Sunday, April 11, 2010

Too Real for Fantasy

Lovers Lane - Day 104 of Project 365

Thinking about the roles we adopt in relationships, one I've never really been comfortable with is that of a fantasy lover, an idealized version of some long-gone Mr. Might-Have-Been or worse yet, a father figure. I've got too many warts -- blatant evidence of my card-carrying membership in the human race -- to be anything but real. Besides, there are too many unspoken expectations associated with being a fantasy, it's too much to live up to. I have a hard enough time just being me, most days.

This is not to say there's no appeal in being imagined as perfect. The problem comes about when something like this cold turns me into a hacking, draining, dribbling mass of gunk only my dog can tolerate. I hate getting sick, I'm a lousy patient, and all the coughing renders my normally sexy baritone a rasping imitation of the frogs that proliferate in the forest this time of year. Sexy -- see? I even approximate delusional when I'm feeling lousy.

The rest of the time I'll take the truth any day of the week and twice on Sunday. What I mean is, I prefer being with people who wouldn't know entitled from the end title sequence of a movie. They might deserve special treatment but they'd turn it down if it was offered. More interested in accepting than being accepted, they consider appearances as meaningless. They'd be "forever in blue jeans" if the alternative meant disingenuity.

It's okay for a while, reflecting a projection you've been handed like canapes on a party tray, but sooner or later a person wants to be seen for who they are. I think sooner is better, though it doesn't always work out that way. Sometimes you have to wait until the projection breaks down like a worn-out car on the highway. Once that happens, if there was anything real in the relationship to begin with, it will survive the shock. If not, well, there's always fantasy, but that has its liabilities, like this croaking cold. Pardon me while I go blow my nose -- again.

(Creative Commons image by purplemattfish via Flickr; Forever in Blue Jeans by Neil Diamond)
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