The Imperfect Ideal

As little girls, we are introduced to the classic fairy tale setting. Girl has problems/life she wants to escape. Girl meets mysterious, perfect boy.  Boy rescues her from her life. They live happily ever after. The end. It never goes any further than that. Girl with the imperfect life is rescued by the perfect boy and they’re eternally happy. All the problems are external and never internal. The flaws all come from her life and being with him offers all of the solution.

As a little girl myself, when I day dreamed about my future, I always stopped with the wedding. I didn’t even dream too much about that. Mostly I stopped with getting engaged. “Happily Ever After” seemed to be a code for fade out of view. I wanted the fantastical perfect relationship with a fantastically perfect man.

Now as a happily married woman, I have to say that life doesn’t fade out after you say “I do” (which, you actually say I will and not I do but no one ever bothers to mention that) but it also isn’t perfect.

My husband is a flawed man. I am a flawed woman. We love each other a metric fuck ton, but that doesn’t mean that our life together is without it’s ups and downs. We say the wrong things, we let each other down, we make each other cry. And we hold each other close, whisper our apologies, and kiss away the tears.

I, like so many girls, have a wedding board on Pinterest (which if you aren’t on there and want to be, let me know and I’ll invite you). It’s very interesting to see not only what dresses/rings/flowers are being passed around; but what ideals go along with that.

Things like: He has to ask my dad for permission or he’d better have a secret photographer take pictures and give them to me on the morning of our wedding. Which are both fine ideas but hardly requirements. There are no pictures of our engagement and there was no ring when he proposed. He didn’t ask my Dad seeing as I was the one he was marrying and I was living with him, it seemed better that he just ask me.

Those amuse, but don’t bother me. And I’ve written before about not liking certain phrases like, “wait for the man that will never make you cry.” There’s a lot on pinterest about the ideal man. He’s about as deep as Cinderella’s Prince Charming. He’s just this shadowy guy that will only ever make you happy, buy you a huge ring, do lots of super romantic things all the time, and generally going around being flawless.

Maybe there are guys like that. I haven’t met any yet.

Like I said earlier, I’m flawed and B’s flawed and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. Would I totally love it if he just brought me flowers randomly? Absolutely. Do I know that if I want flowers I’ll either have to tell him I want them or buy them myself? Absolutely.

I love that we use the diamond as a traditional engagement ring stone. It’s perfect. It comes out of the ground rough and unformed. It has to be cut and polished to shine. Unless you’re stupid rich, you’re going to get a diamond with imperfections, even if they’re invisible. Maybe it has some slight, undetectable color. Maybe it has some feathering or cracks visible at 10 times magnification.

It isn’t perfect. But you know something? It sparkles. It shines. It lasts forever.

That’s love. It starts off rough and unformed. It blossoms, grows, develops. There will be flaws in every relationship. Some visible. Some not. It won’t be perfect. But, if you care for it then it will sparkle, shine, and last forever.

I would rather have my imperfect ideal in B than cookie cutter Prince Charming. I would rather have our real and flawed relationship then an ending at Happily Ever After. Because Happily Ever After is only the beginning.

~The Countess~


About texancountess

I find myself in the calming roar of the sea, floating gently on the foam of the breaking waves. Blue. Green. Gray. The colors of the sea mark the boundaries of my soul. The tumbled glass finds its polish under the relentless pounding of the waves upon the shore. Thus am I. Rough transitioning to polish, refinement ever a process, finding my niche in the storms of life.
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One Response to The Imperfect Ideal

  1. Mary says:

    Love this. I actually just started a wedding board today, mainly because I saw a cute dress and had nowhere else to file it.

    I don’t want a diamond – I don’t really care for jewelry, I just want something meaningful. I read an excellent article once about the origin of diamond engagement rings:

    “Prior to the 20th century, engagement rings were strictly luxury items, and they rarely contained diamonds. But in 1939, the De Beers diamond company changed all of that when it hired ad agency N.W. Ayer & Son. The industry had taken a nosedive in the 1870s, after massive diamond deposits were discovered in South Africa. But the ad agency came to the rescue by introducing the diamond engagement ring and quietly spreading the trend through fashion magazines. The rings didn’t become de rigueur for marriage proposals until 1948, when the company launched the crafty “A Diamond is Forever” campaign. By sentimentalizing the gems, De Beers ensured that people wouldn’t resell them, allowing the company to retain control of the market. In 1999, De Beers chairman Nicky Oppenheimer confessed, ‘Diamonds are intrinsically worthless, except for the deep psychological need they fill.’” [from Mental Floss]

    Amen to that!

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