...

I always thought Beauty and the Beast was a story that only strengthened the notion that physical beauty is the ultimate goal. I mean... If Belle fell in love with the beast the way he was why did he have to change? Was the moral of the story "beauty is only skin deep", or "if you love someone hard enough they might change to fit your ideals"? Confusing ... but a good Disney movie to keep your kids quiet for a couple of hours when they're little.

eric1313 said...

What a concept--the love map.

Your writing burns and shines in the eyes of all who read it.

peace out.

randy said...

Wow, what refreshing and rejuvenating input from the females here.
Cheri semi-jokingly says her type is 'assholes'.
What a complete surprise... but at least you are honest about it.

Sweetheart Pythia basically admits to not being able to handle a healthy 50/50 relationship, which ive found is the norm for women. Her 'dominate or be dominated' attitude is stomach turningly all too common among females. Of course its all rooted in primitive instincts...

Anonymous said...

And to this day I still look over my shoulder to see if Shawn is about to steal my jaw. ;^)

The ex-husband,