Friday, 11 April 2014

Eeny -meeny-miny-ho!

Remember the story about that fearless little girl with the golden perm who braved the big bad world all on her own? Confident, cute and unashamed of overstaying her welcome, Goldilocks has got to be by far one of the greatest literary heroines of all time. Unlike Rapunzel and Red, whose need for instant validation from the first man that came knock, knock, knocking at their tower door, Goldie knew that good things came to those who wait. She wasn't afraid of taking time to explore her options, even if it meant getting lost along the way. While she hadn't a clue about most things in life (such as breaking and entering being punishable by law no matter how blonde and ditzy you are), one thing's for certain...whatever it was, it had to be just right.

Ever since the birth of modern-day feminism, women have earned a reputation for being too choosy, and they don't hide it either. Most women flaunt their picky-ness and wear it on their sleeves like a brand new fashion accessory. From the carbs they may or may not ingest to the expensive shoes they recently purchased on overdraft, right down to the men they date and subsequently marry. Every decision about love and life is calculated and weighed up against a checklist of impossible criteria; criteria that most men in this city fail to meet no matter how eligible they seem to be. This one's too small, that one's too big, that one wasn't quite right. Have we set the bar too high or are certain standards just way too unrealistic?

For the first time in history women are just as powerful and successful as men if not more so which regrettably means one one will ever be good enough. The expectations are sky-high and most men simply don't cut it these days. We've come a long way from good looking charmers on white horses now that we've become our own heroes and breadwinners. Have we shot ourselves in the foot with all this gender equality and girl power entitlement? Are women expected to lower their standards and expectations if they wish to find a suitable spouse and avoid a life of solitary confinement?

Fortunately for mankind, women have always had the ability to adapt and compromise in such troubling circumstances, unlike Goldie, a 30-something year old entrepreneur, who refused to crack under society's pressure. Like most single girls her age, she'd been in the dating game for more than 15 years and clearly longed for the stability of a loving relationship. The only problem is "she hadn't quite met him yet." Most of her friends had already given up on trying to fix her up, resigning themselves to the idea that little Miss Fuss Pot was going to remain single for the rest of her life. Perhaps her lack of compromise was a bit pig-headed but there's something admirable about a girl who refuses to settle for anything less than perfect...

"I have a very clear idea of what it is I want and I refuse to back down on that!" She did have a clear idea and she wasn't going to settle for anything less than a God-fearing athlete with deep pockets who'd respect and spoil her till her dying day. Her checklist seemed to be getting longer and longer as every year went by and started resembling a monthly shopping list. Although she had recently met a number of great eligible, single guys, Goldie had always managed to find fault in each and every one.

"There's definitely a connection there but I just don't feel the chemistry you know?" "I couldn't possibly be serious about a guy who earned less than I did." "He's wonderful but there's just no attraction." She was by definition infuriating. Instead of just settling down with a sensible, warm-blooded man with a stable income and average looks, Goldie had paved the way for a life of spinsterhood with her high standards and unrealistic expectations. Was she sabotaging her own life with these ridiculous hopes or did she really still have faith?

"Every morning I wake up and ask myself, 'is today the day I meet the guy of my dreams?' Clearly I haven't otherwise we wouldn't be having this conversation. I've thought about lowering my standards but then I think about all my varsity friends who didn't and who are happily married to the most amazing husbands. Just because I'm single and thirty-several doesn't mean I'm desperate enough to settle for just anybody. I deserve greatness. It's hard trying to stay positive about the future with so many negative people around me telling me that I should give up on my notion of Mr. Right. I'm not OCD and I'm definitely not mental. If I end up dying alone then I'm cool with that too. I'd rather be single and alone than spend my golden years with someone that doesn't rock my world."

While the notion of pursuing Prince Charming in this day and age is about as realistic as Valeria Lukyanova's chest implants, there are certain standards that a woman should never compromise on, no matter how many toads she has to kiss along the way. Sometimes a little compromise can be surprising, and take us on journeys of self-discovery and futures we hadn't really imagined. Whether it's a matter of being in the right place at the right time, we'll never know. Fate and destiny have a funny way of playing out but it all eventually comes to light at the end.  

When it comes to Mr. Right and fairytale endings, should we wait it out or simply take what we can get?

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