On Being Earnest

The impairment of being earnest

When a boy knocks on your door at some near-midnight hour and tells you that you belong together, there is only one right answer. But as I stared at just such a boy on one of the last sticky nights in August some summers ago, I couldn’t give in. I couldn’t bring myself to lean in and kiss him, as I know Nicholas Sparks would have bid me to. I also didn’t see fireworks or hear “Thank You” by Dido swell in the background while white-typed credits rolled. It wasn’t raining outside, and I was wearing neither a flimsy lace slip nor a matching set of girl-next-door flannels. Instead, I stood before him in a Hanes t-shirt and ratty shorts of unknown origin and wondered where I’d put my two X- chromosomes. Then I looked at the dingy tiled floor outside my apartment, and I told him he had to go home.

We had met the year before. Even then he’d checked every imaginary box on the wish list I’d never made. He was smart and funny. He had good hair. He knew enough about music that I refused to let him scroll through the contents of my iPod, which at the time revealed a damning affinity for The All-American Rejects. He was, in fact, perfect save for a single, fatal flaw. He was hopelessly, resolutely, uncompromisingly earnest. And I couldn’t stand it.

From the 2002 adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest.

“You told him to go home?” demanded one of my best friends incredulously, eyebrows arched in gravity-defying horror. “I would have married him. Immediately.”

She would have. For as long as I’ve known her, romance has been the love of her life.

Scratched into the pages of her jealously guarded grade-school diary are impassioned poems dedicated to the boys she adored. Some of them have rhyme schemes. One of them is titled, “A Sonnet for Alex.”

My diary, when I kept one at all, is tellingly less effusive. A particular entry dated November 1998 reads: “I like Ben. He is cute. Today, I chased him around the room and tried to hit him with a telephone.”

I am not the anti-Christ. I rent Love, Actually at least once a year. I’ve seen every Cameron Diaz movie ever made. Three weeks ago, I had to block WebMD from my computer because I diagnosed myself with ovarian cancer. Again. I devour books that read like Hallmark cards, and I sobbed so ceaselessly the first time I watched The Notebook that a stranger leaned over to ask if I was okay. But I also know the difference between Allie Hamilton and the actress who plays her. More importantly, I know the difference between Allie Hamilton and me. For starters, she looks a lot prettier when she cries.

I’d like to be with someone who recognizes that he isn’t starring in the Hollywood version of his own life, and I’d rather spontaneously combust than appear on a stadium “Kiss Cam.” If I ever see my name in skywriting or am serenaded in a public place, I will stab myself. Serenading under any circumstances is actually a highly questionable practice. I once saw a ship docked in the Hudson River that had “Rachel, Will you Marry Me?” scrawled across its side in swirling font.

Let me just say: eeeeww. But also, what if the wrong Rachel walked by?

So please: No empty banter and grandstanding gestures and the stuff that movie montages were made of. I do not want a sepia-filtered relationship that looks good on Instagram. Give me paradox and wit and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee. Give me a shared New Yorker subscription with someone who understands that knowing the names of Britney Spears’ children is important to me.

Over Thanksgiving break, I sat around a table dotted with slowly emptying bottles of wine and talked to five of my closest friends for as many hours. We talked about college and The Future and how one of us had heard that headphones could give you brain cancer. We talked about the final installment of the Twilight franchise. “The ending was so sappy and perfect,” someone said, sighing audibly. “You would have hated it.”

Illustration by Charlotte Fassler

What is your idea of companionship fostered bliss?

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Thoughts?
  • KateHillier

    This is perfect….I have told friends for years that sappy poems and someone serenading me makes me internally want to vomit, and no one has understood me. UNTIL NOW! Thanks Leandra, I seriously love your posts.

    • http://www.camilleovertherainbow.com/ Camille

      I think you will find that Leandra did not write this.. Mattie Kahn did.xx

      • grunhauser

        Some were slow to understand this little factoid.

      • KateHillier

        I didn’t say she did- just that I love her posts- this is on her website still :) I realized it was a different author.

  • the (un?)social butterfly

    I suppose something in between — romance is fine, what I don´t enjoy is the drama. Maybe what is good for me is romance kept intimate and private; the kirkwood shoes of which I´ve been enamoured for months over my bed (instead of a grumpy “could you please stop talking about shoes for at least two minutes?”), but not an orchestra at my door playing All you need is love (although if Paul was there singing too, it would then be OK).

    http://humanwomen.wordpress.com

    • Leandra Medine

      This was magical.

  • Cristina

    When my husband proposed, there was a kind of kneeling with the ring in one hand, but the box with the ring was upside down and we laughed. And our wedding was magical, with the flowers and everything but also with us making mistakes while reading the vows and lots of laughter. So for me laughing is the key to have a bit of romance in our life, without becoming too much eeew

  • http://twitter.com/MoiContreLaVie Caity

    This is amazing – I laughed and then sent it to everyone I know! :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/soaringsongbird Normandie Wilson

    This really hits home for me… I have actually been thinking this entire week that there was something wrong with me because a lot of my friends are in weird romantic dream states and I am just in a happy relationship with a good person. Some of it actually disgusts me but there’s not a lot of room in society to say so… It finally hit me that I’m just not in love with romance and even though my relationships are important to me my s.o. is not the only thing in my life. Although I will say that my s.o. is really the best. he gave me all the room in our tiny Paris bathroom for my makeup and beautifying products, and he enjoys all the loose glitter that ends up everywhere in our place. I have a winner.

  • Wichis Diez

    No comment, I am you….

  • Laila Claessen

    hihihi what a nice post, i’m not brave enough to share my opinion :) but reading the others is so good! hihi

    i’ve found your blog by the website fashionfollow, and, i realy realy like it out here! you have such a great own style, witch inspires me a lot!

    i’m writing a blog by my self to since a while, and i can still lern a lot. so, if you have the time i would ask you to just take a look, and tell me what you think! cant wait to hear your opinion! hihi.

    au revoir,

    liefs, laila.

    http://www.attheboutique.bogspot.com

  • Sabrina Infante

    I think the problem with behavior like that is that it appears earnest but actually is not. That behavior is learned from movies and books and societal conditioning, and is beaten into us from a very young age so that we think that is what love is like. It always seems like the men who do big romantic gestures are hiding something. I think it’s also insulting that women are supposed to find this behavior impressive. “You opened a door for me?? Wait, let me just take all my clothes off.”
    Real love is not shown in TV shows or movies, nor in the grand gestures that some people employ. Real love is even-keeled, funny and comforting, and if you’re doing it right, you don’t have to work that hard at it.

    • Meredith

      I get that, I really do. I also COMPLETELY agree, and I myself am not 100% sure if I want to get married someday on a beach because I want to, or because I’ve been told all my life that that’s the way to do it. However, somebody of interest doing said things for you shows effort. I feel like nowadays getting a text that says “You’re pretty” or whatever is to some faint hearted teens a grand gesture, when it took him or her all of 2 seconds to do so. So when a guy shows up at my doorstep for a date, holding 1 or a bouquet of my favorite flowers, it tells me he likes me, he wants me to like him, and he listened when I mentioned that in passing the other day. It’s flattering.

  • Denisse

    We all approach love differently, but I think overall, women just want to feel special. Maybe not everyone enjoys the grand ones like the cheesy speeches in a rom com, but we do want a man to say and do things we feel is done just for us..and yet, I have to agree with the author that sometimes it’s those nice guys that seem to do everything that is considered perfect that we reject the most often. Maybe women are as complicated as men say we are.

  • Naina

    Romance is great, but my relationship had such a weird beginning and is still weird today; we watch Gossip Girl together and drink wine, and I’m actually sure that my boyfriend isn’t gay. We’ve been dating for almost 6 years and I wear the ugliest clothes I have around him and he still semi-likes me, and that, to me, is WAY more important than having someone bring me flowers and chocolate. I would actually hate if I got flowers; such a waste of money, they die within a few days.

    SIDEWALKCATWALKS.com

  • lynnsay

    This is hilarious, and so so true.

    http://www.thesartorialscot.com

  • http://www.tomorrowtodayblog.com/ Rita

    Give me a shared New Yorker subscription with someone who understands that knowing the names of Britney Spears’ children is important to me.

    yes! so perfect.

  • http://feastoffashions.blogspot.com/ Rachel Waters

    I’d say I’m a cynic when it comes to love, I even bought a place at 28 because I am miss independent (at least according to neyo and miss kelly clarkson) & didn’t think it was happening ever. But, after a certain photographer type in my life started renting his space out on airbnb & staying during those times, eventually I realized I didn’t want him to leave (so damn sneaky). I still strip (into comfy pants & a weird pink skull tee) immediately upon walking thru the door, but I’ve found that I actually prefer the intimacy that comes with co-habitation. Plus he leaves weird drawings for me to find (like the one attached from this morning) & sometimes love means finding that someone you can be weird with.

    http://feastoffashions.blogspot.com

  • SuzanfromHaarlem

    It’s so strange that I feel like the world is coming to an end (12-12-12 y’all!) because the whole woman-man emotions scale is turned around. I’ve heard all of my (single and bonded) friends saying they’re not into romance, want a man to be straight up and even “man up” sometimes. All the guys out there aged 25-35 are suckers for romantic lines, show some serious signs of (love) insecurity and in general are acting like… WOMAN!
    But what do we really want? Isn’t this the thing all woman essentially begged for years ago, ‘please let me have a man that’s sensitive, caring and takes initiative?’
    Anyhow, I’m with you on the non-romantic part, give me a ‘slow-motion-running-towards-eachother-Sims-music-scene’ and I’ll barf over your carpet. Romance is dead, cheers to romance.

  • Flashbanggiveaway

    It seems any level of romance (even drama) can work out so long as both parties agree. the trick is knowing what you really want from a partner, and recognizing those people. The trouble with romance so often is that it can be shallow, evaporating when the object of affection is in a bad mood, or barfing, or too busy between the kids and work for fill in the blank. Find someone who fits with who you really are, and will be where you want them to be, and leave off the rest, not give you trouble for it- then you have something that can last as be as romantic as you want, bad moods, barf, and kids (and kid’s barf) and all.

  • http://www.ourwonderlust.com/ Tina@OurWonderLust

    What a wonderful piece of writing. I totally want to be your bestfriend after reading this- smart, sharp and fucking hysterical. Though, I must admit, I am a sucker for the shit that makes you go “awww.” I am also very judgemental about it. If it happens to me, wonderful. If I see it happening outside of my love bubble, then it’s like, “get a room.” Does that suck? lol.
    Tina
    http://www.ourwonderlust.com

  • Belén Cavas Hernández
  • Belén Cavas Hernández
  • iloveleandra

    love this. favorite line: “I do not want a sepia-filtered relationship that looks good on Instagram.”

  • Felicity

    I’ve been involved with a couple of very earnest guys, and I can’t stand it. They have no concept of sarcasm (I know it’s the lowest form of wit, but I happen to be very good at it) and I always feel like I have to behave like a lady (impossible) and not guffaw (also impossible) into my wine when I get tipsy (after one glass). Once I was serenaded with an acoustic guitar and as the boy sung at me I wanted to sink into the floor in embarrassment. Awful. I want to be able to behave badly and not be judged. I’d rather have the p*ss taken out of me, instead of receiving empty compliments every five seconds (“You’re amazing, babe”, ugh). I love a good sunset but I don’t want to view it through Instagram. There’s nothing worse than false romance. Ps: I OWN Love Actually.

    Love this, Mattie! And thanks for posting it Leandra x

  • Catherine Solomon

    A boyfriend I once had hypnotized me into believing that IF you had emotions, therefore warranted self-vulnerability, you were not cool. I genuinely mean that in the painfully lame way that it sounds. & those who subjected others to their emotional side, even their significant other, were literally an L-7 loser.

    Subsequently I dubbed male romanticists, withholding even the slightest semblance to one with passion (about anything other than Halo & Call of Duty) redundant, as far as I was concerned. So when we finally ended things (OK after he dumped me a year later, changed his mind conveniently in Paris, then told me he loved me (FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER) under the Eiffel tower.. only so he could dump me again in a month) I realized I was completely brainwashed, and had literally become my worst nightmare, an idiot girl.

    Now I am smitten over boys who encourage, or dare even HAVE emotions which they willingly express (with me not Facebook and times square). I’m not saying I want a Ron Weasley, who I can cry with about superfluous things like ginger hair or spiders. There’s a fine line between cute and disgusting, but when it’s genuine and the boy is not an idiot.. it’s magic.

  • Azul

    Yes, too much of an Earnest behavior is sometimes just Exhausting.

  • http://www.facebook.com/cld.mandelli Claudia Mandelli

    A-M-A-Z-I-N-G POST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • anonymous

    this made me feel more than I did in the year I dated my very earnest ex-boyfriend.

  • Jennifer

    I love this post :)

    xo Jennifer

    http://seekingstyleblog.wordpress.com

  • Amber

    Wow- I thought that wasn’t your writing. But, there were certainly elements of you shining through. GREAT post.

  • Lovely Envy

    I love, love, love this!! So refreshing to see that there is someone else out there that rejects overly sappy romance or the idea of the “picture perfect” relationship. The idea of perfection means that no flaws are allowed, which is why it’s so difficult to me. I look at myself and see a beautiful mess and I love it. Devoid of extreme perfection but realistic and comforting. I just want to be me and frankly the movies (or southern traditions) doesn’t make it easy.

  • http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/ Linda

    when you see earnest gestures in the movies and read about it in the books, its so romantic. when it happens in real life, not so much. dare i say..sometimes creepy? I always see dramas/movies where a guy leaves something for a girl (a drink, food, doll) in front of the doorsteps. thought it was such a romantic gesture and i can see how hopelessly in love the guy is. in reality…it was not awesome :P

    http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/

  • http://www.mouthfulofstyle.blogspot.com/ Mouthful of Style

    I met my boyfriend two years ago at the first party of business school in the crappiest club in London. It was the least romantic situation but tackily enough it was love at first sight. Enough of a fairy tale for me.

    Style insights and luxury fashion business learnings: http://www.mouthfulofstyle.blogspot.com

  • http://twitter.com/NatalieConte1 Natalie Conte

    I think you should write something about boyfriends as the new stylists (Kanye styling Kim for example). Your take would be really interesting I think.

  • http://twitter.com/YayaGagaFashion Messamet serdane

    I think that a simple companion who loves you but no with a lot of demonstration is enough, isn’t it ?

    http://www.younglington.wordpress.com

    http://www.thefashionmellow.tumblr.com

  • lapka

    I disagree. All that Cheesy Stuff — that would typically be considered Earnest & Sappy & Gross if said to me by one guy — would IMMEDIATELY melt my F’ing heart if said by The Right Guy.

    What normally would totally creep me out, instead, would be FAB.U.LOUS.

    So, as or whether something is considered cheesy or amazing, it all depends on the man …..

  • JML

    My boyfriend wakes me up each and every morning with a fog horn application located on his iPad. He also makes me homemade pasta and homemade turkey-rice soup with the leftovers from the turkey he cooked me on Thanksgiving. My boyfriend has worn the same pants since the day I met him (over two years ago). He also has worn the most beautiful Brooks Brother’s suit to weddings we’ve attended. My boyfriend says things like “How ’bout a nice cup of shut the fuck up” when I ask if he would like anything from the kitchen. He’s the most wonderful man in the whole world and I wouldn’t trade him and his sarcastic wit (admittedly annoying) for all the earnest men in the world.

    • fashionablecollections

      I absolutely adore this comment and makes me think of just how much (and why) I love my boyfriend as well. This is so real and awesome.

      Collections

  • Mimi P’Ova

    Ah, so refreshing..question is, is there a difference between being earnest and being desperate? Cue in man giving compliments every 5 seconds, as if, somehow, this will make me feel special. I am happy to read this because society says-WELL-uterus owner, go have some kids, get married, have a car and a house. I’ve never wanted to have this type of romance,(or life)as I find it quite exhausting-as I’ve experienced them-and cannot provide the type of attention the earnest ones so desperately need. My mother always told me-”You know those fairy tales? That doesn’t happen, so take care of yourself and never rely on a man to do so.” Best advice ever.

  • http://cirquedelatelier.blogspot.com/ Cirque de l’Atelier

    So pretty much you’re looking for Woody Allen love not Rob Reiner love.

    Give me someone that loves football, oral sex, and diner food and I’ll show the wonders of gay marriage!!

  • PZH

    I had to read the play in high school – I actually really enjoyed the wit of it!

    xo

    http://www.monmonologue.com

  • http://twitter.com/RobRobbinsReels Rob Robbins

    incredible essay! just as stellar as her last one

    it’s unfortunate that our brains are wired to not desire things/people that are easily attainable.

    I think it’s Sophocles who once said, “Kissing someone is 10% physical pleasure, and 90% mental pleasure of knowing this person has all of their attention focused on you.” If this attention were easy to get, it would not be as gratifying and any close relationship would be underwhelming. This leads to many guys, like the one in the article, being undervalued by an amazing girl he likes. Let everyone take note, you can’t like the person you love

  • Cassie Goodwin

    “I do not want a sepia-filtered relationship that looks good on Instagram. Give me paradox and wit and Dunkin’ Donuts coffee.”
    I’ve had both types of relationships, and I would take Dunkin’ Donuts every time. Earnestness does not count for nearly so much as you would think in the long run. ,

  • Lala

    YES!! Thank you so much for this post! I get seriously uncomfortable the second a dude starts saying sappy shit. I was dating a guy who would, when we were cuddling in bed when he could be out partying or something, say stuff like “no, no, I’m happy to be in bed with a beautiful girl!” and I just had no clue how to respond to that! I honestly didn’t find it endearing at all and felt the need to respond with sarcasm, of course. Then there was the guy who would just stare into my eyes like he was trying to look into my soul when we had only been dating for a couple weeks! Stop trying to act like you’re in love when you’re not! (jaded, much?)

    I love romance, mind you, but not the cheesy movie-perfect lines and grand gestures. I appreciate the kind of stuff that shows you they care and think about you – sending you a picture of something that reminds them of you, or randomly bringing you your favorite candy. The little things! I will admit that if the man I fall in love with proposes to me with one of those adorable dance thingies that involve all the people I love (family, friends), I would say yes – love that shit! But it’s gotta be personal, not just something superficially romantic.

  • The Urban Promeneur

    All the drama, the exxageration is what really makes it worth getting crazy for, not literally but emotionally.

    http://www.THEURBANPROMENEUR.blogspot.com

  • DMH

    this. post.

  • http://twitter.com/JenessaCCole Jenna Cole

    Mattie Kahn and I are the same person. I hate cheese-y love crap more than anyone! I was recently forced to watch a flash mob engagement/ wedding and the whole thing made me so uncomfortable that I was speechless for the next five minutes. I understand that for some people, movie-like love stories and situations are the perfect stories and situations. I just would feel like it was insincere or fake if a man ever did something ridiculous like that. I don’t know… Even some compliments leave me feeling more awkward and turned off than satisfied. MAN REPELLER. That is me.

  • Serena

    This is so perfect. Love and romance should be about the little things, like taking the piss out of each other over late night burgers, rather than proposing in a hot air balloon. (If any guy took me up in a hot air balloon I’d hate him. They terrify me.) Romance embarrasses me, I find it difficult to cuddle with someone on the sofa if there’s a chance that other people will come into the room. Give me sitting around reading stuff together any day.

    http://ephemeral-lifestyle.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Haley

    I AGREE COMPLETELY. I don’t understand what my problem is, but when my boyfriend does something the least bit flirtatious or compliments me i reply with something sarcastic or something to change the subject. I just HATE SAPPY STUFF. he knows this too. I also cried buckets when I first saw the Notebook and I was probably thinking at the time “I want a love like this!” but now…Hmmm.

  • Norine

    Hmmm even though my mate would seem the ideal man to any woman who comes in contact with him, lets just say I am in the middle of a huge reality check!! This essay just puts a smile on my face … the author might just be the one woman on planet earth that will end up living happily ever after

  • Erika

    Just love how “The Future” is capitalized, as though it is some movie premiering way into the future..

  • http://twitter.com/CaptiveLouise Captive Louise

    I sing truly madly deeply for my manfriend while I’m doing the dishes. He tatooed a tiny rose and KFAR (kiss from a rose) on his ankle as a sort of ironic declaration of love. We watch TV together and compliment each others’ cooking skills, I trim his mustache and he improvises amazingly lame songs for me. I never imagined my life could ever be this romantic, srsly.

  • http://twitter.com/ZouBahar Zou Bahar

    i don’t get it. u still didn’t say WHY you didn’t like the guy (the one who was earnest). What’s wrong with being earnest? U go into detail abt not liking grand gestures, (skywriting, kiss cam etc) but you still don’t say WHY you don’t like em. Sure, its not you’re thing but, again, why?

    I’m not into big displays of anything for that matter. makes me uncomfortable, i find it awkward but mostly because i get the niggling feeling that its all fake. enough years living on this planet has made me conclude that the most sincere and precious of feelings are usually the quietest and most subtle.

    loud, brash declarations of anything mask the obvious truth that there really isn’t anything of substantial or real importance behind it. that’s my opinion from my own experience.

    I guess what I’m asking you is: What’s yours?

  • MsMariah

    One of your best posts to date.! Love should be romantic and un-stuffy. Fun and not too serious. Quirky, unique and genuine. Ever-changing..

  • http://pilanaandcompany.blogspot.com.ar/ Constanza

    “Give me a shared New Yorker subscription with someone who understands
    that knowing the names of Britney Spears’ children is important to me”. Hilarious! Loved it! But going to the main subject I think that movies and books are trying to sell us this sort of weird romance that we end up convincing ourselves it will never happen in real life but then it can either never happen and we end up suffering like little bitches or it can happen and you’ll be there all “What is he doing? Stand up, you’re making a fool of yourself, Worse! Of myself!” and you’ll realize that at the end all you really want is someone to be there next to you even if your nose is dripping or if you’re using the worst pair of pants you could ever find in your closet because you gained weight and nothing else fits you. That has to be true love!

    http://pilanaandcompany.blogspot.com.ar/

  • freespirit

    i enjoyed the piece,
    love is where both people are equal and can leave each other with out missing each other,

  • Name

    I love you but you are subcontracting your blog. Why did I just read this?:[

  • LoisRuth

    I was asked to prom in a Walmart parking lot. I mean, it was the 3rd best Walmart in the country, but it has still scarred me from any of the terrible public serenading.

  • jenni

    Hellooo soulmate

  • http://twitter.com/emehudson Emily Hudson

    GIRL I hear you. And I agree wholeheartedly with the other posters on the whole “earnest isn’t necessarily honest” thing. I think many of us have been in your position in that our hearts called BULLSHIT on the lovelorn attempts by potential mates. In my case, this guy I knew wrote me an album. Not just a song, mind you. A whole, entire fucking album of music. Just him and guitar. And me as the subject, apparently. Mind you, we had never even dated, not even casually. Even though I knew the gesture was generically romantic, I knew that he didn’t know me through a hole in the wall.

    Dare to be with someone who will have your back and keep it real with you.

  • Splendid Little Thrills

    One time someone asked me to “make love” and he was totally being serious. I nearly exploded with laughter and puked at the same time. Need less to say, no one got laid that night. I do love the idea of romance and the movies depict it beautifully, but it’s not for me in reality. My husband and I occasionally fart on each other and we couldn’t love each other more.

    http://splendidlittlethrills.blogspot.com

  • http://www.facebook.com/misty.bondy.56 Misty Bondy

    How about not putting a label on what you do or don’t “think” you want either way. I think when your truly in love the gestures are just decor. The love comes from something deeper, so if my husband sky writes my name tomorrow more power to him. If that’s how he shows his affection who am I to judge or belittle him? I would be thankful he loved me enough to think about me in that way at all. And if instead he decides to share his love by simply sending me a line from a song, a tattoo on his body, or hell something as simple as bringing me my favorite candy home, well I will love him just the same. You cannot define a man by his gestures or your expectations. Look at him for who he is and how he makes you feel, everyone displays their love in different ways, when you put limits on what you do or don’t want in a man you might miss out on what you actually really need.

    • http://www.facebook.com/misty.bondy.56 Misty Bondy

      And for the record our romance is a combination, our idea of a good night is pizza and a great video game together, my husband makes me laugh more then any emotion but he’s the same man who will let me explain to him for hours who Charlotte Olympia shoes are and why they own my soul, and even look at shoes with me knowing he probably could care less about the shoes but solely about the happiness they bring me. He’s the same guy “asked” me to be his girlfriend even though we were well out of highschool. He hates my views on religion but listens, has never cooked a single meal but always does the dishes after I do, holds me in bed but never buys flowers, cried at our wedding but never shed a tear a day before. He has never read the New Yorker, doesn’t drink a luck of coffee, but that’s ok. I love him for him, and I love him for how much he loves me. We watch cartoons together, laugh in the shower together, shop together, and share together. And because we love together I know I have someone to grow old together with, and that’s what counts.

  • Faeeza Khan

    Great post! I find the super romantic stuff so cheesy and insincere! I also find it kinda condescending. I want someone real and gritty, who really sees me and not some Disney princess version of me

  • bettslau

    Leandra, it’s as if you put the words in my mouth. I’ve always tried to explain to my friends how I really would not want a cheesy, perfect – or “sepia-filtered” relationship (to quote the man repeller) and all of them react in the same way, they nod slightly and I hear them whisper “whaat?” to eachother.. But then again I think I’m not good at explaining it and it simply sounds weird, i mean, who doesn’t want that kind of a relationship? But now, when I read this post, I’m so freaking happy that the coolest and most awesome woman in entire NY feels the same way. Or more like, there are other women who feel the same way!! Thank you Leandra for making me make sense to myself, love from Sweden! :D

  • Malika

    I don’t believe in courtship and dating and all that jazz. The the idea of “putting your best foot forward” is silly. Fast forward a few years and you’re married to a man you barely know. I want a guy to scare the shit out of me by telling me he has issues with cartoonish TV commercials or literally, gags at the perfume I wear. I want wit and banter because real life is boring sometimes and brain exercise is given equal value as sexercise, his words. I want him to show me who he is and not some ideal version of himself that he thinks would make me want him AKA “every other cliche leading man”. Just…just give me a normal guy who rather than be conscious of how a girl sees him, is more conscious of being himself.

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