Cofrin Park

Cofrin Park
Cofrin Nature Park

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Relationship Exercise: Write Your Partner a Recommendation

(Editor's note: Monday morning I found out that someone (George) actually reads my blog! Yikes. He balled me out for my erratic posting schedule. I feebly defended myself with the perfectionism excuse; and I had dozens more I swallowed. He didn't buy it, and reminded me that pursuing perfection does not get the job done.  I got it, Monsieur George Voltaire perfect is the enemy of good.  So, I shall post imperfect writings ASAP and lay the blame for the drivel upon George's strong shoulders. He gave me permission. Thanks, George!)


One day soon, off you go into the sunset for good, so might as well make a few preparations, especially concerning your mate. For example, a fun exercise might include writing your mate a recommendation, addressed to their next prospective mate, for their use (preferably) after you’re gone. With your written recommendation in hand they won’t have the pressure of having to “sell themselves.” They can hand the prospect your recommendation, and let nature take its course.  Even better, this exercise showcases your gratitude and celebrates your relationship.

I’ve asked my mate to participate by writing me a recommendation; “It’s for my blog!” He views any writing assignment as an epic imposition, but pacified me by saying he’d do it. “Come on, Gene, how long can it take you to write one measly sentence?”

Needless to say I wrote my recommendation first, which is apropos because I feel that I might be the one to go first, even though my dearest is older than I. He’s in better spirits, and my white blood count is below normal, so he should last longer. But I don’t want to go first, because I worry about Gene sitting there alone, sad and crying, or worse, zoning out in front of the computer, cut off from people and new love. However I don’t want him to go first, because I just can’t imagine it. He’s my heart. Damn.

Here it is: Recommendation for Gene as prime relationship material:

Gene’s a sweetheart, but he started out as a fixer-upper. I know this sounds less than a rousing recommendation, but it’s true; as he has admitted many times. Fortunately, Gene embraced change (well not right off, but eventually.) He realized that the changes in diet, personal habits, and virtually anything else I could think of, was good for him, and made me happy. And that’s Gene’s paramount quality: he truly wants me to be happy and works to make that happen through his direct efforts. And those efforts usually give me a hoot.

When I first met him, he was surrounded by mostly women. Gene genuinely loves women and it shows. Women are drawn to him because they feel his positive reception and kindness. He’s also a “man’s man” when he wants to be. I think his being an only child made him self-reliant and helped develop his charisma. He’s just one of those folks who are fun to be around and make you feel good.

Gene is generous.  He gave me a soft place to fall when I experienced the lowest point in my life. He allowed me to grieve and do nothing, until I decided to do something and got on the path to self-improvement—Gene happily in tow.

Gene listens to ME. Well, not really, but he pretends to listen to me, unless I call him on it, and then he fesses up and promises to listen. He instructs me on the best times for discussing serious sh*t. And then, he listens and offers valuable advice, because he’s very smart. (I nicknamed him Genius.) We even discuss politics, despite differing views, without a knockout punch. I find him endlessly fascinating and would rather watch him sit there, than watch TV. He loves to entertain me that way.

Excellent dancer, best kisser, hugger and selfless lover in the world —with Gene, it’ll be all about you, babe.

Once Gene learns the rules, of which he probably thinks are many, he follows them like a soldier. This military trait makes him even more endearing.

Gene want to get things right. Accordingly, he asks the usual dumb-dude questions. When I pointed this fact out to him, he disagreed and requested an example, so I gave him one: “You know the other morning, when I forgot to put your lunch in the fridge door for you?”
“I walked into the kitchen. I opened the freezer door as you stood right in front of it. I pulled out your frozen solid lunch container and handed it to you. You asked, ‘is it frozen?’ No dear, the frozen goods are kept in the oven. See what I mean?”
“Gene, you’re just like Miles Kendig, in Hopscotch:” The telling scene: Kendig (Walter Matthau) visits Isobel (Glenda Jackson) at her Austrian estate. As she prepares lunch, Kendig is standing in front of the fridge and asks, “Where do you keep the beer, please?”
“Middle shelf.”
Kendig retrieves a beer, faces the table and says, “Where’s the opener?”
“On the tray, in front of you.” 
“Where are the glasses?”
“On the TABLE in front of you!”

Gene will likely ask more kooky questions, but better that than risking total screw up.

When beautiful young girls walk past us, I say “wow, lovely.” He says “Yes, they’re young and attractive, but not as beautiful as you! YOU are the love of my life! They don’t do anything for me.” He’s good at bucking up the female ego and stilling its fears.

Of course, things can turn ugly at times; and Gene has a solution. He retreats into his cave and does not come out until the coast is clear. This tactic avoids much unnecessary arguing, that we’d likely forget the next day. He waits patiently until I apologize. Then he acts baffled and tells me I have no reason to apologize and that I’m the greatest woman in the world. He tells me how much he values all I do, and says “We’re a team. We take care of each other. You saved my life.” My heart melts. What a gem. 

Gene has taken over vacuum detail, because he knows I cannot vacuum without dreadful physical and emotional consequences, despite the fact he also has a bad back.

He mostly does his own laundry.

He takes out the trash with sporadic complaint, but quickly apologizes for it.

He sometimes helps with the dishes and food prep. On the home front, he’s an angel!

It’s impossible to describe the mystical qualities of your true love, but I’ve given a few examples of why Gene merits a new beloved.

ENTER GENE:  Gene’s Recommendation for Ann
Ann is an excellent judge of character, so I must assume you are reading this because you two have become close and are beginning to explore each other’s deeper emotions, feelings and quirks.

Here are some reasons I recommend Ann to a future partner:  

Ann has all the qualities that I find most endearing in a mate.  She works with me, not against me.  Occasionally we have our disagreements, but always seem to be working toward the same outcome. Our discussions remain flexible and open. 

Ann is stubborn when necessary. She does not back off easily, yet she intuitively recognizes when to stop. 

Ann is clean to a fault and will not put up with sloppiness.

She is the only female I know that hates to shop for clothes, but can spend hours in grocery and health-food stores and at farmer’s markets. The upside: she’s an excellent chef and we eat very well. The downside: she does not like to go out for meals because her cooking cannot be beat and she has nothing to wear. 

Ann has her aches and pains like anyone who has lived an active life. Sometimes that gets her down.  It makes it hard for her to always do her best.  I have found a little encouragement and understanding will go a long way. I never forget that she is loyal and sincerely wants to please her partner even when she is hurting. Her family comes first.

Although we met at a difficult time in both our lives, we discovered common ground and that generated a profound appreciation for each other. Ann strives to get past the fa├žade in order to understand what she and her partner are really all about. She seeks the truth and brings that out in her partner as well as herself. She has an intense desire to really know and understand her partner in order to bring all she has to the relationship.

And, the best part of all, she knows how to love and be loved.  Most people know one or the other but Ann is that rare person that knows both.  A loving relationship is one that goes both ways and is respected and honored by both parties.  You will find that if you give love and respect to Ann, she will give it back 10 times over.  Ann has taught me the true meaning of a soul mate.