Enter exhibit A. A for Adam – Man. The story is always the same for me with very few variations. My relationships are like those adventure books with a choose your own ending – except the ending is always the same. Dating for me are chronicles of choose your own beginning books except they come under different titles. I’m an idiot who has been reading the same story over and over hoping everything didn’t just die in the end. It makes me want to give up all together. I would even settle for a cliffhanger now and then just to experience something with a little more depth and intrigue – this story has become monotonous and stale. Here, I’ll let you play along.
A: “Hey _______ .” (Beautiful, Gorgeous, Brown Eyes, Good Looking, Pretty Girl)
That’s how it starts. They like how I look. They attach my face like a lid to the contained image they have of their needs – A fantasy. Their estranged mother. Their favorite movie character. Their ex girlfriend.
I’ll ask what they are looking for and they’ll describe generic qualities that could fit any number of women, including me. I don’t know, maybe that is all they are looking for – a stagnant character, almost one dimensional. Woman, deconstructed and basic. The three or four qualities they list are not a jumping off point, that is the whole package – no more, no less. I contain so much more.
Bob Marley once said, “The biggest coward is a man who awakens the love of a woman without the intention of loving her.”
Apparently I have a thing for cowards.
We’ll talk for weeks. During that time they are attentive, flirtatious, they want to know everything about me. They want to share everything about them.
A: “Me too! I feel the same way about _______” (Relationships, Life, Parenting, Art, Society, etc)
Then we’ll meet. Then he’ll touch me. Then he’ll disappear. This should not be normal. Why is this a thing? It’s no longer making out, sex, cuddling or whatever. I now refer to this chapter as ‘The Reaping”.
Then I’m left hurt and confused because healthy adults don’t treat people as disposable. So we’ll talk. And talk. And talk. Until we can sift through all of his excuses, and flawed logic, and his blame to get to the root of the issue.
Me: “You told me you were ready and looking for a relationship when really you were __________” (Just looking for sex, needed someone to stroke your ego, needed someone to hurt to make you feel better, still in love with your ex, didn’t want to be lonely, free homecooked meal, free housekeeping, entertainment, to use me to make someone else jealous.)
They find that I’m an actual person with wants and needs, desires, a past – a whole person – so the lid doesn’t fit the neat small container they tried to force me onto. And then when I express my hurt and disappointment ….
A: “It’s not your fault.” but then will turn around in the same breath and tell me in some way shape or form how I should or shouldn’t whatever. I shouldn’t care so much. I shouldn’t text or call. I should be more complacent and detached. I shouldn’t try so hard or at all. How I should be more like their ex….
A: “It has nothing to do with you.” Bullshit. Fuck you. Your hands were on me. It was my time that you wasted. It was me you said those things to. I am the one you are discarding. If it has nothing to do with me, then you shouldn’t have involved me at all in the first place. My face is not a lid to your fantasy. I am not an epiphany. I am not a distraction. I am not the answer or a prize – I am not an allegory. I am not a rebound, or the scenery for your change of heart. I am not a rehab center for emotionally damaged men. My heart is not a playground where you work out your issues. I am not a product to be consumed or something to be sampled. I am not an experiment. I am not to be tried on and thrown away, or something to be broken and changed, and molded to fit your idea of what I should be. Do not touch the art. I am beating heart, flesh and bone, triumph and tears – talent and blood – woman. I am both grace and grief. You came into a sanctuary and treated it like a rest stop. I am not a page to be turned but a heart to be cherished, a love to be savored. And you are not a man. You are a tourist, taking souvenirs from paradise claiming it’s a beautiful place to visit, but could never live there after unpacking all of your burdens on my shores.
A; “Thank you for __________ “ (Understanding for treating you so poorly, accepting my excuses, helping me realize I love someone else, helping me realize I am not ready to date, the lovely home cooked meal. Understanding this is not about you – only me and my wants and needs and doing what is easiest for me)
A: “You are ______________” (Wonderful, amazing, such a good person, beautiful,)
A. “You should be more hopeful.” Do not build up my hope, dash all of them and wonder where all my hope went. I had hope. You took it all. You broke it.
A. “You deserve better.” Thank you for pointing out the obvious after the damage is done. If I deserve better than why didn’t you treat me better?
A. “You’re going to find someone grear.” You’ve already proven why your words are empty and meaningless.
Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you. Fuck you.