Saturday, February 21, 2009

Ordinary

Disclaimer: yep, before you even read I have to be honest and tell you that I am NOT seeking for any type of validation that you may feel the need to write to me after you read this post. Seriously. Don't do it.  Just think the thought I'm presenting and walk about in it for a bit.

John Legend has a beautiful music video of the song "Ordinary People" that you should all watch, but youtube won't let me post it. Instead, I'll post my new favorite song. Maybe all of us are just "dreaming of Revelry" and thus don't have time to call each other and form functional relationships?



Lately I've been pondering the fact that I might actually be completely ordinary. That there might not be anything truly magnificent about me. That there might not be anything that makes me stand out in a crowd. That there has to be some reason why things in my life continue to follow similar patterns. That there is reason why some people spend one or two evenings with me, or a weekend away, and then kind of shrug their shoulders at the idea of spending more time with me.

Yep. I'm ordinary. 

Last night I went to a dinner party with Michelle as my date. We had dinner with Stina and Alisa and their spouses. While driving to dinner, Michelle and I had an interesting, non emotional (and VERY rational...cause we're like that) conversation that the reason we seem not to make it past date one or two or three (her number lately has been seven, which throws my three out of the water) is because we just don't have that certain "je ne sais quoi" that keeps them coming back. What IS THAT anyway? Can someone define that for me?

Dinner was awesome. The six of us laughed and talked and joked and had some crazy conversations (A and S, you KNOW what I am talking about!). It truly was a wonderful night.  At the beginning of the evening, as Michelle and I were sharing our "ordinary" philosophy, Stina's husband said "Well, you just haven't found the RIGHT guy." And he really meant it, as do most people who tell us that. (Although, I'm beginning to wonder about finding lots of wrong guys for the past 13 years seems like a long run of REALLY bad luck.)

Where were we? 

Ah yes, the "you've not found the right guy" bit. If I had a nickel for every time someone has said that to me, I'd be a woman of leisure (and heaven knows THAT's not my reality at the moment, damn you economy and 401 k plans!!!!!)  I wonder (and A and S, take this with all the love and thought that I am putting out there) if that is an easy thing that people who married young and found "the one" say to others who don't have what they have (and in fact have NEVER had what they have).  I wonder if that's just an assumption in their minds because it actually did become a reality for THEM. When the truth be told, it very well might NEVER become a reality for me (or Michelle, that's right, I'm not going to be alone in this!!) It HONESTLY really might not ever happen. And yet, most married people and many single people still hold on to this idea that it just HAS to happen in life. It is part of life. When really, that's just a Hollywood definition of life, is it not? I mean, I am VERY happy with life and love where I am at and actually think that being single just might be for me, but that doesn't mean I don't get irked with the whole game of love and dating.

So yeah, I am totally on the fence about marriage at this point in my life, in fact, I don't desire it at all right now. However, I would like some practice of just having someone return my metaphorical phone calls. The good thing about Michelle and I is that we are not psycho (at least in actions). We aren't hard to get rid of, we don't keep after men who don't call when they say they will, we don't make a nuisance of ourselves. We are actually very GOOD dates. We make good conversation, we are well groomed, we are intelligent. And I wonder, has that become ordinary? Are there so many over educated, intelligent women who also have that certain flare that that leaves those of us who might be flareless kicked out of the bed? 

Hmmm, it's interesting to think about. Because there definitely ARE those girls that have the flare. We all know them. Maybe you are them. Maybe you hate them. Maybe. But they are there and it's no use pretending that they are not. How do they know what to do? Are there classes that teach the flare? If there were, I couldn't afford them, damn you twice economy!!




P.S. If one person tells me that I will find the "one" or anything along those lines then I am going to hunt you down and go crazy on your ass. However, if you want to discuss anything else not along those lines, be my guest. Though I've probably scared you away from commenting at all. Which is fine. What is there really to say? Nothing much. I think that's why I find myself shrugging my shoulders for most of life's big questions now.

21 comments:

Stina said...

Ok, fine, you may never find "the one" but that does not mean that you are ordinary! It says more about the men who don't see you past date #X that they can't handle your extraordinariness than it does about you. You (and Michelle) are stunning people all-around and you just can't measure that based on whether or not you've found a life partner or not.

D'Arcy said...

touche.

i'll make sure to tell Michelle it's her EXTRAordinariness that might be the bigger issue here :) ...she will love that!

Rowena said...

But you really will find the ---

no, I was just teasing.

What I really want to say is that there's nothing wrong with being ordinary. I think if we were more at ease with the thought we would all be a lot happier with who we are.

And of course, even the extraordinary are ordinary and the ordinary are extraordinary. That's the paradox of ordinary and being a human.

And the paradox of being special, too.

You really are special. So is everyone. And not all of us recognize each other's specialness. That's okay. We're still special. A bunch of ordinary special folk.

Just like everyone else, completely extraordinary.

I bet you wish I'd just said you'd meet that special guy when the time was right.

D'Arcy said...

Actually Rowena, what I was wishing is that everyone in the world could read the words you just wrote. Because they are amazing, and I love them. I agree. Each person tends to mix ordinary/extrordinary into their own special selves.

I was talking to a friend the other day about expectations. He said that people in Denmark actually have a lot lower expectations of themselves than other countries and because of that, they are the happiest people in the world. I mean, they are raised to believe in going to school, doing your best, get a good, stable job, and then live your life the best that you should.

They are not raised to believe that they are the next Top Model, the next American Idol, the next So You Think You Can Dance, the next Bachelor, the next Biggest Loser etc (not that there is anything wrong in searching to be good at something)....

Have I taken a tangent? I'll stop now.

mapelba said...

What is ordinary? Maybe I've watched too much Doctor Who, but I think every person is extraordinary. Sure, plenty of them do horrible things, but every person is unique and has an impact on the world. And having an impact doesn't mean inventing fire or becoming president.

Just imagine how many generations it took of so-called ordinary people to give Obama or Margaret Atwood (choose your person).

As for meeting someone...I don't know. Look, I got through grad school without having one boyfriend--which just led me into some really stupid relationships with men who probably don't deserve the title boyfriend, but most of the time I refer to them that way because it is easier.

When I met my husband, I accepted a date with him because, well, just because. I'd given up. Seriously. Which doesn't mean anything for you, I'm just explaining my experience.

On the radio the other day I heard a story that makes one realize how hard it is to find someone--the numbers. They took the world population and started slicing away numbers to figure out the amount of people who might actually make decent partners... it was not a high number. So at the very least, it probably has less to do with you and more to do with statistics--as silly as that sounds.

Besides, think of all the folks out there who are married to jerks and other nightmares all so that they wouldn't be alone. Being with someone is no measure of anything.

skippylongjacket said...

I saw Confessions of a Shopaholic with three unmarried sisters, two married ones and my married mother. I have been married for two months after spending 12 + years in the same boat as every other single ordinary girl.

I watched the movie and thought how unrealistic it was. The girl in it is crazy, tricks people, lies to her friends, family, a guy who gives her a job and whom she soon falls for. Same story, she becomes a success based on lies, is revealed in a public and humiliating way and then has to redeem herself from the bottom. The guy ends up falling in love and says even though she lied to him, she was vivacious, bright and interesting.

Okay, so we get home and my single sisters say, the lesson we learned from the movie is that guys WANT crazy girls and it is the crazy girls that get the guy. They see themselves as ordinary and not particularly loveable. They don't get dates or the guys they do get don't stick around. I can see their position. It does, in fact, seem that the media often portrays the girl who gets the guy as the one who gets is the most out there. They think guys actually secretly like the drama.

I countered with maybe what we really learned is that the media shows what we want them to show and that perhaps there are many girls out there who deep down, girl want to be the vivacious character that the boys love, EVEN IF she is crazy.

Very interesting to me. As for myself, I like to live in reality. I dated boys on and off for those twelve + years. I am nothing special. Like you, I am intelligent, not unattractive, and have decent values. However, I too believe I lack any sort of flare that would attract guys. In reality, if it happens, it just does. You meet a guy whose hangups match your own, you quit trying to find Ms. Perfect or Mr. Perfect, you both accept that you each have flaws, but you find that regardless, you are willing to commit. I think it has to do with finding the ordinary guy who is sensible enough to see how extraordinary you could be to him and wants to stick with it. And vice versa.

I've always believed it, love is a choice. It really is a matter of finding the right one. But not THE "right one." Just the one who fits you and is willing to commit. Which there could be many of those or none that you find who fulfil both requirements. There is no such thing as "the one" or your true love. It's not settling either. But it is figuring out what you want and what you can handle and being willing to take a jump.

skippylongjacket said...

intelligent, not unattractive, and have decent values. However, I too believe I lack any sort of flare that would attract guys. In reality, if it happens, it just does. You meet a guy whose hangups match your own, you quit trying to find Ms. Perfect or Mr. Perfect, you both accept that you each have flaws, but you find that regardless, you are willing to commit. I think it has to do with finding the ordinary guy who is sensible enough to see how extraordinary you could be to him and wants to stick with it. And vice versa.

I've always believed it, love is a choice. It really is a matter of finding the right one. But not THE "right one." Just the one who fits you and is willing to commit. Which there could be many of those or none that you find who fulfil both requirements. There is no such thing as "the one" or your true love. It's not settling either. But it is figuring out what you want and what you can handle and being willing to take a jump.

D'Arcy said...

yeah, numbers are a bitch.

add to the fact that Michelle and I are both 6 feet tall and we don't want to marry "down" so to speak and you've got a statistical nightmare!!!!


shit.

Ruahines said...

Kia ora D'Arcy,
The only reason I write this from a point of view of having found "someone", is that I just got very lucky. I was much older than you, believe me, when I met Tara, and honestly I was perfectly happy with my life in most ways. It just happened. And even then it has been no magical ride in Fairyland. Yet there was that moment all those years ago when I first saw her. When I was least expecting it. So never rule it out.
You are not ordinary, you are extra-ordinary.
Aroha
Robb

ophelia rising said...

But, D'Arcy, you will find The One, someday!

KIDDING.

I think all of us are extraordinary. We are all divine. We come from a place of pure love, and we thrive in this, with or without a partner. You are so young yet, and while I'm not going to say, "Don't give up," "You'll find him, yet," etc., you must know that it's perfectly okay to be satisfied with yourself and your life right now, and to be with yourself. You, as all of us, are constantly discovering, searching, creating, and dreaming, and this is done whether you are in a relationship or not (hopefully). The fact that you are who you are only contributes to the whole of this diverse and crazy world. You really are beautiful, amazing, divine.

And, funnily enough, while you're not looking for anyone to share life with, that is the time you'll most likely meet someone. I don't know why it works that way, but it often does. (Sorry, that last comment comes dangerously close to telling you you'll find "the one" eventually, but I felt it had to be said)!

"You were born with potential
You were born with goodness and trust
You were born with ideals and dreams
You were born with greatness
You were born with wings
You are not meant for crawling, so don't
You have wings
Learn to use them and fly!"
- Rumi

I think you are using your wings quite nicely, now. Keep flying! Let nothing stop you.

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

I think I need to go for a walk and think about ordinary versus extraordinary. It can be mind boggling.

I know when I visit you over here you make me think and want to find the wee little artist in me.

I'm not even touching the dating topic.

Jenn said...

Hey D'Arcy,
*disclaimer:I'm not the best at expressing myself on blog comments*
Just a few questions or thoughts...
I read your blog as often as I can, and am usually able to read all your posts and comments. I obviously gather you are a little uneasy in your own skin for whatever reason right now, so to speak. I was just wondering...where do you find dates and what are you looking for in a man? Maybe it's a matter of finding the wrong man because you're looking in the wrong places.

There's no doubt from anyone who knows you that you are a wonderful and unique person. I just think you are having trouble knowing "who you are". I think once you realize who you are and are comfortable with yourself, everything else in your life will fall into place faster and more perfectly than you could ever hope for. Whether that means a man or possibly not, it will be wonderful.

Anyway, if a man is in your future which I personally believe to be so, you want to grab one with the same overall views as you. When you are confident with who you are, he will be too. And vice versa.

I love ya D'Arcy.
You came at a time in my life when I needed you.
Someone will come for you, in some way, when you are ready.

D'Arcy said...

First of all, I have awesome awesome friends.

Here is the joy of this blog. I like blogging about single life. I really do. I know that most of my readers are married and thus I think the tendency with being married it to look at me as feeling insecure when I write aobut the dating world.

the fact is, I like to put ideas from Michelle and my dating life out there. I think they are fun to think about and talk about and discuss without me thinking that I lack anything in my life.

I think skippy hit on it best with the ideals being presented in the media and how they are affecting relationships on a larger scale.

I don't think the issue here is that ANY of us are really ordinary. I mean really, we just aren't. I think, however, with the drama presented to us at every turn of life on all media levels, that we can begin to feel ordinary and maybe that's affecting the world of relationships in general.

Because times, they are a changing.

And why I use myself as a fun example and I put personal details out there, it is by NO means to say that I am lacking, unhappy, unfufilled, looking for things in wrong places, waiting for something to happen, etc.

I've always lived a very full life. I 've traveled thw orld, I have served my brothers and sisters in so many ways and they have served me. I have gone on to higher education, I have the most amazing job i could ever hope for, I get to write all the time and get paid for it, I get to take amazing pictures of people, I have peace and harmony in my family relationships...you all know this.

The irony is that I am not ordinary, neither is Michelle, neither, as Rowena pointed out, is ANY ONE.

And yet, and yet, I see this sense of dissatisfaction in the world of dating. People seem to flit from one person to the next more than ever before.

THESE are the studies that interest me and fascinate me and do, in truth, affect me.

This is what I think would make an interesting discourse.

So, in that spirit, I think as human beings it would be fun to see the trend and where they might lead us.

Do you guys think that the inability of single people today to actually form functional family units is going to have an affect on YOU?


Hmmm, think about that one.

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

I was always so jealous of those girls with flare! I still don't know how I got married when I possessed not a single spark of flare, and heaven knows there were enough girls around Steve WITH flare. Fortunately, they scared the crap out of him. He was definitely less threatened by the ordinary gal.

Gee, I really don't have any profound things to say here, not like all the others. And I don't think you need reassurance anyway. But this was a seriously fun post to read and think about.

(And now I am feeling a little down thinking about all those girls out there with flare. I wish I had just a teeny bit of it. Maybe if I had a boob job? JUST KIDDING!!! Sheez, just kidding! By the way, have I ever told you my "third boob story"?)

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Oh, when I was writing out my comment, D'Arcy hadn't yet published that last one of hers, and now mine seems shallow and anticlimatic.

Sorry.

:)

We're all special. Yup.

Dating SUCKS! (I'm assuming, since I don't do it anymore, nor did I do it much ever.)

(This comment may be more stupid than the first one.)

Alisa said...

OK, well, let me clarify as one of the "married youngs" that I don't think there is just one. Awhile ago you posted on soul mates and really wanted a positive response from someone who believes, but I just couldn't join in. I said:

"I don't think there's "just one" for any of us. There are probably several good ones. Recognizing this makes my marriage stronger. It puts me and my husband in charge, not destiny. It means we have to work to make it work, and not leave it all to fate. Because after all, we're not absolutely perfect for each other. We're imperfect beings who want to be better and love better. It's not automatic, but it's a deliberate choice. To some, this probably sounds so unromantic. But to me, there's nothing more romantic in the world than two people choosing together to forsake all other romantic possiblilities and build a life with only each other instead."

I still believe that. So no, I never tell people they haven't met "the one" or "the right guy." He doesn't exist in reality. Love is work by two very flawed and imperfect (ordinary) people. I totally believe destiny is only what we make of it.

Laura said...

I agree with everyone who questioned what ordinary is because we are all extraordinary. Next point, and one I have been pondering about my own non-dating life, perhaps, just perhaps many men don't like a challenge and prefer, instead, a woman who is more pliant than witty?

Speaking of height. There is a couple at my high school, they're seniors, who have been dating for at least two years. He is about a foot taller than her. Just a thought.

Olivia said...

A few things...

First, anyone who's ever hung out with you for any period of time knows what a flare you have, how vibrant you are and how enjoyable your company is.

Second, I think "we married people" sometimes are so happy we think the only way to be happy is to happy, so we want everyone else to be married. OR-the reverse, we question the validity of marriage and want to validate our choice by marrying off all our friends. When we got married, so many of our family members were against it that every time one of my friends would get engaged I would broadcast it to both of our families, like "see! we're not freaks!"

And finally, marriage is not an end, it's just another season of life. There are wonderful parts of being married, and wonderful parts of being single. Fai and I had a hypothetical conversation once about what we'd do if one of us were to die, and I realized as much as I love Fai and our marriage I wouldn't want to start that process over if anything happened to Fai. Enjoy all the seasons of your life. There is beauty in each one. You're not ordinary, the life you're living now is not ordinary. So many of the things you do you wouldn't be able to with a husband and kids, so enjoy the season you're in and all the rich things it has to offer.

i sound like a lame greeting card, but does that make sense?

Steve and Jenn Fletcher said...

Hmm, D'Arce, I think Laura just described me (without knowing) in her comment. Pliant. Non-witty. Short.

A sure pattern for marital success!

(LOL! I thought that was a very funny coincidence!)

Kristan said...

"What I really want to say is that there's nothing wrong with being ordinary. I think if we were more at ease with the thought we would all be a lot happier with who we are.

And of course, even the extraordinary are ordinary and the ordinary are extraordinary. That's the paradox of ordinary and being a human."

OMG ROWENA = GENIUS!

And how perfectly does that fit with my Ordinary vs. Extraordinary post?! ( http://kristanhoffman.com/2009/02/05/ordinary-vs-extraordinary/ ) I wish it had been a comment there...

skippylongjacket said...

I wanted to reply to your last post above, so here goes my rant about the media and it's affect on relationships and men.

I agree, fewer single people, men and women, though it seems more men, are willing to commit than ever before. I blame society and the media and ourselves. Because let’s face it, we are to blame for allowing it all. Whereas perhaps once it was more possible for people to ignore the media or recognize that the stars are removed from everyday life, today people become obsessed with the media and cannot separate it from reality. Today is just not the same as it was yesterday. Not the same values, goals, inspirations. Those of us who still want those same things are going to have a harder time finding similar people.

The media and technology make it all too easy for people to believe relationships should be easy and if they are not, one should not settle. In our world of buy on credit, pay later, ADD, entitlement, government bailouts, we have generations of people who want it all, want it now and aren’t willing to work as hard for it. Everyone wants the perfect relationships that will last forever full of passion and love. However, that is a myth, one perpetuated by the media. Those relationships don't exist and even good relationships take time, patience, forgiving, communicating, and plain hard work. People aren’t willing to put in that kind of time, hoping that it just means they haven’t found the right “one” yet.

Of course there are other factors. The media and current state of society also allow us to “busy” ourselves so much with movies, game shows, reality tv, sitcoms, dramas, facebook, email, the internet, cellphones, texting, etc, to the point where we don’t give enough time to relationships. And all of these devices feed the feeling that things need to happen fast and if they are not, there is always someone else out there to connect with. We are anxious. We desperately want to connect with someone, but we have so much social ADD, it’s become more difficult for people to stay connected in a meaningful way.

As well, the media encourages people to be harsher with one another, to judge one another, to pick each other apart, to be openly mean or rude. Because it’s funny. We laugh and then we take those characters home and use them on each other.

The media also shields us so much from ourselves. We are so busy being plugged in, we don’t often have time to figure out ourselves as individuals apart from everything else. We don’t know who we are, we don’t understand what drives us, what makes us happy, what makes us whole. When something goes wrong, we fear, we blame, and we try to move on quickly, without really experiening, accepting and understanding things.

For many men, who are afraid of commitment more generally anyway, the media feeds the lack of commitment. Though men want to connect, there is a fear that they are settling, that they aren’t getting the supermodel, that the woman will want too much of them, that the woman will not be perfect, that the woman will end up rejecting them anyway. It’s easier to do other things, video games, alcohol, clubbing, work, friends, or just date casually. (of course plenty of this can relate to women as well)

Okay, there’s my diatribe!