Sunday, November 14, 2010

In search of Peter Baca... Or, Dammit Jim!

Believe it or not, I teach classes on healthy relationships. You know the saying - those who can't, teach? I give lessons on communication, boundaries, needs and wants, etc. One statement I always have participants reflect on (learned from my mentor, who is also single) is this:
Plan for who your partner is; not the person you want him/her to be.
I'm not sure where, but somewhere along the way, women learn a completely and utterly psychotic notion that we can "fix" and shape our potential love partners into our perfect mate.

I blame Barbie. Actually, I blame Ken. How fair is it to give little girls a doll that represents the "boyfriend" and allow us to dress him, speak for him, plan all his situations and outcomes? He literally has no balls! What the hell kind of lesson is that? He is perfect because we have imagined him that way. Somehow, we don't let go of that notion and when we start dating, we keep the same mindset - "I can change him," "I can fix him," "if only he was..." "if only he had..."

I'm not going to lie. I have felt this need... URGE to change my partners, to heal them from their past hurts (see the last blog), and make life "better" - according to what I consider to be better. The expected result was supposed to be their undying love and devotion, and when I didn't get that result, I would be disappointed and resentful. The relationship wouldn't work out, and it was on to the next mission.

After my last big break-up, I began developing my Perfect Boyfriend (PB). I began to think of all the things I want in a man, and really, it isn't too much to ask:
  • sense of humor
  • funny
  • good looking
  • smart
  • considerate
  • good communicator
  • open-minded
  • cooks
  • strong
  • secure
  • settled
  • loves to travel
  • loves to dance
  • tall, with some panza
  • enjoys Sunday dates at bookstores
  • enjoys wine
  • dabbles in photography
  • good family
  • appreciative of the arts
  • New Mexican
  • great in the sack
  • love The Godfather, Singin in the Rain, Knocked Up and Love Jones
  • writes poetry or at least loves it
  • likes to wash dishes
  • articulate
  • confident but not cocky
  • a Man's Man
  • likes sports, but isn't obsessed
  • loves good music (by my definition of good)
  • likes good movies (by my definition of good)
  • killer smile
  • likes kids
  • wants kids
  • dances ballet (just checking to see if you're still paying attention)
  • knows about politics
  • is a protector but not overbearing
  • great network of friends
  • has his own life
  • but wants to be a part of mine
  • knows what he wants in a relationship even if I don't know what I want
See? I just want a sensitive sports loving poetry writing photographer who knows how to cook French cuisine. Is that too much to ask?

PB became my imaginary boyfriend, a figment of my imagination and a completely ridiculous notion, if you want to know the truth. Reality is, no one is going to live up to PB because he is MY creation - equivalent to Frankenstein's monster, only without the funny dance scene (he also enjoys the movie Young Frankenstein). He was a comforting notion post-break-up, but a dangerous one at that - I began looking for PB (I even named him Peter Baca* because yeah, that sounds less crazy) and closed myself off to any and all possibilities of meeting anyone who didn't fit into the Peter Baca framework.

I think we develop these perfect partners much in the same way we play with Barbie and Ken dolls - we develop dream scenarios because it looks a lot different from real life, which isn't always so grand. If I keep searching for Peter Baca, I'll never get hurt because Peter Baca will never disappoint me, and I won't let anyone else get close enough to try. All I have to do is find him.

...and yet, I'm still single. I haven't found my Peter Baca nor will I. He doesn't exist, but good guys do - it's just a matter of weeding through the crazy, needy and bad kissers. Yes, I'm just going to keep telling myself this until I believe it. Until then, the strike continues, and boy does it suck, but I've also had some clarity come from it, and while it's weird to not be dating all the time, it's given me time to re-connect with myself... oh who am I kidding, I'm tempted to cross the picket-line at least twice a week. The good thing, however, is I know what's on the other side of it, so for now, I'll continue the strike. As my good friend put it, what would Dolores Huerta say if I broke the strike now?

I'm going to admit, I haven't completely let go of my delusion of finding Peter Baca, nor have I completely let go of my other imaginary crush.

I am in love with Jim Halpert. For those who aren't in the know, Jim is a character on the TV show The Office. I love everything about his character - his sense of humor, his practical jokes, his un-believable patience but above all else - his devotion to Pam, who is now his wife. What woman wouldn't want to be loved the way Jim loves... ADORES Pam? What woman wouldn't want someone funny, smart and thoughtful? Plus, say what you will, I think Jim is so handsome.

I know that Jim isn't real; he's someone else's fantasy, someone else's Peter Baca. In the end, it's about finding the balance. Knowing what one wants in a partner and knowing what your limits are but also being aware that no one is perfect... not even me.

*Peter Baca is not a name that is based on any one person. Stop going to my Facebook and looking up anyone named Peter Baca. PB = Perfect Boyfriend/Peter Baca. Get it?

Next week: The 30 Year Old Virgin


  1. Drea-

    Amazing post. You will find someone I know it because you are strong, passionate and amazing woman!! Don't give up on your quest for Peter but like you say just remember there is a balance. Your blog always makes my week great post.

  2. Thanks Becca! I'm actually not giving up on anything but focusing on me... and when it comes, it comes... but until then, I'll keep sharing these crazy moments of my life! I'm glad you enjoy the blog! I enjoy yours as well!

  3. Your blog just gets better and better every week.

  4. Thank you hermana! I appreciate it...

  5. Just coming to this post after your most recent one. As I laugh out loud, I completely identify with this crazy notion that the perfect man exists. All I want is a sensitive animal lover with awesome hair who makes me laugh and has deep eyes that penetrate my soul while he lovingly gazes at me as he cooks dinner.

  6. That cracked me up, especially the part about awesome hair. Hahahahaha!