Monday, March 26, 2018

Substance over style...

Yesterday, Bill and I went to a wine tasting near the small town of Weil der Stadt.  While we were there, I happened to see an article about last year's event, which we also attended.  The vintner had printed it out and put it on his table.  In the middle of the article, there was a picture of Bill and me.  I was wearing the same blue top I had on yesterday.  I had a huge smile on my face.  Looking closer, I suddenly realized why I hate having pictures taken.

Even though I was clearly having fun with Bill and the photographer captured the joy on my face, I couldn't help but feel kind of negative about that photo.  I realized that this year, I probably look the same or even worse.  On the other hand, my looks probably only matter to me.  Bill thinks I'm beautiful... not because of what I look like, but because of who I am.  I think he loves my sense of humor the most of all.

This morning, George Takei shared an article about a woman who regularly heard comments about how handsome her husband is.  Many people said they couldn't believe someone like her managed to snag such a cute guy.  Although many of my friends have told me they think Bill is cute, I've never heard anyone tell me that he's too cute for me.  However, I will confess that sometimes I feel that way.  I wonder why he's with me.  Then I remember who his first wife was and how she behaved.

It always surprises me when people feel like they can make critical comments about a person's choice in mates, especially when the comments are about physical appearance.  It's especially egregious when the two people involved are not public figures, although even public figures should have the right to choose their partners in peace.  Take, for example, Camilla Parker-Bowles, second wife of Prince Charles.  Yesterday, I read a rather nasty themed article about her entitled "This 1 Thing May Be What Inspired Camilla to Destroy Prince Charles’ Marriage and Fight for the Crown".

First off, I don't believe a person outside of a marriage really has the power to destroy it.  Can a person harass a couple to the extent to which they have marital problems?  Yes, I believe that can happen.  However, the only people who can decide to destroy a marriage are the people within it.  They made the decision to marry.  They make the decision to divorce.  The truth is, Prince Charles and Princess Diana were not compatible.  They never were compatible.  That marriage would have failed whether Camilla was around or not.

Charles and Diana spent fifteen miserable years together until the marriage was finally done.  Then, a year later, Diana died.  It seems tragic to me that Diana spent almost half her life married to a man she didn't love.  She should have had the chance to find someone who was a better match for her.  Most everyone deserves that much in life.

At this writing, Charles and Camilla have been together almost thirteen years.  I well remember the headlines of Charles' and Diana's marital spats.  By contrast, I never hear anything about Charles and Camilla being on the outs.  They are suited to each other and clearly love each other.  Maybe other people don't like them together or apart, but they are clearly contented... or maybe the press just doesn't care about them.

However, whatever the reason behind their lack of visibility in the press, the public at large seems to have thoughts about Charles and Camilla.  A lot of people dislike Camilla.  They claim she's a homewrecker and make derogatory comments about her looks.  Lots of people wonder how in the world Charles would dump his beautiful first wife for Camilla.

Looks aren't everything.  Charles and Camilla were into each other years before Charles and Diana started dating.  They clearly love each other and should have been married from the get go.  Maybe Diana was destined to be the mother of Charles' children.  God knows she brought good looks and charisma into the royal DNA.  But she was never a match for Charles and he was not a match for her. And people who aren't shallow recognize that there's a lot more to a successful relationship than physical beauty and/or attraction.  The most gorgeous person on the planet could turn out to be an abusive nightmare.

As we were headed to the wine tasting yesterday, Bill and I were talking about the article I read about Charles and Camilla.  I told Bill that I have found that I no longer get crushes.  When I was single, I used to develop crushes on men I found attractive.  I always hated it when that happened, since my crushes never led to anything.  Then when Bill and I got together, I found that I no longer had crushes on guys.  I notice good looking men or guys I think are nice or funny, but I don't want to be with them.  I have the man I want to be with.  Fortunately, he likes me too.

I never thought I'd be as lucky as I am to be married to a guy who really is my best friend.  We truly enjoy each other's company.  We love each other and don't see the need to change.  I don't know how common relationships like ours are, but I feel very fortunate to have found someone who accepts and loves me for who I am... even if I don't always accept myself the way I am.  I am blessed in that respect, and in many others.  I'm glad our marriage is based on substance over style rather than style over substance.

Those who want to see the picture I referenced at the beginning of this post, can see it on my travel blog.

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