The Representative

Chris Rock has a very funny comedy show in which he accuses women of being more deceptive than men because women wear heels (“you ain’t that tall!”), weave (“your hair ain’t that long!”), or wear padded bras (“your boobs ain’t that big!”). While men can’t really get away with wearing Prince boots or hair pieces, there are other ways for them to be disingenuous about who they really are. For either sex, I call it sending out your “representative.”

Even sans boots, Prince rocks! Men - do not try this at home.

Even without seeing the boots, Prince rocks! Men - do not try this at home.

I think *sometimes* when we meet people with dating potential, we don’t really meet them – we meet their representative. The representative can be neat, organized, laughs at your jokes, on-time. If a man’s representative is smart and on top of his game, the representative opens the car door, pumps the gas, makes it known that chivalry is not dead. A woman’s representative may cook (at all or more often), be more agreeable, work out more. Then again, there may not be a huge difference between the representative and the real person, but to some extent we’re all guilty of putting our “best foot forward” whether it’s on a job interview or a date. While so many people (YES, men and women!) are in such a rush to “couple up”, I think that being open to discovering all the positive and negative things about someone you’re dating, or considering dating, is key.

Over time, the “representative” leaves the building — and the real person takes over. Over time, things get down to the nitty-gritty. Existing habits are exposed. Default character settings reveal themselves. (For example: if you fight dirty with name-calling, cussing, and yelling, this will come to light when the representative leaves the building.) Again, there may not be huge differences between the person’s “best foot forward” version and their actual self. But how would you know unless you take a proper period of time to know, to observe, and to listen to that person?

Some of my friends whose marriages resulted in divorce all say the same thing: that they did not really “know” their husband or wife as a person. They recall how they did not take the time to really understand how each of them handled their own individual financial decisions, familial relationships, or religious choices. Not having sufficiently discussed these things prior to “coupling up” resulted to what turned out to be insurmountable problems down the road. It doesn’t always end up in divorce, though. Kudos to the people who stick it out, tackle the issues, communicate, compromise and resolve, and then move on to happier days.

More accurately, however, I’m pretty sure that my divorced friends or their former spouses did know how the other really was. They just thought the other person would change, or they just ignored what they knew to be true just to be with that person. The representative is not natural. If you just slow down and listen to what a person says and compare that to what they do, you’ll know if you’re dealing with the representative. I trust what is said, and believe what is done.

I’m often asked by my married and single friends (or their friends) or men I’ve dated, “Don’t you want to get married?” My answer is always the same – I don’t want to get married; I want to stay married. What that means is that I want toΒ  take the time to really get to know a person, so that the representative is a distant memory, a memory firmly replaced by the person they really are – the person I would be happy to be with.

So, to all the people who are in such a hurry to be “in a relationship”, get married, be “off the market” or to hook up your single friends — please pay attention and get to know the real person, even if the “real person” ends up being not so different from the inevitable representative that you meet initially.Β  πŸ™‚

Content and ideas copyright Samee on Everything (2009).

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14 Comments

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14 responses to “The Representative

  1. sameeoneverything

    sambone, i’m not saying that the representative is a good thing or that everyone has a representative. i’m just saying that (i’ve noticed) that there are a lot of people who will “represent” themselves as being a certain way in order to achieve their goal of being in a relationship or getting married or whatever. those of us (like me or you) who may be “on our best behavior” but not necessarily sending a representative need to be on the look out for people trying to be who they aren’t in their attempts to woo us real people! πŸ™‚

    as for women being too independent – you know what? that’s a topic for a whole post. thanks for bringing it up. i’ll have to write about that next week.

  2. *meet* sorry for the errors. fast typing

  3. This is a very interesting topic. I strongly disagree with this representative thing. If you truly understand who you are as a person, there should be no reason to “front”. Its kinda like being a fake or a fraud. A gentleman will be just that because thats who he is, and so will a lady. Thats a big problem for me (trying to meat genuine people). There isn’t alot of classy people in this world. Nothing to me is worse than when a person puts on a show in an attempt to win someone over. Whats done in the dark will always come to light.

    On another note! I often see successful black women that I might think have it going on. The only thing that seems to be missing is a good man. Maybe they can’t seem to find one thats on their “level” or up to their standards. There’s nothing wrong with wanting someone who will bring something to the table, or doesn’t have any kids ~but~ Has The Woman lost touch with the traditional role of being a woman? Is there a such thing as a woman being too INDEPENDENT? Dont get me wrong, there is nothing more sexy to me than the strength of an independent woman. It just seems with the new role of being “indie”, alot of woman has lost touch with the traditional values.

  4. i guess i didn’t meet my husband’s representative. he is the same person i met 15 years ago. from day one, he was his real self. i guess that’s why it took me a while to fall for him. i did think he would change but i have given up on that. i think most of us mean well and just want to impress the people we like. nothing wrong with that. we have to remember, no one is perfect and we all just want to be LOVED

  5. Quinn

    Great topic!

    I’m not sure if this is on topic but- I have always loved hearing how my parents and grandparents met and how they stayed together. Their answer: “be open to let someone see you in your weakness and then challenge those weakness to become your strength.”

  6. sameeoneverything

    my outside of work me called something or somebody at work “BOOTLEG”. i then had to explain the concept of “bootleg” to my baby boomer and up aged co-workers… needless to say, now they think they’re cool when we see some shoddy lawyering and they say — BOOTLEG!! hahahahha

  7. Mr. Whammy

    Perhaps that’s why it took me 8 years for to marry my now wife…thanks for the valid argument I now can make when she asks why I waited so long…

  8. * black mamba *

    Too bad most representatives can’t find a way to merge with or dissolve into the real person – instead they give the ol’ switch and bait! Also, love the line “I don’t want to GET married, I want to STAY married.” So true, but thats a whole other can of worms (to be discussed later?? πŸ˜€ )….

  9. Nic H

    One more thing….love the Prince pic. I have always wondered how he manages with those heels…he does indeed ROCK!

  10. Nic H

    Nice blog again..Samee! Very interesting indeed. My mom always says..its easy to get married. What is difficult is to stay married once all the stars and fairy dust has settled and you are left with the “real person”…just you and the other person! Although when I was younger, I didn’t appreciate those thoughts, I certainly do now!.

    And to Jamie…don’t be ashamed! It takes courage to admit that. πŸ™‚ You certainly aren’t alone!!

    Finally to Samsonite…do you ever find that your “outside of work” rep makes an appearance at the office? I know it has happened to me from time to time πŸ™‚

  11. Mr. Whammy

    I concur with your “representative” analysis — that’s why it took me eight years to marry my now wife…although I have to keep reminding her that I’m not that “representative” she met on that fateful day of October 1996…

  12. Samsonite

    When “outside of work” me meets “9 to 5” me, WORLDS WILL COLLIDE!! I’ve got 2 representatives and they both hate on each other. My “925” rep is always complaining that my “outside of work” rep should spend less time drinking and more time thinking. My “outside of work” rep complains that my “925” doesn’t drink enough.

  13. sameeoneverything

    jamie! thanks for reading. yes, usually when representatives find out that they’ve encountered a real person they JET. and that’s a good thing. πŸ™‚

  14. jamie

    I am very new to the dating scene after divorce. I agree that YES I knew him, I just thought he would change. I am ashamed to say it out loud!

    Now for these representatives . . . OMG! I have met a couple and find that when they realize I didn’t send mine . . . they run. I don’t even have to cut them loose. LOL!

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