Friday, April 13, 2012

Yes or No. There is no Maybe.

“How do you know when the yes is coming?”

This question was posed by the lovely Addison Montgomery on the most recent episode of Private Practice. At first I just wanted to kill her, because seriously, who would turn her down?

But for us mere mortals left here in the wake of what Hollywood has created, we can ask, “How do you know?”

Is it just human nature to say no? And how do you know when someone means it? Rape advocates tell us all, “No means no.” which in the case of that, yes true. Okay. But what about the more complex questions when it comes to relationships?

I know that I’ve told people no, and I’ve really meant it. Either I just wasn’t attracted to them, or they had cut up a screen with a box cutter a week before Prom (true story, by the way) but in any case, it was like rape. No means no.

But sometimes it’s not so cut and dry. Sometimes it’s for the greater good. Or something that even I don’t know why I’m saying no. Which seems so much easier.

But hearing no from someone else, that’s the most heartbreaking thing in the world. Unrequited love is why the Lifetime Movie Network can stay afloat. Once, years ago must be at least 8 years by now, I asked my cousin what the most attractive quality was in a woman. He pondered for a minute, and I was expecting something like brains or loyalty or something, and instead his answer was “persistence.”

Was his answer just setting me up to fail? But with that, I am persistent. Maybe too much so. I always tell myself that the right guy won’t mind that I don’t let up. In fact, it’ll be the thing he likes about me the most. But I have to fight my way through a lot of dragons first.

And the real question is, how do you know the yes is coming? When do you give up on someone? When can you know that someone’s answer for saying no is concrete or are they just pretending? Too scared, or too something to say yes?

We all need to learn to say what we mean. If you mean no, then you mean no. People move on. They eat ice cream, or go running or kill themselves. Something that eventually makes it go away. But it’s the maybe. Or the no that doesn’t have any kind of reason behind it that drags on.

If you think for even a second that it might be yes, then you should go for it. Tell that person. Because the only thing that keeps truckers awake is cocaine. And sooner or later, they’re going to OD and hit you head on, effectively ending your life. Do you really want to be killed by a trucker and not ever have said yes?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Ubiquitous Man- A Love Story

While we were growing up and watching Wiley Coyote chase the Road Runner and then get an anvil dropped on his head, I’m not sure why we weren’t more confused. What even was a Road Runner? I’ve never seen one. I’ve also never seen an anvil. We don’t have many blacksmiths in suburbia.

Yet we nodded along, laughing like we knew what was going on. But when we toured a historic town and saw a real anvil, did we recognize it from all those cartoons? If you were out west, would you recognize a roadrunner?

It’s the same with the men of Chick flicks. They’re a dime a dozen. Every one has an equation. There is very little differentiation between them. They’re all impulsive, loving, passionate, and ‘different’. They are set-apart men.

And like we always picture the purple plumage on the roadrunner, we always think of set-apart dreamers when we look for men.

Men don’t realize we’ve been waiting all our lives for them. It’s no one’s fault but Hollywood. No story is complete without a love story in it. The Hunger Games couldn’t only be about 24 children fighting to the death and an uprising, there had to be a love triangle. Star Wars couldn’t only be about light vs. dark, Han Solo and Princess Leia had to fall in love. Hollywood tells us that as great as our story is, it won’t end happily ever after unless we’ve found a partner.

So we wait. We wait for the man that Hollywood says is everywhere.  So ubiquitous that they have a movie released every Friday. Yet we can’t seem to find them anywhere. No wonder men think we’re crazy.

This is why women wear Yoga pants with thongs and fitted tops when we work out, our sleek hair pulled back into ponytails with completely dysfunctional yet stylish headbands. The perfect man could be anywhere, even at the gym.

We dream that someday we will have someone to break up our morning jog. That the ubiquitous man will be waiting at a halfway point with a cup of coffee. So we dress for them. Who knows when one might crop up? We stare straight ahead, hawk-eyed, not wanting to miss them.

We wear bras and cute clothes to bed. Because how often does the Hollywood ubiquitous man knock on the window in the middle of the night? We wouldn’t want to be caught with our glasses on and out retainers in. So we wait, on silk bed sheets with our hair down, eyes closed, but listening…

We’re ready at all times because there never is a set up. The ubiquitous man always comes by serendipity.

So we wait. Dreaming that Hollywood wasn’t lying this time, that the right adjective to describe the leading man really is ubiquitous, that they’re everywhere and we’ll recognize them when we see them.  

But sometimes the roadrunner doesn’t have the fantastic plumage. Sometimes they are just brown and dusty and we don’t recognize them. And sometimes the man isn’t waiting for you halfway or knocking on your window for a nighttime stroll. Sometimes he’s just getting his mail. Or sleeping while we wait. You’re supposed to be everywhere, did you get lost along the way?

Yet even though we know the roadrunner is brown, not purple and even though we know that not all of you will be searching for us, we still keep our heads up, hoping you’re just lost. Our eyes are focused forward, looking for your plumage.