I’ve always been told I’m not like other women. Ninety percent of my friends are men. I love men. They are, most of the time, amazingly uncomplicated because they are mission oriented. They are great wing men. Going out with my guy friends I get wonderful support on picking up guys. I can go out dancing with my guy friends, and feel safe walking the seven to twelve blocks back to my car at three a.m. When I need something done around the house, or my car worked on, I call one of my guy friends. Let’s face it ladies men are just useful. People say men are simple and women are complicated. I disagree on that one.
Why do these seemingly simple creatures become so complicated in areas of relationships?
As one of my very good girlfriends says, “I don’t know nothin’, I just read a lot.” But throughout my adult relationship life men have gone out of their way to make things complicated. Something very simple and mutually beneficial can be reduced to something tragic and worth egging a house or slashing tires over in a matter of hours. As a single woman I’m not very big on the “M” word. Monogamy. (Wow, it hurt just typing that.) It just never seemed practical to me to limit myself to only experiencing one man at a time. I mean, if when we’re talking relationships, it takes five of them to make one good one. So I figured I should at least have five around to satisfy whatever mood I’m in. “I feel like going native, I’ll call the African.” or “I could use a laugh and a drink. I’ll call the Scot.”
Granted I am a very straight forward woman, and some men just aren’t prepared for how up front I can be. They refuse to accept that I can say, and completely mean, that I like them and spending time with them without wanting the ever dreaded “something more”. Normally I try to nip this later quite awkward conversation in the bud with a conversation fairly early. Normally I try and do it within twenty four hours of making any interest in seeing them naked known. You know it’s the normal list of things I expect from them, and a reassurance that I am not going to fall in love with them because although I’ll go to a Nationals game with you, cause I love baseball, this relationship is based on sex, and lots of it. You would think that this would be every guys dream, right? Not so much.
Immediately after I say this their minds become flooded with questions about how I’m going to play this. Apparently women say this to men all the time, and don’t mean it. So when I say it and I do mean it, men automatically think I’m scheming to make them fall in love with me. I’ve made adjustments to the speech to account for this completely illogical way of thinking. “I know you don’t believe me. But I’m telling you the truth. One day it’s going to slap you in the face. When it does, don’t say anything, just nod and smile and say, “Oh, that’s what you meant.” ” They never believe this moment will come. And when it does, they get their feelings hurt. Oh, yes, men have those. Much more than we do ladies. They have feelings about everything, they have just been trained and coached by other men to never share or show them to us and to hate us for making them have them. I call them “Bouncing Betty’s”, like the nickname for land mines from the Vietnam era. You can always tell when you’ve hit a Betty. Sometimes I’ve even heard the tell tale click as I stepped on one. All of a sudden they go into fight or flight mode, and they usually choose flight.
Depending on how much we actually like them we decide to put up with it or not. Granted I have a small pride at my disposal, which I keep in a healthy rotation. But I do have my favorites, and they know who they are. They’re favorites for a variety of reasons and skill sets. But every once in a while one of them will get weird, pull away, distance himself very purposely. I have four others ready to fill the void, so sometimes I don’t notice right away. But the next time I want to go to the theater or hear some live jazz with Mr. Wizard, all of a sudden he has to check his availability. He’s one of my favorites. We have great conversation, he’s a gentleman, and when he decides not to talk, that man…well, you get the point. Like I said, I’m very straight forward. I told him one morning after waking up in his arms that I liked him. “So, you’ve probably figured out that I like you.”, were my exact words. His reply, “Yeah. I kinda like you too.” You’d have to know him to understand that this is about as much sharing of his feelings as he does. It’s always sincere, but it’s shrouded in sarcastic, dry humor. Which I enjoy, because I’m sarcastic as well. Finding someone who can keep up with the barbs thrown at them and throw some back is so much fun. Literally six hours later he was non-responsive, don’t know when I can see you again guy.
Now the impatient angry black woman in me instinctively says, “Oh yeah, mutha fucka, well you don’t ever have to see me again. I don’t chase. I got four other men just waiting to spend time with me. Don’t think for one minute you’re the only one. I’ll put you on the inactive roster without a second thought.” But he’s one of my favorites for reasons that have nothing to do with getting naked. Before I benched him, and called up his replacement, I let that pass and thought about it from his point of view for a moment.
He just had a woman who pursued him, seduced him, and then said she liked him within a twelve hour period. For a man, that’s a lot to take in. I’m positive a Betty popped right up in front of him after I left screaming at him that I wanted girlfriend status or something stupid like that. So it’s perfectly natural that he now has to pull away. Because he spent the previous twelve hours being very mission oriented on having as much pleasure as possible, and completing that mission with flying colors, I might add. Now I want to do stuff with him, that he has to be dressed for? After dealing with other women who never say what they want or mean, he’s thinking he’s stepped into some unknown trap. I’m obviously trying to catch him, because that’s what all women want, right? He never thinks back to the initial conversation in which I told him that I didn’t want the “M” word or the “L” word, because that conversation in his mind is now a part of my evil plan to capture him. So now we have to test various routes, marking them safe, or compromised. And no matter what I say, or don’t say he sees Betty everywhere.
Within six hours he took something SO simple and made it SO complicated. The sad part is that, if he had simply told me the truth about what was going on I could’ve cleared it up in a few minutes.
So, what do we do as women when Betty rears her ugly head? We have to leave them alone when Betty shows up. The only thing to do is to let them go off and have the tantrum. Go on with your life. Have a date or two, meet the girlfriends for a bitch session, take Mom to lunch. A week later he’ll realize you haven’t called. He’ll miss you. If he doesn’t call, then so be it. There are always more lions to fight over you. Call that rising new star up from the minors, and see what kind of heat he’s got.
Like I said, I love men. They’re useful, for so many things. Mr. Wizard will come around, like College Boy, Waiter, and Whodini have done in the past. No matter how backwards their thinking can get, I don’t think I’ll ever give up on men. I like playing with them too much.