I just picked up the most current issue of Oprah magazine and I read an interesting article about a woman who created a Perfect Man list. On it was everything she required in a man, from his occupation to his physical characteristics, right on down to his taste in music and favorite hobbies. This list was a compendium of everything that constituted her ideal man.
As I read, I found the article to be a bit ironic, because just a few months ago my friend Laura presented this exact idea to all of us at our monthly Girlfriend Friday get together. She revealed that 5 years ago she put together a list of everything she wants in her next man. This subject came about as we all sat glued to our seats, listening with attentive ears to stories of her online dating experiences. Some of us in our group are married, and find the subject of dating a bit fascinating. It’s been so long since we’ve all dated, and most won’t admit it, but we live vicariously though her, finding the prospect of meeting new men a little exciting. (Yes, yes I know. Most single gals admit dating is depressing and can be a bit daunting. “Married women,” they usually advise, “Hold on to your men because dating sucks!”)
My one friend Cindy, has been widowed for 4 years and is now ready to begin dating. In our enthusiasm to get her started, we try to motivate her to join Match.com or eHarmony, but she just she won’t have anything to do with online dating. We thought we could help Cindy get focused on the thought of a new guy by encouraging her to start her own Perfect man list. As we began, we all had a feeling that this list idea was a little weird. After all, isn’t it crazy to expect that a man will materialize, fulfilling every single characteristeric we’ve recorded on our ‘wish lists? Laura insisted it was important to her, because it helped put her requirements for a new mate into perspective.
The Perfect Man list was like an exercise in therapy. As we sat around the table, we began tossing out ideas of what comprised our own personal versions of the ideal guy. Laura passed out paper and pencils to us so we could start our own lists.
“But we’re married, Laura!” we whined. “That’s okay!” she shot back, “Lets just pretend and do it for fun…think about what you would want in a guy if you order one up to your specifications.”
A part of me loved this list thing. I’m the kind of person who loves getting those funny questionaires in my inbox. After much thought, I answer the questions as creatively and honestly as I can, then proceed to send them to all my friends. What I love about these questions is they cause me to ponder about things I don’t usually think about. I enjoy these personality quizzes immensly. What I think they do is help me figure out all the little things that make me me. And so I began my list.
The woman in the Oprah article had visited a clairvoyant lady to discuss whether fate had it in for her to find a wonderful man to share the rest of her life with. The mystic woman instructed her to go home, sit down and write a list of everything she wanted in a man right down to the color of his socks. Her theory was that by writing down what she wanted would somehow enable the universe to get involved in making the list actually happen. The woman went home, sat on her bed with legal pad in hand and to her surprise, scrawled out three pages of qualities, some important and others trivial. After she finished, she placed the list in the back of her closet and soon forgot about it. A few years later, she was introduced to a man who she began dating. She liked him very much and felt he was almost perfect. She remembered the list she had written down years before. She pulled it out from the bowels of her closet and went over the long list once again. To her amazement, this man met every one of her requirements except for two!
So, here’s my thought. I don’t know if I really believe that letting our wants and desires flow out of us via a pen really enables the universe to act as a pseudo fairy godmother. But, I do believe that by making a list of what we want, whether it be a man or a career goal, does enable us to make what we want more real, and brings it to the forefront of our minds. Getting desires, dreams, and goals down on paper might give us the oomph we need to get off our butts and make them happen. Physically seeing what you want on paper makes it more real, more tangeble. At least the lists have the potential to help us become pro-active in making our dreams come true. Some experts even agree that list makers are more successful at accomplishing their goals than non-listmakers. Take that to the bank.
Now that it’s January, why not sit down and make a list? Will yours be a wish list for Mr. Perfect, or will it be your To Do list for the new year? Do you have definate ideas for the way you’d like the rest of your life to go? Write them down. Make them happen. If anything, you might approach the idea of your list topic the way I do those email questionaires–as a challenge to delve into your psyche. In filling out your list, you just might find out something about yourself, too, and it could be a pleasant surprise. Remember, just as the clairvoyant woman suggested, as soon as the words leave your pen, you submit your wishes and desires to the universe-or maybe we submit them to oursleves. Think, dream, live and make it happen.