After I saw you last, I got to thinking about The Newlywed Game. This is probably going to be a poor analogy because I never really watched The Newlywed Game. Unfortunate because there are few people who would likely notice analogous weakness aside from you. And of course I run the obvious risk of you – among others – misreading this to interpret that a) I want to get married, b) I want to get married to you, or c) that I think we are in a relationship. [The obvious answer being D: none of the above.] Still, it came to mind. From what I understand about the premise of the show was that a couple (or several?) would come on the show and be peppered with questions about little details about their partner: favorite condiment? Pet peeve? Obscure film or music interests? Preference of toothpaste? Method for folding underwear? Ostensibly, the couple that got the most correct answers would be the winners.
I am kind of curious about this show now, because I wonder if it was ever even – I mean, between the couples? Were there ever couples that had an equally specific, intuitive, astute knowledge of each other? My hypothesis is that there will always be one person in every couple who is far more aware of the preferences, interests and habits of the other. And this person – the observer, the listener… is the one who will one day be devastated when the other blows them off. I don’t mean this in some sort of emo, pathetic way. But I think that when a relationship is born upon the premise of one person having a far greater interest in the other, it is not going to go the distance.
I got to thinking about this because I find myself in the role of primary observer/listener/recorder when we hang out. I guarantee that I know far, far more about you than you of me. This is not information picked up from some weird, stalker habit; it is simply the result of our friendship dynamic. I find it fascinating as a person who generally sits in your place in a tête-à-tête.
Example? I know that the use of exclamation points in any style of prose drives you insane, not that this is a particularly original gripe, mind you, and it is also rather ironic considering your irreverently enthusiastic style of self-expression, but I am aware of it nonetheless. [I am less clear if the sort of comma-spliced run-on sentence I just crafted would get to you.] I know that you have issues with toes, and selecting deodorant. That you organize your closet like a girl. Your favorite movies, books. The band you regard above all others. Your aversion to certain dairy products and your Seinfeld-like propensity towards specific cereals. Your strange rituals to find sleep and the cookies you like.
This collection of information makes me feel like I am bordering on the freakish or insane. But, to be fair, this is all information that has been offered up, mostly unsolicited and I just stowed it away – I am unsure why.
It got me thinking, as I went to put on another pair of open-toed shoes and put on some of my favorite turquoise jewelry (while I was, by the way, briefly considering cutting my hair short…) was that maybe the Newlywed Game was actually a good idea, but just anachronistic. I mean, how much better to determine initially who has the greater interest – investment even – in the partnership. Seems to me it might save a lot of future drama if one knew going into that they were way more vested in the other person, which will eventually lead to certain heartbreak as a result of divergent circumstances down the road.
In the end, I suppose it is just another way to know if you are “on the hook.”
Hooks and cows and cougars aside, I suppose the point is I am aware of the imbalance between us. Not that I care to make much of it, just an observation really. Though in hindsight, I do wonder what you might have stockpiled up in that cagey mind of yours regarding some of the truly spectacular gems I have availed to you. I shudder at the thought. Perhaps there is a balance after all. How do you like them apples?
See you when it works out.