Monday, March 15, 2010
Never Too Old to Play Doctor
We may be older, but we still don't know what we're doing!
“You don’t let anyone get away with anything .” “ You don’t put up with any bullshit.” I have memories of various friends, at various times and places saying variations on the above statements to me. I have had many girls express their envy of me because I don’t put up with any nonsense from guys I date.
I started to reflect, two days ago when my roommate looked me square in the eye and professed that same admiration of me—I started to reflect on the context in which these statements have been said to me. And it hit me. Every girl who has said this to me has done so in the midst of complaining about some unfair way their boyfriend treats them. They talk about the bullshit they put up with from their significant other. Then they, the ones in the relationships, say to me, who is chronically single, that they admire my zero-tolerance for bullshit.
So I am going to pose a question that I’m sure I will spend the rest of my life discovering the answer to—is there inevitably a certain amount of bullshit, of “letting things slide” that one has to do put up with in order to be in a relationship?
And if so, how much is too much? From my track record, it is clear that I decided that any amount of bullshit at all was too much.
The next time I have someone say that they admire this quality it me, I may just resent it. It could be proof that I have not grown or advanced at all---that I have not become more allowing or patient.
But actually...some one else did me the favor of pointing out just that...
Same Quality, Different Perspective:
“You think everyone is going to hurt you. You just think people will hurt you.” I visited my sister recently at her Co-op in Berkeley, where people hop beds nightly. I had just broken up with yet another guy because i had my regular zero tolerance policy for yet another batch of bs. My sister had no criticisms until I (and i'm not proud of this) had a few drinks and made a side comment about her promiscuity. So, the above statement is what my sister loudly exclaimed to me in front of three of her housemates. I have to admit, I deserved it. A somewhat uncomfortable silence ensued.
So what is she saying? That my being with no one is a sign of my fear that people will hurt me?
Well perhaps I think her being with everyone is a sign of that same fear in her.
Being with multiple people is the same as being alone.
Maybe we are both afraid of the same thing and have just chosen entirely different lifestyles to deal with it.
I miss my sister. But I missed her while she was right in front of me. I think we are missing each other.
What do I care how she deals with our shared fear? (well, health concerns aside) We're trying to play doctor to each other when we're both a patient.
I just dont want her to have that fear. I dont want either one of us to. Here we are criticizing one another's symptoms, when they come from the same cause.