More Illusions

October 30, 2010

And speaking of illusions…

I over heard a conversation , on the streetcar, the other day involving two early twenty-something year old dudes, that went something like this:

Dude A: You know the real way to keep a girl interested in you is to be mean to her.

Dude B: Huh?

Dude A: I’m serious. All the girls I know seem to be only interested in the guys that are treating them really badly.

Dude B: Hm, now that you say it…

Dude A: Yeah. I’m always nice to the girls I’m interested in and sure enough, the next thing I know, they’re either avoiding my phone calls or they’re going out with someone else who’s treating them like dirt. The nicer I treat them, the farther they run. And, as soon as I do something that’s not so cool they can’t return my calls fast enough.

Dude B: Really?

Dude A: Yeah. So if your interested in somebody it’s better to be mean to her – but it’s definitely not an easy thing to do.

Dude A doled out that last sentence with such a heavy heart it pretty much broke mine. Me, the one who actually fell for the load of crap that young fellow was spewing until I was a bit older than old enough to know better. Sitting here, knowing what I know now, which is – run like bloody hell away from anyone, man or woman, boy or girl, who is not treating you the way you deserve – with love and kindness, might seem incredibly obvious to someone who does indeed knows better. But this way of being will fall on deaf ears to someone caught under the zero-or-less self-esteem spell. A spell I was most certainly pinned under in my younger days. It is not so much difficult but embarrassing to admit to some of the less than worthy ways I allowed myself to be treated. I do not have an extensive history of love affairs but can say my heart was crushed on more than a few occasions by guys just like those mashers Dude A described while he was flipping out relationship advice to his buddy like a bad hand of poker. I could not help but feel bad for everyone involved. It was clear that these to young men felt sick about the prospect of having to be assholes in order to win a girl’s heart and doubly vomitous to think that they were probably right to a certain degree. I know I wasn’t the only gal pining for the bad boy while steering clear of those thoughtful and kindhearted blokes who showed an interest in me (a miracle in itself in those days). Why on earth I chose to wait by the phone for some guy to call me, my heart racing whenever it rang, then feeling it sink when it wasn’t the person I hoped it would be, even though he said he would call, I will never know.

The good news is I did eventually figure it out and have found myself a kind heart to share mine with. Sure, relationships are supposed to be about compromise but when you discover you’re having to negotiate who you truly are, or what you sincerely want, in order to accommodate that special someone’s existence in your life, my advice to you is run away. Run hard and keep running until you find the closest mirror to gaze into and then repeat these words over and over again until the grimy sludge of self-loathing slides of your glowing skin: I love you. I love you. I love you. Yes, keep staring into your own eyes and chant those words until it is impossible for you to be drawn towards bad behaviour. This might require a bit of effort but it works. Other ways to achieve this goal include doing nice things for yourself, avoiding so-called friends that make you feel bad, treating others the way you deserve to be treated (see above), treating yourself the way you think your friends should be treated (we would never allow our friends to put up with or do some of the shit we allow ourselves to go through, so take your own advice) and so on.

I hope those guys on the streetcar stay true to themselves by continuing to treat the girls they’re interested in a way they feel comfortable because in doing so they will not only be honouring their potentially future girlfriends, they will be honouring themselves which is the most important part of the game.

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