Thursday, May 12, 2016

Bye Brandon

This isn't working.

You don't tell someone you're in love with them after a month. It puts pressure on me to feel the same. And here I am, 3 months later, not in love, not falling in love, and sort of falling out of like.

I'm tired of being condescended to.
I'm tired of you over explaining unfunny jokes, and thereby making the joke even worse.
I'm tired of the way your beard gets in the way, of your complaints about your weight but inaction to change the situation, tired of trying to work around your...erm, shortcomings.

I regret giving you a key.
I regret coming to dinner with your family.
I regret letting you meet my family.

I don't know why I thought I could overlook so much. Like the way you wear basketball shorts everywhere, dates included.
That you spent 2 months on unemployment not looking for a job because you needed "a break."
That you lost the job you had when we met because you got drunk at a work event and put your arm around female coworkers and made them feel uncomfortable.
That you don't read, or follow the news, or politics, or anything that isn't prominently featured on FaceBook.
That you are such a picky eater that we could only go out for pizza or burgers.

You know how I know you're not in love with me? Because you're in love with the idea of me. Don't presume to tell me what makes me happy or doesn't.


So he came over. I told him it wasn't working. He pushed and pushed for me to tell him why. I finally told him I was tired of being condescended to and not feeling heard.
"Do you think that's just in how you're interpreting and hearing things though?"
So weird that I don't want to be in this relationship where I'm always wrong and you're always right.

"Are all your relationships this difficult?"
Pretty much. I'm stubborn, I'm fiery, at my own peril- I find it hard to shut up.
But I'm also funny, loving, kind, caring, and thoughtful.
And also not in love with you and not showing you my best self.

"I know you make rash, impulsive decisions. Is this what you really want?"
What a CONDESCENDING thing to say.

"Can we work on things?"

"So this is it?"
Yes. I'm not going to string you along and tell you maybe things will be different in a month.


The other day, a man on the street told me to smile. I hate being told to smile. I think most women do. Please don't tell me what to do with my face. I don't walk around with a permanent grin because I'm not deranged.

But I smile because it was an instant reaction. My facial muscles betrayed my brain and my feminist sensibilities. Its also the easiest answer. Just smile so the strange man will leave you alone, leave you unharmed.

Later, as I recount the experience to Brandon, telling him how uncomfortable the experience was, he says, "Yeah, one time this hippy chick told me, 'You dropped your smile' to get me to smile."
This is not the same. This is not the same. This is not the same.
I tried to explain the power dynamic, the patriarchy bullshit, the inherent unease. Brandon is 6'4, built like a linebacker and has often worked security at bars and restaurants. I understand he probably hasn't felt unsafe walking down the street. But the part that pissed me off was his unwillingness to listen to me. What does it hurt to listen?


After 45 minutes of bullshit, he left. And I laid on the couch for about an hour, playing on my phone. And then I got up and got back to work because I have shit to do.
I woke up the next day feeling lighter and freer than I have in a long time.
I don't have any dating apps on my phone.
I don't have a stable of guys I'm talking to.
I have my job, my business, my son, my trips, my pets, my friends, my weekends and evenings all my own.
I can spend my time however I want. I answer to no one.

And won't have anyone mansplaining jokes to me anymore.

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