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Can you Love Someone For Their Basics?

Can you Love Someone For Their Basics?

Stand-up comic Gloria Bigelow ponders one of Oprah's truths, that people are the same now as they were at age six. From the six-year-old budding lesbian to the adult lesbian, there's still shit to pick up off the floor, although the shit has changed, the person leaving it there hasn't.

What kind of kid were you?

Were you spoiled? Were you shy? Were you talkative and nosey? Did you secretly burn potato bugs using a magnifying glass and the sunshine on your driveway?  Were you a little girl playing mommy and daddy with another little girl -- demanding all the while to be the daddy in your little game of dress-up? Did you not share a lick of your ice-cream cone when your mom asked you for one?

I was falling into a NyQuil induced sleep after finishing a bowl of matzo ball soup, when through my sniffles and coughing, I thought I heard Oprah, who sounded like she’d had a shot or two of Testosterone. She was saying something like, “We are basically the same people we were when we were six.  If you look back to who most of us were when we were 4, 5, or 6, we are the same person with the same characteristics that we had as a child. We have our personalities very early in our lives.”

If at age six you were a whining, complaining, little girl who didn’t pick up your toys chances are that as an adult you’ve been standing somewhere saying something like,   

“Whyyyy do I have to gooooo to worrrrrrrk?"

Little six-year old complainers who once sounded like, “ I NEVER get to watch what I want. Why does he ALWAYS get to watch what he wants to watch?” sound very similar at 36… “I NEVER get to do what I want to do. We ALWAYS have to do what you want to do!” A never-ending series of ‘you always and we never.

Not so surprisingly, those dollies, or little G.I. Joe’s sprawled out on the floor, three decades later, have turned into stacks of magazines on the floor next to your bed, or piles and piles of mail that go unread.


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And those Lego’s that were never picked up from the bedroom floor, which caused a mother to yell out, "Listen here Lizzy -- my future lesbian daughter -- get your little tail in here and pick up these darn Lego pieces. I’ve stepped on another one and darnnit Little Lizzy Lesbo, these things hurt!” Years later, your mother has turned into your lover, and those Lego’s have turned into a week’s worth of dirty clothes and random shoes that your lover has to trip over on her way to the bathroom in the middle of the night…

“Dammit Lizzy-why can’t you pick up your shit? I’ve stubbed my toes on these shit-kicker boots of yours. You ALWAYS leave your shit lying around, you NEVER pick up after yourself!”

So, if all of us are who we were when we were six, we needn’t think that the “SHE” in our lives is ever really going to change. Which then begs the question…can you love someone for her basics?

Basics -- stuff that came along way before you were even thought of, behaviors that were a part of her long before you came into the picture…‘Cause basically, Oprah said that they probably aren’t going to change… and I believe Oprah!!!!

I’ve been in a relationship or two where I desperately wanted them to change! If she could just pick up after herself.  if she could just be a little less selfish. If only she would just stop the complaining, for a minute and do something about it or for heavens sake and  look at the bright side of a thing. But, chances are, she’s not going to pick up the boots, and she isn’t going to always consider my feelings, and you best believe that anything that she perceives as wrong… I’m going to hear about it.

I’d like to think that at six years old, I was a complete delight. The perfect child…But the truth of the matter is, at six, I preferred make believe to reality, I talked way to much, and I never finished organizing my dolly’s clothing or cataloguing all my books -- and you can just imagine how that translates decades later. But fortunately, as a child, I was very good at finding someone to blame, so I can look at the bright side of this and blame my parents!

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Gloria Bigelow