A ‘standard’ is the minimum level of quality or excellence that is expected from something; it is the minimum level that must be attained before something is acceptable to you. Having ‘standards’ for almost everything is normal practice for almost everybody, myself included.
A standard ensures that you are not getting less than you deserve. A standard demands that you are critical, to an appropriate degree, of everything that could potentially come your way. A standard requires you to value yourself to at least an equal level to that of your standards. Occasionally you can aim high and this is not bad thing every once in a while. However, most people prefer to play in their own league, which is also quite sensible.
The categories of standards are fairly complex and, more often than not, have blurred edges and encompass many grey areas. Simply put, the categories can be divided into extremely high (think the purest diamonds and most in-demand supermodels), high (a posh restaurant and James McAvoy), above average (Waitrose and the one from Eastenders), average (Sainsburys and the guy/girl next door), below average (Tesco’s own-brand and the one from that Reality TV show) and extremely low (a tin of cheap soup and that bloke who doesn’t always brush his teeth before he goes to bed). Numerous sub-categories exist but these tend to be subjective and therefore highly debatable.
I would place myself in the absolutely, unmistakeably, no-argument-valid average category. I am not fat, per se, but I am certainly not slim. I am not ugly, as such, but I am not a head-turner. I am certainly not overly smart, but I can hold a fairly good conversation about politics. In other words, I am the girl you go for once you’ve exhausted all your high-end options and want to settle down and have kids and a roast dinner every Sunday. I’m a good partner-in-crime but I won’t get your friends seething with jealousy either. I am perfectly comfortable with this. I can settle for being second choice provided I am not the last-chance saloon. I have enough friends who stand in the above-average category to make me certain of my station and I have no intention of undertaking the mammoth regimen required to place me in (and sustain me in) the above-average category, Incidentally, all of my friends in the above-average category are there because they are naturally, effortlessly that good. (No regimen required on their part, the lucky things).
My standards are definitely not based on aesthetics – I don‘t go for someone just because they are good-looking. The best-looking people in the world can fall into the extremely-low category because of their total lack of intellect (naming nobody, but I am sure you can think of numerous good-looking people who are incomprehensibly dumb, thus I shall never be able to find them attractive). In contrast, consider Professor Brian Cox who, though I consider him to be fairly average looking, is incredibly beautiful because of his vast expanse of knowledge and his unbridled passion for his subject. Or even Stephen Fry who (despite being very gay and considerably older than me) I consider indescribably sexy and fanciable because of his thirst for information and his unashamed sensitivity. Categories of standards are not just about looks; standards are about the whole person.
In regards to friendship, I look for people who have a goodness of heart and a passion and an honesty that shines through – as I am sure we all like to see in our friends. Luckily, I know people who are, quite frankly, too wonderful for words.
In regards to a potential partner… oh dear, I am not the best at this. I have a standard which I don’t think anybody will ever be able to live up to. This is entirely because my standard revolves around one very specific, very much established individual who I hold in a very clear image in my mind. And unfortunately this person does not exist.
For some time now, I have been entirely engrossed in a fictional character by the name of Kurt. He is smart, brave, sensitive, masculine, kind, generous, loyal and, though there are no illustrations of him in the books, he is incredibly gorgeous (in my head he is endowed with the most piercing blue eyes imaginable…). What’s more, he is entirely devoted to me and me alone. But he is entirely fictional. *Sigh*
I am not going to lie; this fantasy has been the result of a very long spell without romantic endeavours. I have either given off such an air of leave me the hell alone that not a single opportunity has developed into something worth mentioning, or simply have not been approached in the first place, and this has been the case for far too long. I am beginning to seriously consider having “Closed until further notice” tattooed across my relevant parts…not that anybody would see it.
There are so many problems with having such immeasurably high standards, embodied by one specific mental image, and the main one is that no real-life, genuine human being will ever live up to them or be him, especially if I am expecting an extremely-high standard of person to lower themselves to an absolutely average soul such as myself. I can walk the streets as much as I like searching for Kurt but, even if I found him, he would no doubt be on the arm of some Rosie Huntington-Whitely/Christian Bale type. He would stroll on by without taking any notice because he would be so used to average-types such as myself simply staring in lust and awe. This clear fact does not, however, stop me day-dreaming or keeping one eye on the crowd whenever I am on the Central Line.
I must be delusional or insane. But then again, that is also fine. It’s fine because I don’t think there is anything wrong with having a little day-dream every now and again, providing the rest of your life is governed by common sense. I am happy to live in an average home, eat average (or cheaper, below-average) food and wear the almost-new stuff I find in charity shops. I am more than happy to have average intelligence, average looks, an average bank balance, average career prospects and an average-sized waist. But if there is one thing I am allowed to aim higher for then I should aim high when searching for someone to share all my average things with.
I am blessed to have friends in the extremely-high category (seriously, I am privileged to know some incredible people!) but that one person – the one I will tell absolutely everything, wash their pants, show them my boobies and clean up after them when they’re sick – that person has to really make my jaw drop. Not necessarily looks (though that helps and is, of course, entirely subjective) but also personality. Loyalty, generosity and intelligence. That’s the person for me.
I am going to be single for a long time.