Excel Saves the Day Again!
I like to cook. LOL Really? Yes!!! “Cooking” to me usually involves finding a recipe, buying the ingredients and following the directions. Some people claim they “can’t cook”, but that just seems to always be something I did not have a problem with.
What DID I have a problem with? I found all the wrong relationships with men…over and over and over. Let me say to start, I have now been with my husband, Rick, for ten years, but my prior record was pretty embarrassing.
So now, as a mother to my 21 and 24-year old girls and a 17-year-old son, I am faced with the daunting task of advising them on their own relationship mishaps. Who am I to advise them?
Just ten years ago, I found myself leaving my second disastrous marriage at the young age of 32. I felt like I was trying to be a good role model to my children by leaving a bad marriage but at the same time I felt like an enormous failure and huge disappointment, not only to them but to my family. I was not only the first person in my family to get divorced, but now I did it again! And, with ‘three children” as plenty of baggage, I did NOT see a successful relationship in my future. I was pretty mortified and scared. I had been stripped of any kind of mental, financial, or emotional security. I was spent.
First, I vowed I would not marry again until I was at least 40 years old. You can’t get divorced if you don’t get married, right? Second, no violent man would enter my life or my kids’ lives. I had spent the first 32 years of my life around violent men and I was now done. I would rather be without a man at all.
When things go wrong, I usually try to figure out what went wrong. In this case, I needed “a list”. As anyone who knows me knows: I always need a list. I make most of my lists on Excel. I started thinking, “How in the hell did I end up in either my first or second marriages when both men fell so short of what I was looking for?” So, I made a list of exactly what I was looking for. Yes, on Excel.
OK, but of course some things HAD to be more important than others. I labeled a few characteristics, “Absolute Musts”. Following closely were “Strong Preferences”. This second category contained things you would LIKE to call important but at the end of the day you knew “has a job” was more important and worth more points than “nice butt”. Then there were just a few items to round it out maybe to be called “Nice Things” containing tidbits that would be nice like “loving the same TV show”, etc.
“Absolute Musts” were given a point value of five points each. “Strong Preferences” were given a point value of three points each. “Nice Things” were given a point value of one apiece.
Now looking at MY list, as an outsider, one might laugh. BUT this is a result of my experiences in the dating world. “Pet not more important than me”? True story. I don’t want to compete with a feline in a relationship. I did it once and don’t care to again. Sorry!!!
“No Country Music”? Or, Rap music, while I’m at it. I can probably handle Rap better than Country. Country music to me sounds like nails on a chalkboard and is WORTH 5 points to me. (Maybe 20???) That right there is almost a deal-breaker. There are just certain plusses and minuses in a relationship!
After rating my two ex-husbands and a few recent dates I had at the time, it really was a real eye-opener. It is kind of called, “look at the facts”. They don’t lie. And it’s your own criteria, not someone else’s.
Stacie’s Man Spreadsheet
Not be violent 5
Not a drug user 5
No criminal record 5
Has a job 5
Has a car 5
Has a house/apartment 5
Likes children 5
Drinks socially 5
Sarcastic sense of humor 5
No country music 5
Good looking 3
Taller than 5'10" 3
Height/weight proportionate 3
Not thinner than me 3
Older than me 3
Not a momma's boy 3
Pet not more important than me 3
Good in bed 3
Not a slob/not a neat freak either 3
Affectionate but not obsessed 3
Loves loud music 3
Loves football 3
Not a Bears fan 3
Packers Fan 1
White Sox fan 1
Watches the same TV shows 1
Total for a Perfect Man: 100
A few dates will be necessary to get all the information needed to rate a man, no matter what your criteria. The man will not admit on the first date to being a Momma’s boy. Or, maybe that’s what you’re looking for? “Good in bed”? Not going to find that out on the first date. And yes, I will include this in my discussion with my daughters. They’re not 16 and I’m not stupid. One of them has two children already!
One word on relationship SUCCESS: it’s eerie! Things were so good once I found my husband I was sure it couldn’t last. When I first met my husband, I was in relationship heaven. However, I was sure (paranoid?) a good relationship could not be in the cards for me. He mentioned to me that his company was relocating to the Indiana Beach area and he would commute back and forth. I was so not buying it. “This is the end of the relationship”, I told myself. I thought for certain he would be moving. Me? Or, the job he had for twenty years? I was the sure loser. THEN he called me one day to tell me the company move had failed and they had to let him go. He was unemployed but I was overjoyed! My response was to help him look for a new job. Couldn’t lose those mega-important five points man…As the relationship progressed, he gained an EXTRA 3 points by finally looking heftier than me. And, I dove in at the age of 38 instead of 40 and began my third marriage. He puts up with me and loves my cooking. Maybe my list only needed those two things?
But, we all want to protect our children. I have watched my children go through bad relationships and I’m just trying to prevent them from repeating my mistakes. If YOU can use this list and want me to e-mail my Excel version so you can tailor it to your needs, just write me or comment and I’ll send it. And as for MY version? Hey, it’s MY version and I found what I was looking for using it. Call some items “superficial” if you wish, but I have to put up with what I end up with, right? And I love him!