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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Nelle from Ally McBeal on Fnding the Right Person

I recently had a flashback to an old Ally McBeal episode.  I wasn't a big watcher of the show, but I saw a good number of them, and had a basic sense of who was who and what was going on.  I haven't been able to find any reference to this particular scene on the internet, and I'm not going to take the time to try to figure out what episode it was in on my own.

But I remember it was something Nelle said to John.  (It was only by googling that I was able to remind myself of Nelle's name, but I'm pretty sure it was her).  I think Nelle was not a particularly nice person -- most of the people in the show weren't -- but she had her moments.  The one I'm thinking of might have occurred when she broke up with John,  I can see that that happened in Season 3, Episode 16, but I also see that afterwards John called her a "rich bitch elitist ice queen" (in the line "Over my dead body, which would still be a few degrees warmer than yours, you rich bitch elitist ice queen." see a few episodes later).  That also seems to be the episode in which Billy dies, but right now I've forgotten who Billy was.

Here's a description of the breakup scene, which doesn't include the "gets you" line:

John sits in a hospital bed in traction, a grumpy expression on his face. The door opens and Nelle walks in, shifting uncomfortably and asking how he's doing. He says they're keeping him there because he has lower back pain and there's swelling around some of the verterbrae. There is a stony pause. "You could have told me face to face, Nelle," he says. "Instead, you ended it to my buttocks." She admits that she's never been good at breaking up. "Also, whenever I do something where I might be unlikable," she says, "I don't know, I embrace being a total bitch. There's more power in it." He asks her to leave so he can get some rest. She starts to go, stops, and tells him that either she was going to leave him or he was going to leave her...but either way, they both knew it was coming. "Onward and upward, then," John says quietly. She nods and smiles gently, liking the sound of that.

Anyway, in the scene I'm remembering, Nelle still loved John, but she had come to the realization that what HE needed -- what everyone needs -- is not just someone who "loves" them, but someone who "gets" them.  She was very sympathetic in this particular scene.

I've become obsessed with trying to figure out the exact context of this line, but I'm not finding it.  I see that John had two other possible romantic relationships after Nelle -- Melanie (with Tourette's syndrome) and Ally.  I don't really remember Melanie.  And I don't think John ever quite got together with Ally.  But now that I think of it, I think Nelle was talking about Ally, and was observing that Ally "got" John while Nelle didn't.  I think Nelle might even have been crying.  If Nelle was thinking about Ally, then maybe it was a season 5 episode.

So I still don't know exactly what she said.  But it's a very important truth.  You know for a fact that not everyone in your life "gets you."  Even many people you like don't necessarily "get you."  And many people who like you don't "get you."

But usually there are some people in your life who actually do "get you."  If you want to marry well, you need to pick someone from that group.  But before doing that, make sure that you "get" him or her as well.

Recent science confirms this, sort of -- as one scientist puts it, although opposites may attract, it's the birds of a feather that stay together:

You can take this concept too far, as shown by the Seinfeld episode where Seinfeld was affirmatively turned off by the girl who was just like him.  The one who wonders why there's a "brunch" but no "lupper."

So how do you find the person who "gets you"?  It's actually pretty easy; you know it when you see it.  The thing to do is to avoid the people who don't "get you."

One "shortcut" is the enneagram.  In the enneagram, there are nine personality types.  Yes, there are any number of ways to divide up human personalities, but most people who are skilled with the enneagram can tell you exactly what type certain people are.  I.e. they all agree on the "types" of certain characters in books and movies, and of certain celebrities that we all know.  So one way to be pretty sure you've got someone who "gets you" is to have someone of the same enneagram type.  It's like astrology, only a bit more scientific.  I don't have time to explain it all, but you can learn a lot -- including your own type -- pretty quickly by googling it.

And another way is to make sure that the "type" of the person you are considering is not one that is not particularly compatible with your type.  Or, maybe more accurately, is of a "type" that you have an instinctive distrust of or dislike for.

I found this handy tool that allows you, starting from your type, to plug in the prospect's type and get a sense of what the relationship would be like.

The website notes that as long as both "types" are healthy, then no type is necessarily incompatible with another type.  But think about it -- over all the long years, and all the stresses that come with marriage, kids, etc -- are two different types going to remain healthy ALL the time?  My advice is to try to pick someone of a type that "gets" your type, and that you "get" as well.  For example, as a six, I don't really "get" threes, and they don't get me.

I'm safer with a six.

Oh, and in googling, I also found another piece of useful relationship advice from Nelle:

Nelle: "If you really, really want to turn a woman on . . . .  Do you?"
Mark: "Yes."
Richard: "Yeah."
Nelle: "Respect her."
Richard: "Where's the fun in that?"
Nelle: "Well, if she thinks you respect her-- if you really, really respect her-- she'll do whatever you want."
Richard: "Yeah?"
Nelle: "Men think it's money, it's flowers it's sweet talk. It's none of those things. It's respect."

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