1. “Don’t have sex man. It leads to kissing and pretty soon you have to start talking to them.”
This is a cautionary tale and an observation that is right on the money. How many of us have been at, say, Target, and the next thing we know we’re in the stock room getting up close and personal with a sweet young thing we struck up a conversation with in the toothpaste aisle? The next thing we know our new friend wants more. Our phone number. Our last name. So uncool. What’s next? The keys to my apartment? Half my stuff?
2. “I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.”
There is no doubt that sex is wholesome and pure because even the Puritans did it. And in pursuit of that natural thing we must do, we’re probably going to spend a little cash. That’s all Steve is saying here. How that cash is spent? That’s your business. I don’t judge.
3. “There is one thing I would break up over, and that is if she caught me with another woman. I won’t stand for that.”
Mr. Martin, with this nugget of wisdom, really sheds light on one thing you’ll need to be aware of if you want to give your relationship a fighting chance rather than just making it a chance to fight. Decide on the rules early. If it’s an open relationship, fine. Just make your partner aware of it before you start drilling for oil overseas. If the rules, and an understanding of them, are not firmly in place, not only will it interrupt your mojo if you get caught, it will truly hurt your partner, who in turn will hurt you, and perhaps other people you know.
4. “I believe you should place a woman on a pedestal – high enough so you can look up her dress.”
Steve’s not suggesting that you actually place your partner on a pedestal. Who has the time to build a pedestal anyway? What he’s really saying is, if you’re in a relationship, take the time to tell your significant other how important and sexy they are to you. And make sure it comes from a place of genuine respect and affection. You need more than just “nice ass.” More like “If I had the time and money to build a pedestal to display your ass, I would, because that is how much genuine affection I have for you.” See the difference? It’s the little things.
5. “First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.”
Like it or not, we live in an era where, we can easily catch something that could either kill us or make us really unhappy. It’s a jungle out there. And down there. Steve is telling us to be vigilant and take responsibility for keeping our partners safe. And by doing so, you’re also keeping yourself safe. And who is more important than you? Nobody.
6. “I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks.”
This may seem just like a throwaway thought, but look closer. We see it’s really informing us that we need to know what we want before we start a relationship. It’s impossible to know everything about someone right away. Luckily, getting to know someone gradually is one of the best parts about being in a relationship. Say you find out your one and only loves to cook apple pies, and you just happen to love eating apple pies? Jackpot! Conversely, if you find out your guy or gal has a porcelain doll collection in the basement, that’s something you’d want to know going in.
7. “An apology? Bah! Disgusting! Cowardly! Beneath the dignity of any gentleman, however wrong he might be.”
Learning to stand your ground is very important. Don’t apologize just to apologize – especially if you don’t mean it. Ultimately you will lose whatever dignity or self-respect you had going in. ‘Who says collecting porcelain dolls is creepy? It’s a beautiful thing. I will not change for you or my shrink.
8. “There are some people that will not pick up a phone and call you, but if you knock on a door and talk to them, they’ll talk back to you.”
A lesson in persistence. You have got to stick with it. Winning over the person you love is no easy feat. It involves flowers and movies and rings and emotional acrobatics. My advice is: (1) never raise your voice unless you are squealing on a roller coaster, and (2) never grow a mustache. Mustaches just scream ‘weirdo.’ Sorry hipsters and cowboy cooks.
9. “All dames are alike: they reach down your throat and they can grab your heart, pull it out and they throw it on the floor, step on it with their high heels, spit on it, shove it in the oven and cook the sh*t out of it. Then they slice it into little pieces, slam it on a hunk of toast, and serve it to you and then expect you to say, ‘Thanks, honey, it was delicious.’ “
They’re all out to destroy your heart and mangle the rest of your innards, because that is what romance and dating is all about – the complete and total annihilation of someone’s self respect. Steve learned this lesson the hard way after two failed marriages and a week-long flirting session with a juice jockey at Jamba Juice that lead nowhere.
10. “She had the personality of a zip code in Kansas.”
Just like your mother always said, personality is important. How someone acts and who they truly are as a person, means so much more than how their body looks or how much money they make. If you meet someone who shows an interest in you, and they have a great personality, it’s definitely worth kicking the tires and taking them out for a spin. Flip the coin and the opposite side of the argument is true as well. If you’re dating a stone cold fox, but they’ve got the personality of trout or a Kardashian, don’t waste anyone’s time. Not yours and not theirs. Sleep with them a few more times and then call it quits.
11. “I’ve heard lots of people lie to themselves, but they never fool anyone.”
We have all been guilty of stretching the truth a bit to impress someone – padding the resume, so to speak. But at the end of the day, no matter how many stories you’ve concocted, you are still who you are. And you know what? Good for you. Embrace it. Be who you are and allow your Mr. Right or Ms. Right or Cousin It to find their way to you. Be true to yourself and good things will happen.
12. “I would assign every lie a color: yellow when they were innocent, pale blue when they sailed over you like the sky, red because I knew they drew blood. And then there was the black lie. That’s the worst of all. A black lie was when I told you the truth.”
Assigning a lie a color is very much like assigning terror a color. You know, orange means you have to take your shoes off at the airport, and red means you’re on fire. (Pink means everything is fabulous.) What Steve is talking about in this case is simply this: when you lie, and you will, be sure it’s in a rainbow of colors, be creative. If you don’t need to destroy someone or squash a dream, don’t. And if you must, do it for the right reason. Like money. Or Jimmy Buffett tickets.
13. “She has learned that her body is precious, and it mustn’t be offered carelessly ever again, as it holds a direct connection to her heart.”
Simple. Don’t be a whore, man-whore or pimp. And if you are, don’t put your heart into it. We can all learn lessons from Steve Martin and Pretty Woman.
14. “With a cheery delicacy, she divided my obsessions into three categories: acceptable, unacceptable, and hilarious.”
Steve is letting you know that, in time, you will learn to love your partner’s little eccentricities. Some of their traits that were once annoying will evolve into something you couldn’t imagine living without. And when they aren’t around to chew their cuticles or steal money from you’re wallet, you’ll really miss it. Their needs will become yours. Unless you hate their needs so much that you want to toss them out on their ass every time they call you ‘Snickerdoodle.’
15. “There’s someone out there for everyone – even if you need a pickaxe, a compass, and night goggles to find them.”
This is a very encouraging thought. Not only does Steve Martin himself assume that some day each one of us will find love, he is also willing to lend us old-timey mining equipment to find them. Perhaps your soul mate is spelunking through Carlsbad Caverns right now. Or maybe they’ve just Netflix’ed The Descent. He’s telling you not to give up in his own Wild and Crazy Guy kind of way.