What was the best time of your life? Most of us remember our teenage years with great fondness. Somehow we can easily dismiss the insecurities and uncertainties we felt at that time, instead remembering it as a golden age. A smorgasbord of choice, one of endless possibilities and unlimited opportunities.
Why do I bring this up, the “70’s Show” that’s why. Set in an era that I have to begrudgingly admit I remember well. I know that it’s highly exaggerated and of course they are much more confident than most normal teenagers ever could be but I just can’t help liking it. As a social commentary on the time it’s probably not the first point of reference. However, I recently watched an old episode that contained a much deeper and age defying truth than expected.
In that particular episode we see Jackie upset because Kelso has ruined her birthday party by turning it into a drunken teenage binge instead of the sophisticated dinner party she had planned. When quizzed about her vision for the future she admits that in her dream she saw Kelso as a witty, successful business man in a dinner suit entertaining their equally successful rich and urbane friends. My first response to that revelation was “has she never met her boyfriend”.
Then I thought about the truth of how the female brain works. When we look at something we don’t see the reality of what it is, we see the image of what we think it could be. This quality can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s this quality that helps you look at the drawing your four year old son has done on the lounge room wall and imagine him to be the next Rembrandt. This is a beautiful fact but if we are honest, it is the same reason that a woman can look at a figure hugging body con dress and think we’d look great in it. You aren’t seeing it on yourself, you are actually seeing it on Eva Mendes body, topped with your head, am I right?
We women don’t always see reality when looking at people we care about, rather, we see what a person could be. The boyfriend that doesn’t turn up for a date because his mates talked him into going to the pub with them, would never leave you sitting at home with two kids on a Friday night while he goes out with the same mates, right? This is admirable but it is a trait that has seriously lead women into trouble for millenniums. When the smorgasbord of live is being rolled out instead of just looking at the possibilities and opportunities maybe if we are taught to see realities as well it might go some way to help.
Just ask Anne Boleyn, she absolutely thought that Henry VIII would be so enamoured by her that he would be faithful and love her only. She definitely wasn’t using her head, possibly why she lost it.