♫ There are so many parts that I have hidden and denied and lost. There are so many colours that I still try to hide while I paint. There are so many tunes that I secretly sing as I wait. There were so many times I thought I’d die not being truly known. You come along and invite these parts out of hiding. Thank you for seeing me. Thank you for getting me. I’m healed by your empathy. ♫
Lyrics from a song by Alanis. No, all her songs are not angstious rants. In this album, she seems to have found a happy place, shock-shock! Anyway, this song talks about how she changed herself in a quest for love, only to finally find a man that loved her exactly as she was. It’s a beautiful fairytale that I believed in for the longest time. And it’s one that I’ve seen come true, for others, if not for me. At least not yet.
A good friend once told me I’m immensely selfish. He said that when something doesn’t work for me, I simply walk away. I don’t stop to think of the damage I’ve caused by leaving, or the mess I’ve left behind. It took all my restraint not to roll my eyes and yell, ‘Duh!’ Why would I stay in a place that’s clearly not good for me? Of course what he didn’t say was that it used to take me months or even years before I chose to stuff it. Nowadays it takes me days, or even hours. Maybe that’s what upset him so much, my diminishing levels of tolerance. Or maybe it was a deep-seated fear that one day I’d get fed up and walk away from him. And eventually … I did.
I suppose I’m that kind of a person. I consider myself difficult, maybe even impossible. And I believe that in the end, everyone will walk away from me… that’s if I don’t leave them first. Reason being that there are parts of me no one will ever understand. I’d like to think I’m complex, even though some say I complicate myself. They say everyone is the same, and that seeing myself as unique is simplistic, arrogant, and just plain wrong. And in many ways, ‘they’ are right.
I have strange ideas about relationships. Or maybe I just think they’re strange. For example, I don’t believe in marriage, but I do want someone to love me enough to ask me. Of course if he does ask, I’ll just say no, which makes me sound like a sadist. Which I’m not. I think. I’m also not the wifing kind, unless it has a hyphen.
For the longest time, I didn’t think my ideal relationship existed. I didn’t think it was possible to find a man that’s just a little taller than me, who likes to cuddle and makes me laugh, who loves my daughter as his own, who doesn’t want any more kids, who doesn’t need me to change my name, who doesn’t do cows or in-laws, who doesn’t want to share my house, who doesn’t really like blow jobs, who has a healthy vibrant appetite for me, and who will love, respect, and be faithful to me. Always.
With time, I’ve learned to love myself, in every way, and to accept that men exist that want a girl like me. It helps to watch my friends, awesome girls who were told they’d never marry. Beautiful souls that were constantly told they were not wife material. Yet now I watch them with happy husbands and beautiful children. And they didn’t even have to wear a corset or shave their legs or wield mascara. They found perfectly good men who loved them exactly as they were. And that’s a beautiful, beautiful thing.
The funny thing is the universe. In the sense that the universe, or God, or cupid, is a funny thing. He/she/it brings you exactly what you’re looking for, especially when you don’t know that you’re looking for it. That’s why my friends found wonderful men when they didn’t even know they were searching. And me, I keep drawing the wrong kind of attention because deep down, I think that’s what I deserve.
See, if you want a certain kind of man, and you tell yourself that man doesn’t exist, then every other man you meet will prove it. And so in some strange, twisted way, I keep finding the kind of man that tells me I’m not a worthy woman. And I end up thinking no man could want me, because all of the ones I’ve dated felt that way.
Sometimes I binge myself on theory. For example, there are at least 7 billion people in the world. And at least 3 billion of them are men. So statistically speaking, there are at least 2,999,999,980 that haven’t dated me yet, and any one of them could be my type. Even if I take out the married ones, the gay ones, the church ones, the criminal ones, the sadist ones, and the weird ones, those are still some pretty good odds.
I’m also learning that love is all around us if we just look for it. It’s not all romantic love. I can have a beautiful life with my daughter, my brothers, my friends. I can be fulfilled, be beautiful, and feel loved even if I don’t find a man to call me baby. Of course I don’t always agree with this idea. There are moments during weddings, or on cold nights, or in mid-ovulation when it feels like being man-less is the worst. thing. ever. But then the hormones pass, the rice is thrown, I get an extra blanket, and all is fine again.
I believe that good men exist. And I am charmed every time I see the men in my girls’ lives treat them right. Salute to R, who married my girl even though he was convinced she was incapable of housework. Hats off to C, who makes his wife happy each time he helps her spray paint a bottle with glitter. Three cheers to L who compliments his lovely bride while she labours with her natural hair. Kudos to F who supports his wife’s high-flying career and helps her be the hotshot that she is.
And a special heartfelt blessing to all the men that choose to remain faithful to their wives, even when the rest of womanhood is throwing evil, envious, and immensely luscious body parts in their direction. No woman can keep a man. Not Halle Berry. Not Cleopatra. Not even Hellen of Troy. Your man has to decide to stay with you. And as I watch the good men of the world, the ones I know belong to other hearts, I thank them, and honour them, for the comfort and pleasure they bring into those women’s lives. Maybe one day, I’ll find mine.
♫ Nothing compares to you ♫ Sinead O’connor ♫
116 thoughts on “The man dilemma”
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