Last week, I was standing in line at the grocery store and my eyes wandered on over to the gossip magazines. Since I don't watch reality TV or TMZ, I figured I had permission to look at the covers of the rag mags while standing in line. A little guilty pleasure in the grocery store, right?
Of course, since I don't watch reality TV or TMZ, I have absolutely no idea who any of the people on the covers of the rag mags are. My internal monologue goes something like this: "Who the heck are Ali and Ryan? Why doesn't that Justin Beaver kid own a hairbrush? There's a show about teenagers who have gotten pregnant? Why? What the hell is a Snooki? Should I be buying a bunch of those to compliment last year's Christmas snuggies?"
But last week was different. I actually saw people I know on the cover of the rag mags. Probably because they are over 35. And hey -- maybe it's not because of my TV watching habits (or lack thereof) that I don't know the rag mag subjects. Maybe its because of my age! If they made a special magazine of just people close to my age, I'd probably know everyone! The Jennifers (Anniston and Lopez), Brad and Angelina, Matthew Mc Conoughey, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck...I know all those people! They are all over 35! As are the people I recognized on an ACTUAL gossip magazine: Courtney Cox and David Arquette.
Once I got over my shock of actually knowing somebody on the cover, I read the headline: "Courtney and David Call It Quits" and immediately felt bad for these two people I've never met. "Oh, I'm so sad. They seemed happy. I was rooting for them. They seemed like such a mis-matched couple, but I thought they'd show everyone how opposites attract and they could stick it out if the just worked on it and blah, blah, blah." And I read: "David Admits to Cheating". And my ridiculous internal monologue came to a screeching halt. For at least 2 to 3 seconds.
And then: "What! HE cheated on HER?? Doesn't he KNOW that he was marrying UP while she was settling?" (It's amazing how justified I felt in passing judgement on these two people who I've never met). But I'm not the only one. 'Cause the next day, J told me that she had pretty much the same conversation with two people at work. One of her co-workers concluded: "Oh, you should never, ever settle. ALWAYS marry up."
Seems to make sense. Until I thought that marrying up really means different things to different people.
For some, marrying up means to somebody who is better looking. (In which case, anyone on my pretend gossip magazine would be the settler) I think of people going out to bars and night clubs, looking for people super cute and attractive so that they can marry up. But that's not what it means to me.
For some, marrying up means to somebody who has more money. (In which case, Bill Gates would be the jackpot, huh?) Somebody who has the means to fund endless shopping sprees, new cars, trips around the world. And while all that sounds pretty fun, that's still not what marrying up means to me.
For some, it's marrying somebody in a higher social circle. Yeah, I know this is America, not India with its caste system, but let's face it; there still are higher and lower social circles. There are those proud to shop at Wal-Mart and those who run in and out as fast as possible, hoping nobody sees them while looking around and saying "Where did all these mutants come from?" Know what I'm saying? Though I guess it really doesn't matter, 'cause that's not what marrying up means to me.
For some marrying up means to somebody who's more successful. In which case, I'll say Matt Groening is the jackpot. Who ever would have though so much would come of Bart Simpson? Or, you know, Oprah. Because she's, you know, Oprah. Or anyone else in the world who doesn't quite measure up to those two but have carved out their own little niche of respect. But, alas, that's not what marrying up means to me.
To me, marrying up would be to somebody smarter than me. And funnier.
But then I really thought about that. It seems I'm not looking for somebody who's attractive or successful or financially stable with any sort of social standing. Just somebody with a brain and a sense of humor. And I got a frightening picture of my future.
Picture Kevin Smith if he had never made any movies. And still lived in his parents basement.
Oh crap. Now I'm depressed. I think I may have to go back to the grocery store, buy a bunch of ice cream and sit on the sofa watching TMZ.
Today I am grateful for:
2) sweet potatoes and cranberries
5) diet coke...it's my heroin