“…and fancy dies/ In the cradle where it lies”

July 16, 2008 at 5:48 AM (Musings) (, )

I came to the conclusion tonight that remotely intelligent people are exempt from blissfully simple romantic relationships.

It began in my Shakespeare class, where we were analysing a song in Act III.ii in The Merchant of Venice:

Tell me where is fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
Reply, reply,
It is engender’d in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies.
Let us all ring fancy’s knell
I’ll begin it,–Ding, dong, bell.

In short, we established that fancy, or purely aesthetic interest, does not develop over time.  It is conceived at first sight, then proceeds to die once it is no longer new and interesting.  It’s very much centred on instant gratification.  On the other hand, love grows and matures over time, blah, blah, blah. 

This evening, I went out with Jill &co. to celebrate her birthday, and we wound up at a gay bar sporting wall-to-wall showtunes (of course).  Eventually, one of her gay friends finally asked me where MY significant other was, since everyone else in the group was in the company of his or her other half.  I responded with “Nonexistent,” and he looked at me in disbelief.

“That’s not right.  You’re pretty.  You should have a boyfriend!”

I politely shrugged it off at the time, but it didn’t take me long to recall that this was not the first time I’d been told such a thing.  Completely oblivious to the fact that I was about to apply what I’d discussed in class to a “real life” situation, I tried to figure out why an attractive person would be without a significant other for more than, oh, say, a week at a time.

It then occurred to me that my relationship status was a result of my being picky.  Based strictly on aesthetics, sure, I suppose I could find myself spoken for quickly enough.  Would I be happy, though?  Aye, there’s the rub.  Having my own real-life Ken doll might guarantee that I’ll never have to fly solo, but good looks will only get one so far.  Nevermind significant others; nice houses with nobody home bore me even when I encounter them in a temporary environment (class, work, extracurriculars, etc.).  How could I possibly expect to be happy being committed to one?

I guess the summary is that it’s not all about the looks.  Granted, I’ve known that for ages, but every now and then it’s good to review.  I just need to remind myself that I’m looking for someone who is worth the wait.

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