I created a hypothetical question, I want you to think about.
Imagine your spouse, or your partner, or whomever you've loved the most. You've been married for a while. Maybe you've just been in a relationship for a long time. Don't imagine some perfect partner who looks into your eyes with fawning affection. Imagine your real partner. If you aren't with anyone right now, imagine you're with the partner you loved the most.
After years together, you truly appreciate your partner's flaws. Maybe he's lazy. Maybe she's always sad. He's gotten old and fat. She snores like a volcano. You know what drives you crazy; pick that.
The Inciting Incident
You buy something at a store, or maybe a garage sale. It's an antique lamp just like in the old Aladdin cartoons. Maybe it's a piece of antique jewelry you got for almost nothing. An old record, a gold box, a rare coin, it doesn't matter.
Point is, your partner finds it, you pay, and you take it home together. Your partner holds it up and blows off a little dust.
That's when the genie pops out.
Yeah, it's a genie. Just like in the cartoons. It looks like smoke and has no legs. It's blue (or red, or whatever you want to imagine); it speaks with a middle-eastern accent and makes jokes like Robin Williams.
The problem is, it has been waiting around for so long, its powers have weakened. It only has one wish left, and it goes to your partner who blew off the dust. Also, since you bought it together, your partner can only make a wish about you. In short, your partner can make one of two wishes:
- Change you into the person your partner dreams of.
- Replace you with someone perfect for them.
What does your partner hate the most about you? Are you too obsessed with work? Are you having trouble losing weight? Are you short? Old? Slow? Dumb? Poor? Too liberal? Too conservative? Do you drink too much? Does your partner hate your friends?
What would your partner change about you? More important (really the point of all this), do you consider that flaw a fundamental part of who you are? Would you still be you if you'd had different parents or didn't care about the state of the country?
Your partner glances at you out of the corner of an eye, and you realize what the wish is going to be. It makes you uncomfortable.
At this point, the genie leans over and whispers into your ear.
"There's one more catch," it says. "Since you share the wish, you get to choose which kind of wish it will be. You choose if you get changed or if your partner gets someone else."
It's down to two choices for you:
You let your partner change you into someone diferent. Maybe it's something small, like being younger, or taller, or richer, or healthier. Maybe it's something that would turn you into a different person: more devout, less political, more devoted to your relationship, less interested in your hobby.
You get to be with your love, but it's not exactly you anymore.
You leave, and watch your beloved, flawed partner fall in love with someone else. Someone perfect in a way you can't ever be. Your partner is happy. You're alone.
But you're still you.
Well? What do you pick? Why?