Greetings from Austin, TX! Land of skinny boys, indie rock and breakfast tacos. I wish everything was like a breakfast taco: cheap, magical and covered in pico de gallo. There’s a place down the street that serves great ones – or at least they’re great in theory. The pico is just perfect and instead of home fries inside the tortilla, they sprinkle these tiny little French fries on top.
Oh yes, there’s a “but.”
The beans are bland. You’re not expecting them to be bland, but they are, and because they’re in the middle of the taco, you can’t even get in there to salt them.
Clearly, this is a metaphor. (I’m very deep, so I use metaphors to illustrate my points sometimes.) I keep ending up in messes with boys who are like that taco. The awesome little fries distract me, and by the time I figure out the beans are a flavorless mush, I’ve already taken a bite and can’t go back. The difference is, the taco won’t get all emo and freak out. It will just sit there quietly, content in the understanding that it is merely a taco and I am merely on my lunch break.
Can we agree that this generalization of men being lust-driven testosterone banks who are only after one thing is about as realistic as saying that I, as a woman, have no potential but to be a walking uterus? People are people, though while some are able to express and discuss their emotional state in great detail and with great insight, there are those who possess a Y chromosome and are less adept at processing feelings or knowing what to do with them. I’m just saying, it seems like emotions turn boys into useless mush whereas women are better at talking through things and figuring them out.
This is the scenario I’m apparently doomed to repeat, Groundhog Day style: imagine a lovely gentleman, who has much to offer and does so in the context of a relationship. After a hot buttered mess of unnecessary drama, he realizes that the other half of his relationship is less than emotionally functional, and, bearing the scars and wounds incurred, he leaves said relationship. Which is when I inevitably stumble upon him, and as I gravitate towards post-traumatic men, will bite into that taco only to find out that it is not a good one. It’s a bad taco, and it is too late to get salt into it because the aforementioned ex-other half leeched it all out.
It always starts with the agreement “I’m not looking for anything serious, I just want to have fun.” I’ll admit, I’m much more enthused about the idea of pursuing monogamy with intention, but I’m not averse to hanging out* in good company while Prince Charming is still busy somewhere brushing his horse’s tail or whatever. Apparently I’m the only one, though, because every guy who has said this to me inevitably followed it shortly thereafter with “Wait, no, I have feelings now.” Here comes the emo drama.
A guy friend of mine recently told me that I am “extremely crushable,” which yes, was very flattering, but also put me to pondering. This is something I see myself and my friends struggle with all the time: we have no idea how awesome we are. None of us give ourselves enough credit, and if we do, everyone thinks we just rode in on the douche train from Jerkville. So I will say it: I am awesome. There. That wasn’t so hard. If you’re awesome, declare it with me! (Fact: you are.) Aside from the self-esteem benefits of making this statement, it carries with it a fair amount of responsibility: we’re all crushable, which means we have to be careful not to accidentally step on someone’s feelings. Because we’re capable of it. And that’s scary.
Perhaps I was naïve when I thought that “I just want to have fun” meant an immunity to emotional investment because I live in a world where the idea of a guy forming any kind of attachment to me that isn’t related to my boobs is absurd. This is not good. Do not be like me. Be better! Otherwise you’re putting yourself down and inhibiting your ability to really connect with someone. In the end, I’m always left feeling bad because I’ve inadvertently hurt someone. While I thought it was okay that I was just having fun hanging out, he ended up forming an emotional attachment. I’m sure there’s also some personal baggage I carry that lands me in this endless re-run with different actors, and goodness knows I have yet to date someone for more than three weeks. But I’m finding myself proceeding with caution more and more. Maybe I’ll start taking my own advice soon. Maybe I’m just growing up.
* I like to use the term “hanging out” instead of “hooking up” because it’s more openly ambiguous and I agree with Apocalypstick that “hooking up” is a dumb expression.
Photo found on http://strawberryposh.com/