Three fictional characters have profoundly influenced me through my adolescent, and now adult, life. The first being Batman, the second being Optimus Prime, and last, but certainly not least–the one and only–Carrie Bradshaw! Initially, like most teenage boys watching “Sex & The City,” I was in it for the “sex” and not so much for the city. In fact, Samantha Jones, was the first naked woman I had ever seen! However, as I aged and noticed the show’s stellar writing content I fell in love with its central character. She and her show became a mainstay in my life.
Oddly enough, no matter what I’m going through or how I might feel, Carrie has a way of saying something that will alleviate, or make me positively rethink the situation at hand. As I watched an episode the other night one of her many sayings caught my ear. She said, “When it comes to relationships, maybe we’re all in glass houses, and shouldn’t throw stones. Because you can never really know. Some people are settling down, some are settling and some people refuse to settle for anything less than Butterflies…” Profound right? It got me to wondering. Does anyone have the perfect relationship? It seems like love is everywhere and you’re the single stranger, stranded in a sea of couples. To you these couples have it made, and perhaps it even seems like they already have what you can only dream of. Interestingly, we find ourselves with the answer to a question we already know deep down inside. That answer is NO!
Case in point, my glamorous girlfriend “Gia.” Gia had the life most girls only dream of. She has three beautiful children, a colonial style mansion in Buckhead, servants, and a husband with pockets that rival a pocket dimension. He supports her every endeavor–charity work, career choices, church duties, and extravagant vacations lasting months at a time. Their five year anniversary was a sight to behold, easily on par with any ball Cinderella might crash. Sounds like a fairytale right? At least that’s what we (her family and friends) thought as well until she filed for divorce the day after. Apparently her many long vacations involved speedy recoveries; as she had been verbally and physically abused for years. After selling most of her possessions, she currently works for a living as an executive assistant and is filing for custody of their children. Over lunch one afternoon, my curiousity compelled me to inquire on what went wrong. She simply replied in between bites of her waldorf salad, “Mikey… all that glitters ain’t gold.”
Indeed this is true, as no relationship is perfect. Relationships crack like glass, many filled with microchasmic-sized fissures so tiny that no one sees or realizes they are there until pressure (i.e. sexual issues, money, children, family, friends) is applied. However, just because there aren’t any perfect relationships does not mean there aren’t any healthy ones. Nor that you’re unlikely to find yourself in one. It simply means you have to do the work–compromising, properly communicating, empathizing with your partner, and fair fighting. Yes there is a such a thing as fair fighting, it means only arguing about the issue at hand. No sideswiping insults or mentions of past indiscretions that have been resolved or supposedly forgiven.
It’s so interesting that glass houses have become synonymous when describing our own durability and our interactions with others. Perhaps there’s a divine clue to this metaphorical glass and the properties of real glass in their transparent traits. Perhaps transparency is the best policy for dealing with the ones we love? Only when we’re truly “transparent” or open to love are we truly able to feel its full force. Oddly enough, even that leads us to a greater question. Are any of we “glass people” ready for the transparency true love requires?
Disclaimer: The names of my case studies have been changed to protect the privacy of said individuals.