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Sunday, August 14, 2011

Mr. Alexander's Four Steps to Love

Liza bought me a 25 cent hokey little book a few weeks back:  Mr. Alexander's Four Steps to Love  - The Simple Way to Find Your Dream Partner.   It's one of those little books that one receives graciously and never looks at again.  But...I'm grasping at a lot of straws these days, looking for signs, looking for messages directed specifically to me.  Every day, looking for a reason to keep swimming and not sink to the bottom.   I will be a shark - did you know that they have to swim, always, or else they would sink? - even when they sleep?   The girl who jogged by me with a T-shirt that she put on just for me that morning - It read, "Have Hope".   The car I passed on the expressway yesterday with a spare tire cover that read, "Life is Good".   And yesterday the angry, scolding robin who sat on the rail of my deck and yelled at me - he took me to task as if to say, "there'll be no more sobbing when I start throbbing my old sweet song...wake up, wake up you sleepy head, get up, get up get out of bed, cheer up, cheer up, the sun is red, live, love, laugh and be happy!"   I've never had a robin scold me before. I listened respectfully - he was not to be denied.

So, Mr. Alexander told me to start by making a list of all the qualities I want in my perfect partner and then think about which qualities are most essential.  He says, "Go for it - list EVERYTHING! asking for the moon gives you a much better chance of actually reaching it.  Sometimes we think our luck will disappear if we ask for more, that if things are going okay, we should stay small and quiet so we won't be disappointed or thought of as greedy.  Think instead, that the world's generosity knows no limits."   Or as Kaveh says, "It' OK to want more."   So here is my list in no particular order.   My next step is to release it to the universe - I could burn it and send the smoke upwards, or put it in a bottle and throw it into Lake Michigan when I walk Joey.   Remember when the Banks children wished for the perfect nanny?  They wrote their list which their father discovered and burned in the fireplace, unwittingly sending the wish out into the world - to Mary Poppins.  I will do this incredibly hokey thing and even have some fun with it - it's harmless.

Smart, sexy voice, a career he is good at and likes, good social skills, clicks with me, finds me sexy, is good in bed, takes care of himself, loves literature, likes playing games, has a good sense of humor, is manly, will say "no" to me, is a one woman man, likes theater, opera, cabaret and jazz, is gentle with criticism, likes my kids, has a good work/play balance, is handy, takes charge - is confident, makes me feel girly, makes my heart leap when I see or talk with him, loves my cooking, likes entertaining, is financially sound, is a great kisser, is not vain, doesn't flirt with other women when I'm with him, dresses well, smells good, is not insecure, doesn't cry readily, is helpful to everyone, is a bit edgy - not a pushover, is a man's man, is fair, is honest, is generous, has good money management skills, likes animals, is patient, is even tempered, is not moody, doesn't have too much baggage, is affectionate, is a good driver, is brave, matches my energy, has hobbies/interests, is not overly religious, loves holidays, is a gentleman, has good table manners, takes care of his appearance, picks up the tab, tips well, is neat but not overly so, doesn't sweat the small stuff, is good in a crisis, is comfortable in his own skin - likes himself, doesn't demean, has no addictions, doesn't drink too much, cares about healthy eating, exercises regularly, is healthy, is optimistic, is patriotic, is liberal.

Liza read this list and said it sounds just like my ex-boyfriend and I took exception to that, claiming that this really IS my list - the same list I would have crafted even before meeting him - and there are some things on my list that he doesn't ace....so there, Liza,

Next Mr. Alexander will have me take stock of myself and learn to inhabit my own skin in a way that is sexy and appealing (I think I already do this, but I'm open to improvement!)

Humans were not meant to be alone - it is unnatural.   If you know someone who is single, it's a safe bet they are suffering.   Most days I feel like one of those baby rhesus monkeys they did experiments on who died from a lack of being touched. We are pack animals and we're meant to be in close proximity to others, fussing over each other, loving and being physically affectionate.   When our kids are little, there is so much touching, constant contact.  And then they pull away and physical boundaries are established - just an occasional hug and often an awkward one at that.   Why is that?   Are we programmed to worry about sending incest messages or something?  Weird.   Why aren't we holding our teenagers on our laps and holding hands when we go shopping together? I don't get it and yet I'm as guilty as the next parent.   This morning Elizabeth left to go camping. As she left, she called out, "Goodbye I love you."   I was so touched and surprised and I quickly said, "Have a good time...I love you too."   And then I realized she had been talking to Joey, the dog. Heart sank a little even though I know she really DOES love me.

My challenge today is to show physical affection, to make skin on skin contact with another person. You need it - they need it.   And when you see me next and we're sitting on the couch together? - don't be surprised if I start grooming you like a chimpanzee, looking for delicious little bugs in your hair.   I will be embracing my true primate nature.  We were meant to touch each other.


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