Apparently Gene Simmons, the 61 year-old KISS rocker, has baggage. At least that’s what he told Shannon Tweed, his girlfriend of 28 years, during his marriage proposal to her, which was conveniently and totally randomly caught on film and included in the final episode of his reality show Gene Simmons Family Jewels this week. “I come with so much baggage,” he said as he began his attempt towards a romantic moment. Wow, way to be sexy Simmons. Call in the violins and harps.
The conversations online about the proposal, including on TMR, lean towards wondering why-oh-why Tweed might marry a guy like Simmons, a guy who has several characteristics that would land most men on the self-respecting woman’s list of non-marriageable material, including his claims to have slept with thousands of women (call in the STI team). I tend to think the reason she keeps coming back to be with him is all about the baggage.
The thing is, Simmons seems think that his baggage makes him different, radical, someone Tweed might not want to be with, which is why he used it as a disclaimer to his proposal. I hate to be the bearer of things that don’t at all make you unique, but having baggage is pretty much universal. If Simmons was hoping to stand out as a rebel to catch Tweed's attention in a different way, I would have suggested he ditch the baggage statement and gone with something more like "I’m a whore among all whores." It’s a more specific descriptor. But there’s no going back now. Simmons’ baggage is what Tweed wants.
Baggage is something we all have, and just like Simmons, we all use it to either ease the blow of a possible denial (I have too much baggage for you to want to be with me), break up with people (you have too much baggage for me to deal with you), or avoid relationships and feelings of vulnerability (I just have too much baggage for anyone to ever love me). But baggage is what makes us date-able, marry-able, and loveable. For example, I would never date someone who didn’t have an ex. I’m not interested in being someone’s guinea pig in any way, shape, or form thankyouverymuch. Bring on the baggage.
Baggage is a matchmaker; it’s all about finding someone with baggage that matches your own in a way that works. If you find someone who wants you to hold all their baggage, allowing them to walk through life not holding a thing while you drag yourself behind, it’s not going to work.
If you have an enormous amount of baggage and find someone who has an enormous amount of baggage, making you look and feel like a clusterf**k of crazy while every limb on both of you attempts to hold it all up, constantly just about to fall reconsider a second date.
Maybe your baggage is in denial and perfectly folded up inside. Maybe you meet someone who has clothes and shoes and life and past falling out of the zippers and seems, making you feel a sense of freedom and an interest in unfolding. Go on a second date.
Do find someone with contents in their baggage that you can support them to unpack without it scaring it crap out of you. Do find someone you’re not afraid to unpack in front of. Do find someone willing to help you carry your baggage when you need it most, but who cares enough about you to hand it back when you’re ready, empowering you to carry your own life. Do find someone whose baggage matches, meshes, and rolls with yours in a way that makes you feel challenged while grounded, excited while safe, and curious while understood.
Love isn’t about finding someone with no history, no experiences, and no baggage. There’s no such thing. It’s about finding someone with history, experiences, and baggage that matches perfectly with your own.
Though Simmons’ awkwardly long tongue and ability to sport
mascara like a champ certainly do the trick in the unique department, his
baggage just rolls out to the claim check with all the rest. In his there might be a bedpost with “thousands” of notches, but somewhere out there there’s another
set of baggage that has something inside that says, I can work with that. And it might just be Shannon Tweeds.