I had a revelation yesterday, which is something I have with far less frequency as I get older. Through both fortune and misfortune, I’ve been witness to some pretty incredible events, spectacles, and situations. I’ve been part of, and tangential to, many relationships over the past 35 years, give or take a few here and there. I’ve gone through dry romantic periods like most normal people, for various lengths of time, lasting for hours in my more voracious years to nearly two years amid my more temperate. Only the most desperate, self-absorbed and wretched soul needs to be dating someone upon ending a relationship. No one in their right mind or part of any credible professional association recommends it.

But one thing has held true through all the many mostly wonderful relationships I’ve had with ladies (even though I was typically the one who ended the relationships, or they truly did “fizzle out,” I’m happy and grateful to say I’m still fond friends and on good ground with 99.9% of every one of them). I’ve been associated with thousands and thousands of people over the decades, both male and female, who’ve been close friends of mine in some depth and studied and been “involved” in their relationships as well. I’m from a tiny state in the South where everyone knows each other and, at times, it felt like everyone had dated each other at some point. Plenty of old girlfriends ended up marrying, and are still married many, many years later, to my good friends. That’s an awesome thing to be able to state, and I’m remorseful for how poorly I’ve kept in touch. Although having to move several states away for the past ten years on someone else’s behalf played a big part in that damage.

buh bye

In any case, each time I or a friend or my love interest decided to part ways, it was always in order to move to greener pastures. Whatever made those pastures greener, which usually was pretty evident. For women, men’s social value is typically the most important. That value is determined by a host of factors and people, but all items that would be agreed upon as an (even somewhat) socially redeemable characteristic. The very same characteristics I always put forth when courting a lady, because that’s usually what they seek, whether that’s stated or implied or even wanted to be kept secret. Money, power, fame, physical traits of virility, which of course are more base but valid, success, earning power, countenance, upbringing, family stability, intelligence, security (both physical and otherwise), the promise of bearing healthy children within a functional family environment, and so on. “Mr. Right,” in other words.

Yet it never occurred to me in all these years that there might exist a person who would seek specifically to trade down. Someone who didn’t want intelligence, earning power, chivalry, security, manners or refinement, or any of the virtues listed above. Someone who was inferior intellectually, financially, and irresponsible. Someone who a three-year-old child calls out for being gross because of a disgusting blowing-the-nose-in-the-towel habit. A toddler!

This might seem like a stunning desire. What would cause a person to behave such a way? The answer: someone who doesn’t want to have to answer to anyone. No expectations of them of any sort, and wants simply a brainless, spineless pet to sit in the corner. Someone who only wants their mate to bring the feeling of superiority to the table, and nothing else. Except maybe free childcare and what low level of housekeeping are desired, if any. Someone who asks no questions and is fine being kept both as a type of live-in gigolo and kept in the dark about any of his mate’s despicable past. How long would it take to find such a person with such low standards? Apparently a couple of months.

I never imagined such people existed, but live nearly 50 years, and similar creatures just may ooze and jiggle across your path too.