Because I am the princess who has learned to sleep on the pea.
Not only can I sleep, quite soundly in fact, on the pea, I can step on the Lego, sit on the Dora doll, or finish the half eaten apple slices but that’s not really the point of this article. I’m more concerned with the knight in
shining dented armor.
At some point, we all think about what we want in a mate. When I was younger, I even went so far as to create a list of desirable traits in a man because we all know that lists create the perfect mate and help us avoid heartbreak (note sarcastic tone)
Well, after experiencing the painful reality of a failed marriage, it is more apparent than ever that attempts to have a relationship based on a person who fits on a list does not work. Perhaps my “mate-chooser” is broken or what I think of as ideal is not, but either way, I am discovering that I would like my knight to come in dented, not shining, armor.
While I would like to imagine that this man of my dreams has the winning looks and smile of Bradley Cooper, the charm and finesse of Denzel Washington, the bank account of Warren Buffett and the patience, love and commitment of Jesus, a man like that would in fact scare me because it would make my flaws even more obvious than they already are. If I am incapable (and I know that I am) of producing the physical perfection of a pageant queen mixed with the patience Mother Teresa, the cooking skills of Ree Drummond and the sex drive of a porn star, that make believe man would not get the make believe woman who he deserves.
Rather, I want my frog prince to still have the tendency to ‘ribbit’ every now and again, possibly prefer a lily pad to the velvet throne and even eat a couple of flies while wearing an Armani tuxedo; because his princess bride will occasionally laugh so hard she snorts, forget to put on deodorant on a busy Saturday morning or even accidentally fall asleep on the couch during date night.
My new list starts with a prayer that goes a little something like this…Lord, please let him come with dented and tarnished armor, so that the reflection of my imperfections in his dulled steel won’t be so glaring. I promise to have leftovers reheated when he has to put away his noble steed at night and takes too long because it’s back is somewhat bowed from age and weight. Help me to be understanding as he is walking through the journey that You have set him on while You walk me through my own journey of healing and trust. Thank You for being patient with me as You teach me to love with my whole heart, and that loving others starts long before a romantic relationship should develop as there are MANY opportunities to practice showing love to those around me.
I now know that life and romance do not begin when you find the right person, instead working on becoming the right person is my priority. I understand that when the time is right and he presents himself, he will not be there to “complete me” or rescue me but rather I will be ready to display the qualities of patience, kindness, honor, respect, truthfulness, and perseverance while setting aside my pride, envy, boasting, anger, selfishness or record-keeping of wrongs because I’ve been practicing that with every person I encounter.
I know that I won’t always get it right, at my best right now I’m batting .500, which would be great for the Astros, but not so good in (re)marriage. I simply know that I want to and with God’s help I will be better than I’ve been before. I pray for that man and that he has the intelligence to know that while he won’t get it right all the time, I don’t expect him to. Effort and the ability to forgive are entirely more desirable these days than perfect teeth and stellar credit.
These days, my list is much, much shorter…in fact, it’s nonexistent.