I am definitely someone who wears her heart on her sleeve. I was proud of it until my guy friends told me that they could “read me like a book.” But then, inevitably, they would look at me one day and say, “I don’t understand you.” And a slow buildup of suppressed emotion would flow out me, but they reacted as though they had not known me for the last twenty-three years.
And most of them hadn’t, but my point is that no matter how long they had known me, at some point I would astound them with something they didn’t expect. I guess their reactions just prove that girls are complicated. Let’s face it: people are complicated.
I recently had a bad day. My day job was leaving me frustrated and sore. Any copy editors know that they really dig ditches for a living. At least, that’s how the authors view their work. And sometimes by the end of the day, I feel as though I’ve dug a ditch in every one of my neighbors’ back yards and left the dirt piles all over my own. No one wants to go home and clean up that mess. I want my husband to clean up the mess. Not really. But I would like him to put a bandaid on my blisters. Yes, I can do it myself. And I do most of the time.
Recently I have been strolling through that disgusting lonely place called Memory Lane. I’ve been craving the companionship that comes with being able to say to someone, “When I have Alzheimer’s, will you promise to still remember my name?” And as glad as I am for my friends who are engaged, married, or pregnant, I still wish Facebook would stop reminding me that I’m not even dating. But really, more than anything, I wish that guys would understand that just because I crave companionship, I do not crave companionship with just anyone. I have a very specific list of what I want. Instead of looking at me like you don’t understand Einstein’s theory of relativity, let me tell you in simple terms exactly what I want. (I don’t think it’s too crazy.)
- I want to be a cow. Cows have BFFs (best friends forever, although my mom translates the term “bull friends forever”). And they experience separation anxiety when they are separated. I want to have a best friend that I can count on to always come back—someone I can TRUST.
- I want to be a penguin. Penguins mate for life, but before they do, the male penguin gives his female a pebble. Life lesson—I don’t necessarily care what material objects or riches the guy can offer me. I would sooner take a pebble than a diamond ring if I had the SECURITY of knowing he loves me. (And as a side note, I actually don’t want a diamond engagement ring. I want something black like Judy Garland’s.)
- I want to be an otter. Otters hold hands while they sleep so that they don’t fall away from the family. I want to be with a guy who is proud enough of me to lead me into a room and who wants to stay by my side. I want him to be sensitive enough to squeeze my hand in encouragement before I perform or do something else that terrifies me. I want him go with me to my doctor’s appointments. I would like him to be gentle. I want to feel SAFE when I am with him.
1. The guy must NOT be a passive pansy. All girls want to be pursued, and I am no different. I have enough friends, and I don’t want anymore. Guys who think they can be my “best friend” and not reap the consequences are fooling themselves. Guys who let me pursue them are nothing but wimps. I want to be with someone who is more passionate than I am, who is more stubborn than I am, who will lead me, who will provide for me, who will take responsibility. In short, if he doesn’t know what he wants to do with his life or where he wants our “friendship” to go, then he is not worth my time.
2. The guy must NOT be a speedy cheetah. Yes, I want the guy to lead the relationship, but he should probably wait longer than four months before telling me that he wants to marry me. It takes me about a year before I decide whether or not I can even be somebody’s friend, truly. I have found that it is better to be slow in making friends and even slower to let them go. Once I am your friend, you are stuck with me for life. Good luck getting rid of me. However, one way to get rid of me quickly is to freak me out.
3. The guy must NOT be a cute koala. Girls text other girls about how their day goes as their day happens. I email my apartment mates several times a day talking about topics as random as Herbert Hoover during World War I, menu planning, facial parties, and wedding cakes. A guy should not be texting me about his day while his day is happening. I am not opposed to hearing about my boyfriend’s promotion or his funny encounter with the client. But I do not think my knight in shining armor will text me about soybeans all day. And if he does, and by some miracle I’m enjoying it, it’s probably because we’re past the point of just dating. I probably love him enough to commit myself to him for the long haul. Basically, shouldn’t be obnoxious.
4. The guy must NOT be a timid tiger. I can count at least five guys who have asked to date me in the last year who ruined their chances simply because of how they went about asking me. If a guy wants to date me, he must say, “I want to date you.” I don’t like guessing games, and I’m never in the mood to share my feelings before the guy shares his. So if the guy says, “Do you like me?” I will say no. End of discussion. And if you don’t know if I like you or not, then I probably don’t. When I like a guy, I open up to him. I spend time with him. I try to get to know him. I’m not very subtle.
Meanwhile, I spend my free time looking at wedding pictures. (My apartment mate is getting married in just a couple months.) I’ve started following a few wedding-photography blogs. And I think to myself as I read them in my bed late at night, “I can’t wait to get married so that I can get cool wedding pictures! Oh. This would be another reason why I’m still single.” But I can’t complain. In the words of Herbert Hoover (my new hero as of today), “Pray hard, work hard, sleep hard, and play hard.” I intend to do all four.