One is silver and the other is gold

Alex G-Smith

Have you ever felt inadequate or deficient to the man or woman you’re dating? Of course, because everyone feels like that at some point, regardless of how funny or attractive you are. There is a constant questioning gnawing in the back of your mind questioning what your partner wants from you and if you are fulfilling their ideals. From these feelings of inadequacy (too small of breast or lack of muscle) I have decided to call this problem Silver Medal Syndrome or SMS.

From a personal experience, I recall the first time I realized that I was not sufficient. One afternoon, during a heated discussion about Brad Pitt leaving Angelina Jolie for Jennifer Aniston, my ex boyfriend (we will call him Jim) made a remark that inevitably ended in our separation. I said, “Its too bad that Brad cheated on Jennifer. He should have divorced her first before hitting up Angelina.” “Jim” turned to me and stated matter-of-factly, “Alex, If Angelina walked into the room, any guy would have to have sex with her, even if you were with someone.” Hmm, I thought. After about two minutes of me ball busting him, he justified his statement by saying, “You’re getting mad at me as if it is actually going to happen!” However, I was tainted with a fantasy of Angelina Jolie walking in one night and asking him if he could help her with her flat tire because she needed to get back home and her triple A card had expired. Of course, with what he said, I now know that if that opportunity presented itself, he would have to have sex with her if she asked for it. Nevertheless, Jim continued his argument by saying, “She wouldn’t even be interested in me anyway! Celebrities are unattainable, they aren’t real.” Duh!

So to summarize his bleak outlook, celebrities and porn stars are taboo; that’s why we fantasize about them and then settle for our plain Janes and average Joes to procreate the Earth with our average kids, live in a sexless marriage, and stay sane only with the fantasies of Angelina and Brad.

I would not be the second best, especially if the woman I am competing with is someone he had never met, yet knew her well enough from “Tomb Radier” to cheat on me if the opportunity was ever presented. She was a 2D image, someone he never met, and probably would never meet. He had been a gold medal to me, but it was apparent in our interchange that I was not. Angelina Jolie was the inevitable gold medal to him; I was the silver. And the Silver Medal Syndrome can be summarized in a feeling of second best.

If everyone wants to be loved, cherished, and idolized by their partner, does this rationalization of, “Yeah, I’d bone him/her in a second because he’s/she’s sexier, richer, and more successful than you, but it’s not going to happen, so I’m with you,” really work? No!

I find it fascinating that we as people have become obsessed with sex, not for the intimacy it provides with that person, but just for doing the act itself. Perhaps it is generational thinking, lack of content control by the FCC and access to tons of downloadable porn that we as people have become desensitized to sex. Would Jack leave Rose on the Titanic for a blonder, bustier floozy he saw on No, but as the cynic I am, I have a feeling that it could possibly happen in our day in age.

The inexplicable notion that we can live our lives with someone, who is mind-cheating with a celebrity is intolerable, yet there appears to be no cure or end in sight. The only thought of comfort to be had is that possibly everyone feels, at some point in his or her life, like a silver medal. So as we venture into the dating world, we can live with ourselves knowing that even when we don’t feel good enough for the person we are with or conclude that they would spend a night with Angelina or Brad even if that means screwing you over, we can at least rest in peace knowing that our partner is afraid, and aware, that we might be thinking the very same thing.