Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nice or Naughty?


“I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.”
― Marilyn Monroe


I talk too much. I listen too little. I’m bossy, demanding. I have to be in charge. I know it all. I know that I know it all. I have no problem letting YOU know that I know it all. I’m kind and compassionate, sure, but I can tear through town like a tornado in a trailer park and have no idea the emotional damage that I’ve done. Or maybe I do and just don’t care. I’m a smart girl. I am. But sometimes the lights are on and Tammie has left the building.

Now pull out that list. YOU know the list I’m talking about. THAT list. The one you’re using to search for your one true soul mate, or maybe the one you’re using to question whether your current partner IS your one true soul mate. He has to be tall. He should be smart, funny. Dark hair would be nice. Definitely dark hair. HAIR. He needs to be fit and to care about his health. I’d like flowers. And poetry. Ok, maybe just flowers. But without having to ask for them. Shall I go on? Now let me ask this, what’s on HIS naughty list? And, no, I don’t mean THAT naughty list.

Does he scratch in public, annoy your friends, chew like a cow? Does he OWN the remote, dress like a bum? Is his butt imprint permanently etched into his favorite chair? Did he put the word “heated” in “heated debate?” Can you just not take him anywhere? Be honest, what’s on his list? Because he definitely has one.

I disagree with Santa. I don’t believe we make one or the other, always on the nice, destined for the naughty. How could we? That’s a lot of work. Nobody is that good. And, likewise, nobody is that bad. I also disagree with Cupid. I don’t feel there is one true partner, one true soul mate, for each of us. I just think we’re going about our list-making all wrong.

Do this. Look around you right now at the first ten people you see. They should be of an appropriate age and of your gender preference. I’ll just eliminate pronto that extra hefty guy riding down the sidewalk on his motorized cart, not because he’s extra hefty or because he’s on the scooter but because of that giant loogie he just took such great pride in spitting. Now, let’s just assume all of these homework characters are available. Ask yourself this, “What is GREAT about that person?” Look for the good. It’s there. Look for it. Make a “nice list” for each one of those ten people.

First two guys I see are both sharply dressed, casual, but smart. They look like they understand that others will be looking and that they care. The first guy smiled at me, a nice smile. That’s a bonus. This next guy has lots of books under his arm, big fat books. And he looks like he actually reads them. Nice. Guy number four is friendly and chatty, greeting others and making wonderful small talk. Guy number five is tall. The next three are, um, well, in a bookstore which is always a plus. Number nine looks like he cares about his health and his looks. He also looks like he cares about others. He’s fit and put together and seems incredibly approachable, sort of like if I were the protagonist in a Nicholas Sparks’ book, this would be my main guy. Character number ten is a fan of Kettle Chips, a guy after my own heart.

Now, granted one of those guys is a smoker, another a womanizer, one dresses as if he’s fourteen, another as if he believes he is Dracula. A few are, well, they are in a bookstore, let’s just be nice and leave it at that. But out of those ten, there are definitely a couple of possibilities, IF I were looking, IF I were searching for my one true soul mate. Granted, those possibilities would have to be available, but still. The point is that I changed my list-making strategy.

This is the thing. When we start focusing on what is RIGHT about someone, we tend to lose track of what is WRONG. When we focus on the good, we find more and more of what is good and less and less of what is not. And isn’t that how we want others to look at us? Sure, I have my bad points, but if that was all anyone saw I would be the first one crossed off on that soul mate search. Go grab those rose-colored glasses, that notepad and pen and get ready to make those nice lists. Greet everyone you meet with a smile as if they might just, in fact, be the one. You never know. Maybe they are.

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