“You should just swear off men all together for 5 years” said my Mother, over afternoon cocktails in her garden. This is the kind of advice I get when I go home for a couple of days. “You should just swear them off and do what I did. Lah dee dah, I’m never getting married, who cares, lah dee dah and then BAM. Meet him and get married in six weeks.”
True, my parents got married within six weeks of knowing each other. They were 30 and just felt like it, I guess. Dad needed a Type A skinny stunner in his life and Mom needed a spiritual rough neck with a motorcycle. Whatever mess that formula equated – they’ve been together for 25 years. Which, I think, is just cause to listen to her advice. But not before giving her a hard time.
“So… you think I should become a lesbian?”
“Noooo, no no. Well, you can, absolutely. But all that talking? That wouldn’t make things easier on you at all.“
My Mothers advice is something I nearly always take. I just… take it with a flair of my own. For example, when she said “you should get a degree, you’ll regret it if you don’t” – I agreed. It has just taken me six years and a lot of fucking around to get to the home stretch. When she said “always save 10%!” I did it – only after blowing 5 digits on car crashes and Italian shoes and trips to Paris. When she said “wear sunscreen” I slathered it on last weekend because I remember what it was like when I got heat stroke in Daytona Beach. So, when my Mother suggests swearing off men (& women) for the next five years, I don’t knock the idea. Besides, I’ve always wanted to grow a full bush and walk around like Kate Moss in the 90′s. But I know it’s not going to be that simple.
Or, I did. Then I went to the Iron Maiden concert and changed my mind.
Somewhere between 2 Minutes to Midnight and The Number of the Beast I was all; “holy shit, I am in a stadium full of all the men that my Daddy warned me to stay away from” and then “holy shit, I am so turned on right now!”
To which I immediately had to reconsider and shake my head. I blamed the guy behind me who kept blowing his joints in my face at first, but then it slowly started to dawn on me that I have some serious, serious issues.
“They” say that the people you are interested in directly reflect how you feel about yourself. They are, so to speak, the spitting image of your self esteem. And baby cakes & sweet peas, that does not bode well for my self esteem. When Bob No-Sleeves asked me up to his private suite at the concert I looked his fat, balding, 47 year old stanky-tattied ass up and down and honest to God considered leaving with him. Not because I wanted to risk my safety and security for adventure, no, that would have made sense. I considered going because my head was like I’d probably tap that. Whatever.
I’D PROBABLY TAP THAT. WHATEVER?
Oh girl, Haaaaaaa-eelll no.
I rocked out with my lady-cock out for the rest of the evening. Head banged the sweat drops right off my pencil-drawn eyebrows. Screamed words like “Satan” louder than the guy beside me who spent the entire time getting his kid to hide the cigarettes he kept chain smoking. I had a blast – because low self-esteem or not – I love Iron Maiden. But I left that concert a little different.
At 3am I shut off the light in my parents guest room and tucked myself in. I said ‘night, love you’ to myself (slash to my cat who was snoozin’ beside me) & I reached over like the big spoon would and I held my own hand. Which, i’ll admit, was kind of weird of me. But I had a great sleep. And the next morning, as I sat there drinking Dad’s strong coffee and eating Mom’s crispy bacon I was like Yeup. Gonna take this advice her way.
Because if my self-esteem is low enough I’m willing to give second glances to Sonny Barger act-alikes, I’ve got some serious time I need to dedicate to figuring that shit out. And that doesn’t leave room for men who keep reinforcing the lack of progress I’ve made by reflecting myself back to me in a pair of Jorts and a tank top.
I don’t mean I’m going to be celibate for the next five years. Hell, five months would be a stretch that I don’t even want to fathom. But what I am promising myself is that from now on, any one who I give my time to has to be a direct reflection of the self-assured, confident, ambitious, intelligent, driven, heartfelt, compassionate, courageous individual I hope to embody – today, tomorrow, in 40 years.
Bad hygiene and shitty tattoos scream ‘drop out’, not ‘rising star’ and my self-esteem has had enough. She’s being judgmental for the first time in her life and maybe it will get her farther. If nothing else, she’ll be able to wash her sheets less.
xo & yw & Run to the Hills