This isn’t going to be a safe, neutral one. This is personal and it might hit home. You really should know when to zip those lips or numb those texty thumbs.
Lately I’ve been told by more than one person that I think life is a romance novel–wait, I’m not going to be discreet here–I’ve been told this by more than one guy, male, man, whatever term you’d rather employ. They make a variety of statements and ask silly questions which they already know the answers to, but those are too deep within them. They cannot get to them.
“Because you’re still single. You think something wonderful’s going to happen to you and you’re waiting for that. You’ve got ‘romance novel’ written all over you.”
Well, first of all, let me correct you. I’m not waiting for anything. I’m living my life in a way that makes me happy now, I’m planning my future with everything I have at my disposal, without depending on you or others of your ilk and I’m not waiting for some guy to sweep me off my feet. Secondly, why shouldn’t something wonderful happen to me? Why shouldn’t I want something wonderful to happen to me? Again, I’m not waiting for it. I’ll make it happen. Allow me to assure you that my “something wonderful” has absolutely nothing to do with the opposite sex. Don’t project your version of “happily ever after” onto me. I’m not looking for arm-candy with whom to attend a semi-formal event and I’m not hoping people think the male friend I’m seen with is my boyfriend. Whom does that sound like to you? Hm? Third, I’m single because I want to be. Also, I don’t want to compromise on certain qualities of my life. Any of that sound like a romance novel to you?
One went on to:
“What do you mean you won’t compromise?”
I don’t want to compromise on what I want from my life. I don’t want to settle for your definition of contentment and for what you think I should be happy with. Who exactly do you think you are to dictate those terms to me? Maybe you’ll be satisfied with someone who makes you happy 10% or 20% or even 60% of the time. Not me. You may think that’s unrealistic. I’m not keeping you from your opinion. You are free to choose what you are pleased with and how you wish to behave based on that. I’ll choose what pleases me, and drop the rest like hot potatoes. Clearly, how you wish to live is not one of the things that pleases me. I’m more than okay with that. I won’t settle for you, believe me. Maybe you should make your peace with that too and stop telling me my expectations are too high. Good! I’m glad they are. They’ve weeded you out.
“You just expect people to live up to unreasonably high expectations.”
You know exactly why you’re saying that.
You know I cannot stand it when someone doesn’t keep their word and uses the sloppiest excuse ever: I forgot. If common decency equals romance for you, yes, I am looking for a wild, passionate romance. You say you’ll call me in the afternoon to firm up plans for the evening and you don’t. When I ask why, you lazily say: I forgot about that. So you’re okay with being a huge disappointment. Unfortunately for you, I don’t want disappointment. You know what else you should forget about? Me. I’m also not sticking around so that you can continue to take me for granted. And remember that it isn’t that I expect too much, it’s just that your values differ from mine; you’re okay with disappointing me, I’m not okay with being disappointed. See what’s wrong there? What you want me to do is lower my standards and accept you as you are, let-downs and all. That’s why it bugs you that I won’t “compromise,” because that’s what being with you would be: A big, fat compromise. That’s right, I said it.
That leads to:
“That’s so mean.” “That’s totally unfair!” “That’s kinda harsh.”
Oh, of course. You’re right. I shouldn’t expect you to keep your word. I should expect that you will forget all about me and what you said you’d do, because, well, you chose to chat with somebody over lunch about how you think 7/11 has the best DIY coffee, hands down. Why, in God’s name, should I be disappointed? I should’ve known better. Isn’t that right? While you ponder that, why don’t I lay myself down and you can walk all over me on your way to the closest 7/11? It’s so interesting that you think I shouldn’t expect any better from you; it means you can’t be any better than that. Do me a favour, just don’t ever give me your word anymore. See, I do unto others as I’d have them do unto me, so I trust you when you say you’ll do something, because, well, I think you have integrity. If you cannot do it, tell me that you can’t, and I won’t be left wondering. Oh, and yes, the fact that you don’t is a reason I won’t end up with you and I won’t tell you anything to the contrary either.
Another one says:
“We’re not special, I’m not special.”
You’re absolutely right. You, my dear, aren’t special, but you are one of a kind, the kind that thinks a girl would be in love with him despite his unavailability, emotional and physical, and his unfulfilled attempts to sever contact. And, hey, if we’re not special, how about you don’t get back in touch with me? Think you can do that? When it’s over, it’s over. I know that. You don’t seem to. And I‘m the one who thinks life is a romance novel? *coughs pointedly* Maybe you felt that I think we’re special because I gave you chance after chance. That’s my fault. I’m sorry for believing in you. I learned and I hope you will too.
The same guy who is disappointed by my unwillingness to compromise said to me once:
“Life’s not a fairytale, you know.”
Really?! You don’t say! How have I missed that?
What the hell makes you think I don’t know that? It must be the winged little fairies I’m surrounded by who sprinkle their fairy dust on me and allow me to fly around the world for free. Or do you think it’s the elves who clean my home and do my dishes and make tiny, pretty cupcakes which I wake up to every morning? Or has my fairy godmother been visiting you and showing off her new magic wand? (I told her not to do that!) Gosh, I wish I knew why I think life’s a fairytale! Enlighten me, would you? Haven’t you seen me vanquishing my own dragons? Did I wait for Prince Charming to stroll by and hand him my father’s sword? Or do I keep myself locked up in my cozy apartment because he hasn’t climbed up my strong, curly, brunette locks yet? I’m not willing to settle for anything less than what I believe in. Does that sound like a fairytale to you?
Instead of focusing so much on what my thoughts on life are, telling me why you disagree with said thoughts and offering your unsolicited opinion on the same, think about what it means to you, if it’s any of your business and if it makes your life any more worth living. Telling me that I think life’s a romance novel is your way of either comforting yourself for not expecting more from life or justifying your willingness to compromise and settle for things I, and maybe even you, don’t believe in. Oh, and if I did think of life as a romance novel or a fairy tale, guess who wouldn’t be Mr. Tall Dark McHandsome or my gorgeous prince dressed smartly in a suit, armed with good manners and plenty of charm. Yup, you got that right.
By the way, with the sort of crap so-called romantics like you, who’ve wanted to rock my world and claimed they wanted to treat me like a goddamned princess, have put me through, the fairytales I believed in when I was much, much younger have turned into the pictures forming that picture up there. Thanks very much, you guys! There’s no way I could ever think life’s anything like any of those stories. You’ve ensured that. Now shut it.