Barbie Dumps The Man Of Her Dreams

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          What can we say about finding the partner of your dreams when we are talking about children? We can say a lot but everyone else should probably shut their mouths. Yes, people say a lot of dumb stuff to their kids.

          Paul says: I may have written this story in the past but it bears repeating. When I was in college, I took a trip by myself to visit relatives in Indiana, many of whom I had never met or hadn’t seen since early childhood. One family that I was visiting were the ‘rural’ folks. Have you seen the movie Winter’s Bone? These were mountain people that were not smart enough to know that they were on flat land.

          At the time of the visit, my great aunt had something like eight children (I kind of lost track) all of different ages and deformities. They ranged from a snaggletoothed five-year-old to an unkempt barefoot 19-year-old, they were all there to see the Hollywood cousin with his strange city ways. During dinner, the 7-year-old was doodling and produced a Disney worthy rendition of Mickey Mouse, complete with shading and perspective. I was impressed and said as much. ‘Wow. You could go to college and study art’. There was a little snigger from the oldest girl and my great aunt retorted, ‘or you can marry a man and draw for your kids’.

          The message that they were sending was to find the man of your dreams even if it meant subjugating the woman of your dreams. It gets me to thinking, how much of our need to find that perfect mate is passed down from generation to generation, mom to daughter, father to son? Is that definition of perfection a construct of our ancestors that we just cannot let go? We know that things like beauty, discipline and values have a strong generational component. We know that Prince Charming is the trademarked name for an object that everyone understands, like Kleenex is to tissue or BandAids are to bandages.

          If you were a young lady in the 1960’s, you would play a game called Mystery Date where the object was to get a date with the dream guy while avoiding the nerd. As a side note, the tables have turned and the geek would be the good date because they have the ability to pay for dinner and would never ever cheat on you. The dream guy has mommy issues and will sleep with your best friend and your sister. Geeks rule!!!

          Anyhow, have you ever really wondered what kind of guy or girl is your dream person? Did your parents supply you with this template? Did they do it by modeling healthy relationship or did they hand you the easy dribble of the time? Are you destined to marry the same dream guy that mommy divorced? The same woman that daddy bitches about to his friends at the bar?

          Of course, the next big question is what are you passing down to your children? I have seen the single mom that tells her daughter that she does not need or want a man in their life then, when the date happens, mom turns into a giddy teenager. I have heard dads tell their sons to play the field, knowing dammed well that they never played a field or even got off of the bench. Some are like me who didn’t even go to the game.

          Lee says: I think my parents influenced me a lot when it came to creating the fantasy guy. My sister’s love life also helped in finding out what qualities in a man I could never compromise on. I knew I could not marry a man who was macho or uneducated or pig headed or had any semblance of old world traditional values. I couldn’t. I remember when Paul and I were engaged and we were having dinner at my parents’ home. My father looked at me and said, ‘Serve your man.’ He must have tapped into some shadow part of me that wears an apron and likes being tied up and I sprang to my feet to serve my fiancé before he became upset. Paul, bewildered by my actions, followed me to the kitchen and told me to hand him the plate. This was the slap I needed to realize I could serve if I wanted to but he would never expect me to.

          The lessons we pass down are different than the previous generations. I tell my daughter, ‘You find a guy who worships the water you walk on and can discuss anything with you from politics to Kant to feelings all while making you giggle.’ Now that isn’t hard to find. I did!

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