This ain’t a fairytale.

February 4, 2013 § 2 Comments

I wanted to have a candid conversation with you about boys, but Taylor Swift has already penned all the best to be said on the subject.  Currently, I sit at my dining-room-table-desk, listening to the words of “White Horse” and nodding along in agreement.  Last night, at the going away party for a Korean Australian wants-to-be-American, I belted along with everyone else and the bourbon to “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.”  And, in the middle, I looked at Ed and went “Are you ready?  Are you ready?  This is my favorite part!”

“And he called and was like Istilluvyew….and I was just like…this.  This is EXHAUSTING.”

And every girl under the big long roof laughed in agreement.
I think every single one of us has muttered that exact phrase at some point in our romantic careers.  Yes, the term career is intentional.  Maybe I should use the word marathon.  It’s actually more like a marathon.  You start out all excited and by mile 4.2, you’re like “We’re just gettin’ started!” and you take silly pictures and are grinning like an idiot.  By the time you reach mile 17, you’re just like “Seriously….where’s the pizza?  And the beer.  They promised me beer.
I might have a cramp.”

Relationships with the opposite sex are things we ladies do not take lightly.  We analyze and talk and talk and have a coffee while talking and we run with a buddy while we talk about what he did that was lovely and how hot he is and how you laughed for hours and oh. em. gee. he actually paid attention to you and didn’t try to climb in your bed after dinner!  Then, when things go wrong, we do it all over again.  We do it in the middle, too.  Sometimes, we try to be all nonchalant and not talk about anything with this air of “just taking it one day at a time”.  Oh, you know what I’m talking about.  The we’re-taking-things-slow, who-knows-what-will-happen?, he-doesn’t-want-to-push-it’s.
And the rest of us silently judge you.
Or have pity on you.
But, none of us believe you.

And here’s where it gets absolutely nuts.  We believe ourselves!  For days/weeks/phases of the moon, we believe the pile of lies resting on the tips of our tongues.  When, I’d say 95.2% of the time, we’ve actually fallen prey to McDreamy Syndrome*.
*Let the record show that Dallas Blue coined the phrase McDreamy Syndrome.  

McDreamy-patrick-dempsey-1061607_1350_900

Oh, you know McDreamy.
© Tom Munro

The symptoms are easy to spot: anxiety, roller coaster emotions, sacrificing personal time for Mr. Wannabe McDreamy, flawed rationalizations, consumptions of entire tubes of cookie dough, etc.  These guys do what they want because they have us captivated, motivated, we’re hearing voices!  They call and you flat. out. run. to pick up the phone.  They want to come over and you clear the rest of your entire damn day.  (You know, just in case they want to hang out longer.)  The level of attention we devote to the McDreamy’s of this world is ridiculous.  Women are givers, especially if we’re being considered, and McDreamy’s take advantage.  The big problem being you can’t immediately tell a McDreamy from a McWonderful.  You have to walk through it before the lights turn on and you realize that they’ve been inconsiderate and now, somehow, wait for it, you’re being made the bad guy.

All of a sudden, it’s like someone stopped the record on Soul Train.  House lights come up and you’re staring at Wannabe McDreamy in flat out shock as you realize he was wearing a mask the whole time.  You weren’t crazy.  You were smitten.
It happens.

The good ones, the rare & stand-up men behind the mask, will realize you see them for what they really are, take the mask off, and admit their depravity.  You, oh beautiful one, have the opportunity in that moment to choose.  Choose to forgive, choose to trust, choose to learn who the man behind the mask is with the lights on.  Alternatively, you have the choice to leave and forget the whole thing.  The right answer is different for every woman.  Whatever you choose, I thank God for the female race and telephones and Long Island Iced Teas.  We’ll talk and talk and talk and go running or drinking or dancing around our shoes to get you through it.

That is what the McDreamy’s don’t seem to understand.  Women are brilliant.  We piece together all of the lies and bullshit and soon figure out that we’re being duped.  If we don’t acknowledge it, it’s only because we’re in denial.  And, denial or not, we have an entire camp of women for support.  They buy our drinks and push us into health and high five us when we ignore your phone calls.  McDreamy’s also don’t seem to grasp the idea of how absolutely beautiful a woman becomes when loved well.

Hear me well, here at the end.
People are broken.  They will screw up and that includes us in the female camp.  My momma has a plaque in her bathroom that has hung there since before I was born, I think.  It says “A healthy relationship is the union of two very good forgivers.”  I will believe that is true ’til my last day on this giant rock.

I refuse to believe that every man on earth is a McDreamy.  Sometimes, a little kindness and patience and giggling goes a long way with a man.
But, if you’re the only one doing the forgiving and the schedule-clearing and the talking about hard things….lovey, I think it might be time to hit the house lights.

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