Friday, August 1, 2014

"She Is Not Really Beautiful But Only Looks That Way:" About Seemingly Good Ideas

She is not really beautiful, but only looks that way! I heard this statement from a friend of mine years ago in order to introduce its inherent paradox. Still we agreed that it did make sense. Sometimes, in first impression,  people seem to be beautiful—. Yet  if we look a little closer, we realize that they may be symmetrical, or have a good figure,  but beautiful they are not. This is a matter of aesthetic preference, I don’t  refer here to the opposite case when upon knowing the person we grow to view them as more or less 
beautiful. But it was an interesting point to observe and discuss.
In a similar fashion, there are some ideas which  at first seem quite great, and only later when we  analyze the consequences we understand that, although they had some merit,  they  were never good.
After living several months in Iowa City my husband Tzvi and I decided that it was time to buy a house. Since it was Tzvi’s first year at his job at the university and I was home with the baby, it was up to me to find us the perfect home.  And then Tzvi  announced:  “I don’t need to see any of the houses which you consider,  it is entirely up to you.  If you don’t take it, then there is no need for me to see that house, and if you do I shall see it enough once we live there." It sounded  like an empowering and efficient idea.
I spent quite a bit of time with  the realtor, we knew that we didn’t want to buy an expensive house. After being poor students in graduate school we finally had some money  and  we wanted to be able to enjoy it rather than spending it on a big mortgage
Finally I found us a 3 bedroom, no-nonsense, modern, and efficient house. It was within  our budget , in a nice neighbourhood near the park. We even  had a good friend  living down  the street. In short, it was  perfect..
Only that it wasn’t, as we moved into to that house I realized that it was a huge mistake.I never liked that house and  grew to dislike it even more.
 Since it was only I who saw the houses I tried to look at them through Tzv’s eyes, I searched for one which will suit him best. He was an  engineer, thus I found  us a highly functional house, but it was  boring and lacked charm, Tzvi wasn’t. I somehow reduced his wishes  into a schematic notion that in his reality didn't reflect the taste of either one of us. It would never have happened  had we looked at houses together. 
On the surface, Tzvi’s idea made a perfect sense, but it paralyzed me and took away my creativity, and the ability to express myself. Tzvi himself  later confessed  that he never liked the house because  it was so unlike me.
Three years later we moved into our second house which we chose together, and  there we spent the rest of our time in Iowa City.
Of course Tzvi is not the only one to come up with perfectly logical ideas that in reality turn out to be quite terrible. Times of war make me wonder about those.  

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