Monday, December 19, 2011

Why Dating is Just Not My Forte

If you look to the right of this blurb (I think) you'll see a list of links that I like, and on that list is my friend Julie's blog. She recently began writing a blog and we've been sending each other topics to tickle some sort of artistic/literary/whatever-else-you-want-to-call-it musings. I am ashamed to admit that I have been neglecting her because my new place:

A) Does not have the internet yet
 B) Is not unpacked yet, so I find myself getting distracted by organizing things. Yes, I like cleaning and organizing.

She wrote an interesting post Here where she spoke about some of the phases we go through as we go through a break-up. While this wasn't a topic "assigned" to me, it tickled some thoughts I've had kicking around in the back of my head for a couple months now. 

Some of you know I had the joys of dating once again thrust at my feet a few months ago, and while it might have taken me a while to get around to not being INCREDIBLY PISSED OFF, I'm done with that now, and I feel about ready to talk about it. That, and last night I found myself harassing one of my favorite acquaintances of all time (the one man I've ever internet stalked... oh yes... I am finally a stalker. Except, in my defense, he wrote back, so maybe that negates stalking points) via text message all night and the subject got brought up. So now the not only are the thoughts kicking around, but they are quite fresh and I have a little more clarity on what I want to say.

My recent dating fiasco was ridiculous! I definitely should have known better! In fact, I DID know better. Didn't change anything though. Isn't that what we all say after we get out of a stupid situation we plant ourselves in though? My girl-crush (totally heterosexual, we don't sit around and listen to Melissa Etheridge while comparing Birkenstocks or anything) will be the first to tell you that I'm really good at reading people. I can generally figure someone out within a few minutes of talking to them. It's a really useful skill to have, except that it completely fails me in the dating department. For some odd reason, the minute romance is involved all of a sudden my picker goes all sorts of screwy and I start looking for the most UNACCEPTABLE option. 

"Why yes, I know you're a highly-skilled, emotionally-available surgeon and would like to whisk me off to a life of luxury in your mansion up on the hill, but I think I'm going to go wait for Joe-Bob to get out of prison again. We've got something special."

Yes, that is me. I blame my mother (It's so much easier than taking responsibility for my own actions). She likes the wounded birds. All of the men in her life (and subsequently MY life) have been starving artists. None of us (there are 5 girls) had a chance. We all go for the losers first. Luckily, the top three have managed to break the cycle and have all found amazing men. This proves to me there is hope. 

But is there? Hope, that is. I'm not so sure, especially after my recent debacle.

The strangest thing that kept kicking up when I met, I think I'll call him Enrique because that sounds far more exotic that anything I have ever gone for, was that he reminded me of the "Best Lesson I Ever Learned" up in Oregon. It seemed like every time I turned around, it was someone else's fault for the predicaments he'd landed himself in throughout his life. Where I normally shut off and completely ignore individuals who suffer from the "poor me" complex (there can only be enough room for ONE person to sit around and whine about life being unfair, and that's me!) I couldn't bring myself to. He was just so... broken. [Remember girls, when you find broken - RUN]. I wanted to scoop him up and stand him up on his feet while I brushed his knees off and patted him on the head and told him that everything would be okay. Unfortunately, that's what Enrique has always had, and it caused him to be a somewhat spineless sap when it comes to the women in his life.

In the... month and a half?... that I dated Enrique (long-distance even), I managed to break all of my rules regarding men. He managed to cheat on me right off the bat. He (if we give him the benefit of the doubt) "accidentally" tripped my super-power when we got together and broadcasted it on his FB. His recent ex saw the picture of me and went bat-shit crazy (as chicks are wont to do when they realize that the man they just tossed has found someone new who's not fat and covered in pimples) and started calling him and telling him she wanted and needed him. So he, of course, jumped in the sack with her and then, in a guilty freak-out drove all the way across the country to beg for forgiveness at my doorstep.

I can't say I've ever had anyone beg for forgiveness at my doorstep before. I don't think I need to have that repeated either. I also hadn't slept on the floor of a tattoo parlor before this year either, but that too is out of my system and I think I can go on in my life without doing it again (until the next time I go out to Hawaii that is). I then broke rule #2 (after rule #1: Never get involved in cross-country relationship with unemployed whiner) and thought, "he's obviously sorry. He did drive all the way across the country." 


I will give him credit, he was in a crazy spot in his life and he went for shelter. But I have some extraordinary e-mails from his ex because he "wanted me to tell him what to do" with her input. And then his mom flew out to drive him back to the East Coast. 

Did I leave him then? Oh no... I wasn't done with the emotional masochism yet. I think I hadn't been a complete moron romantically-speaking for a while, so I needed to catch up. I'm an over-achiever. My poor wounded bird (did I mention how "in love" he was with me?), I couldn't just abandon him in his time of need. I had told him to go fuck himself, but he text me every day, all day until I couldn't think straight. It had been hard to even make that decision and here he was, ardently professing his love and anguish. Oh how I love the broken babies. *head shake*

I'm getting off track with what I was wanting to talk about. That, and I don't feel like admitting HOW STUPID I was. There's so much more that happened, but that's not really what I started writing this to discuss. I was more interested in my own knowledge of what was going on, and my willful ignoring of that knowledge. The man I stalk on the internet called me on it last night. Was I that blind? Or did I just completely ignore it and go for it anyway.

The honest answer is, I just went for it anyway. Closed my eyes, plugged my nose, and jumped right into that vat of shit. I knew it was a vat of shit. I'd asked friends who told me that it was a vat of shit, but he "liked me so much." I'd been pretty drama free for a while, just needed a good helping. I knew he was cheating on me while he was doing it (don't ask me how... apparently I pick up on those subtle behavioral changes), I knew he was just sitting around and bitching about his life instead of fixing it (let me help. Poor Woobie), and I knew that he was feeling really raw about his recent break-up and was quite happy to have a blonde, barbie doll-esque girl to gallivant around with in front of the other girls to show that he was still totally awesome. And we fall for it constantly. Why? Because it feels good to feel needed. It is nice. It tickles that maternal instinct to fix everyone else's problems. (That's the most of a maternal instinct I've seen in myself so far, but it's there somewhere).

Girls do this to themselves all the time. We want to be the exception. I blame cheesy romance novels. HA! But it's true! We just want to believe that we really are that special and he might have been a completely pathetic douche to everyone else he dated, but he'll be different with you. No ladies, NO! You are the rule! You are not the exception (go watch the movie, you know what I'm talking about). People (men and women both do this) will use every situation to their advantage. You can't offer them excuses and get-out-of-jail-free cards. They have to work for them. If they don't have to work for them, and they don't have to own their own shit, they will take you, and what you do for them, for granted. It's a fact. You no longer are something to be desired and striven for, you are now that pathetic creature that lets him wipe his shoes on you. 

You see, what I'd learned in Oregon (and obviously forgot after seven years) was that men who suffer from the affliction of "Completely Helpless Unless Mommied Persistently" aka CHUMP have hit the bottom. They no longer have any way of proving any self-worth except for sitting back on their conquests of the past (think high-school football stars, or my favorite example, Al Bundy) and by showing that they still possess their sexual prowess. That's why CHUMPs always have girlfriends (and girls on the side). They can't be happy by themselves, they can't fill the void of what they're missing, so they find a way to make themselves socially relevant, even if it's just by finding something pretty and shiny to tote around in front of their friends. And girls live for that! We're biologically programmed to be the prettiest, the most desirable, the absolute best because that's what gets us taken care of while we're knocked up and unable to take care of ourselves (biologically speaking... it's not really that way anymore HA).

I spent a solid month being REALLY pissed off over this whole situation. Then I got a nice dose of lemon juice and salt rubbed in the wound when I was informed (on accident of all things, gotta love those passing comments) that a "friend" of mine had happily participated in stroking his ego (and her own low self-worth played into this as well) in an incredibly public fashion. That sent me into another round of REALLY FUCKING MAD mainly because I'd known something had been up that day, but once again, did NOT follow my instincts. Also, I just like to think that people won't behave like that. And then I remember that people will do whatever they can get away with. 

So I stomped around and had a temper tantrum and thought vengeful, awful things about people. (Luckily I'm too lazy to really get around to exacting revenge on anyone). But then, after I got done being really mad at everyone and everything, I took a good, long look at my life and did some housekeeping. Because that's what I really do when I get that pissed off.

I am pleased to say, that regardless of my momentary lapse of good judgement, I came out quite ahead in the whole situation.

"How is that, Cat Lady?" you might ask, "what good could have possibly come out of this cluster-fuck you happily shoved yourself into?"

Well, let me tell you (in list format of course):

1) I am back in school as of January 21, 2012. What I thought was completely impossible until I had to start thinking about how to move forward with a complete dead-weight attached at the hip, is now completely attainable. I got everything together and am enrolled and ready to go. I even got funding and will be working full-time. Watch me go.

2) I moved into my own place. Not that my roommates of awesomeness aren't the most wonderful and amazing people I know, but I was hanging onto my security blanket there and it was time for me to stand back up and be a grown-up. Obviously I had too much free time because I was just running around and getting myself into stupid situations.

3) I got a good reminder of WHY I'd made those dating rules for myself when I'd last gone through a good clean-up of my life (when I'd moved back to California). A man's ability to hold a job, car, whatever is not what makes him wonderful or not... but there are things that people need to take care of by themselves, and if you give them a safety blanket right off the get-go they will continue to use you as one until you get sick of it.

4) I'm back to being completely happy by myself in my little Cat Lady world with my kitties and my vacuum. (Don't ask, I find it soothing to vacuum). I take great joy in the fact that I can be completely self-contained, and this all was a very strong reminder of how much I've changed in the last ten years since it was acceptable to date a CHUMP.


5) Perhaps most important of all of my "I'm ahead in this situation just because I'm not you" reasons. I remembered why I love my life as much as I do. I have some of the most amazing people around me. I am lucky. I care deeply about my friends, and even when I get kicked in the metaphorical balls I still go 110% for them whenever they need anything. This whole situation allowed me to get back to that and really analyze the people I was allowing into my life. Why was I putting this type of effort into people who so didn't deserve the attention and love I was willing to bestow on them? So I did a culling of the herd. Not in a huge, Facebook De-friending fashion, but in a personal, introspective way. I allowed myself to let go of friendships that had run their course and were no longer good for me.

Anyway, there's a ramble and a half. Just thoughts on why girls end up with CHUMPs. Remember ladies, if it's too hard in the beginning, it's not the right time. Walk the fuck away, if it happens later, cool; if not, count your blessings! Life is too short to work so hard on someone who cannot appreciate the goddess that you are.

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