By the age of sixteen, I had a very clear definition of the perfect man for me. He would be tall and handsome, of course. He would also read prodigiously, dance and play an instrument. I wasn't very particular about the instrument, but I did hope it would be the violin. We would spend quiet evenings reading books in companionable silence before he brought out his violin and I sang for him. To vary the monotony, some evenings we would put on slow jazz and dance for hours on end. Did I mention that he would also be a splendid dancer?
Of course my practical side would kick in then- after all some of these talents were rather emasculating. So, I threw in sports for good measure. He would play proper, rough, manly sports like football and basketball while I cheered him on from the sidelines. Then we would return home where he'd help me cook dinner and then he'd write a gloriously romantic sonnet to my eyes and secret it under my pillow for me to find in the morning.
Then college happened and my perfect man started seeming more and more unreachable. I let go of each of his little perfections reluctantly, one by one. Maybe he didn't have to dance... Maybe he could learn the violin after we got together... Perhaps I would settle for someone not quite so formidably well read...Maybe a writing me a sonnet was rather soppy...
This went on for over three years until today in a random 2 am conversation, A asked me what qualities I looked for in my ideal man. I thought about it for a really long time and finally came up with, "I'm not quite sure..."
The starched up vision of perfection that I had doesn't seem at all right now. I always thought I was reluctantly letting go of my visions of the perfect man, and gloried in the doleful romance of the thought. But, now I get that all I was doing was growing up. Indeed such an embodiment of perfection, if he even existed, would probably be impossibly hard to live with.
Still, now that I've come face to face with reality and stripped all my visions bare, I'm feeling rather empty. I know that new ideas and dreams, far more real and precious, will come in to fill that void, one day. But right now, as the culmination of three year's wisdom, I cling to only one standard- no matter what else my perfect man does or doesn't do, he will not write poetry.