One of the very best things about being an online diarist…or, in a less fancy-sounding word, “blogger”….for over a decade of my life is that when I get in one of those introspective moods, there’s a record of my life, often in a form I don’t remember writing. Of course, rarely does the record reflect the whole story, and when I’m 90, I’m bound to be quite confused about what actually happened, to whom, when, and why. But, on occasion, the record makes me smile.

I found this old, old, old entry on one of my previous journals. It was before Jaded Elegance was even a concept, and I somehow had more friends interested in my life than I do now. (there was no Facebook back then, and yes, my life was tremendously more interesting. This entry, I can only assume, has something to do with being cheated on by a lover who garnered my trust, my promises of monogamy, and yet simply “just wasn’t that into me”.

The funny thing about the recollection of events and truth is this: it’s so often subjective. In it, I make statements that were true *at the time*, regarding the type of relationship I was looking for, the type of person I found myself attracted to, even the way I saw myself. However, the flaw in this story is that a year prior to this entry, those things weren’t the case…and a year later, they certainly were not.

It’s funny how the truth of one’s perceptions and feelings about the world is an ever-changing process. The more you learn about who you are, the less you understand about pretty much everything.

Suffice it to say, I don’t feel the same way now as I did in the 7 or so years since this was written. The extra 5 pounds has become 15, and experience has taught me I’m not cut out for a life of militant lesbianism, since I’m not particularly well-suited to either. I no longer remember to put the napkin in my lap or use the right fork, and in the morning, I’m more of a 4 than a 7. I hadn’t yet discovered other views on relationships outside of monogamy and happily-ever-after. And I can’t tell you the last time I baked cookies for anyone. However,it amuses me to hear the voice of a person I once remember being, and maybe it will amuse you, too.

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When it comes down to it, I really can’t understand my problems with men.

I’m a pretty nice girl. I’m down-to-earth, and am attracted to people for the “right” reasons, instead of their looks or their annual income. I’m always attracted to nice,sweet,boy-next-door types who still believe in that whole one guy,one girl,love,romance,happily ever after stuff. It does not seem right or just that I am perpetually hurt by my relationships, or that it should be so damn hard to find a guy who can love me, stick around, be faithful, and not “forget” to treat me with respect and consideration.

I really do look at myself honestly. I know I’m not perfect, or anywhere near it.

But I am an extremely kind and loving person. I have alot to give, and once I trust someone, there is nothing I wouldn’t offer to those who are important to me. I am capable of almost nearly unconditional love and support, and forgive almost anything, as long as someone makes amends for their mistakes and doesn’t repeat them. I go out of my way to drop an e-mail or telephone call to those closest to me nearly every day. I send greeting cards for no reason. I bake cookies for my friends. I answer the phone at 6 AM when someone is upset and needs a shoulder. If you end up in jail, you can call me for bail, and I’m not going to hang up on you. I don’t step on bugs. Or people. I give change to homeless people. I don’t always talk to strangers, but everyone at least gets a smile. I’m not a social climber, a gold digger, a moocher, or superficial. I firmly believe in karma and treating others as you wish to be treated. Sometimes, I’m wrong. But I always apologise. I’m not judgemental or prejudiced against anyone, unless I’m given a reason. I’m not by any means beautiful, but it’s been agreed by most that I’m at least an 7. :P I’m stylish. I can throw a dinner party for 6 with nothing but pine cones, tissue paper, glitter, and a bucket of fried chicken. I’ve read at least 20 books in the last month, and none of them were Harlequin romances. I can talk about art,music,politics,philosophy,religion,and a list of other subjects, and still remain quasi-intelligent and interesting. I have opinions, and thoughts that aren’t just echoes of what other people express to me. Most people don’t intimidate me. Very little makes me uncomfortable. I have good manners, and know what fork goes with which course of the meal, and always put the napkin in my lap. I’ve never in my life been disrespectful to anyone’s family when they’ve brought me home. I watch movies and television, and listen to popular music,and am by no means a culture snob. But I can give you the plot synopsis of every musical written after 1910, and understand opera,and ballet,and a variety of other things that may put non-understanding folks to sleep. I’m not cheap, or easy. I’m not frigid, or boring. I’m actually alot of fun to be around most of the time. I’m energetic and creative and free-spirited, in more ways than one. :P I’m not suffering from any issue that involves a 12-step program. I’m not a kleptomaniac. I don’t set things on fire. I’ve travelled to at least 20 countries. I speak 4 languages. I play 3 musical instruments. I have a college degree. From a school even pretentious Ivy League folks agree is pretty decent. :P I don’t forget anyone’s birthday. Children and animals love me. I’ve flown hundreds of miles across the country to meet people I’ve only met on the internet, and they’ve instantly become among my closest friends. I’m spontaneous, and take chances. I value stability and the little things in life. I’ve been told I have alot of interesting stories. People who know me come to me for advice on a regular basis. I think I’d do really well if I set myself up as a psychologist. I’m fairly photogenic. I’m not outdoorsy, but I’m always up for new adventures. If you’re interested in something I’m not familiar with, I’m likely to learn all about it, just because it’s your passion. I have a list of at least 100 things I want to do before I die. If the last 20-odd years are any indication, I’ll cross off at least 97 of them in the next decade.

All in all, I’m a nice girl.

So, when did I trade lives with Bridget Jones?

I admit, I have some shortcomings. I’m emotional. I am the stereotype of the sometimes “irrational” woman, because I think with my heart. I can’t keep my opinions to myself. I’m way too fond of shopping. I’m not practical. I’m a little arrogant, but just because it’s a convenient way to hide my overwhelming insecurity. I think I can do anything I set my mind to…but I suck at bowling. I can be slightly pretentious, according to some folks. I refuse to “blend in” or be less of who I am in order to make sure that everyone likes me and nobody finds anything about me objectionable. I’ve been through some tough life experiences that have left a few emotional scars…but nothing that alot of love,and affection,and support,and understanding won’t cure. I’m not close with my family, because they are dysfunctional and emotionally harmful to me. I have a hard time thinking about “long-term goals”…mostly because I’m somewhat convinced I’m going to get hit by a Mack Truck when I’m 30, so it’s all irrelevant. I have a fear of being betrayed and abandoned, and take a good while to really open up and trust anyone. Mostly because of the great number of people in my life who have screwed me over and made me wonder “What’s wrong with me?” So that’s baggage some people aren’t prepared to live with. I do get that. I can only be involved with those who are genuinely sensitive, supportive, and patient. But I know there are plenty of those folks out there. Believe it or not, I completely trust that most people are beautiful at heart.

None of these are desperately fatal character flaws. I don’t think. Honestly.

Is it because I can’t lose those annoying 5 pounds? Is it because I want someone thoughtful enough to call and e-mail every day to tell me they’re thinking of me? Is it because I don’t like sports? Is it because I feel I have a right to be loved and appreciated, and deserve better than knowing when the object of my affection is out with me (a gorgeous,interesting,intelligent woman that is regularly noticed by available men…and women…*laughs*), he is staring at every other woman in the room, wishing he were alone, and wondering if he can do better?

I mean, shouldn’t I be rewarded for not being one of those shallow, marriage-chasing “Sex In The City” girls? Would I have better success in matters of the heart if I only date yuppie guys with BMW’s…because if I’m going to end up being completely screwed over, at least THEY’re going to be the one paying for dinner? I don’t understand.

What did I do that the type of men who I fall in love with, the type who are interested in me in return, are of the variety who are sweet and thoughtful and tell me how much they care about me, how much they appreciate me, how much they are touched by me being a part of their life, how wonderful they find me, how they even suspect that they love me and look forward to seeing me all the time…but then,after all that, manage to add “But,of course, it doesn’t matter, because I don’t want a relationship with you.” Why do I find people who say “You’re everything I’m looking for”, and want to invest their time and energy in me, and tell me how close they feel to me, and even if the relationship becomes a physically involved one, it’s OK, because their feelings for me are something quite beyond friendship…but refuse to “date” me, or take me seriously, and at random intervals, run away and say “We’re just friends, you know, why are you so demanding? It’s not like we’re IN a relationship.” Why do I find guys who appear to be nice,stable,down-to-earth folks who claim they’re looking for love and a monogamous, committed relationship…but when it comes down to it, they’re willing to offer me anything but…while enjoying all the perks I’d offer to someone who actually cared enough to pursue a meaningful relationship with me. And then, to top it all off, why does the person spend a few weeks of their life telling me how special I am, how much they feel for me, indicate in every possible way that their feelings for me are what they’d feel for a “girlfriend”…and then casually point out, “I’m thinking about moving away.”, and when I get very upset, they remind me that they never claimed to actually want any kind of meaningful relationship with me…and kind of imply that even though they have feelings for me, it’s never going to mean anything…I’m just fun to be around while I’m here, on a temporary basis.

What the hell do I do to deserve to be treated with such disrespect, especially by those who claim to love and care for me, and who occasionally demonstrate through their actions that they are sincere, and not just saying the correct words?

And maybe if it were just this one person in my life who has spent a very long time taking me for granted and treating me like a “friend with benefits”, I could say that he has issues, that he doesn’t deserve me, that I have too much to offer to love someone who refuses to give as much in return, and it’s my own fault for continually putting up with it, and not saying “Value me the way I deserve to be valued, or just live without me..you can’t have your cake and eat it too, just because you happen to be afraid or committmentphobic, or whatever.”

But,of course, it’s not an isolated incident. I fall in love with people who put so much time and energy into me, and I have so much in common with, that I start to believe they’re a soulmate…until the woman they live with answers the phone. Lately, even in my non-relationship-seeking state, my life seems to be filled with a variety of “nice guys” who are attractive and interesting, and respond to me in every which way from “You’re attractive,but not my type”, and “I just don’t see you that way” (which is a pretty new one for me, and I can accept that,especially when I don’t think I’d see that person “in that way”, either…but they have to underscore that point by being blunt enough to mention “Sometimes I just talk to you because I feel like I have to.” Oh,my gosh. Can people who call themselves friends BE a little more insulting?), to “It would be odd for me to get involved considering your current situation”, and “I can’t date you, because I think my best friend is in love with you.”. And, of course, there’s my personal favourite: “I think you’re the most amazing woman I’ve ever met, and in 10 years, we’ll probably be married and have 3 kids…but right now, I so totally can’t handle monogamy”.

What the hell? What am I doing wrong?

I see all these people out in the world who are thoroughly difficult. They don’t treat their significant other the right way. They’re self-centred, and superficial, or just plain lacking in depth. And yet, they have someone who loves them and goes to the ends of the earth to prove it.

Are people going to only chase after me as long as I’m unavailable, uninterested, or a psycho bitch?

Because, seriously, I can totally work on that.

So, to the men of the world, I am giving up on you. I’m tired of being used, or taken for granted. I’m tired of being seen as a good time in the sack you should call once a month. I’m tired of you wanting me to be your “friend with benefits”, but telling me I’m not good enough to be a “girlfriend”. I’m tired of the committment-phobia and the mind games. I’m tired of chasing after you.

You see, I’m pretty wonderful. You all should be chasing after ME.

It’s not my fault you’re idiots, and that the “nice guy” thing is a complete myth.

So, let’s call a truce, OK? You all stop trying to break my heart, to use me for sex, or to get me to fall in love with you and then refusing to take me seriously….and I’ll become a militant lesbian, and stop calling.

Do we have a deal?

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I’m glad that over the numerous years, there were a few people not willing to take me up on that deal. It seems to have worked out far better.

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