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The Ham and Eggs Debate March 15, 2009

Posted by anoddphrase in Love, Relationships.
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Greg: From the first moment I saw Noelle, I was ham.
George: Did you just say ham?
Noelle: Here we go.
Greg: You’re either ham or eggs. You gotta ask yourself in every situation are you the chicken or are you the pig?
George: So its pig or chicken?
Greg: Look you gotta play the ham and eggs. Now, now the chicken is involved in the meal, now the pig, now the pig is committed, so the question is are you involved or are you committed.
George: Ham or eggs!
Greg: Ham or eggs.
–Grey’s Anatomy, “Let The Angels Commit”

Almost every person I know has been ham and eggs in the span of their romantic relationships.  I’ve even been ham one minute and eggs the next minute in certain relationships.  But the real question has always been:  Is it better to love or to be loved?

Because in every relationship there’s always the more committed person.  The person who is more willing to compromise.  The person who wants the relationship to work more.  He or she is the ham.

To be honest, in my relationship right now, I’m most definitely the ham.  I pursued the guy I’m with.  I asked him out.  I said the ‘L word’ first.  Hell, I moved across the country for the person that I’m with.  And deep down in my heart of hearts, I know that if we were to ever break up, I’d be the one to have control over it.

But see, that’s what works for me as ham.  For some unknowable reason, I feel like I have more control over the relationship.  Since I pursued, I was given the choice of the person I wanted to be with.  He, of course, had to choose back.  But I was given the chance to see, first, and thus accept first, the flaws of the person that I’m with.  And in so doing, I realize that I am the one who has to compromise on my flaws, first, adapt myself to the other person’s needs, first.  Personally, I’m okay with this, as the person that I’m with identifies flaws that I mostly agree are flaws.  I have a bad temper, I can be impatient, I tend to speak inarticulately if I’m unprepared or nervous.  I like that being with the person that I’m with forces me to slowly change these flaws.  I’m much less likely to snap when really angry now, I’m just a little more patient than I was before I met this person, and I tend to think before I speak so to allow myself less inarticulate speech.

Sure, there are habits that I’ve developed before that I would never have allowed while single–the guy I’m with is a complete slob, and now, for the sake of keeping the peace, I let the dishes sit in the sink for up to a week or more.  Not to mention the number of dirty socks that sit on the floor of his side of the bed…

But frankly, these aren’t things that matter quite so much to me.  The things that matter most to me, he’s got: he’s smart, ambitious, we share the same sense of humor, he’s laidback (he lets me choose the movies, the restaurants) [F: Note, this usually elicits an “I don’t know… you choose” exchange with most girls. Also known as unappreciated indecisiveness.] , he’s willing to compromise on most every day things, and most of all, he cares about me and pushes me to do the things that I want to do.

In all of this, I feel like it’s better for me as a person to be the pig or the ham, because otherwise I’d be too domineering of a person–I’m already as alpha female as most people can stand.  I know myself well enough (and have been egg in enough relationships) to know that this works for me.  And I think that’s the most important part of having The Ham and Egg Debate with yourself.  Knowing Thyself.  Knowing what you want from a relationship and knowing how the other person that you’re interested in or who is interested in you can fulfill your needs and wants.

Because, to me, it’s all about balance.  I’m with a person who’s an egg, but when push comes to shove, he’s pig, too.  He asked me to move across the country with him.  He also compromised on the idea of moving for me if I get accepted into graduate school.

So we have two lessons from this:

1) Know Thyself, first and foremost.  Know what you want and know what you’re willing to accept (that’s less than stellar) in a relationship.
2) Don’t end up with someone who’s not willing to be both pig and chicken for you, too.  Because nothing can be completely one-sided.  That’s what we call a stalker’s relationship.

George: You and me: We’re like ham and eggs. I was the chicken, I just want you to know that, I know that I was the chicken. You put yourself out there, you were committed and I was just puttin’ the eggs on the plate. Not the ham because you were the pig. (This catches Callies attentions and she glares at him) I was just involved, but now I’m committed.
Callie: Did you just call me a pig?
George: No… as a metaphor.
Callie: Calling me a pig?
George: No, the point is that you’re not the pig anymore. Now I am the pig. I’m the pig. I am the pig. (Callie glares at him and walks away) I… am the pig.
–Grey’s Anatomy, “Let The Angels Commit”

Terms of the Day

ham [hām]
– noun
1. A person who is extremely committed to the relationship.
egg [ěg]
– noun
1. A person who is merely involved in the relationship, and is somewhat less committed than the other person.

[F’s Comments: bacon [bay-cun]
1. A person who adds nothing to the relationship but just tastes really good. (See future entry on The Threesome.)]