Biff America: Impaled by Cupid’s arrow
This might be difficult for some of you to believe: I am no bag of jewels.
This is not only due to the wear, tear, sun damage and gravity that is part and parcel with living over a half century but, frankly, I’m also a bit peculiar.
I hasten to add this has not progressed to the point of dementia or mental illness, though it is getting close. I regularly make odd noises: grunts, groans and moans when I do everything from getting up in the morning to bending over to take off my ski boots. I also constantly talk to myself – sometimes arguing with myself – and whatever song I first hear thing in the morning I hum for the rest of the day; my mate has purged the house of my old Grand Funk Railroad tapes.
All of the above are actually my strong points.
In addition, I’m compulsive in terms of where things go in my home and office, and if anything is moved, I’ll often trip over it. I also have difficulty hearing in crowded places and can be curt to the point of appearing rude. (Often this is a result of not hearing what people are saying to me.)
On the plus side, I think I am really clever and funny, especially when I drink.
I’m sure the above revelations must be a colossal disappointment to all those who thought me perfect but, if the truth be told, I am a piece of work.
But despite all that I have a mate who thinks I’m the cat’s ass; she even said so in my Valentine’s Day card. (I just tried to dig it out of recycling to quote it exactly but can’t find it – you’ll just have to take my word that it was really flattering.)
A lot smarter people than me have tried to define love – some more successfully that others. The problem lies in the fact that love is unique to whoever is giving or getting it. There is no way my mate could love me the same way that Angelina Jolie loves Brad Pitt – because I’m taller than Brad.
But if there is one thing that all great (or even mediocre) loves have in common is each mate being able to tolerate what’s weird about his or her partner.
We all have redeeming qualities. Some people are clever, funny, intuitive, compassionate and intelligent. Some write columns and can pick a lock. It is easy to love what is lovable about someone. What takes skill is, at the same time, tolerating what is weird.
That being the case, love comes more easily to those who are accepting of the human condition. Those are the people who can see the good without getting too ticked-off by the bad.
But even for the most tolerant of us, there is what I call a “deal breaker.” By that I mean aspects of a personality, that despite the good points of a person, are intolerable. I’ll give an example,
My buddy Dick met this gal, Roberta, in a bar. Dicky was coming off a divorce and had been recently laid off from his construction job. I wouldn’t call Richard desperate, but he was definitely open for suggestions and looking for love. Dicky began shooting pool with Roberta, who seemed fun, sort of attractive and a really good pool player; she even bought him a drink. By the end of the evening they ended up in Dicky’s truck in the parking lot, sharing a quart of beer, talking and kissing. Dicky later told me that he thought he might have met someone special.
That was until Dicky discovered Roberta was a dude in drag, and that’s what I mean by “deal breaker.”
Most deal breakers are a lot less dramatic.
Lucky for me my mate is both loving and tolerant; if she wasn’t tolerant she could not be loving – or at least she could be so loving towards me.
Truth in journalism dictates I point out that she isn’t perfect either. There is a lot of stuff I have to put up with to get along with her. For instance, she doesn’t like throwing knives, but I suck it up and don’t complain too much.
Valentines’ Day is a celebration of what is lovable in all of us – ours was no different.
I was up in my office grunting while pulling on my socks and singing that song from a Budweiser commercial when my mate walked in. She gave me a beautiful new windbreaker and a nice card (that I still can’t find) that said some real romantic stuff. I gave her a card I made myself, one in which I’d spell-checked all the romantic words like “succulent,” “luscious,” “curvaceous” and “turgid.” I was going to give her flowers, but they are so messy when they dry out so instead I gave her a CD of some of my favorite music. Now that’s amore….
Jeffrey Bergeron, under the alias of Biff America, can be seen on TV-8 and read in several newspapers and magazines. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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