I would hope that many of us are familiar with the show Bay- Watch (if not cue Google) and so will appreciate the word play in the title. However, this article has no semblance to the TV series that revolved around lifeguards in red hot swimming costumes, that captured millions. This isn’t even an article about the emergence of one of the most ridiculous short forms of the word babe (which didn’t actually need a short form, considering it is short enough as it is) known to man.This is about the human pursuit of love or what they perceive as love and the various ways we seek to acquire it. This is about the pains we go through sifting through prospective candidates, trying to work out how closely they match our “lists”, all the while neglecting our own personal development. Granted everybody wants to be wanted but the key question to ask is, are you more than your search for love? Do you exist outside your bae – watch?
Bae-watch: The active or passive pursuit of a bae a.k.a before anyone else ( in other words a companion) that usually involves a selection process.The selection process can be sophisticated but usually isn’t.
I remember sitting in front of a man over lunch ( this has become one of my favourite passé – temps in order to gauge their opinions on certain topics) and he said the problem he finds with women is that they create these lists of character and/or aesthetic traits without bringing anything to the table themselves. My friend wasn’t being in anyway misogynist, he was simply relaying the tendencies amongst the women he interacts with and it was helpful to hear his thoughts because it was something I had been grappling with for a while. However, the fascination with lists is not unique to women, men have them too. Walk up to any man that you are familiar with and ask him what he looks for in a woman and he will most probably recite some sort of list back to you and if he doesn’t , ask him if he used to and he will most probably tell you he did. Thus, it is not a female endemic, it is a human one.
I’m aware that by this point many readers will feel slighted by what looks like a berating of individuals who keep lists but this isn’t anything like that, especially as I myself have a list (the contents of the list are a secret obviously) and I wouldn’t want to be in any way hypocritical or even judgemental. I wanted to make that clear from the outset because I still want you to read on and follow my train of thought. Having a list is not a bad thing. In fact I would argue that it is strategic, less time consuming and keeps the creator of the list focused.
However, what happens when you become so engrossed in your list, so absorbed in the x amount of character traits that another human being possesses that “you” don’t even exist outside your pursuit, your hunt, your search for a bae.
I think we have become caught up, perhaps even glorying in our list because in our minds they are a reflection of our value. You can gauge how the creator of a list sees themselves and the standards by which they ascribe to by looking at their list. However, on what grounds can we feasibly build these lists when we don’t do anything to develop our own personal traits? We are in the habit of specifying but not growing or even living.
My greatest concern is that there are many people who have lost their identities to their list. I hear it all the time, “ Oh I want him to be tall, compassionate and giving,” “Oh I want her to be a homebody, with a big heart, selfless, without a big mouth”. We have picked out our preferred qualities, forgetting that we ourselves are flawed, undeserving of anyone with those traits but haven’t developed spiritually, mentally, financially (or whatever the case may be ) . We just want to wave a list in the air as a badge of honour. This is very dangerous.
Another concern that ought to be flagged up is that when you fail to exist outside your list or fail to have anything of value to bring to the table then it is far easier to become sidetracked. I know earlier I mentioned, one of the benefits of having a list is that the creator remains focused . Yet, where the creator themselves has nothing to bring to the table but a bunch of preferred/pre-ordered character traits, “wolves in sheep’s clothing” become harder to detect. For instance, a man who doesn’t have it all together whilst seeking a woman who does, may think he knows what “all together” looks like, until he befriends miss “altogether” only to find that she is as messed up as he is. What bench mark will you use to judge another’s character, when you have no character? In that example, all Mr. “ I don’t have it together” had was a list by which he judged others but nothing else. This is all he could brag about?
A person who doesn’t have anything to add to the table will most likely eat everything at the table. Such people lap up everything, therefore the purpose of the list becomes redundant and the entire bae- watch counter-productive.
I suggest a move away from just creating lists to existing outside of that list. Get a job, get a hobby, learn a language, spend time with your family, if a Christian spend more time in your church, read a book (read your bible), start a book club or gain new qualifications. Bring things to the table.
Don’t be a dog (dogs are always so interested in food at the table) be a person. Be the person that when asked to bring a dish to a house party, actually brings a dish. Don’t be the leech that comes empty handed, eats everything in sight and then complains about the quality of the food.
Don’t obsess over a list and fail to live (and love) your life.
Love Cris x
P.S. I wish I actually had a witty p.s.