Karen and I went to the MET about two weeks ago. It was a much anticipated trip, for both of us enjoyed art immensely–or so I thought. I know a bit about art history while Karen knows more about technique and movements. You would think that it’s quite a good balance for discussions, but going to the museum has taught me more about relationships than any other date.
I always knew that women often contradict themselves in regards to what they like; they say they hate anything with the color red, but would find something red and tell you they love it. Karen is that person. She tells me she likes vibrant colors and hates dark, dull colors, which pretty much dismisses like 70% of the paintings and vases in the entire museum since most of the pieces are old and color has faded. Then she says she has a real dislike for religious art, which implies about 80% of the entire museum’s collection since most art historically has something to do with religion. Then she expresses she has little interest in Asian art, which means 40% of the pieces do not interest her. She then expresses that she only likes sculptures that show entire bodies and is not interested in portraits where they only show the shoulder and head. The only place where any of these criterias would be fullfilled, would be in the Modern Arts section, but even then, most of the pieces there didn’t interest her since she couldn’t understand it.
Since I’ve been to the MET numerous times, this was just a place to take Karen that she really likes. Karen generally doesn’t like art created by other people. She only prefers to see things so she would know what she doesn’t like and maybe inspired to create something she likes. She loves art as an idea, but not much more. When asked if she would buy a Picasso or a Van Gogh for three month’s pay, she said no without hesitation. At the time of her response, I was surprised, but I understand now. She expressed that if she had a home, she wouldn’t put up work by other people and only her own. Sounds narcissist, but she doesn’t think so.
With her dislikes in mind, we completely skipped all the Egyptian art, flew through my favorite section, which were the European Paintings, didn’t really stop to look at pieces from the Tang Dynasty (probably one of the most art riched dynasties in China) and skipped over the American pieces. Most of our time was spent admiring the sculptures in one of the courtyards, the weapons and armory exhibits, the modern art section, Greek and Roman section and the replication of the Chinese Scholar’s Garden.
After about four hours, we were finished and left. I guess it was enough for the both of us since there wasn’t much she wanted to see and I no longer wanted to be annoyed by her lack of enthusiasm for beautiful paintings and pottery that’s over a thousand years old.
Back to my original point, what bothered me most was whenever she liked something, it was against all her previous claims she hated. In hindsight, the biggest lesson of all is that it’s a waste of time to try and figure Karen out. There’s no pattern and the only way I would know if she likes something is to ask. Ultimately, it’s about how something makes her feel and we both know that the same thing can make women feel two different things at two different times.