Sunday, April 19, 2009
My Perfect Woman #2: Personality
The penultimate post is a brief review of the preferred personality of my perfect girl. Because some people are visual learners, I have selected a photo of Holly Hunter to serve as exemplar this time. Her character in Broadcast News is probably about as close as Hollywood has come to depicting what I'd want in a woman.
For many people, life is a series of unconnected irrelevancies punctuated by blurry parts at either end. They go through every day with what's in front of them, and that's enough, or at least there doesn't seem to be any other choice.
But for my perfect woman, reality is more like a movie musical; everything seems normal, until all of a sudden you're in a big dance number. She should be given to random acts of spontaneity, and waylay conversations with bizarre (though strangely, still somehow relevant if you're clever enough to follow the thread) non sequiturs.
A sense of humor is absolutely essential before I can consider anyone tolerable, let alone perfect. If you can't go through life laughing, then I don't really see the point of going through it at all. My perfect girl would have an insatiable love of comedy, though one tempered by intelligence and good taste.
She would understand why The Three Stooges are funny and Jackass isn't. It would take more than a football to the groin to get her giggling, but Jerry kicking the tar out of Tom would be a riot. She'd love The Princess Bride and The Quest for the Holy Grail.
But most important of all is that she takes life itself in stride, with an inexhaustible store of good humor, given a wicked, if gentle, edge of cynicism and irony.
Maybe because they are so important to my own life, I find it difficult to relate to people without hobbies. It isn't essential to me that she be into gaming or movies or literature, though that might be nice. What is essential is that she have hobbies of her own, for which I have little interest. All hobbies look stupid to the uninitiated, and I would want her to be vaguely defensive to any criticism of her own past times.
My perfect woman would be almost unbearably combative. Our verbal spars would be one part foreplay one part Olympic event, but never simply for affectation or the release (or creation) of sexual tension. Rather, the interplay of our personalities would be intellectually volatile and express itself as a function of varying intolerance.
This would be a symptom of a greater infection, one that renders her by turns uncompromising, aggressive, and opinionated. When losing heated arguments she fights harder, not to avoid defeat, but to forestall the admission through mutual exhaustion. For me, the perfect girl would be a spitfire. Stubborn, feisty, and at times even defensive, but without malice or complete inflexibility.
The last personality trait I'd consider essential in an optimal mate would be fierce independence. I'd want her to be able to have gone through her entire life without meeting me, and still have had a perfectly fine time. She should have her own ideas, opinions, and suggestions. We'd disagree all the time, and she would have little difficulty in expressing her own positions.
I don't really care what her job is, but whatever she does, it should give her a sense of personal and intellectual fulfillment, from which she derives an important sense of empowerment and confidence. She should have goals and aspirations that are entirely particular to her, and the drive to pursue them.