I want to write about men. Not because I know so much about them but because I know so little. What about this man-thing has us women so flustered and feeling like a failure in spite of all of the evidence to the contrary? I don’t get it; perhaps it links back to our reptilian brain function wherein having a mate was a guarantee of the perpetuation of the species…? I certainly know this logically, however, we live on a planet with over six million people and I have contributed to three of that number. So, what compels me to feel as though my life would be better, happier, less lonely, richer, more fun, more tasty, more of everything?
This is how it usually goes: I will be trucking along just fine, enjoying myself and appreciating the freedom that has come from raising three gorgeous, independent daughters, liberated from the confines of a troubled marriage to a narcissistically-driven ex-husband, spending my free thought time day dreaming about what it is I would like to experience next in this life and….BAM! The vacuity begins to suck away at all of the glitter and sparkles and the next thing I realize is that I am thinking the same boring, repetitious thoughts: if only I had someone to share them with, if only I had someone to adore me as much as I want to adore them….blah, blah, blah. The truth is that no matter how much self-talk that I do, no matter how much validation I receive, no matter the fullness of my life, this vague uneasiness settles over my joy like a sad movie (and those, I truly detest).
One of the most profound witticisms that I have heard is: wherever I am, that is not where I want to be; and I wonder if this is perhaps another form of that lack of self-satisfaction, or discontent, that is so prevalent among the bored and self-centered. I have gratitude-d this funky feeling away, busy-ed it away, and made excuses for its presence; none of which lasts for very long. At this present moment, I am home sick with the flu and cannot shake the absurd notion that if I had someone, they would alleviate my suffering and I would not feel so miserable and empty. However, I know this to be false. There is only one kind of loneliness that is worse than being alone and that is being lonely in a relationship. Period. There must be some point to all of this and I am going to at least make the effort to discover what this elusive man-thing brings to the table with which we females have set specifically for that purpose.
Looking back on the times that I have had a man in my life, I know that I have been distracted, dreamy, flirty, and giddy; I seem to revel in these immature emotions like a child who doesn’t want the day to end and the playtime to last forever. I feel lighter than air, on top of the world, immune to the monotony that otherwise would fill a day; I can take pleasure in countless imaginary scenarios and dalliances that will most likely never happen but that provide amusement and inspiration for future get-togethers. Of this pastime, I have no shortage of creativity. Just thinking about it is enough to make my heart pound and my hands shake with excitement.
Maybe it isn’t the physical presence of a man that is so distracting but the mindset that accompanies the atmosphere with which man is contained; in other words, the context with which man is surrounded within the maelstrom of viscous he inhabits…? Not having grown up with a father that was in any way present or dependable, I have had to fill a lot of that vacuum with daydreams and illusions. Almost to the point of completely recreating the man from scratch, I often have not been able to see the man for who he really was because of the tendency to see only what I have been able to imagine. Inevitably, the composite man that I have created has very little resemblance to the actual man present and the cycle is reset, again…
So, what does this have to do with men really? Nothing. This is merely the way that I deal with boredom and too much time spent thinking in my own head. Perhaps the next time these illusions of discontent and fantasies of fulfillment attach themselves to my thoughts, I can remember that I am a dreamer and a lover and a creator of things inspiring and exciting and the acceptance of the status quo is something that is best left to rational thinkers and accountants.