Lucia has something to say

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Rachel-Leah Syndrome

I’m about to go off on a Biblical rant, so if this is offensive to you, leave now. Shoo! Don’t turn around. You might turn into a pillar of salt.

I grew up in a religious family and went to Christian school. There’s one story in the Bible I have hated as far back as I can remember.

Jacob goes to a well and finds Rachel there with her sheep. He kisses her, and she runs home to tell her father that there’s this guy at the well who is his nephew (and maybe that he kissed her too, who knows?) So Jacob hangs around and finds out there are two sisters, Leah, the older, who’s weak of eye (whatever that means...I’ve always, thought that maybe she wasn’t so cute, but she was smart) and Rachel who’s a hottie.

Jacob falls in love with the hottie and tells her father he’ll work 7 years for her. After all his work, the father slips Leah in in place of Rachel, and Jacob doesn’t discover until morning (Puh-leeze!) that he spent the night with Leah instead of Rachel. Jacob asks why the trick. Father says its their custom to marry off the older daughter first. Jacob makes a deal and gets Rachel too. But, she doesn’t have kids, Leah does, yadda, yadda, yadda.

I began calling this Rachel-Leah syndrome years ago. For me, it’s when smart men fall for hot women that aren’t their equals in any way. They’re men who belong with smarter women, but they’ve thought with their dick instead of their brains, and wind up with Rachel instead of Leah. Which leaves the Leahs looking at these men wondering what the hell happened that they wound up with those Rachels.

So, I’ve read a little into the story. Don’t like it? Wipe me down with a moist towelette.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucia, I 'm glad you liked my post about Dad. I enjoyed your Rachel-Leah syndrome story and understand exactly what you mean. Yes, most men are unfortunately guided by their loins when choosing a mate, but there are a few of us for whom a woman's spirit far outshines culturally ordained standards of beauty. I once had an affair with a woman my wife considered ugly. She told me that she would have preferred being betrayed by an 18-year-old beauty. That i was attracted by soul and heart over my then wife's cruel blond beauty devastated her. She has never forgiven me even today after 15 years of being divorced.

5:25 PM  
Blogger meno said...

I think Stephen's wife was so angry because his affair involved more than the obvious body part. And that adds insult to injury.

Interesting idea Lucia. My observation has been that good looking men, without regard for intellect, go for good looking women, and ugly guys do the best they can. Because no man wants to hear another man say "Your wife is brilliant" what they want to hear is "Your wife is HOT!"

Cynical. Yep. And there are exceptions, but i'm talking about the majority.

6:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucia, I have always disliked that story as well. As usual, I probably put something into it that is not there, but always had the feeling that Rachel is somehow considered the "better" one because she was pretty ~ more blessed by God. You know, kind of like wealthy people are considered more "blessed" than the poor. There is some really sick stuff in the Bible.

But, yes, I understand your point as well. Men think with their dicks, fail to understand that outside beauty fades and they end up with an empty-headed companion. Senseless. Totally senseless.


Thailand Gal

7:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I loved the post and the name.. Rachel-Leah syndrome. An all too familiar story sadly. But as Stephen said some of us have fallen for the more intellectual and human part of a person rather than the "hotness".

I have not read the bible or the geeta or any holy book.

8:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you know you are so right, men and women to some point as well, look for beauty rather than intelligence. Personally I would rather have a man with a brain, looks are nice, but I like to be able to talk to some one and them respond with intelligence!

1:53 AM  
Blogger KC said...

I think eventually, many of those men afflicted with Rachel-Leah Syndrome become bored. And stray.

But, it also makes me think of something else- can you have a soul-mate who is not matched with you, intellectually? But really be a true soul-mate? I tend to think yes- that love can transcend cognitive functioning but I think it might be much rarer to have a wide differential.

8:07 AM  
Blogger St. Dickeybird said...

I'd forgotten that story - a great point!

I've found that the personality can drastically change one's appearance. I think that's why I find Paris Hilton et al so physically repulsive.
I've also dated very good-looking women, and after losing their appeal, I wonder what I ever saw in them.
But I married the rare combo of looks and personality.

8:45 AM  
Blogger Citymouse said...

I’d like to point out that some people say “your reading more into that than you should” while others will call it “divine inspiration” or even “the Holy Sprit speaking to you trough scripture”
I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I was thinking of my kids and their friends as an example. The “beautiful” kids hang with other “beautiful” kids. My kids, who are more creative than beautiful hang out with everybody. Who are they influenced by? Who teaches them who to hang out with? And why do we fall in love with who we fall in love with? Too deep … I need more coffee! Thanks again for making us think, I really appreciated this post.

9:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, sometimes, I've seen what appears to be a Rachel-Leah syndrome, but upon further review, I find that not everybody is completely brilliant at everything. So, a guy who may have a couple of degrees and who may be with a beautiful woman who found grade school challenging, may not be what it seems. It COULD turn out that the brilliant programmer guy can't manage money well enough to even remember where he left his wallet and his wife, who may not know the intricacies of the political process, may be able to manage money better than a banker.

I'm just sayin'---I've seen it myself, in many iterations...

10:50 AM  
Blogger Girlplustwo said...

the best interpretation, ever. and this is coming from a girl who had the bible for breakfast as a child.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You really shouldn't make me think quite so much this early in the morning....I mean...couldn't you have just made a poop joke? ;)

I like your interrupration.


12:05 PM  
Blogger Lynnea said...

That's rather astute of you, even as a child to pick up on such subtleties. When I was young and taught this story, I always felt there was such injustice in the story. That Leah was married off to a man who didn't really want her because her father seemed to think she would never be able to get her own man and that Rachel had to wait to be with the man that loved her and then share him with her sister. (That last part as an adult now strikes me as very gross, I wonder why I never thought about that before?)

12:47 PM  
Blogger Jess Riley said...

Well, you're a step ahead of me; I never even read that story.

But I have seen the entire "Wash Your Sins Away" line of personal hygiene products. I even bought the chapstick once.

1:10 PM  
Blogger Tink said...

I totally agree! I'm not religious either, but biblical fables/stories fascinate me. You should read "The Red Tent" by Anita Diamant. It's the story of Rachel and Leah through those of Leah's daughter's eyes. It's a really beautiful read.

3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes I think it's not that they've thunk with their dicks, it's just that it's..easier. If we think in the lines of men=provider and women=nurturer that is. Not that I think pretty women make good nurturers, but more like to some guys, smarter women fit the bill of a provider more, and innately that makes them think that it's a match that will clash rather than compliment.

7:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Back again - can't get enough of the issue :). I agree with Jeremiah too, no relationship is what it seems to an outsider and only the two within it will understand why they are with each other, or at least be the closest to understanding why they should not.

Having said that, I do think the rachel-leah syndrome happens at the initial attraction stage, which tragically makes guys not see all the good girls out there. Let's face it - v few guys I know quote 'dry sense of humour' or 'quiet charm' as the first thing they notice. My very own bf - a very egalitarian sort I might add, thought I was "cute" and "kind of fun".

8:00 PM  

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