This weekend I attended a workshop with psychologist Wylie Goodman. The workshop was called, “The Formula for finding your Ideal Mate,” and Saturday marked the first of two sessions. As I walked into the small room, I instantly spotted Ms. Goodman, a petite woman wearing the requisite psychologist spectacles, a woolen skirt, and clogs. I wondered what she knew that I didn’t.
I sat down on a comfy brown couch with three other girls and one really nerdy looking guy, turned off my blackberry, and waited for her to start.
“We often wonder why we keep going after the wrong mates,” she said, perching forward in her loveseat. “But we never stop long enough to figure out who that person is.” Sounds like the usual clichés, I thought, waiting for her to get onto the magic formula.
“Each of you take out a pencil and a piece of paper,” she said. Phew, I thought, the clichéd BS wasn’t going to go on forever.
We obliged, utensils at the ready.
“Now I want you to envision your ideal mate. What is he like physically?” she asked. A hunky blond soccer player with sparkling blue eyes popped into my head. “Now write down his physical characteristics; height, hair color, build, etc,” she continued. Hmm, this was kind of fun, I thought, breaking down David Beckham’s twin on the white college ruled paper.
“Next, imagine your mate’s ideal occupation. Take into consideration the types of hours and travel needs that this job entails. Remember, when they come home at the end of the day, and you ask ‘Honey, how was your day?’ What do you want them to talk about? Also indicate how much money you would like them to make,” she instructed.
An image of a trip to Thailand with my husband to meet with the Thai embassy concerning immigration policy instantly appeared, followed by a black Amex with my name on it. “State Department,” I wrote down in cursive. “Income: A lot?” I scribed next to it (shows how fiscally competent I am).
“Now think about his personality,” she said. She told us to write down all of the personality characteristics we would like in our ideal mate. After that, she continued on to their hobbies, lifestyle (and our lifestyle together), religion, family, parenting style, fiscal attitude, sex drive, and the most interesting category, I thought, fighting style.
In regards to that category, she said, “Since you are going to have to fight, what would be the ideal things for you to fight about?” I scribbled down hastily, “taking the dog out?” I had no idea.
After we had gotten through all the categories, she told us to raise our pieces of paper in the air. Pointing to each of them individually, she said, “Now these people you have created?,” she paused for dramatic effect, “They don’t exist,” she stated confidently.
Well that’s just great, I thought. The other attendees looked similarly disappointed.
“No one will have every single quality that you want in a mate. So, for next week,” she instructed, “your homework is to go through that list and circle the two most important things to you under each category. In addition,” she added, “make a list of five things that you can’t live with and five things you can’t live without.” We dutifully wrote down our homework, third graders again at the end of the class period, only this time it wasn’t Chapters 1-3 on the Boston Tea Party (thank G-d).
Nerdy guy tentatively raised his hand in the air. “Yes?” she asked, eyebrows lifting expectantly.
“What’s the purpose of this?” he asked. I was shocked by the depth of his voice. For such a nerdy looking guy, it was one sexy voice, I thought. I inwardly chastised myself for having passing judgment too soon.
“Well, once you recognize who this person is, you are more likely to see them when they do come along.” Then she put her hand out for his sheet. Looking down it in a matter of seconds, she continued flippantly, “Secondly, we are going to assess whether you are spending time in the right places in order to meet this person. Let me guess,” she continued, looking down at the sheet. “I’m thinking that you are not meeting your sensitive Italian artist on Wall Street?” Sexy voice looked dumbfounded. “That’s what I thought,” she said triumphantly.
“Until next week,” she exclaimed, taking off her spectacles and standing up. Our time was up.
As I followed the others out of the room, I contemplated what we had just done. Looking down my list, I saw qualities that I always known were important but never prioritized.
Furthermore, ten minutes later on the F train, having decided on the five “what I can’t live with” characteristics, I recognized that my ex-boyfriend had every single one of them. Maybe that’s why I was so unhappy.
Next week, I will be curious to see how she analyzes our lists and categories. But even after one week, I feel as if I am being lifted out of a fog, to a place where I can finally see the Jewish politician with whom I am meant to be (sans, sadly, the blue eyes).
Or am I? I guess we will have to wait and see.
To be continued…
Search for your soulmate now at www.meezoog.com, or help your friends find theirs by playing matchmaker…