There’s that famous scene in “When Harry Met Sally” at the delicatessen where Sally’s faking an orgasm to prove a point to Harry… and the older woman in a nearby booth deadpans, “I want what she’s having.”
I was trying to think of a title for this morning’s Fun Friday challenge and that line popped in my head. When you’re out there gaining a life, post-cheater, what do you want? What badass person do you draw on for inspiration? Is there a career, a relationship, an achievement that you aspire to — that you recognize in another and think “I want what she’s having”?
I’m not talking about phony social media impression management. Or envy. I’m talking aspiration and goal setting. I mean the revelation that Other Forms of Life exist. OMG, you can earn a living wage doing that? OMG, you mean there are people who reciprocate? OMG, you mean I don’t have to do this entire project by myself and clean up the moldy pizza boxes afterwards?
I’m talking about raising your standards for yourself. And looking for some bars to measure by.
I remember a conversation my mother told me about the relationship between her grandparents. (I remember my great-grandparents well… they lived into their 90s.) She said they always talked to each other over the newspaper every morning. Being in northern Michigan, it was probably some trenchant commentary on the day’s trout fishing, but anyway whatever interesting little nugget it was, they shared it with each other. They delighted in each other’s company. They were companionable.
It just struck me as rather revolutionary. I want what great-grandma Wallace is having. Someone isn’t having a sulk, or disappeared to go “work late”? Or found a thousand things more interesting than spending time with you? Such contentment EXISTS?
You can go either way with this. You can let the knowledge grieve you, because you don’t have it. And question the veracity of such things. Or you can think — I want that. I’m going to measure my relationships by that and not settle.
So, CN, what’s inspiring you these days?
The art is copyrighted by Tracy Schorn, from my book “Leave a Cheater, Gain a Life.”