Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I myself am made entirely of flaws.

There is a writer that I can't remember the name of because I had a short attention span in high school, who had his fiancee read his diary before their wedding so that she wouldn't have any misconceptions about what a terrible person he was.
Not that he actually was terrible really. He just didn't want her thinking he was this supreme human being that we see people as when we're falling in love with them. He wanted to be sure she was aware that he was human, and in possession of so many flaws.

I always thought what he did was an interesting idea, but I go back and forth about whether I actually would have wanted to read the diary if I was his fiancee.

I mean on the one hand, of course! You get to learn the secret inner workings of this person's mind, heart, and soul? You know all their bad habits, and best of all: how they begin and end their journal entries! I mean whether or not a person starts a journal entry with just a plain old date, or whether they actually salute their inanimate journal with "Dear Diary" says basically all you need to know about said person.
And there's the intended benefit: really knowing for sure what you're getting into.
Just how fucked up is this guy? How weird is he? I mean right now I think he's this handsome writer who leaves poems on my pillow and blushes when I kiss him, but maybe he's really a derelict pervert, who grabs other girl's butts and blows on every bite of soup he takes even once the soup isn't hot anymore. 

You just never know.

On the other hand though, I think if we are handed all of someone's imperfections all at once they would 99 times out of 100 be too much for us to take, and we'd walk away. With the vast majority of people, you wouldn't likely make it past the first conversation if the only way they had to get to know who you really were and what deep dark secrets they'd eventually have to deal with, was for them to take them all on at once, without filter, and without context.

I think that's why people say not to talk about your relationship problems with your best friend too much. 
Your best friend isn't in the relationship. They haven't had the slow progression of getting to know your significant other like you have. They haven't been a part of the exciting - and terrifying - journey of peeling back the layers of who this person is, slowly, over time, delighting in the beautiful layers, and working together to accept the less amazing ones, like you have. So when you unload about your problems, you're effectively handing them ALL of your partner's flaws all at once, without enough context around everything for your friend to see the person as a whole person any more. All of a sudden they become warped into this freakish creature who is nothing but the sum total of his unbelievably loud chewing and past transgressions.

Sometimes too, there are things two people in a relationship do need to know about each other, that they're not ready to know just yet. Flaws or affinities may exist that you wouldn't have accepted in a partner before, until you were ready to accept that you possess the same yen.
It's easy to say you wouldn't ever want something, or accept something, or that you couldn't live with something, until you both have the same blood on your hands. 
And after that the knowing brings you together, instead of tearing you apart, so maybe timing does matter. When and how we discover things about each other, rather than just having a proverbial dump truck of truth and knowledge crash into us all at once.

I think we need to live in a sort of delirious wonderland for a while at first, totally punch drunk in love and fully believing that this person we've found can do no wrong, and also never farts in bed or leaves their fucking shoes in the Goddamn walk way, so that later, when we find out they do in fact do both of those things, we are softened and bonded and ready to deal with it. 

Sort of like babies. Scientists have said that human babies are born so cute so that mothers will instinctively want to protect them, and also so that when that new-baby scent wears off and mom realizes this cute baby shits on their things and cries all the time, they are less inclined to eat them.

I don't know.
I'm all for knowing a person so completely that there is no flaw, no secret, no bad habit, that could surprise you or shake your foundation of how you feel about them. But I for one really like the process of discovering and learning and figuring those things out. It takes years sometimes, but that's what gives us a history with people. The trials and errors and things we went through that exposed those details to one another, over time. 
So that at the end of the day, you have a long road behind you, a complete understanding of each other between you, and an even longer road ahead of you. 

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