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Archive for May, 2008

Ba-ack…

I’m not a slacker.  I was on vacation, and I make a point to travel to places where I don’t have regular internet access.  If you don’t normally do this, I highly recommend it.  There’s nothing like completely removing yourself from reality for a week.  Though I did watch CNN in the hotel room on occasion….

Anyway, now that I’m back in my regular time zone, I’ll post again.  Before I do that, I must succumb to the jet lag.

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Tonight I ended up at a random birthday party for a girl I’ve never met.  While there, I wrote the url for my blog on some guy’s arm in red magic marker.  He said something about dating that was so simple, yet so profound, that I felt the need to bring him into my admittedly small community of readers.  He said to me, “People focus so much on what they want that they forget about what they need.”

Damn right, slightly intoxicated guy.

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For those of you who read the New York Times Style section regularly enough, you’re probably familiar with the Modern Love column.  They held a college essay contest, and the first of five was published this week.  In it, the author, Marguerite Fields, expounds upon her experiences with noncommittal guys.  The men she dates give weird excuses, behave bizarrely, or change their minds about her quickly.  One guy, in order to rationalize his apparent inability to stick to one person, said “that his disregard for monogamy wasn’t a chauvinistic throwback, but quite the opposite: the ultimate nod to feminism.”

Oy.  Is this what the feminism of the ’70s and ’80s has caused?  Do today’s 20-something women have to acquiesce to men who don’t want to assign titles to anything and who don’t want “society” to dictate how they live?  This is the legacy our pioneering mothers have left us?

Listen, you all know I don’t subscribe to The Rules.  But, like Ms. Fields, I would like to find someone to spend a long time with.  Exclusively.  So whenever a guy starts spouting off about not wanting “society” to tell him how to define his relationships, my Bullshit Detector(TM) goes off.  He doesn’t give a lick about society.  What he’s really saying is he doesn’t want me to tell him how to define our relationship.  I assure you that the second this guy meets a girl he really wants to be with, he’ll let society get its way.

It’s a shame that men in their 20s have been bombarded by messages that men are evil, that fathers are unnecessary, and that they are responsible for keeping women in a state of servitude.  That couldn’t have been good for their self-esteem.  But feminism today is different from the feminism of 20 years ago.  Women who desire a traditional life of love, marriage, baby carriage, and maybe going part-time at work until the kids are in school, will admit that without feeling like they’re selling out the sisterhood.

Now, most men are unaffected by this.  The awkwardness they experience in dating is more a result of fear of rejection than anything else.  But for the guys who make these pitiful speeches about how they don’t want to have ownership of someone, or limit themselves, or perpetuate stereotypes, or define their relationships by concrete terms…

Bullshit.

The longer an explanation you get as to why someone won’t commit to you, the more they are completely bullshitting you.  Listen, if you’re also not into the traditional gender roles or monogamy, cool.  But I am telling you, if you’re looking for an exclusive relationship, and possibly marriage, and you’re treated to a dissertation by someone you’ve been seeing for awhile, you have not found The One.

And guys, if you’re going to be all laid back, fine, but don’t make excuses about not wanting to apply labels or caving in to social norms or whatever.  Just say that you want to be able to have sex with anyone you want, because this is likely closer to the truth.

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Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I spent every other post yammering about how it is entirely about you.  You let people treat you poorly.  You let your insecurities get in the way of your relationships.  You can’t get anyone to give you their phone number because you haven’t delved deep within your psyche to fine-tune your approach.  But you know what’s not all about you?  When the SO doesn’t call back right away, or is too tired to hang out more than two nights a week.  So stop being so damn needy all the time.  A person occasionally needs to stay home, watch TV and eat a bagel for dinner.

This is how I spent my evening, for the record.  See, I just started a new job and I’ve been learning a lot of new stuff.  Let me tell you, learning stuff past the age of 19 is hard.  Readers, mommy is tired — too tired to post here regularly, it seems.  But I’ll delve deep within my psyche to fine-tune my approach.  Inspiration from readers always helps, of course…

You know what else I’ve been too tired to do?  Go out.  So it got me thinking: No matter how much you care about someone, no matter how happy you are to see them, sometimes you’re so exhausted or stressed out because of other things that you can’t muster the appropriate enthusiasm one needs when one goes out on a date.  In the past, I’ve gotten all in a huff about that when guys made that excuse, but now?  Man, I get it.  You mean, I’d have to shave my legs and get dressed up and force down a beer and make conversation?  No, thank you.  Pass the cream cheese.

So, friends, here’s part two of the promise to not let insecurities ruin good things.  If someone likes you but they’re having a busy week and they practically can’t see straight, cut ’em some slack.  They probably want nothing more than for the stress to let up so they can spend some quality time with you.  Don’t get impatient or angry or annoying.  Just ride it out, and know they’ll come back to you when they need a soft place to land.

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