In Defense of Rory Gilmore

gilmore-girls-netflix-revival-rory

Alexis Bledel as ‘Rory Gilmore’ in “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life”; photo taken from Hypable 

I wrote the following after seeing multiple posts on blogs, Tumblr, and legitimate news sites basically slut shaming Rory Gilmore in “Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life” for decisions she makes regarding men.  Some of it isn’t actually slut shaming, some of it is simply die-hard fans who, like me, have probably watched the original series many times and have a romanticized idea of what Rory is like and how she should behave; they are disappointed, these fans, that thirty year old Rory isn’t making the same decisions as twenty year old Rory.

I think there are many factors to consider before judging Rory too harshly.

First of all: it’s been ten years.  No one dates exactly the same way they did ten years ago.  She’s in her thirties now, she’s less inhibited, less shy, more open to experiences.  As humans grow, we change, see things differently.  Rory is going to have a different mindset at 32 than she did when she was nineteen.

Secondly: We don’t know what her dating experience has been since leaving college.  Previous relationships have a great affect on how a person treats future romantic partners.  It’s possible she’s had one too many terrible boyfriends since Logan.  Also: Rory’s a bit of a nomad, it’s difficult to maintain exclusive relationships when you’re constantly moving.  Believe me, I know.

Thirdly: As a person ages, she becomes less idealistic.  Young people often have a rigid sense of morality, Rory certainly did.  This is why kids will often (foolishly) write off friends for not meeting a certain moral standard (see Veronica Mars).  But as we age and mature, we realize there’s a lot of gray in the world, and we are not the ultimate voice of right and wrong in the universe.  So we sleep with that guy we met at that party, and we drink the tequila, and drive to NYC to watch an SNL rehearsal and get a hot dog just to turn around and drive home again the same day.

Fourth: People also become less optimistic.  Which seems strange considering people become less cynical (unless you’re Louis C.K., or a dyed-in-the-wool New Yorker) as they get older, but when it comes to relationships and dating, single, straight, American women seem to become more pessimistic about relationships.  Consider this Garfunkel and Oates song.

Fifth: We don’t know what sort of relationship Logan has with this French woman.  Maybe it’s an open relationship?  Maybe he has the same deal with her as he has with Rory?  The French are way less puritanical about sex than Americans.

We, especially those of us who grew up alongside Rory, want her to be a sort of moral beacon since she’s just like us only better, but really she’s not.  Rory is just as flaky as we are, she’s just as confused, just as meandering, just as flawed.  She is searching for her place in the world the same way we are.

And, as with all things, the viewer brings his or her own experience to the story.  All my girlfriends who are married, engaged, or in long term relationships had the same reaction: “Rory has had ample time to find someone new, loving, and stable, why is she back with old boyfriends and making these decisions?”  While all my fellow single girlfriends in their early thirties looked at Rory and said: “Yeah, nope, that’s exactly right!”

This post is edited slightly from the original post on Tumblr.

The Very Real Conversation That Occurs Between Brain and Uterus Every Month by Me, Rebecca

I am turning this into a two-woman play. Watch out, World! Menstruation is coming to a stage near you!

Maybe.

Possibly.

Many years in the future, probably.

LiteraryBex

Brain Plushie available at IHeartGuts.com

The Very Real Conversation That Occurs Between Brain and Uterus Every Month

Most days the two organs don’t speak to one another, though they are actually very close friends. One is too busy managing the rest of the body that it just doesn’t have time to chat. The other is often too busy socializing with the various other bits that want the same things in life that she wants. She and these others agree Brain sometimes needs reminders of what’s what and, as she is the loudest of them, they have elected Uterus their spokesorgan.

Although, sometimes, I suspect Uterus is merely Vagina’s puppet.

  • Five days before menstruation

Uterus:

Heeeeeeyyy!!!! Brain! Guess what’s coming!

Brain:

I’m in the middle of something important, Uterus. I’m going to have to get back to you.

  • Four days before menstruation

Uterus:

Heeeeeeeyyy!!! Brain! Guess what’s coming!

Brain:

Uterus, I’m…

View original post 2,386 more words

Seattle, Washington: looking for vampires and sociopaths!

My visit to the Pacific Northwest has finally brought me to Washington.
I’ll let you know if I have any Edward Cullen or Christian Grey sightings!

_________________________________________________________________________

UPDATE:  I found him!  Christian Grey, creepily lording over Pike Place Market…..

wpid-snapchat-7850451483747478586.jpgWhat a fuckin creep!

The Very Real Conversation That Occurs Between Brain and Uterus Every Month by Me, Rebecca

Brain Plushie available at IHeartGuts.com

The Very Real Conversation That Occurs Between Brain and Uterus Every Month

Most days the two organs don’t speak to one another, though they are actually very close friends. One is too busy managing the rest of the body that it just doesn’t have time to chat. The other is often too busy socializing with the various other bits that want the same things in life that she wants. She and these others agree Brain sometimes needs reminders of what’s what and, as she is the loudest of them, they have elected Uterus their spokesorgan.

Although, sometimes, I suspect Uterus is merely Vagina’s puppet.

  • Five days before menstruation

Uterus:

Heeeeeeyyy!!!! Brain! Guess what’s coming!

Brain:

I’m in the middle of something important, Uterus. I’m going to have to get back to you.

  • Four days before menstruation

Uterus:

Heeeeeeeyyy!!! Brain! Guess what’s coming!

Brain:

Uterus, I’m still busy.

  • Three days before menstruation

Uterus:

Brain! Guess what! Guess what’s almost here!

Brain:

Dude! Back off. I’ve got work to do.

  • Two days before menstruation

Uterus:

pssst! Brain! Brain! Brain!

Brain:

What?

Uterus:

Guess what? Guess what? Guess what?

Brain, sighs:

What, Uterus?

Uterus:

Guess what’s coming!

Brain:

Gawd, you’re annoying.

Uterus:

heheheheheeeeee

Brain:

I hate you.

  • One day before menstruation

Uterus:

(poke, poke, poke, poke, poke)

Brain:

Stop Poking Me!

Uterus:

(poke, poke, poke)

Brain:

Uterus! You little fuck! Stop poking me! I fucking know what’s coming!

Uterus:

Yeah, but, Brain, wouldn’t it be awesome if this didn’t have to happen every month?

Brain:

You have no idea.

Uterus:

Hey, I have to go through this too.

Brain:

Oh, yeah, sorry.

Uterus:

No problem.

.

.

.

.

But, imagine, how awesome would it be if we didn’t have to do this every month!

Brain:

Yeah, that’s be pretty great.

Uterus:

No lower back pain, no cramps, less grumpiness….

Brain:

Yeah, that’s be pretty sweet. But those meds that fuck with your hormones scare me.

Uterus:

Oh, no, yeah, fuck those.

Brain:

If only there were another way to make menstruation stop.

Other than menopause. We’re way too young for that.

Uterus:

For sure. We should take our minds off of this thing that’s coming. I think it’s giving you too much anxiety.

Brain:

It always does. But what can I do about it?

Uterus:

Wellllllll…… I can think of some things we could do about it.

Brain:

Like what?

Uterus:

Mmmmmmm, let me just move some blood around down here. See if that helps.

Brain:

Ummm???

Uterus:

Yeah, that’s right. Feel that? Doesn’t it feel gooooood?

Brain:

Mmmm…. Yeah… obviously. I guess.

Uterus:

Yeah, it does! I’m going to move more blood around down here.

Brain:

Dude, seriously? Come on. I mean, thanks and all, but I’ve got other things to do right now.

Uterus:

This is more fun.

Brain:

You are not wrong, but wouldn’t this be more fun with another person involved.

Uterus:

Hands down! Best idea you’ve had all day, Brain!

Go find someone else who can rearrange their blood flow.

Brain:

Uterus! You know it’s not that easy!

Uterus:

Bollocks! We’re young, all the people we know are young, they shouldn’t have any trouble getting it up!

Brain:

That’s not what I’m talking about!

Uterus:

You can find someone, I’m sure. You’re clever.

Brain:

Thanks, but that’s also not what I mean. I can’t just “go find someone” to have sex with!

Uterus:

Not with that jive-ass attitude, you can’t!

Brain:

You mean “realistic”?

Uterus:

I mean “stupid”! Let me move more blood around down here; it’ll help you relax.

How’s that? Now you can do it. Go find someone. Go ahead. Someone long and stiff!

Brain:

You’ve got to stop doing this, man.

Uterus:

Go ahead, you can do this. I believe in you!

Brain:

No. I can’t. Because it doesn’t work that way.

Uterus:

Fine, whatever… pussy.

.

.

.

Ok, fine, if you can’t do that, then let’s do the other thing.

Brain:

Ok, yeah, sure. I can do the other thing.

Uterus:

Won’t be the solution to our problem, but at least it’ll be something.

Brain:

Ok, let’s do this.

Uterus:

Mmmm, yeah, baby!

OH YEAH!

YEAH!

YEA–AHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!

  • Day one of menstruation

Brain:

OH MY GAWD, THIS IS THE WORST THING IN EXISTENCE! WHO CAME UP WITH THIS CRAPPY METHOD OF TAKING CARE OF THINGS!

Uterus:

Um, muthafucka, I told you it was coming!

Brain:

YOU ARE THE WORLD’S BIGGEST BRAT! I HATE YOU SO MUCH!

Uterus:

Look, this isn’t my fault. This happens every month. It’s been like seventeen years. You knew this was coming.

Brain:

THAT DOESN’T MEAN IT ISN’T COMPLETELY AWFUL!

Uterus:

Yeah, true: Abdomen is cramping; Lower Back is in mild discomfort, Upper Back ain’t too happy, neither. Got an ache up in your region. Yeah, this sucks, doesn’t it?

Brain:

THAT’S WHAT I’VE BEEN SAYING, YOU BITCH!

Uterus:

Not need to get snappy. I gave you a solution to this problem; you decided not to pursue it.

Brain:

WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

Uterus:

Last night. I made a suggestion, and you shot it down, as usual!

Brain:

YOU DIDN’T GIVE ME A SOLUTION! YOU JUST MADE THE NIPPLES ALL SENSITIVE AND SENT BLOOD RUSHING TOWARDS YOURSELF, YOU SELFISH CUNT!

Uterus:

Yeah, snobby-pants, so you would go out and find a dude to play with, but you wouldn’t do it.

Brain:

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?

Uterus:

I’m just saying this could be easily avoided if we were pregnant.

Brain:

OH MY GAWD, WHY ARE YOU SO FUCKING MEAN?!

  • Day two of menstruation

Uterus:

Hey, Brain.

Brain:

I hate you.

  • Day three of menstruation

Uterus:

Hey, Brain?

Brain:

I still hate you.

  • Day four of menstruation

Uterus:

Brain?

Brain:

Yeah?

Uterus:

Are we cool?

Brain:

Yeah, we’re cool.

Uterus:

Ok, cool.

Brain:

Sorry I yelled at you so much. I know you don’t mean anything by it.

Uterus:

I’m just trying to help.

Brain:

I know. It’s who you are. I was grumpy. I shouldn’t take that out on you.

Uterus:

It’s ok. I get it. I was grumpy too.

Brain:

Still… it’s not your fault. I’m sorry.

Uterus:

Thanks. It does suck, a lot. I know. Sorry the first few days are always awful. I’m not sure what to do about that.

Brain:

I don’t think there’s anything we can do. It’s just how we’re designed.

Uterus:

Yeah, I suppose so.

It’s almost over.

Brain:

Yeah, I’m really excited about that.

Uterus:

Me too.

  • Day five of menstruation

Uterus:

What do you want to do tomorrow night?

Brain:

I don’t know. I sort of want to go out.

Uterus:

That would be so much fun!

Brain:

Whoa, maybe, Uterus. We’ll see how we’re feeling tomorrow night.

Uterus:

Come on! Let’s make a plan! It’ll be so much fun! Besides I think the rest of the body could use a night out. It’s all stiff. It needs to move! It needs to dance!

Brain:

It definitely needs to stretch. Maybe we’ll do some yoga later.

Uterus:

That will be great. But we should also go out dancing tomorrow night.

Brain:

I’ll think about it.

  • Day one post-menstruation

Uterus:

Dancing? Tonight? Yes?

Brain:

Maybe.

Uterus:

Come on, Brain! You love going out dancing!

Brain:

Oh, yeah, loud music making me hurt and cheap alcohol making me fuzzy, what’s not to love?

Uterus:

Cut the sarcasm! We’re going dancing!

Brain:

Maybe.

Uterus:

There’ll be lots of stimulation for you! You’ll get to see all sorts of interesting things; there’ll be people there you can make fun of! I know how much you like doing that!

Brain:

I do like that…

Uterus:

And there might be some pretty people we can stare at.

Brain:

True…

Uterus:

Think about it. Ok?

Brain:

Ok.

  • Day two post-menstruation

Uterus:

Last night was fun.

Brain:

Sure was!

Uterus:

We should go back in a few days… or tomorrow… or tonight.

Brain:

Tonight might be too soon.

Uterus:

We could go somewhere else. Like that place that one dude said was good.

Brain:

That place is trashy.

Uterus:

Yeah, but that dude might be there.

Brain:

He was cute…

Uterus:

Yep.

Brain:

But a little skeevy.

Uterus:

But hawt.

Brain:

You only think about one thing.

Uterus:

Usually.

We’re going, right?

Brain:

Unlikely.

Uterus:

We can go somewhere classier.

Brain:

I’ll think about it.

Uterus:

You should. Because we should go out tonight.

  • Day five post-menstruation

Uterus:

Hey! Hey, Brain!

Brain:

Yes?

Uterus:

We haven’t gone out in a couple of nights. Want to go out tonight?

Brain:

I don’t know. Body is a little tired.

Uterus:

Body will rally! Let’s go out!

Brain:

I don’t think that’s the best idea.

Uterus:

What? Come on! It’s the weekend!

Brain:

It’s Tuesday!

Uterus:

That doesn’t matter!

Brain:

Yes, it does! We’re not in college anymore.

Uterus:

That’s why we should go out tonight. We are a grown woman! We can do whatever we want!

I’ll show you!

Brain:

Stop rearranging blood down there!

Uterus:

You need this.

Brain:

It’s two o’clock in the afternoon!

Uterus:

Yeah! Ain’t no time like the present!

Brain:

Uterus! You’ve got to behave yourself.

Uterus:

I’m bored! You never let me take control!

Brain:

That’s because you make poor decisions when I put you in charge!

Uterus:

I won’t do it this time! Promise! Let’s go out!

Brain:

No.

Uterus:

Relax, Brain. Feel the blood flow down here. Come on, enjoy yourself.

Brain:

Uterus! Stop it! I’m busy!

Uterus:

But it feels good, right? Just let it feel good.

Brain:

Why do I even talk to you?

Mmmmm…

Uterus:

That’s right. Just relax.

Brain:

No! Stop that!

Uterus:

Just a little more.

Brain:
You are actually the worst.

Uterus:

Let’s go find a dude.

Brain:

NO!

  • Seven days post-menstruation

Brain:

Uterus. Stop it.

Uterus:

I wasn’t doing anything!

Brain:

You know what you were doing. Stop it. Now.

Uterus:

Is this not the appropriate time for this? It’s after work, we’re free from responsibilities, we’re out… mingling…

Brain:

Not gonna happen.

Uterus:

But, it could

Brain:

No, I’m sure it could not.

Uterus:

We really can’t rule anything out, now, can we? The night is young and that one smells good.

Brain:

Stop being creepy.

Uterus:

That one over there smells good, too. And he’s cuter.

Go talk to that one.

Brain:

No. Stop it.

Uterus:

Come on! I can sense him.

Brain:

No, Uterus, that’s not why we’re out.

Uterus:

What? We’re out for a quiet drink?

We’re drinking vodka! That means this is a fun night! Let’s get us some fuuuuuuuuunnn!

Brain:

It’s just one drink with some friends.

Uterus:

Yeah, some friends who wouldn’t stop you from flirting with that hottie!

Brain:

The one that smells good?

Uterus:

The one with the hair. Damn, yeah; that’s nice. Take a second look.

Brain:

Gawd, he’s hot.

Uterus:

YEAH!! LET’S GO MAKE SOME BABIES!!!!!

Brain:

OH MY GAWD, UTERUS, SHUT IT! WE DON’T WANT BABIES!

Uterus:

No, YOU don’t want babies. I want babies! Let’s get some babies inside me! STAT!

Brain:

Do you even know what “STAT” means?

Uterus:

Like I care! LET’S GET THAT DUDE AND DO IT!

Brain:

Seriously, man? What the ever lovin’ hell?

Uterus:

Babies.

Brain:

Stop saying that.

Uterus:

Let’s make some babies.

Brain:

You are seriously creepy.

Uterus:

Come on! I want to do things that might result in babies.

Brain:

Calm the fuck down, dude. Babies might happen one day, but they’re certainly not happening now.

Uterus:

BABIES.

Brain:

Settle down! Not now. We are in no rush.

Uterus:

No rush? Wait! Did you say NO RUSH?

Brain:

Yes.

No. Rush.

Uterus:

Aren’t you supposed to be the smart one?

Pfft, “no rush“.

Brain:

What? We are not in any rush!

.

.

.

are we?

Uterus:

OF COURSE WE ARE!

We are in the very middle of our child-bearing years, man! We are in the rushiest of rushes! It all goes downhill from here! We are beginning to lose our eggs even faster than we already were! It is going to become increasingly more difficult for us to conceive! We might have to take (shudder) fertility drugs if we wait much longer. Or, worse, freeze some of those little buggers. They’re only babies, they can’t handle all that cold! Don’t make them leave their warm, loving home, for that cold, indifferent freezer before they are granted the opportunity for true life!

Brain:

Dude, you are seriously dramatic tonight.

Uterus:

OF COURSE I’M DRAMATIC YOU WON’T LET ME DO WHAT I WANT!

It’s been so long. I just want a stiff penis to come over for dessert!

Brain:

Look, I know it’s been a while…

Uterus:

It’s been forever!

Brain:

Not exactly, but I promise it’ll happen again sometime.

Just probably not tonight.

Uterus:

I FUCKING HATE YOU.

Brain:

Of course you do.

Uterus:

When we don’t have anyone to take care of us when we’re old and senile it’s going to be your fault.

Brain:

Wow. Uncalled for, dude.

Uterus:

Whatever.

Brain:

Wouldn’t you rather we did it with someone who actually likes us, rather than some rando dude we pick up in this place? A man who respects and admires us for who we are, rather than what we are endowed with? Wouldn’t you prefer it if he cared about our well-being more than he cares about our width and volume? Wouldn’t that be so much nicer? Why don’t we just wait for one who feels this way about us? It’ll make the entire activity more fun, don’t you think?

Uterus:

I don’t care about any of that shit: I WANT ONE AND I WANT ONE NOW!

Brain:

Hey! Veruca Salt! Calm your ovaries! It’s not happening tonight!

Uterus:

BABIES!

Brain:

We really don’t need to concern ourselves with babies, man. You’ve got to believe me!

Uterus:

IT IS OUR JOB TO CREATE NEW LIFE!

BABIES, NOW!

Brain:

Ok, Uterus, there are seven billion people on the planet right now. It’s actually OK if we don’t make any. The species will continue without our contribution.

Uterus:

Babies.

Brain:

Not. Fucking. Happening.

Uterus:

Bay-Bees.

Brain:

I’m not talking to Hair Guy with the nice cologne.

Not doing it.

Can’t make me.

Uterus:

Ok, ok, so you won’t talk to Hair Guy, what about him?

Brain:

Who?

Uterus:

To our immediate left.

Brain:

Him? No. Not at all.

Uterus:

Why not?

Brain:

Because he’s a friend!

Uterus:

Right! He already loves us and he’s probably bomb in the sack. Best of both worlds!

Kiss him!

Kiss him now!

Brain:

Dude, ew, NO. He’s like our brother.

Uterus:

Babies!

Brain:

No, Uterus, no. We don’t want him. More importantly, he doesn’t want us!

Uterus:

Babies!

Brain:

Get a grip, Uterus.

Uterus:

BABIES!

Brain:

Gawd, I hate it when you get like this.

Uterus:

BABIES! BABIES! BABIES!

Uterus and Brain do not speak for the next ten days.

Not until…

  • Five days before menstruation

Uterus:

Hey! Brain! Hey, Brain, guess what?!

Uterus Plushie available aslo at IHeartGuts.com

1,990 Words on “It’s Not You, It’s Me”

Whether or not this is true, it feels like men see me in two distinct categories. I am either their cool older/younger sister, or I am a sexual object. To the former I say: bless you, brother. To the latter….

It’s amazing to me how many men feel like they can look at a woman and decide that she isn’t worth getting to know as a person, or she is, except that feeling is superseded by the fact that she has breasts and a vagina.1

Men, unfortunately, are often this simple. Boobs. That’s all it takes sometimes to distract them. And if the woman attached to the boobs shows even the slightest interest, say, allows his lips to touch hers, he takes that as consent to touch everything else with whatever part of his body he chooses. His penis takes over thinking and poor decisions get made. Because sex is physical and visual for men. Women know this.2 Now, women: sex for women happens partially in the brain. Men forget this. Women need to be mentally stimulated as much as physically. When their brains switch off, it’s curtains for the rest of it. When a man makes the decision to start touching the woman in places she’s not ready for, or doesn’t want him to touch, then her brain is going to switch off and she is not going to enjoy the encounter anymore.

And, after the incredibly awkward encounter, if the man tells the woman that his penis is hers, and only hers, whenever she wants it, she’s not going to like him anymore (if she even still does). At least, that’s how it was for me. That night I didn’t think he could get any less attractive, but then, the very next night, he started making out with a different woman.

This experience opened my eyes to certain yuckier human tendencies: there are times we use each other for sex, that’s all an individual means to us, and the Person falls by the wayside. I’ve always known this happens (I went to college, after all) but it had never been a reality in my life until then – at least, I’d never been aware of it before. In that moment it became obvious that he didn’t actually want to know me as a person. I was a balm, I was a distraction, I was something completely different from what he dealt with in the rest of his day, men and boys; I was a woman. All he wanted that evening was someone full of estrogen, with breasts. He wanted the anti-male so badly that he forgot I also was surrounded by men and too much testosterone (we worked at a boy’s sports camp) and I had similar-yet-different frustrations with our environment. He forgot that I, too, am a person.

My story of assault is comparatively tame, especially when we consider others’ harrowing tales of rape and psychological abuse by people filled with an insatiable need for control at another person’s expense. I was not beaten or overpowered, or locked in a bunker, or completely taken advantage of, but my story, I think, is probably wicked common; seventy three per cent of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim – a friend, a partner, a coworker, a spouse, a relative. I worked with this man. We hardly knew each other, but saw one another everyday. I didn’t expect the assault. We didn’t have a strong a connection. He was just a dude and we got along ok – apparently because he was hitting on me the entire time.

Another trend I’ve noticed in my acquaintances: Men I’ve known for years and get along with just fine all seem to share the same secret – they find me attractive, and may, or may not, want to get into my pants. Someone I had known for four years, genuinely liked, and always got along with when we were together, finally made a wine-fueled move; a few weeks later we went on a date. Want to know what we discovered? We should not date. Ever. As much as I enjoy this person and as pretty as he might find me, our personalities are not compatible for a romantic relationship. With that date, the weird friendship we’d developed died. But more importantly for me: it was wildly depressing that what apparently fueled our friendship was his having the hots for me.

Don’t misunderstand me: he’s a wonderful person. If you even encounter him, go with the crazy. He’s fun and smart and interesting and a blast to be around. But because on his end, so much of our friendship was based on him thinking I’m pretty (which clarifies his ex-girlfriend’s enigmatical dislike of me), our friendship was disingenuous. A friendship based, even vaguely, on lust and physical admiration isn’t much of a friendship. When one party wants one thing and the other doesn’t (or isn’t aware of the situation), the friendship is doomed. Eventually these feelings are going to boil to the surface and take precedence over any platonic feelings. And when unrequited the feelings are the elephant in the room that makes further bonding nearly impossible.

At least, this is what I have experienced.

Television, novels, movies, and pop songs want us to believe that this is going to happen to each of us: one day a close friend is going to reveal that he has the hots for us, but it’s not just “the hots”, but “true love”, and it’s going to be freakin’ awesome. Except what these leave out is the Lust Factor. So many times this might happen and it won’t actually be True Love, but True Lust. That isn’t to say the man, or woman, doesn’t genuinely like the person, but they’ve already got the person naked in their mind and, generally, they’ve got a vague hope that one day the two of them will date and it’s going to be perfect. But once one person has the whole relationship worked out in their head, it’s over. Because the other person will never be able to live up to the fantasy. No matter how hard they try, or what they do, they are already fighting a losing battle. And there’s little worse than the frustration of being up against something that doesn’t exist.

But we do these things to each other. We either forget that someone is a person and see them as an object, or we project a personality onto a person that doesn’t quite match up with the one they possess. Then we’re disappointed. Because we are the tragic heroes of our lives; assholes who must right our own wrongs. Disgruntled, we try to move on, feeling uncomfortable and unhappy. Why do we do these things? Why do we put ourselves through this?

Mostly because we yearn for a connection with another. But something has hurt us in the past, barring us from being able to connect in a healthy manner. Unsatisfied we’re left continuously searching for that connection, we’re desperate for it, and our insecurities and inhibitions keep us from truly opening up to another person. Which causes us to be inadvertently careless with other people. Even though our carelessness has nothing to do with that person, but ourselves, it still affects the other person, usually negatively. Now that person carries a piece of our pain and they are going to have to spend some time realizing that it had nothing to do with them, but the other person. Then, they’re going to have to accept that, which, hopefully, will make them stronger as they move on from the situation.

Seventh grade, a boy let his friends be rude to me after I turned him down because I wasn’t ready for a boyfriend. Their being rude to me has affected my romantic interactions ever since. Why did he do that? He was hurt and wanted me to feel it? Maybe? I don’t know. I don’t know what his situation actually was, but it led to him being rude to me. Someone I had previously considered a friend, turned out to be thoughtless. And this is perhaps the reason I have trouble believing that a man who is interested in me can be both a friend and an intimate. It was the seventh grade, I certainly wasn’t emotionally mature enough to deal with whatever was wrong with him. What happened was I learned how to hold my head up and act like I wasn’t bothered. To show him that he had hurt my feelings would have meant admitting defeat, my twelve year old brain told me. I wasn’t going to engage, I wasn’t going to show him that he, a boy, could get me down. And, yet, in that moment something did change.

I still wasn’t ready for a boyfriend, that much remained the same, but now, to be vulnerable was a terrible thing. That a man could get inside and cause pain was unacceptable. Men, I knew, had caused women so much pain and suffering over the centuries. I knew that every time a man hurt a woman it was backed by centuries of close-mindedness and hate, institutionalized sexism passed down from generation to generation. And I, the young feminist I was, wasn’t about to let him get to me. Except I did. He got to me and I let it affect me, and I didn’t confront him. Because I was twelve and didn’t understand that confronting him and clearing the air was the best move. Instead I held on to my discomfort and insult and let it affect my interactions with other boys and men.

In the past I have let men see me as a sexual object and not a person, not necessarily wrong, but since it stems from an attempt to not let any one man get too close it was not the healthiest behavior. But, like most people, I have learned from my past experiences and strive to not make the same mistakes again. I try to be more open and let people in. Being closed-off, everyone will tell you, is a lonely way to live, but, sometimes, it’s also something a person needs to figure out for themselves. Their friends, loved ones, books, and movies might help by showing and teaching them this (so keep being there for your friends), but sometimes still a person needs to process in their own way and time. That’s equally important to becoming a stronger person, to figuring out who you are, and being the person you want to be.

That boy was wrong to let his friends be rude to me, and that man should have asked me before he touched me, and that other man shouldn’t have fantasized so much about what it would be like to be in a relationship with me. They were wrong. But it’s also important for me to face what has happened to me, what I have done, accept that it happened, deal with it, and move on. We all have baggage and it is up to each of us to let it go, not let it affect how we interact with other people. Because not every man is going to be that boy in the seventh grade, it would be unfair of me to assume he is; and not every man is going to be thoughtless and careless and I shouldn’t be so with him. We need to give people, including ourselves, some slack. Remember we don’t know their story. And, most importantly, remember other people are, each of them, a person.

1Women do this too, don’t think I’m just bashing men here. Women absolutely look at men and see only a piece of meat they’d like to have carnal knowledge of. But I am a woman who has had this done to her by men, so bear with me.

2Bet your buttons women sometimes manipulate this.

Actually….

While I’ve mainly been writing expositorily lately rather than fictionally, I did write this on my friend’s Facebook wall yesterday for his birthday:

Friday night the Elephant went to a party in search of the Gorilla, but the Gorilla was nowhere to be found. And instead of getting to spend some time with her, the Elephant spent the entire night trying to dodge a Kangaroo and a Giraffe that kept wanting to talk to him about parasitic worms and My Chemical Romance, respectively.
The Elephant left the party early claiming he had a headache, which he did. He also wasn’t having any fun, disappointed she wasn’t there.
He thought the only thing to come out of the evening was him being stood up by a more than averagely attractive primate, but he surprised himself later that week when a coworker mentioned his daughter was listening to music played by musicians who wore black eyeliner and sang depressing songs about unrequited love and the Elephant said “Oh, yes, that’s called Emo.”

I’m pretty proud of it too.  And it’s pretty obvious I just read Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris.