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October 23, 2005


So who else is reading the Rabbit Blog? Raise your hands. I think only RandomBen has something raised at this point, which is just really unfortunate. Because the rest of you are missing out.

It's linked over there on the right under Fun Stuff, so go there now.

Or more specifically, go to the entry called Women Who Don't Love Too Much, because it pretty much sums up how I feel about men.

Insight into my psyche! I know you're trembling in fear.

But let's backtrack for a second. The Rabbit Blog is written by Heather Havrilesky, who also happens to be the television critic for Salon. Her column is called "I Like To Watch" and it is the only consistently funny column I've ever read. I love her. Heather digs America's Next Top Model in an ironic way, which only serves to increase my ardor.

So, back on track. On the Rabbit Blog, Heather will answer questions from readers. It's an advice column written by someone who has a passion for the word "fuck" and all its derivatives. You have been warned.

I was talking to Ben last night and he mentioned a post on the Rabbit Blog, and since I hadn't read it in a few weeks I immediately checked it out. And lo and behold, it was a post that neatly summed up how I approach romantic relationships – an embrace of a concept called The Inner Fuck You Leave (TIFYL).

From the initial reader letter:

It's a little trick of the mind and it's kind of hard to describe. It's not disinterest, it's not "not caring," it's not arrogance or manipulation. It's a wordless but clear communication that a woman knows in her heart of hearts that she will be just fine if she loses her man. That life will go on and she will be OK.

I don't even know how many times I've tried to explain this to men, whether they're men I'm involved with or just male friends. The majority of them just don't get it, but it goes a little like this:

You're in my life because I want you in my life. Not because I need you in my life.

Because I don't. Need you, that is. If you leave, I know I'll eventually be OK. No matter how much your leaving hurts in the short term, the time will come when I am Just Fine.

That's not to minimize the impact that these relationships have had on my life; the impact has been lasting, in most cases. And I often miss these people, so it's not like I'm implying that I will never think about them or that I'll forget them entirely when I return to being Just Fine.

It's just that, when you involve people in your life from a position of strength through choice (want) rather than from a position of weakness due to a lack of other alternatives (need), it's a lot easier to see that there is always going to be someone else. There isn't one person who can enrich your life; there are many.

Sure, it's tricky to find them sometimes. I've found that they often like to hide. But it's remarkably freeing and liberating to know - to really and truly know - that no matter what happens in a relationship, I will eventually be OK.

From Heather:

But I decided I didn't want to teach anything, didn't want to give lectures, didn't want to talk, ever again, about my specialness. You can either see it or you can't, and it's not my job to highlight it in any way or to point cute things out or even charm you or giggle when you say something fucking stupid.

This is what I mean. If one man doesn't "get" me, that's fine because I know someone else will. I'm confident of that, so I really don't ever feel like I need to pretend to be someone I'm not.

Sure, this drives away all the men who are intimidated by a smart chick. I'm smart, and I can speak intelligently about my opinions, I think about things totally unrelated to myself and would expect the same from any guy I'm with. If those qualities make some random guy not want to know me, that's actually good because I don't want to waste time on someone who isn't going to love me - the Real Me, as I truly am, without any sort of hiding - anyway.

Because even though I think I have a lot of really attractive qualities – smart, witty, straightforward, honest, generous, more than a little wicked – there are quite a few less-than-desirable qualities that balance things out. I can become moody in an instant, over some random thing, and there are certain topics that I probably take too seriously (not telling).

You gotta love the whole package, though, or at least be willing to accept the bad with the good. I think a lot of people try to hide the negative things in an effort to hook someone using their shiny, happy qualities. But you know that never works for long. So I just try to be authentic right from the start - ultimately it saves a lot of time and heartache.

From Heather:

I think that women really feel fucked in their late 20s and early 30s partially because they think that they can't have any of the things they want - stability, companionship, a nice home - without finding a man first. I say fuck that shit, go for the things you want now. Sure, you can worry about the guy along the way - I know you will - but you have to go for a life that looks good to you without waiting for someone's help or approval to get it. And, when you go for that life, I really think that whether you're with someone or not, you maintain a solid notion of what you want for yourself, separately. Knowing what you want for yourself is invaluable, but it tends to be the first thing you pawn when you're trying to form a WE.

I need to print this out and carry it in my wallet. That Heather, reading my mind! I couldn't agree more with that whole statement, especially the last two sentences.

And one last one from Heather:

I don't think it's about trying to be OK with never finding love. I think it's about saying: I want love and I'll fucking find it, and I'll also have a great time right now and I won't fucking compromise a bit of myself or hide anything just to recruit someone who's not right for me."

Abso-fricken-loutely. I want love and I know I'll find it. In fact, I'm going to enjoy the process of finding it and while I'm doing that I'm firmly committed to loving my life, and the people in it, and to being the very best me I can be.

Or hell, maybe I'll be even better.

Posted by Highwaygirl on October 23, 2005 12:03 PM to the category Stuff About Me

[agreed] I say fuck that shit, go for the things you want now. Sure, you can worry about the guy along the way - I know you will - but you have to go for a life that looks good to you without waiting for someone's help or approval to get it. [/agreed]

[caveat]You do need to be honest, brutally honest, in exactly the way you are speaking of, with the person that you are dating/sleeping with/romantically involved.[/caveat]

Sorry, been burned. But, otherwise, nice post. It's nice to see others thinking through relationships and involvement and not being blase about it.

Posted by: mike at October 23, 2005 09:39 PM
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