Monday, August 24, 2009

Don't Dream It's Over

OK Ya’ll,
So I did a quiz on Facebook today that was pretty interesting. It wasn’t so much of a quiz as an extrapolation of my profile data compiled into a statistical representation of how lame my life is, but it was still interesting. This EPD said I had a 90% probability of getting married, which sounds pretty promising at first. But then I got to thinking about it, and a couple of things occurred to me.
1. There’s no time line on this probability, so I figured I’m basically starting at 90 and going downhill rapidly from there. I mean, probability generally decreases over time for these types of events, so if I’m at 90 now, then I can’t help but drop a few percentage points as time marches on. But then I had another thought—maybe my probability wouldn’t drop, because the divorce rate is such that if I wait long enough, I’ve got a shot at a few fellas that may be off the market now. So this could work for me or against me depending on the dissolution of the matrimonial bonds in my area. Let’s hope by the time the divorce rate has evened out my chances, Vince Vaughn is still single.
2. (or maybe one and a half) Since there is no timeline, I could be 70 before this marriage occurs. Not promising. My great aunt Mildred was well into her 50s before she got married FOR THE FIRST TIME. I don’t even want to know if she stuck to her guns and decided to save herself for consummation *shudder* but she did end up marrying her freshly widowed pastor, so who knows. Then again, if I marry someone when I’m 70, they’ll obviously have a fantastic personality because very few people look all that hot at 70 (except Sean Connery), and pretty much nobody is attractive from the neck down at 70. And I’ll probably have had enough stories about bumpin’ uglies by then to get me through the next 15 years or so ‘til I shuffle off this mortal coil, so the personality angle will be that much more of a joy to me in my advanced state. But watch out—if he’s anything like me, we’ll have a ball swindling all of our friends at bingo and shuffleboard after the ice cream social at 4:30.
3. There’s still a 10% probability that I won’t get married. I could end up being the fun, good-looking friend with a killer sense of humor who people secretly think is a lesbian because I’m still single at 95. At first glance it seems depressing, but sometimes I think it may not be so bad. A lot of people just get married to have kids, and since I don’t want any, I’ve got nothing but easy sailin’ ahead. I wouldn’t have to change anybody’s diapers, I wouldn’t have to worry about my husband passing away before me, I could collect as many cats as I want with no one thinking it odd, I wouldn’t have to cut any ingrates out of my will…the possibilities are endless. And hey, if things get too crazy, Congress will send me off to pasture with the warmest of shoves. So I’ll take your 10% and make the best of it. I just need to make sure I don’t marry plenty of wealthy benefactors who insist upon financing the living out of my remaining years in comfort.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I know that you know that I know!

OK Ya’ll,
So in the past few weeks I’ve been thinking about a little thing called trust. Not for any reason in particular, but just from general observation and a few conversations I’ve had, it seems that there are plenty of people out there with trust issues. Some are justified, some have too much where they shouldn’t, and some have too little where they should have more. It seems to me that one’s level of trust is based upon two things: self-esteem and past experience. And by level of trust, I mean what level you generally have going into the initial dating phase. Are you someone who is generally untrusting until someone earns it, or are you someone who trusts someone until they give you a reason not to, etc. etc. Allow me to elaborate on the two things I find to be behind most folks lack of trust.
Self-esteem: This usually has to do with a big, fat, trust issue called jealousy. In general I’ve found that the jealous party somehow doesn’t feel worthy of the person they’re dating, so they get suspicious of any and all friends or acquaintances of the opposite sex, and fighting ensues. A bit of teasing is fun and keeps your date on his/her toes, makes them feel like a hot commodity, and can be a bit of an aphrodisiac. Digging through their wallet the second they leave the room, poring over their text and call log on their phone, and hacking into their email/social networking sites is just plain nuts. Now I’m not saying all suspicion is wrong, but there’s a line between a healthy respect for the boundaries of a relationship and when they get crossed, and batshit crazy because you don’t feel like your significant other pays enough attention to you. Jealousy does nothing but make the other person run the other way and make you feel worse about yourself. My motto has always been, “if you want her, then that bitch can have you. But you know you’ll never find better.” I don’t get jealous because I feel like I’m good enough, smart enough, and dammit, people like me. I’ve got a lot to offer, and whoever it is I date is generally cool enough to appreciate it and know what he’s got. And I’m secure enough in myself to know that I’m smart enough to recognize the difference between a friend and a threat. Here’s a little tip—instead of alienating every person of the opposite sex that your beloved knows, why don’t you make friends with them and get to know them? Then you’ve got not only the “cool boy/girlfriend” moniker on lockdown, but you’ve also got a handle on who’s bluff you’re going to have to call. You might even make a friend or two in the process.
One of the other classic signs of bad self-esteem that is related to jealousy is smothering. In my humble opinion, The Smotherer is nothing more than a Green-Eyed Monster in disguise. Sure, it’s nice to be wanted, but not 24 hours a day. The Smotherer basically wraps up their whole identity in you as a couple and has very few outside interests. Everyone needs some time apart to do their own thing—scratch, burp, fart, and pick at stuff without someone sitting right next to you to get the color commentary. The Smotherer generally feels that if they’re not with you, then you’re either off doing something you shouldn’t, or you don’t care about spending time with them so they must not be worth it. This is just bad self-esteem wrapped up in a guilt trip, and you don’t need it. My advice—move. Or get them a hobby.
Past Experience: This goes hand in hand with self-esteem many times. So you’ve been burned before—you’ve been cheated on, or you’ve been lied to, or your date didn’t turn out to be everything you had hoped and more. Sure, there’s a time where it’s ok to feel like all men/women are complete shitbirds and you don’t need them, but then you have to move on. This is where most people get into a classic vicious cycle, because they never move on and then end up in another relationship fueled by mistrust, bad self-esteem, smothering, and jealousy, and that usually ends in a restraining order. The moving on is the most important step, people! The next person you date is not Stanley Stand-Me Up or Harriet The Harlot. They are an individual worthy of your time and trust and they deserve a shot. Don’t punish them for what others did to you in the past. I’ve had plenty of bum deals in my life. But I don’t hold it against the next guy, because it’s not fair to me and it’s certainly not fair to him. So if I’m still harboring some ill will or some feelings of inferiority against the male species, I try not to let myself get into a dating situation right away. Everyone’s timeline is different, so it may take you longer than it takes your friends. But DO NOT date until you’re over it! Otherwise you and your date will suffer and you’ll end up getting dumped again, which will breed more bitterness, which leads to the next person getting the jealous treatment—see where I’m going with this?
There’s one other thing I’d like to add here, and that’s that some people can actually be too trusting. I call this one Naivete. Basically you’re too dumb to realize what’s going on or in serious denial because you don’t want to believe your sweet, loving Pookieface could ever step out on you or treat you wrong. Generally, the Naivete leads to getting burned, which then can cause The Jealous Kook or The Smotherer. I am the kind of gal who, when she’s pretty far into a relationship and something fishy comes about, tries to give her man the benefit of the doubt. But when things start getting too obvious for words, or when everyone else in your social circle has an eyebrow raised but you, it’s time to re-evaluate. If they aren’t doing what they say they will when they’ve normally been reliable, when they have an excuse for not seeing you even though it’s been weeks, maybe even months, get with the program, sweetie. It’s just like this: If they want to see you, they’ll make it happen. Otherwise, they’re probably banging some skank down at the local watering hole. It’s the old adage that everyone’s heard but no one seems to take to heart: “Don’t make someone your priority when you are only their option.” So let’s all do ourselves a favor and get our minds right. It’ll save your heart some ache.