(Originally posted on April 6, 2008…3:27 am. Would I have been this hard on myself during normal waking hours? Probably, yeah.)
In the wake of a recent anniversary, I have spent three days pondering my romantic history.
PAINFUL CONCLUSION: While I am sensible in most ways, where men are concerned, I am an absolute dolt and should be thrust into a convent immediately. Pity the poor convent!
Don’t get me wrong— it’s not that I’m a floozy. Not a bit. It’s just that I tend to hurt people.
While attending Steven H.’s senior recital this afternoon (rock on, Steve!), I realized that there are half a dozen men on this planet who have every right to hate my ugly guts.* Six men who dodge me, who avoid making eye contact.. Six men who use ME as their evidence that all women are evil.
I treated them badly.
Never on purpose, mind you! There are women who toy with hearts deliberately, who regard devastating men as wholesome recreation. “Break him before he can break you” is their motto.
I am not one of those women.
I am a woman who tries hard (too hard) to keep other people happy.
Sometimes, I tell men what they need to hear— not what needs to be said.
Sometimes, I need so badly to be held and reassured that nothing else matters.
Sometimes, I give men what I think they want— not what I want, or want to give.
Sometimes, I bite my tongue for weeks, months at a stretch.
Sometimes, I’m too dense to even REALIZE someone has grown deeply attached to me.
Sometimes, I am so afraid of hurting a man that I drag matters out… and create deeper wounds.
Funny that someone so polite and cautious can still inflict deep wounds. Funny that a shy, scruffy, mousy girl could ever hold any man’s attention in the first place. Funny that even the noblest, purest intentions can’t guarantee intelligent behavior.
I know, I know, this is all part of growing up…
But I’m still sorry. I did the best I could.
*Editor’s note: Steve sang Ralph Vaughn Williams’ Songs of Travel; if they don’t make you flinch as you recollect your own romantic shortcomings, nothing will.