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'Mr. good enough' is as good as it gets

She was young, attractive and smart and her plan for the future was to not get married until Mr. Right came along. Mr. Right by her definition would be tall, good looking, charming, bright, witty, kind, caring, sensitive, ambitious and capable of making a good living. He didn't come along right away -- after all, what percentage of eligible young men can hit all ten of those markers? I heard just a small portion of an interview with this woman. She has written a book on the search for Mr. Right and related that now, at the age of 40, she still hasn't found him. She is working on a second book and still looking. She was discussing the women who took a different approach -- since there are so few Mr. Rights, when Mr. Good Enough came along, they said okay and got on with life -- marriage and the highs and lows that followed: kids, dirty diapers, satisfactions, mortgages and the disappointments and happiness of day-to-day routines.

I am sorry to say I got to my destination and had to leave the car and the radio, so I never got the woman's name, the name of her book, the name of the upcoming book or any more details about the joys and frustrations of the search for Mr. Right. But we've all seen the dramas ourselves. They are the subject of private conversations.

A bit of analysis is in order. First, there is the concept of Mr. Right. Women have probably spent more time sorting this out, but as a husband, I'm entitled to my opinion too. And my opinion is this: There is no Mr. Right -- he's the big rock candy mountain, the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, the prince charming who doesn't exist. Forget it ladies, you're chasing a myth. There are not ten tests, there are four: faithful loving husband, caring father, brings home a paycheck and character (passes the test of time). The last test is the most important and that can be measured only in hindsight.

It is certainly true that many women get stuck with a guy who passes almost none of the tests. We all know of a few. It is also true there are worse things than being single and staying single.

What's the answer? I don't believe any computer program has the answer. When it comes to the high risk process of settling on a mate, the heart and gut are still the most reliable indicators of how it will all work out.

Hollywood has offered many love-at-first-sight, head over heels, love of a lifetime stories, but the real people of Hollywood have a turnover rate that is appalling. Hollywood doesn't have the answer because Hollywood still believes in Mr. Right.

The answer is that Mr. Good Enough is about as good as it gets and that works both ways, of course. After the high excitement of romance has passed and the glow is gone, is love dead? No, love works hand in hand with loyalty and character and it hangs on. There are thousands of great husbands out there who come up short in the tall, dark and handsome category. Some of us guys seem to have very little sense of humor and some may even seem dull. But year after year we're hanging in there, doing what loyal husbands and dads do through thick and thin (in sickness and health, for richer or poorer, yada, yada, yada) and that's good enough. And that's why Mr. Good Enough is not just good enough, he's terrific. I rest my case.