I had a very interesting conversation the other night. I was talking to this guy I know. We were bickering, I guess, about the prospects of continuing our brief, albeit temperamental relational journey. After we continued to bicker about details in our equally strong points of view, I found myself saying out loud: “It’s cool. You don’t “get” me and that’s okay. There isn’t anything I can change about that. The only thing I can be is who I am. I really don’t think we’re a match… and that’s okay.” I thought that was a fair assessment under the circumstances. I wasn’t being nice or mean. I was stating facts. Keeping with the candid nature of our conversation, I was rightly expecting him to say, “Girrrrl, you ain’t never lied.” I was expecting we’d agree to say hi amicably should we cross paths and that maybe we could build the kind of friendship that didn’t require either of us to bend our points of view of things.
This is what I got instead, “Seriously though, I think your match is one of those guys that gets dressed up in a Bain mask and shoots up movie theatres.” I laughed as I often do at the utterly offensive things he’s been known to say out loud. It’s true, I’m tickled by the oddest things. To his credit, I do actually adore his level of honesty. Plus, he says stuff in such a way you laugh because somewhere inside you’re like– “He’s got to be joking. Isn’t he?” Meanwhile, I couldn’t help but ask, “are you saying that my match is a serial killer?” He was like, “not in so many words, but yes”. He went on to describe my ideal mate as someone who shoots up buildings or has a gaggle of women in dumpsters somewhere and I think by the third example I tuned him out. The genuine giggle made way for, “do I need to duck after this conversation?”
From there, he went on a rant about how some women are gonna end up old and a lone because they don’t know when to shut the fuck up. *CLICK*. No. I didn’t hang up on him. He was mid-sentence, and by this point I had pulled out popcorn, quiet as a mouse listening intently at how his mind was flowing. He was unloading, and I presumed his unload had little if anything to do with me. And yet, he felt free to speak his mind with me and so he did. I can only suppose the universe thought better of it than I did. I was genuinely intrigued, but maybe I wasn’t supposed to be.
More specifically, male people are the prize to be won–by the sheer numbers scheme of things. A “Good” woman knows her place in this scheme of things. Allegedly.
Seriously, here was a guy who claimed to “know” me better than most, although we’d only been dealing with each other for roughly a month. We hadn’t spoken much for a month after that and most of our interactions since our initial meeting, although few, have been strained-esque. Let’s be clear. The only draw to each other we can claim is that we have a genuine, very natural feeling “like” and attraction to each other. Beyond that, the shit is weird. A lot of push and pull. I have expectations, he has expectations. There really wasn’t much common ground to work with, plus, my Spidey senses were all over this. I tried to explain that to him, but it got to the point that it actually didn’t matter if he got what I was saying or not. We don’t get along and that’s okay. I’ll keep my 2 cents in my pocket, instead of wasting my breath.
I was present of mind enough to notice he called me crazy no less than 9 times throughout our conversation. At some point I did ask him what he meant by “crazy” exactly, but he never got specific. After his phone died mid-sentence, I really was curious to see how this debacle was originally supposed to end so I called him back about an hour later for shits and giggles. I told him I actually wanted to hear the end of his rant. No good came from that, I promise. After 5 more minutes of hearing him call me crazy and “Hey weirdo” like some bully in 10th grade. And him telling me he’s the only person in the conversation making any sense to himself, etc. I finally said: “Look dude. We don’t have to get each other. We’re on totally different life vibes. We view life from totally different lenses and that’s cool. Just because you don’t get me, doesn’t make me crazy. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me or you. It just means that we probably ain’t right for each other. It’s that simple. I’m not changing, I don’t expect you to change. What are we even talking about here?” I felt like an Obama supporter trying to convince a Romney supporter about why he lost the election. It seemed so simple, and yet, it wasn’t.
There really wasn’t anything I could have said that would gain us any sense of resolution. He was looking for something from me that I couldn’t give him. Mostly me– because he wanted to dictate to me which parts of me he could hack and which parts I needed to “fix” to his satisfaction or whatever. As much as we may “like” each other in that natural chemistry sort of way, in every other way, all roads for me were pointing to, “oh hell no”. No need to force the issue. I’ve done it before and it’s no fun for anyone after the smoke clears. It shouldn’t be an issue. It should be easy to recognize an attraction to somebody. Meanwhile as you get to know each other, somebody decides OOPS! wrong fit and folk be mutually be okay with that. I’m not sure debating or making excuses about it or calling folk names makes the situation any less not good. People decide they’re not right for each other all the time. Oft times after 3 or more years of marriage and kids in the mix.
Fitting our very big selves in lives too small for us is a condition of not knowing who we actually are. It’s walking around this life like we got gaping holes that need filling…
Lets be extra special clear here. I handled that conversation surprisingly well. I was so light with it, I was actually surprised once I slept on it. I was genuinely laughing at some of the stuff he was saying. Mostly because it was ridiculous. Then there were the parts when I was listening with a sage’s ear because he shared nuggets of insight. He said at one point: “If you want a life partner, you have to BE a life partner.” That was dope. It was necessary and he was right. I’ve been wearing Tephlon for 3 1/2 years and it’s been mighty difficult to get used to walking these here streets without it. I feel naked when I’m not wearing it, particularly when a stray bullet can fly at me and shoot me dead at any given time in these mean streets of Date-ville. I’ve been rigidly tough on these guys out here.
Interestingly enough, with him–because of our natural chemistry– I allowed myself to let a bit of vulnerability come out. I took a step toward non-celibacy I haven’t been the least bit interested in taking with anyone else in 3 1/2 years and it was awesome. Meanwhile, it was only a step. He wanted the whole caboodle before he took a step toward what I wanted–the life roadie piece. That’s where his nugget of insight came into play. I’ll admit there are other less compelling reasons why this mini jet crashed and burned at take off, but most of it can be chalked up to very different people in very different life stages and wanting very different things. Meanwhile, somebody in this here plane wants somebody else to fit a seat they don’t actually fit in. Nor do they even fit on that little ass plane. Her pinky toe don’t even fit. Who’s built to squeeze their abundant selves into shit that don’t fit–besides supermodels who get paid to do that shit?! Sorry.
I’ve pondered this a bit. I think I was tickled at some of our conversation, rather than appalled, because roughly six years ago, I might have tried to just be what he “needed”, at the detriment of everything sacred and holy to me now, i.e authentic relationships and everything that means. A part of my brain looked back upon all the emotionally unavailable dudes I tried to woo with all the things I thought a “Good” woman was supposed to be. “Good” in bed. “Good” in the kitchen. “Good” at keeping a home. “Good” at falling back and letting a “man be a man”–whatever that means. “Good” at not asking too many questions–guys hate answering questions. “Good” in temperament. “Good” at hiding whichever emotions male people find offensive. “Good” at speaking only when spoken to. “Good” at just getting with the program–even if the program is never clearly, fully or at all defined. “Good” at ignoring “the bullshit” that can be deemed a person, place or a thing. And really, really “Good” at accepting what’s given, even when accepting what’s given is “the bullshit”. More specifically, male people are the prize to be won–by the sheer numbers scheme of things. A “Good” woman knows her place in this scheme of things. i.e. a “Good” man is hard to find so if you happen to stumble over a half decent one (who isn’t a serial killer), “Good” Googly Moogly, be a “Good” girl and do everything in your power to keep him. Allegedly.
“It’s cool. You don’t “get” me and that’s okay. There isn’t anything I can change about that. The only thing I can be is who I am…”
Now. What comes with this. What comes with this is the notion that who I am, even if it’s not in line with what a guy I like “needs” or “wants” is somehow faulty. What comes with this is this idea that my sensibilities aren’t important or valuable or even worthy to be expressed in the authentic way I’ve learned to express them. What comes with this is a suppression of what I am designed to be to fit in the narrow perspective of what a celebrated “Good” woman is by societal standards. What comes with this is the same shit that women have done for eons– all in pursuit of a male person probably not worthy of her to start. To fit herself into painful shapes just so she can be chose. *insert side eye here*
Guess what? I’ve done it. I’ve been that girl. I’ve crumpled myself like a paper ball to fit that life and all it got me was a heart broken in so many pieces it took years to find them all and put them back where they naturally go. But I did it. I can look back on the experience(s) with love as a fact of my life I’ve learned and blossomed from. I’m the woman I am today in part for being the woman I was willing to be back then. Will I do that shit again? You bet your sweet ass I won’t. Not. Ever. You know why? Because I’ve learned that I don’t have to. Painful shape making out of our being is a condition we place on ourselves. Fitting our very big selves in lives too small for us is a condition of not knowing who we actually are. It’s walking around this life like we got gaping holes that need filling. Then reaching for every tacky substance that we think will clog them up to keep our very souls from running out into the street. Gum, glue, crumpled up post-its, tape, silly putty, whatever.
What I have learned on this journey of authenticity is, I ain’t got no holes that need filling (besides the obvious one, that completely distracts from the bigger picture of this post). I have no gaping anything. I am whole already. I am not designed to be any LESS than who I am already. If somebody I like or want to like needs me to be less, so they can feel like more, that’s actually not my problem. While I get that relationships take compromise and sometimes uncomfortable shifts in our thinking and being (based on being in new territory that requires vulnerability and reciprocation), shifts from single to partnered should never require compromise of what makes you uniquely, authentically and fabulously you.
What I have learned on this journey of authenticity is, I ain’t got no holes that need filling… I have no gaping anything. I am whole already.
If who you are isn’t in line with what somebody “needs”, trust, you’re still good–just probably not for each other. You know what else? That’s okay. Just like you were made to be exactly as you are, somebody as awesome as you is made just for you. No life crumpling, or crazy calling or painful shape contortions required. Unless, that’s just what you’re into. Noneofmybusiness.com
The moral of this story? Me? Moral? Pfff. Thank you for reading this though. Peace and abundant “Be GOOD enough at BEING exactly YOU” blessings, Love, -e-