I grew up big-time this weekend.
I hope you’re not disappointed when I say it has nothing to do with my addiction to Twitter and my consecutive 140-character thoughts about why Lebron is the man. There won’t be any long narratives here that wax on about a journey through failure and success. There’s no moment where I was on the brink of collapse until the wind whispered into my ear a secret message to push on. Rather, just a muttering of “Holy f-ck” under my breath as I was writing a previous draft. Here I was compiling and narrating a list of (obviously) hilarious stories that had happened to me over the course of my love life.
Key phrasing: happened to me.
Sure, I wrote a preface explaining how it takes two to tango. Yet the bulk of the writing wasn’t about me. It pretended as though I was an innocent bystander, someone just taking everything in as a myriad of anecdotal insanity erupted around me. Who was to blame for this insanity? Ex-girlfriends, duh! But my dear and devoted Watsons, simple elementary proves that so wrong. I was preparing a highlight reel of all these crazy things that had happened and you know what I realized the common variable was? Me. I was the control in the experiment. The constant. The catalyst.
It’s the ultimate irony. All the times my mother claimed I had an affinity for wounded birds? I was the one with broken wings so large I should have been in “Pterodactyl Porn.” (Google it. Trust me.) The times when I’d sit around with and joke about the “Dream Team” of crazy in my past? I should have been cast as Michael Jordan. (Please tell me you aren’t Googling that right now.) I know it seems a little less exciting than just going on about the time someone asked me to pee on them after sex or the time I earned the nickname “Eternal Bastard” at 3 a.m. but I promise to try and keep you as entertained as I can.
We should be fair to ones we share these moments of passion with, and I have realized it’s unfair to put them on blast on the internet. Here I have all the power. I’m the one with the keyboard, and the (ever so slight) audience. It’s not hard to be Tucker Max and recount dastardly sexcapades. (That’s sex and escapades mashed together. Has anyone EVER done that?) All you do is write about yourself as the hero or the victim, and make a fool of everyone else in the story. That’s an easy, sh-tty thing to do, and frankly, it’s what we do.
Would I want long expositions into each time I’ve gotten whiskey dick? What about the St. Patrick’s Day I spent naked and wasted on the bathroom floor? Would I want my ex to write about the 26 times (IN A ROW) I called her crying that day? Would I want my friends to write about how I was simultaneously crying on the phone to them about how she was definitely going to break up with me right then and there? Of course not! That story is embarrassing. I would never meet anyone if I started first dates with:
“Hey, what’s going on? After we date for a few months I am going to get monstrously drunk and beg you to come over like a whiny toddler that needs his mommy. How does that sound?”
And I won’t do that to someone else. I won’t put the worst of someone else on the internet without agreeing to put the best of them right beside it. I’m talking about us all living in a glass house. Only an idiot goes and throws stones, my bros. I tried to explain to my friends that maybe I was the crazy one — the intense individual who caused these emotional explosions — I was met with hearty laughs, pats on the back and assurances that this was not the case. But why not? Because girls are crazy, man! We all know it. God they can be so emotional and needy, right? Good thing we don’t ever get like that. Nope, never. See, the world doesn’t need more male-driven narratives about “crazy” females. It’s absolutely a played out angle, but more than that, it hurts our female friends. Maybe it’s all the Feminist Ryan Gosling. You girls have been blogging and reblogging and pinning and liking it so much that it’s creeping into my subconscious.
But damn, we really do call girls “crazy” a lot. It’s not right, and wait… Ryan, let me try this one on for size… it takes advantage of the Patriarchal hierarchy of our social structure. (Did I do that right, Ryan? Probably not.)
Do we realize that by claiming that women are “crazy,” by constantly telling it to each other, and letting women know that this is what we think about them — that we perpetuate some serious awful sh-t? We’re invalidating feelings. Making a mockery of the heart. We scoff at their possible rage or sadness and then wonder why they come back twice as livid. We wonder why some women won’t open up to us. Why some are so hell bent on not being “that girl” that they close themselves off and are… mmmm… what do we like to say… oh, yeah: “frigid bitches.” We’re kind of dicks about it. Plus, we’re creating no-win situations for us here, my bros. Our rocks are the ones with intense feelings for us that we have scorned and scoffed at, while the hard places are the ones who see what’s going down and won’t give us a chance to connect with them.
We’re painting ourselves into a corner and I won’t participate anymore. I’m here to liberate us. Your ex-girlfriend is probably not crazy. She actually just has a few moments that she regrets. Moments where she got caught up in some intense feelings for you. Or maybe it was too many shots that night. Remorseful moments that are no different than when we’ve shouted some things in anger outside their apartment, or texted some ungodly awful sh-t.
So I’m not going to sit here and rub that moment in someone’s face for a good laugh. That’s pretending there aren’t things I’d like to take back or things I’ve said that I couldn’t bear to see on the internet. I’d rather write that we all have a grocery list of moments where we seemed less than sane and that there is no point in tearing each other down about it. We make mistakes. I know because my grocery list feeds a family of eight. I’m just trying to make my 20s work out. Then hopefully my 30s and then who knows.
But I do know that if I’m going to grow up one day and hopefully make less mistakes, that I’ve got to explore what I said and what I felt — not hang up my ex lover’s less-than-stellar moments like we’re at some amateur art show. I’m not claiming to be the vanguard this time like I have claimed going commando. I’m behind the times on this one. I just hope that if go out and you tell all your friends that your ex was a crazy b-tch, you follow that up with “But so was I. So was I.”