Once upon a time, a few mistakes (or summers) ago I dated a man who I can’t find nice adjectives to describe.
His texts have become frequent again, and it’s entertaining. But, the other night, he made a statement that really struck a cord:
“I’ll talk to you when you’re done being on a female supremacy kick.”
It was a Saturday night, after bar closing-time, and I knew he’d be awake. I had just experienced a typical night where a man seemed oh-so-charming, but turned out to be a well-polished, taller version of a filthy, snorting pig. Aggravated that I had worn heels and a silk top (which made driving even more difficult than usual) to listen to someone spit lines, I was eager for some attention. So, like a typical girl, I texted the man I knew I’d get a reply from.
I wanted affirmation that I “deserve the world”, am “too sweet to be treated like that”, and am “too smart to settle.” He’d reminded me of these things a thousand times since the summer we dated, so I assumed he could do it again.
This was NOT the case this time around.
I texted him: “Men are pigs.”
He replied: “What happened?”
I responded: “Nothing. Just annoyed. I’m too smart to let anyone treat me like I’m less than wonderful.”
He asked: “Who?”
I answered: “Doesn’t matter. Just aggravated with myself. I have a lot going for me, so I shouldn’t let anyone make me question that.”
This is when he threw his sexist sentence my way: “I’ll talk to you when you’re done being on a female supremacy kick.”
First off, I’m not a female supremacist. My dream has been to be a loving wife and mother for as long as I can remember. I like the idea of the man being the bread winner, and I’m comfortable serving dinner and folding laundry.
Secondly, saying I’m too smart to let a drunk pervert knock my confidence is not being feminist.
Thirdly, what did I do to bring about such a rude response?
Then it hit me: for the first time in my late-night conversations with him, I wasn’t playing the victim card. I wasn’t asking him to tell me anything. I just wanted him to agree with me. And that was the problem. I was recognizing my worth and recognizing how I was supposed to be treated and he didn’t know how to respond because he likes his women weak and vulnerable. He doesn’t know his role when someone isn’t dependent on him.
I barely recognize that girl now.
The summer that sparks flew between me and Tweedle-Dumb was my second summer of dating a guy who was no good for me. The summer before him I was wrapped up in a washed-up quarterback who was way too old for me, and the summer after I spent hours in my car going to see someone who I had to keep a secret.
Each one of these summer flings were the after-effects of a traumatic event. Tweedle-Dumb was comforting after I moved out of my mom’s and into my dad’s, and Secret-Boy was there for me when I hated living alone.
I’m thankful for these men because they were charming, comforting, and had me captivated. But, I was drawn to them because I was needy and naive.
Now, I’m happy and healthy…. And a new summer is approaching.