Can we be honest about the “crazy ex-girlfriend” thing? We all know that’s an urban relationship myth, right? I have a theory: the kinds of guys that talk about having “crazy exes” are crazy-making. Dudes love to complain about having crazy exes, except no one is crazy in a vacuum. People become crazy when you exhaust their ability to be sane. Behind every crazy ex is a dude who played just the tip with his heart.
What I am saying is I think I am becoming a crazy girl and I am going to need the men in my life to shoulder some of the blame. I am actually–physically–incapable of dealing with conflict or insecurity in any other way than immediately. If I am dating a guy, here is what he has to look forward to: “my anxiety is really bad today, can you text me something reassuring?” “how do you feel about me” “what percentage of the time do you spend worrying about stuff?” “what did you mean when you said X?” Sounds awful, right? But, I can’t hold it in. Part of me feels like I shouldn’t, like they should know how itchy and angsty I get on the reg before anything gets serious. This is terrible dating advice though; you’re supposed to bait and switch with the shiniest side of your personality before you expose your neuroses.
Is there ever a point when you can tell them what it’s like to be a girl? Like, to me if you want to understand what it’s like to be a bored white girl from the suburbs you should probably know that once my friend and I held hands underneath the stall wall in the bathroom at Taco Bell and tandem barfed our Crunchwrap Supremes. If someone were to ask me about the dark and twisty parts of being a girl, that’s what I would say. Girls congratulate each other on not eating and play dramatic songs on repeat, sleep with people for affection, cry because he hasn’t called even if he hasn’t said he would, have ridiculously codependent relationships that involve sleeping/ showering/ crying together ad nauseum.
Of course there also exists an infinite list of good things about being a girl, but I need to list the things that make me feel crazy. Buying Plan B for someone on Christmas Eve and telling my family I was sick so I could be there while she cried all day. Dating someone who made me so unhappy I cried during my lunch break every day for months. Conversations with my mom where I realize I’m too sloppy/ lazy/ ugly to make her happy.
The right answer is you bury this, and let it come out at an appropriate time. You can cry when someone dies or when you get fired. You are definitely supposed to put a mask on the rest of the time. Act like someone who has it together, even if you don’t. Be unphased when you look in the mirror, when someone doesn’t text you back, when you can’t remember what you are supposed to be trying to do at the moment. Try to blame things on rational explanations. Convince yourself that when bad things happen it might not be just because you aren’t attractive and are crazy and kind of have the problem-solving skills of a toddler. Maybe deep breaths help. Maybe texting friends instead of boys. Maybe I’ll get a dog and limit my crazy to him, try to exhaust myself so I can be normal around normal people. These are things that might work.
In the meantime, I need acknowledgement that it takes two people to make a crazy ex.