Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Someone to Fall Back On

Years ago a sweet boy (who is now happily married) thought he was in love with me....but unfortunately I did not return the feelings. I loved him...but as a dear friend. He didn't get upset and tell me to piss off...he stayed and has remained a true friend to me. At the time he told about his feelings for me he sent me the link to a song called Someone to Fall Back On by Jason Robert Brown. Here are the lyrics....

I'll never be
A knight in armor
With a sword in hand,
Or a Kamikaze fighter;
Don't count on me
To storm the barricades
And take a stand,
Or hold my ground;
You'll never see
Any scars or wounds-

I don't walk on coals,
I won't walk on water:
I am no prince,
I am no saint,
I am not anyone's wildest dream,
But I can stand behind
And be someone to fall back on.

Some comedy -
You're bruised and beaten down
And I'm the one
Who's looking for a favor.
Still, honestly,
You don't believe me
But the things I have
Are the things you need.
You look at me
Like I don't make sense,
Like a waste of time,
Like it serves no purpose -

I am no prince,
I am no saint,
And if that's what you believe you need,
You're wrong - you don't need much,
You need someone to fall back on...

And I'll be that:
I'll take your side.
If I'm the only one,
I'm used to that.
I've been alone,
I'd rather be
The half of us,
The least of you,
The best of me.

And I will be
I'll Your prince,
I'll be your saint,
I will go crashing through fences
In your name. I will, I swear -
I'll be someone to fall back on!
I'll be the one who waits,
And for as long as you'll let me,
I will be the one you need.
I'll be someone to fall back on:
Your prince,
Your saint,
The one you believe you need
I'll be - I'll be
Someone to fall back on.

FIRST....Let me tell you why I originally hated this song.

When I first heard this song I felt like the message it was sending was that whoever was signing this song was basically asking the recipient to "settle" on him. What a totally unattractive UN-romantic notion.  Almost as if he were saying..Look, I know I am not at ALL the guy you want...but you should just be with me anyway. I think not.

NOW....Let me tell you why I Love this song years later.

The singer isn't telling the recipient to lower her standards and "give in" or "settle" on him. What he is saying has more to do with the unrealistic expectations we sometimes set forth when we look for "the one".  I'm going to assume that all of us...from time to time...might feel like the ugly duckling among the swans or the runt among the alphas.  We look around at the ideals of what men and women ought to be and we find that we simply do not measure up.  For men...there is this idea that they have to be The White Knight who rides in on his trusty steed and saves the day.  As women...there is this idea that we are to be the delicate and virtuous flower who has been spending her days in nothing less but total preparation for the day our White Knight arrives.

The thing is....these are called Fairy Tales for a reason. Last time I checked...there are no such thing as Fairies (As Tinker-Bell falls down dead)....and last time I checked.....we are all imperfect beings...far from the expectation of White Knights and Princesses.

So when he says that he doesn't walk on coals or walk on water....that he is no prince and no saint....he isn't saying I'm a loser baby so why don't you date me? He is saying that he is not some ideal of some impossible standard of perfection that nobody can possibly live up to. Oh certainly we try...we all TRY and be that person we all think we should be....but how long can we really keep that up? How many stories have we heard about marriages that end because one partner can't keep up the facade? So when he says that if that is what you think you need you are wrong....he is saying...I may not be perfect...but I'm real. The good...the bad....the imperfection...all of it...this is me.

And if only a person were able to accept them for everything they are, and everything they will never be....then that person would BECOME their prince ..would BECOME their saint.

Sometimes what we think we need is perfection....we couldn't be more wrong. I don't want perfection....I am far from perfect. In many ways I identify with the singer....I am not anyone wildest dreams....I'm not going to be gracing the silver screen or strutting the cat walk anytime soon. I may bit a quirky and a little unique...but I am also amazing. I have SO much to offer someone...the least of all these things being my fierce loyalty and patience for the imperfection of the ones I love.

We don't need perfection....we just need someone who loves us enough to always be there....someone who will always be on our side....

Someone to fall back on....




  1. I love this!!! I think there is definitely a difference between refusing to settle and having unrealistic expectations. I know some of my friends thought I was the latter, but when I started dating my first ever boyfriend in my mid-20s, they all realized I had been the former.

    Some necessary qualities go without saying--chemistry, mutual respect, etc. Others might be deal-breakers just for the individual. For me, I only had a few. I'm keeping my last name upon marriage, I want kids, and no coitus til marriage. I needed someone who was passionate about at least one thing (anything!) other than his job, and I needed someone of equal intelligence to me.

    Finding someone who a) respected my sexual boundaries AND b) had no old-fashioned ideas about me taking his name was next-to-impossible, but my boyfriend lived up to the challenge!

    I did have to drop the unrealistic expectations of him being bilingual in French, southern, and a fraternity almumna... Alas.

  2. Belle

    Thank you for your input. And THANK you for mentioning the whole being attracted part. You would be amazed how many times people bring that up as an argument. In my mind...it goes without saying. If I can't see myself sleeping with the guy...I probably won't see myself married to him. I'm sure some women marry for money or security who are not attracted to their husbands...but not THIS girl.

  3. I know that I have had many expectations that someone can't be expected to be all the time or even more than once if ever. I know that I have also been the one that failed miserably when trying to meet those expectations of someone else or even myself. I am defiantly not a prince in shining armor and have been known to sadly lose my temper with the wrong person or with someone I care for very much. I have lost friendships that way and have always regretted it. some of those friendships have mended while others have ended forever. But having someone that cares for you so much that they will always be there as a friend or more is something we all want and need. I hope you find it soon.

  4. Thank you so much for this post. This is actually one of my favorites Jason Robert Brown songs. There are so many people who don't look beyond the surface of the lyrics. I encountered this a lot when I first started performing the song. It's nice to know there is someone out there who actually shares my feelings on the meaning of the lyrics