Autodidact: self-taught


Snow and Delusions

by V. L. Craven

[This post is from an earlier blog]

This baffled rant brought to you by Orhan Pamuk’s Snow , a quite wonderful book about the political struggles going on in modern day Turkey.

All of the male characters who talk about the women they ‘love’ don’t know those women well. Then they get upset when the women don’t turn out to be the person they fantasized about. This usually is some very small thing they could have learned about the woman if they’d spent any time with said female before they convinced themselves they were in love. Somehow, it’s the woman’s fault when the man is a delusional moron.

If you want to convince yourself you’re meant to be with a person you can’t possibly know then go find a celebrity–that’s what they’re there for–to give you someone impossible to fantasize about. Then back on planet Earth you have to deal with real people who can be hurtful and stupid. Or, you know, simply isn’t your ideal mate.

Though this rant was kicked off by Snow it’s no condemnation of the book–the characters are completely believable–I’ve met several people (male and female) that refuse to get to know a person before deciding said target is their soul mate only to find that pseudo-soul mate is really annoying and a human after all. (I hate when that happens.)

Where does this come from? At first, I attributed it to the fact that the sexes are quite segregated in the society in the novel and so people couldn’t get to know one another and were forced to have relationships mostly in their heads. Then I recalled that I knew quite a few people like that and I live in a society where it’s socially acceptable to sleep with a person the day you meet. So what does that leave us? I mean, besides with a ridiculous rate of STIs and unwanted pregnancies. (Not that those aren’t a total blast, mind.)

Though the love feelings of the male characters takes up a rather small bit of the novel I found myself getting infuriated every time the subject came up. I’ve been on the receiving end of men who’ve spent perhaps ten cumulative hours with me who then tell me they love me and they “know” me so well and we’d be great together if only I wasn’t such a stuck up bitch. My response was, “If I’m such a bitch then you shouldn’t like me so much, no?” The reply: “Yeah, if you’d stop being so cold we’d be great together!”

Translation: Do what I want, when I want and you’ll be perfect.
Yes, except I could also be the next Stepford Wife, too. Any person can be perfect if they’re a complete blank and allow the other person to project whatever traits and prejudices they’d like onto them.
I don’t mean to pick on straight men, here, as I’ve known quite a few women (gay and straight) and gay men who’ve done the exact same thing. Delusion is one of the great equalizers. Every race, creed and religion is capable of being a complete jackass in the face of meeting the perfect lifemate, which fairy stories and Hollywood has told us exists.

So where does this come from? A friend of mine suggests it is “a symptom of a society which teaches its children that everything they do is worthy of attention, everything they want is something they deserve and everything is completely disposable.”

He was then reminded of people on a forum he frequents that “whinge and whine about being alone and never being able to find anyone, because they are not looking for anyone. They are looking for some absolutely specific person that they have made up as the perfect mate. And this thinking isn’t limited to just potential mates. Friends get treated the same way: oh, I really thought this person was nice until I found out *insert some innocuous factoid here* and now I can never hang around with them again!”

It sounds incredibly immature (because it is) but some of these people are in their thirties…or older. People should be over this sort of thing by the time they’re sixteen. Eighteen at the latest.

Is this a contributor to the divorce rate? The person you’re with is supposed to mesh with you so completely that you don’t even need to talk about practicalities of life like money or kids. If you’re meant to be together it’ll work out and if you’re not then you’ll get a divorce and try again. Just keep trying not talking to people before allowing yourself to get emotionally involved and then being shattered when that person has thoughts and feelings you didn’t conceive of.

But wait. Really knowing another person before getting involved isn’t romantic–it isn’t mysterious.

You know what else isn’t mysterious? Alimony payments.

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