Thirty years ago, every time I crossed the Michigan Avenue bridge, I pictured myself as a hipster version of Mary Richards from the iconic “Mary Tyler Moore Show” when she gleefully tossed her beret up in the air.
Back then, I was a young, independent career woman. As an advertising copywriter, I spent my days racking my brain for clever ideas to sell luncheon meat and lottery tickets. In the evenings, I could often be found at gathering holes like Ricardo’s on Rush chatting up other folks who pictured themselves as hipsters.
Although I had been in a series of relationships, none of them stuck. Sadly, I thought I was one of those people destined to not find love.
But then I met Allan. I didn’t know it at the time, but suddenly, I was on the road to Schmoopy-hood.
If you were an aficionado of the sitcom Seinfeld or are a fan of the reruns, you know what a Schmoopy is. For those of you who aren’t either one, a Schmoopy is someone who adores and is adored by someone so much it makes others around them, well, nauseous.
In the Seinfeld episode alluded to, Jerry and his girlfriend express their Schmoopy-ism in obnoxious public displays of physical and verbal affection, referring to each other as, yes, “Schmoopy.”
For the record, Allan and I were and are more private Schmoopies. Allan is a divorced father of three children (now adult), and I am the child of divorced parents so we’ve always been hyper-aware of just how uncomfortable public displays of affection can be to others.
The icky-factor not only applies to one’s children, but, really, to anyone who sees you coming.
Still, in our hearts and especially in the privacy of our own home, I think I can vouch for Allan and I when I say we are genuine Schmoopies.
How do you know if your relationship with your significant other has reached Schmoopy-hood? In honor of Valentines Day, here are a few clues.
Well, you know you’re a Schmoopy if you and your partner bestow one another with saccharinely sweet greeting cards, cards loaded with flowery pictures and prose, lacking only in sarcasm and irony.
These cards are not only presented to your Valentine on Valentine’s Day, but on non-occasions too. And as a former non-Schmoopy, you wouldn’t have been caught dead handing one over to someone else.
You also know you’re a Schmoopy if you prefer to cuddle on the couch and Schmoopy-ize with your significant Schmoopy rather than go to any hipster party, restaurant or club.
And if you’re a female, you know you’re a Schmoopy if you and your darling companion can walk into a room chock-full of Victoria’s Secret models, and you don’t feel that your relationship is threatened. However, it doesn’t mean that your Schmoopy can’t enjoy the view, as can you.
Being a Schmoopy is not about hot sex or being star-crossed lovers—although it can be, especially in the beginning of a Schmoopy courtship.
Still, don’t get the idea that being a Schmoopy means never having an argument. Schmoopies have the same kind of squabbles everyone else does. But in spite of any petty grievances (“You left drops of water on the counter.” “No, you did.”), being a Schmoopy means you know you’ll both find a way to work through it.
Schmoopies are not players. The only playing they do is with each other. On the other hand, Schmoopies don’t smother each other. They encourage. They cheer. And they celebrate any success that comes along to each or both of you.
In the end, being a Schmoopy is really more of a feeling—a deep, profound, unshakeable sense that there is someone who cares about you and always has your back.
It means knowing you and your Schmoopy would, if necessary, literally throw yourselves in front of a bus for each other. That’s no exaggeration. It’s as much of a certainty as knowing that tomorrow will bring on another day.
If you don’t have a Schmoopy, my wish is that you find one.
But if you are a Schmoopy to someone, take a moment this Valentine’s Day to really appreciate just how very lucky you are. You have true love. And that’s something more precious than gold, even at $1650 per ounce.