I once dated this guy whose entire relationship with me was a massive train wreck from start to finish. People who’ve known me a long time know who this is, and they know precisely what I’m talking about because they watched said train wreck — it was on their 24/7 Mary news channel, it had casualties, fatalities, there was a lot of blood and gore. People who haven’t known me long enough to hear about this guy, you’re pretty lucky, and you won’t be hearing much about him ever, so that interest of yours that has piqued? Simmer it down.
Anyhow, one day he told me that he heard a song on the radio that made him think of me (this wasn’t the exact conversation but this also isn’t a non-fiction essay, and I do what I want), and the lyrics to the chorus are:
“You can’t always get what you want / but you get what you need”
I love sweet nothings.
I’d hit a point with this guy that my feelings didn’t get hurt all that much because I was so desensitized to it, and there was something really funny about it. He thought he was being sweetly romantic, telling me this really awful story, and instead, he was being a mega douchebag, and he didn’t even realize it. I mean, just totally clueless to the fact that you don’t tell your girlfriend stuff like that.
This blog post isn’t actually about him, I promise. Digging up old relationships in blogs is an uncomfortable thing for people — you can pretend all you want that you don’t talk about them with your friends, but yeah of course you do because you’re a human being — but blogs are where you’re supposed to be the best, unweathered version of yourself. You haven’t gone through stuff because your life is so damn perfect. I mean, I think that’s the point, but I started an entire blog focusing on the low points of my life, so clearly I missed the mark somewhere.
I think about that conversation a lot (not to be confused with thinking about him or our relationship because that ship sailed about seven years ago, and then, like the Titanic, it fell to the depths of the ocean floor).The sadness that he thought that he needed to be with me because it was what he needed, despite wanting to be with someone else because it was what he wanted. The hilarity that he shared such a thing with me to my face like it was something I would want to hear or be able to fix (dude, if you don’t really want me, then you probably shouldn’t have me is all I’m saying kthxbai). And, most of all, how utterly untrue it is.
That always word is a tricky little guy — English professors are forever telling students to not use the always or the never words because y’all don’t know, and standardized tests are laden with it to screw you up, make you fail, not get into college, become a deadbeat, live in your parent’s basement, become morbidly obese, never see the light of day again, become a pod person (I don’t like standardized tests).
The song may ring true, but the sentiment of tying it to an interpersonal relationship may (hopefully) not. When I met Husband five years ago (holy crap we’ve been together five years now — HA in your faces, people who thought we’d be divorced by now), I got exactly what I wanted, and the real cherry on top was that he was precisely what I needed as well. And I’d like to think that I fit both the want/need columns for him (he does seem to be very fond of me).
I can’t help but feel like the degradation of relationships these days is in part due to
Kim Kardashian the fact that people think they can’t always get what they want, but they get what they need. To quote Geico, “That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works!” There are a lot of instances in my life where I live the standard of “good enough” (DIY crafts, family meals, ironing my husband’s dress shirts, filling in my eyebrows), but marriage isn’t one of them. Little girls don’t sit in their rooms, playing with dolls, and imagining an adult life filled with good enough — they imagine perfection and happiness and joy and laughter and the opportunity for symbiosis (despite not knowing what that is at the time). Is marriage that way all the time? Ha. No. Not even kind of (just last night, Husband and I got in a big argument over my becoming a “Destiny” widow ever since he hooked his stupid headset to his PS4 controller and becoming friends with numerous strangers across the nation). But at the end of the day, when tempers have cooled down, when we force ourselves out of our selfish behavior, he’s still what I want and I’m still what he wants.
I suppose it was good my ex made the correlation of me and that song so we could get out of the mess we were making (if not spurned by him then me because he might be an idiot but I am not). Because I might not deserve being a princess or living in a house cleaned by other people or having a restaurant-quality kitchen, but I am absolutely and undeniably deserving of what I need and want. So I guess my alteration to the song, when thinking of a relationship, would be: “You can always get what you want / and you get what you need.”