more on relationships

This is embarassing. The other day M and I were at her mom's house and her stepdad was watching..... Dr. Phil (gasp!). And I got sucked into it. I know, I know.
Now normally I think Dr. Phil is full of shit. And it creeps me out that he is now on Match.com commercials talking about GuyQ. How heteronormative is that? Anyway, he said something on this program, which coincidentally was on weddings. (I know, I know.) He said about relationships, "Someone has to be the hero." He went on to explain that relationships are not 50/50. Not friendships, family and especially love relationships. Since I've been contemplative about friendships/relationships etc. lately. It sort of struck me.

Despite what we're taught when we're younger, people don't ever treat us the way we treat them. Sometimes we're mean and spiteful and people are nice to us anyway. Sometimes we're giving and considerate and we're taken advantage of or treated badly. So what exactly do we have invested in the idea that other people should see what great girlfriends, friends, sisters, daughters, sons, roommates, acquaintaces, teachers, whatever and be that back to us? Isn't that unrealistic? Don't we just set ourselves up for disappointment?

There was someone I was friends with when I was about 19. Truth was, I was kind of in love with her and didn't really know or understand it but that's neither here nor there. (Whatever that means). Anyway, I helped her study biology, wrote her Communication speeches and most of her English papers throughout college. Because I was good at it and didn't really mind doing it. She would say she was going to call me to do something with her on the weekends and then never call me. And it devastated me. I would be so upset by it. I thought "I've been such a good friend to her. I always help her when she needs me... and so on and so on." The thing was, it never occurred to her that I would be so upset by her lack of courtesy. It was "just how she was." Our entire friendship was like a yo-yo. She hated my first girlfriend, Candace. She hated losing attention. She's still like that when I talk to her now only now, I don't need her validation or whatever it was I used to get from our friendship. I understand now that you can't expect things from others silently. Because if you're waiting for someone to just "know" what it is you need, you're going to be disappointed. I think this was part of what I was getting at in my previous discussion of the rhetoric of friendships. We're set up with these unrealistic standards for one another. We think our friends and especially lovers will just "get us." But come on; we know that's not really possible. And yet, we can't let go of the ideal. We cling to it. We feel bad if we aren't those kinds of friends/lovers/wives/daughters/... etc.

I love Michelle but she can make me crazy. The best kind of love is like that I think. My closest friends make me the most nuts. My mother said recently about my father, "There's just no knowing him. And that's what I love. A lot of days, it's like when we first met but better because there's all this history. Oh, drives me up the wall. I wouldn't have it any other way."

I hope Michelle can feel that way about me. I know I do about her. And that craziness, well; at least it keeps life interesting. We should embrace that more. And stop striving for some sort of perfection. Perfection is not only impossible; it's boring.