A very close friend of mine called to give me the “living-vicariously-through-single-friends” update this afternoon. We were on the phone for a couple hours laughing and talking about all the crazy things she goes through in the dating world of a thirty-something gal and one point she mentioned in passing really stood out when it comes to love and relationships. There is always something significant in every relationship (no matter if it is a dear friend, lover or acquaintance) that truly is a defining metaphor for everything they go through together. For her that is a pretzel and it hit me that her symbol can be applied to almost every interaction between humans.
Affixing the pretzel theory to lovers, we are all looking to discover the perfect one. From the beginning, there is anticipation for the spark two people experienced during a first encounter to still exist during their first date. The build up to that first date is much like standing in line for a pretzel at a carnival and the eagerness that grows as the line shortens. Giddiness takes over, the feeling of being a child waiting for the big prize to come. We all hope for one that is warm, not too hard to get through on the outside and just soft enough on the inside.
What toppings we get on our pretzel equates to what we are looking for in love. Do we want something strong but comfortable like mustard and salt or spicy and sweet like cinnamon and sugar? Choosing toppings also reminds me of being a girl and going through an entire closet of clothes to choose an outfit for a first date as well. Do those hot pink heels scream hooker or fun and flirty? Should we wear that deep v-neck or do we actually want him to look in our eyes at some point during the evening?
I am not a dude so I can not speak for what goes through the mind of a man within the initial moments of a first date but for women it tends to be whether there will be a second date or not. Going back to the carnival we are certainly going to remember if that pretzel we ordered last year was exactly what we were looking for; if it was too twisted we may just settle for the hip-widening fried dough instead.
Since we do not go to the carnival everyday a pretzel is a special treat but what happens when we decide we love them so much that we start purchasing pretzels at the grocery store to cook up at home? Do we find ourselves losing interest in the same old snack or do those little misshapen pieces of bread still provide reassurance through the familiar? Months after a pretzel is ordered it will certainly become stale if it is not properly cared for. It is far too often in love and relationships that we lose the initial giddy flicker of exhilaration that comes with ordering up something new.
It is all in the way a pretzel is perceived that encourages us to continue to enjoy it no matter how many we have already consumed or how long it has been by our side. Stretch it out long and flat. Spice it up with some Tabasco sauce. I say take all the toppings away, leaving it completely naked to experience the truest version of it and then get to know how it is put together so we can really understand why we fell in love with it enough to take it home it in the first place. After that, relish in the constant comfort it provides.