I talked to one of my very best friends yesterday about men. He is a gay man, and he has seen me through two of my yearly cycles of man-induced nervous breakdowns. I am just coming off 2010’s breakdown and have started the rebuilding process, and so we could finally talk again (which is, of course, different than me alternately obsessing/questioning over why the current He doesn’t love me and planning to burn his house down or mace his car door [IMP’T: NONE OF WHICH I ACTUALLY DID]).
My friend was cussing me out in the very best way anyone could hope to be cussed, telling me how much he doesn’t understand why I allow these men to make me so sad when I have so much going for myself.
But my friend is a Thinker, and so our conversation topics usually branch out from the personal to the World, and so we began talking about the way men are allowed to treat women in general: shitty.
Ever notice how, in relationships, there always seems to be an EMOtioner and an emoSHUNee? As in, one party who turns emotions into a verb and just EMOTES all over the other party, spewing feelings of obsession and parental issues and insecurity and abandonment fears strait into the lap of the other party (and ruining that party’s date pants in the process); and another party who is more than happy to spend time with you, to have lengthy, in-depth conversations with you, to hold hands, stare into your eyes, to bring you soup when you’re sick or to drop you at work when your car’s in the shop…but won’t kiss you on the lips? Or introduce you to his friends? …Or has another girl in his life with whom he also spends an awful lot of time (though he insists she’s just his homegirl)?
OK. Maybe you have healthy relationships.
Well, that always seems to be the case with me. And I think it’s pretty clear by now that I’m the EMOtioner. And there’s no other type of man who can send me spiraling into my next annual breakdown quite like the emoSHUNee.
I’ve pretty much just spent my life accepting that there’s something wrong with me and I’m the only female in the world who has these disasterous relationship-type scenarios with emoSHUNees, but as my perspective has grown I’ve come to see that this is something a lot of women go through.
We think we’re gonna show him how special we are by cooking his favorite foods and remembering the shit he mentions and letting him come over and fall asleep whenever he has time in his busy schedule. We think, “I’ll love him, exactly as he is: too busy for me and emoSHUNionally unavaliable, until the force and constancy of my love clears his schedule and breaks down the walls of his heart.”
Guess what ladies?
That does not make us special. He can get that anywhere.
Somehow, our society has trained a lot of us women to feel like if we placate these men, if we cater to their every whim, if we laugh at their jokes, if we make sure they know that they don’t have to meet us halfway–we’ll come to them, if we just stick around long enough and love them hard enough, they’ll see us. You know? They’ll see us shining like the jewels we are, and they’ll pick us up and give us a ring.
Only problem is that we’re all doing it, and so these mofos is makin jewel-encrusted charm bracelets for themselves instead.
Well, not all of us. But I know a lot of us women take a lot of shit from these men. Just look at the number of tired, overworked single mothers out there busting their asses taking care of kids who some man decided he didn’t want to/need to/care to support. And then those women feel guilty about not providing their children with fathers. They blame themselves.
The thing is, we’re taught that none of our accomplishments matter if we’re single. I mean, that’s how I feel. It’s not what I think, of course, but it’s the reason why I could cry and rage at my friends, trying to figure out what is WRONG with me in the same month I got my Bachelor’s degree.
I don’t know. Maybe really nobody else goes through this.
That would be awkward.
But if you do…I don’t know. We need to stop letting these men make or break the way we feel about ourselves though.
Why don’t we just start there….
Now that you feel sorry for me, gear up to hate me here.