Thursday, March 4, 2010


We all collect emotional baggage on our journey of life. Its not something that we try to do, it just happens, it sticks to us like cat hair sticks to your best silk dress. It starts in childhood, with emotional events that traumatize us -- dying grandparents, moving out of the neighborhood you grew up in, your parents' divorce, the death of a beloved pet, going to Catholic school to be taught by nuns, being embarassed in eighth grade (by just about anything), having your parents forget your sixteenth birthday, etc. If you are a lucky child, those are fairly typical childhood traumas. The unlucky ones are neglected, verbally abused, beaten, and molested.

We all carry "baggage". Not only from our childhoods but also from our experiences as adults. First dates and blind dates, personal ads and stalkers, heartbreaks and breakups, marriage and divorce. Divorce, separation, breaking up - this is about as painful as life gets. These experiences, burned into our pysches like hot branding irons, leave us with scars in order to teach us something, so we don't put our hand in the fire a second time. However, some of us don't learn our lessons fast enough and get burned multiple times.

This being the case, I am mystified to find in the personal ads of today (Yahoo,, etc) many ads written by men specifically stating that they are looking for women with "no baggage". If you are an adult, you have baggage, if nothing else, from your childhood. And unless you lived most of your adult life under a rock, you have lots of baggage.

I am pretty sure that Pollyanna is not searching for a relationship on or Yahoo personals. We all have "stuff"; its what makes life interesting. We have strange relatives, wacky in-laws, rebellious teenagers, horrible exs, overly demanding bosses, rude customers, nasty neighbors, senile parents, wicked step-mothers, etc, etc, etc. If you have relationships with other people, you have baggage. Period.

I do not think that men should be looking for women who have absolutely no baggage. Instead, I think they should take the time to find out how a woman handles the baggage that has hitched a ride on her coattails. To tell you the truth, I wouldn't want to be with a guy who has "no baggage". Mr. "No Baggage Here" is either emotionally stunted, unable to commit, or a hermit on a deserted island. I'll take my chances with Mr. "Baggage Under Reasonable Control" instead.

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