Friday, June 04, 2004

Women Who Manipulate Too Much...

And the men they manipulate, who deserve it anyway because they're just a bunch of shallow, power-hungry, sex-craving cads.

No, that's not the title of this post, but it might as well be, in which Steve posits a distinctly bleak view of male-female interaction.

A woman like that will identify with her man, the same way a man who makes a lot of money equates himself with his job. If the man is handsome and tall and rich, or if he's just mean and pushy--a bad boy--then the woman is important and desirable and has to be catered to. If he treats her like dirt, she scrambles to please him, the same way a well-paid executive will scramble to please his boss. Every day is a new audition.

Give most men power, and they'll take advantage. A bad boy has power over his woman. Surprise, surprise: he mistreats and neglects her. As I said earlier today in a comment on another person's blog, there's another name for a bad boy: "first husband."

Steve may well be right, according to his experiences. I've known otherwise intelligent women and men with surprisingly immature and destructive tendencies when it came to personal, especially romantic, interactions. I've been lucky enough to never be involved with such a girl (I'm 24. I can;t bring myself to say "woman" just yet).

I had a friend who had a long distance boyfriend back home while she was away at college. He would play with her head by breaking up every few weeks and then waiting for her to beg him to take her back, at which point he would reluctantly accept. It was your basic paranoid power play. He was worried she would grow apart from him, so he jerked her chain every once in a while to make sure she knew the leash was still on. At the same time, she occasionally come on to me fairly shamelessly, and not in a suggestive way. More than once I felt like asking if she kissed her mom with that mouth, partly to simply defuse the situation with some levity, but I have to admit there was a little honest disgust mixed in.

But beyond that, my experience with weird relationship disfunctions is all second-hand. And now when I do hear about some guy treating some girl like dirt or two people who stay together just because they fulfill each other's need to fight, I think of Michelle and I have to restrain myself from falling on my knees and thanking whatever undeserved luck allowed me to become involved with her. It's now been two years and the weirdest thing I've had to deal with is the fact that she doesn't always say when something I do bothers her, and I have to drag it out through sustained nagging. Even that is fairly rare.

I was busy this last February and didn't do anything with her for Valentine's day. I apoligized and genuinely felt bad about it, but she brushed it off as "stupid girl stuff." She feels guilty and says she's a "burden" because I've been chauffering her around for the last week while she looks to buy a car. Sounds silly, but we're both the same way. A friend once suggested that, together, we were like those two hyper-polite gophers from old Warner Brothers cartoons. At the time, the comment stuck in my craw somewhat, because I felt like he was insinuating that we were so polite because we were afraid to be "real," or something, with each other and were just tip-toeing around any kind of conflict.

At the time, we had only been together for a few months, so the possibility that he was right unnerved me a little. But now it's been two years and we're still basically the same. I don't want to sound too smug or self-satisfied, but I've come to the conclusion that both she and I (to a lesser extent) are simply mature and caring enough that we each want to do everything we can for the other, and in doing so, end up doing about equal amounts. In fact, that's always been the biggest bone of contention in our whole relationship (such as it is), and it's one I have no trouble living with.

So, you're likely thinking at this point, this is where he brings it all together conclcudes with some kind of relevant observation, prescritption, conclusion, etc.

Yeah, well, you're barking up the wrong blog, my friend.

I can't claim anything more for this post than a reflection on just how damn lucky I am to be Michelle. And to quote a wiseman: "That's what you do when you love something, hold on to it so it can't get away."