I swear I’m the last romantic standing. Cynics to a fault the lot of them, my girlfriends. I have my moments too. The thing is, they’ve all done men. They’ve been through the love that hurts, and the love that destroyed their entire sense of who they were. They’ve been lied to, abused, rejected, and maligned by men. They’ve been through the drunks, the cheaters, the liars, the abusers, the low self esteem doormats, the ones who think the sun shines out of their posteriors, the ones with self esteem so low that they only know how to reduce yours to match it; the ones who seem too good to be true because they’re not true. Oh, they have seen them all and then a few on top of that. All they look for now, in this world where to be disappointed by a man is a scientific certainty, is to be disappointed in some original way that will make a good anecdote over tears and champers with the girls.
I mean we live in this world. We love these men. These men screw with our sense of self because somehow our sense of self has found itself wound up in their dubious approval and it doesn’t make any sense. How did that happen?
Men are liars. We all know that. Anyone who doesn’t know that is under 14yrs of age and she will soon find out first hand. The only way to learn is the hard way. Men say things that they don’t mean, like ‘I love you’, and we, poor needy souls that we are, believe them even if it’s only for a moment. The thing is, in that moment we want and need to believe them. Remember in the 70’s when we were preparing for lives involving men and we were instructed in little things that become irrelevant over time. Things like ‘will you respect me in the morning?’ To which the answer is, of course, going to be ‘yes!’ They’ll say anything to get their end away.
Now, it has less to do with ‘will he respect you in the morning’ and so much more to do with, ‘will you respect yourself in the morning for putting yourself through a futile attempt at intimacy with a deceitful hunk of meat that hasn’t the capacity, imagination, or sensitivity to deliver an orgasm’.
The girlfriends are not universally cynical. They’re only cynical about men, and they like it. We women need men to tell us that they love us even if it’s a lie, so that we can practice the appropriate response for when the real thing comes along. As the last hook is loosened from your bra and you feel that thrilling quiver of delightful desire, if he whispers in your ear that he loves you even if he loves you a la carte, it adds to the moment. By a la carte I mean, he might say, as they spill from their uncomfortable confines, ‘I love your breasts’. Groovy! It’s not total love. He’s not loving everything on the menu. He doesn’t love you totally, but the word love was in there. He loves your breasts. It’s good enough for the moment. The heat is on.
What is the appropriate response? Do you stop kissing him and offer a coy little smile directly into his eyes conveying that you love the fact that he loves your breasts; that it really stokes your fire? Do you treat the statement as an utterance without consequence? Or, perhaps offer a simperingly cornie ‘Oh Babe, I love the way you touch me?’
You might say it although you don’t really like his touch, but that’s not the point. You want to get to goal, and even his ham-handed fumbling is better than nothing at all. Woman cannot live on Lelo alone. Besides, he said the word love. As long as it’s in there you can interpret it in any way you like for the duration of the buffet. It’s yours!
There’s no romance any more. Often he can’t even afford to take you to dinner in a decent restaurant, which wipes out some essential foreplay opportunity. So you take him to dinner, because you can afford it, but that’s not what you want, is it? You want to be wined and dined before your virtue is proffered. It’s an old fashioned value, but it’s a good one.
The thing is that my girlfriends are successful women and a successful woman doesn’t necessarily want to have to buy a man dinner just because she has a more efficient bank account. He must pay for dinner. That’s how he shows that he values the honey pot or that when they get to honey pot stage he will value it. Look, we know that dinner to him is the means to an end. It’s a means to an end to all of us, but there is something lacking in the end if we haven’t been through the means. There is something about dinner. It’s a mystery. But if he’s a man he buys dinner. That’s what real men do.
I know that there is that whole feminist thing about how we can buy our own dinner, but I think that misses the point entirely. Besides, who wants to buy her own dinner when she’s out with a man. Don’t you hate it when they want to go dutch? Is that some kind of a ‘stay in your lane’ message? Jeez. Go dutch? And then do you want to ‘go dutch’ in the sack? Not at all! Pay for the damn dinner.
I went for dinner the other day. I suspended my disbelief in the sincerity of men because I had met one who talked the kind of game that we all dream of hearing talked. I was being romanced, and I liked it.
He did all the things that make a sensible cynic gag. He sent me songs from utube. He told me how sexy he found me in divine dirty talk. He massaged my naughtiest impulses with detailed descriptions of what he would do to my body once he got it alone in a room. He told me how beautiful I am. He called me just to hear my voice. He caressed my ego. He bought dinner. I confess I was just about ready to give it all up and live under the lie for the rest of my days. It was so sweet. But, you can’t keep the old cynicism down. And quite frankly, if there’s something that men have a hard time keeping up, it’s the charm. It slipped and what was behind it was frightening. I ran.
So you see, the cynicism is born from reality. The cynicism is the natural response to the natural behaviour of the people who are not female towards the people who are female. It has ever been thus and ever it shall be.