Sunday, February 21, 2010

Taking the Kid Gloves Off

As near as I could guess, 80% of girls have in their past some ex who turned stalker, took it poorly, threatened to kill himself or some other wacked out scheme designed to load a girl up with emotional baggage that haunts them for the rest of their future relationships. Specifically it haunts their relationships with every other ex.

The other 20% btw, is where I would guess the girls simply don't have a boyfriend in those formative highschool-college years wear they are most likely to go crazy and burn their name in their front lawn when they get dumped. Which is really exchanging one lot of baggage for another.

But as my mother's new principal wisely said 'these kids are not "problem kids" they just have problems and everybody has problems.' thus thuserson I'm trying to establish here what we all know already:

I am probably not that special.

Nevertheless in my own checked baggage their is a bag labelled 'distrust'. If I'm honest about one of my most limiting hangups, I assume people don't trust me, and their is just something about me that does not inspire trust. I don't know what it is, if I had to guess it is probably all the nasty comments I made in pretty much every social situation till recently that I passed off as 'wit'.

But I don't know. My ghosts of girlfriends past though often reinforce this by treating me with kid gloves as though they were on constant alert that I would douse myself in petrol and set myself on fire.

I usually take the hint, albeit often slowly and just fuck right out of their lives completely rather than pose a constant threat of... well whatever it is they imagine I am being protected from.

Don't know what I'm talking about probably the most brazen example I can give is:

'love you friend,' as a signoff. I must admit most ex's simply drop the 'love' or 'xox' signoff as their way of avoiding mixed messages, but this was an amusing qualifier to make sure I didn't interpret brotherly love as the love between a man and a woman.

Admittedly, the kid glove treatment comes from a compassionate and caring place, and probably is a practical level of caution. Because when people get dumped, they do go crazy, due to the massive change of the chemical coctail in their brain. But the treatment does get tired and condescending after 6 months or so, particularly when you haven't had any 'incidents' in that time, and should at least definitively cease once you have been broken up for longer than you dated.

Yet often it is simply there to stay. I can live with that, girls live in a world populated by bigger, stronger, emotionally repressed morons and they have to look after themselves. I'll cop that, what I've decided to conscientiously stop is buying into the whole scheme.

Example, often I feel that in order to gain an ex's trust I should show an active interest in their new relationship, which in all honesty, most of the time I simply don't care. My working theory though is that being open and receptive to the reality of their future relationships I can demonstrate to them that I am emotionally stable enough to be trusted with this important part of their lives (often its almost as important as a career).

You know just like with any other friend where you are all like: 'And how's Juan Ignacio?' you aren't prompting to find out if they are single, you are just asking in the same way you ask 'How's your mum and dad?' unless you are that rare friend hoping for news that their parents marriage is on the rocks so you can move in on mum or dad and become your friends new parent in the process...hmmm.

Most of these are just talking points, questions to carry a conversation forward and sometimes or often provide some stimulating piece of news. 'My new boyfriend is a gun slinging ninja bandit.' etc.

But I'm going to stop asking ex's about their relationships, not because I don't care, find the talk dull or otherwise (if these things do occur it is accidental to my argument, I can't make people date interesting people can I. Can I?) but because I'm doing it for the wrong reasons, more or less, I'm apologising that I'm as trustworthy as a ticking time bomb.

In the spirit of 'let right be right' fuck them. If they don't want to trust that I'm not going to break down, cry then shoot up everyone in the postal office if they mention that they are getting married in the spring, fuck them. At the very least it will give a cool, dangerous edge to my character. I've never been able to capitalise on the bad boy edge anyway.

And if they don't want to invite me to the housewarming because they don't trust me to not raid their CD collection - well fuck it I just won't go.

I'm going to stop trying to train myself out of behaviour I never had in order to get a pat on the head from somebody who doesn't love me anymore, just to try and overcome an image problem that could be no fault of my own, but some dickwad they dated in highschool.

I remember quitting a door to door sales job (a fond memory for anybody) after I talked to an ex where I just got pissed off at the kid glove treatment. I quit the field early that day and got a lift to the trainstation. The guy Chris on the team told me to scribble her name out of the phonebook (I didn't get a mobile until after university) and that 'being friends' was 'easy to say hard to do'.

I think I always just thought the 'hard to do' part was more of a challenge. I do genuinely wish I could be friends with my ex's they've all been pretty cool people, but its hard to be friends with people who don't trust you and just tip-toe around you. Okay it's a bit different if your friends don't trust you not to do some borderline gay-shit when they are drunk and pass out. It's relatively easy to be friends with those people.

But the friends that treat you like a car with a hyper sensitive alarm that goes off, perhaps are just not worth the trouble of putting on the metaphoric protective gear for each encounter. Perhaps that sales rep that told me 'hard to do' should have appended 'so hard and tiresome it often isn't worth the effort'.

Bitter, dark, emotional... but you know, baby steps.

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