For Christmas break I hit the beach.
It was a lovely vacation filled with family, vitamin D and the type of food sickness that only Mexico can bring. Being by the sea, I brought a few easy “beachy” reads. I devoured the first book of The Hunger Games (Katniss is so cool), read a bit more of A Clash of Kings (ignoring the young ages of the sexually active characters) and took in Julie Klausner’s memoir I Don’t Care About Your Band. I enjoy Ms. Klausner’s musings on the Real Housewives (& ghosts) of Beverly Hills and as someone who has had a few “obsessacomas” over undeserving men, I was sure I would enjoy her memoir about always chasing the wrong men in dating’s (battle to the death) arena.
But I did not.
At first I was beguiled by her tales of striving for the wrong guys, some nerdy, some funny, some just mean. By the second half I was worn down. Really? Another story about sleeping with and falling for a terrible suitor who only serves to make her predictably depressed? It was exhausting! I wanted to shake her and tell her to STOP IT (and then go for fro-yo and talk about Sandy Bullock movies).
But after my anger (fist) subsided at having to read far too many stories about guys not worth her (or my) time, I began to wonder: why do ladies often dwell on the guys who reject us while conveniently forgetting all the guys we reject ourselves?
Not to say that I don’t do the same.
I know firsthand in the germ pool of love, getting ditched hurts the worst. The relationships that fall apart slowly, where no one’s truly to blame, are messy and confusing. But the relationships that end due to a guy disappearing or having an abrupt about-face or vocalizing a desire to “play the field” (until he meets his next girlfriend and gets real serious real quick) are considerably more painful (once I took the overnight train from Madrid to Lisbon, anxiously awaiting my reunion with my French amour I had met the summer before, only to find out that the apartment he was living in, the apartment I was staying in, was being shared by HIS SPANISH GIRLFRIEND. Only the French would think that was okay. And yes, that did burn worse than Italian dressing after a pack of warheads).
Obnoxiously, it’s just a fact of life: rejection always blows (it’s the ego right?). So we remember these rejecters like they were Noah Calhoun in The Notebook (yes that house-building, wet-shirt-wearing golden boy Noah), which they clearly were not (more like the cheating, sleazing, leopard-print-wearing Glenn Guglia in The Wedding Singer).
And on top of sculpting our rejecters into Gosling, we obsessively TALK about them, too. Over coffee, over lasagna, at a party, at a christening, in the bathroom, on the toilet – we can go on and on for days. Raging over a missed call never received or a Facebook message never responded or that unimpressive guy we mistakenly bedded (see the definitions of boredom, drunkenness, and attention to understand why) who had the audacity to DISAPPEAR afterwards.
But ladies, while I understand – and believe me, I’ve BEEN THERE (I don’t think I stopped talking – or checking facebook to see how poorly the French man was aging – for nearly a year) – let’s stop for a moment and think about all the nice boys and the not-so-nice boys we’ve dissed ourselves.
Admit it: you’ve probably done one or, most likely, all of the following things: not called a guy back, fled a date upon discovery of bacne, deemed his laugh too annoying, his shoes unacceptable, his hat too obnoxious (winter hats in the summer, bowler hats always and trucker hats past the age of Punk’d). You’ve probably also told a well-meaning gent he could find you on Twitter (even though your handle has nothing to do with your name), accepted an invite just for a fancy dinner and laughed as you told your friends about a guy’s bedside manner (which surely deserves ridicule but definitely NOT another date).
We must never forget that WE are the ultimate rejecters. More often than not we decide the pace of the relationship, if a first kiss or a first date is even possible. For every guy who has been a bit mean to us, there are probably 7 or so guys we might have been a bit mean to as well (and really we’re not being “mean”, it’s just that it’s human nature not to be into most people).
So let’s start this New Year off right. Let’s stop singing our sad songs that make us look like a pair of worn-out mom jeans and remember that we, ourselves have had been the culprits of some fierce dismissals! And if you must continue your breakup story parade, pour a little malt liquor for the fallen men who tried and failed to get into your trap.
photo via moviegoods