Oh, You Silly, Silly Man

Tonight while D. and I were reading our Sunday School lesson, and by Sunday School lesson I really mean watching the last two TiVo’d epsiodes of The Bachelor:Paris, he asked me if girls really think that desperation will land them a man, that all manner of plotting and scheming will actually attract their soulmate and enable them to live happily ever after.

To which I replied, “Ummm…yeah!”

It is obvious that my husband has never lived in a sorority house. And for that we’re actually all quite thankful. But he’s clueless – CLUELESS, I say unto you – about the level of plotting and scheming a girl will go to in order to convince a man that she is his soulmate and he cannot live without her.

Part of the fun – at least when you’re young – is the drama of it all. The chase. Once you get a few years past college, the chase isn’t as big a deal…at that point it’s sort of like, “Yeah, yeah, yeah I’m running I’m running hey you caught me YAY the end and I do.” But in college? OH, the drama was oftentimes the best part.

One of you who may or may not read this blog once went on a date that may or may not have been with someone from what may or may not have been a Large Religious Organization on campus that may or may not have been BSU.

The time leading up to the date was filled with Much Planning. What to wear, how to fix the hair, what the second date would be like for there was sure to be one, what it would be like when he went home to meet the parents – I’m telling you, the boy was on the fast track to the altar and he had no idea.

But, you see, things did not go as planned. If it had been part of The Bachelor, there would have been promos for weeks telling all of America to tune in for the most dramatic. Bachelor. moment. EVER.

Because as I’m sure my sweet, level-headed, even-keeled, Proverbs 31 friend remembers, when she found out that BSU boy was interested in someone else, she SLAMMED THE DOOR, KICKED IT, FLUNG HERSELF TO THE GROUND and started to sob. No, sob is too weak a verb. She started to WAIL.

And we were all, “What the…” and she was all, “I just thought he really liked me,” and we were all, “Ummm…missy, you’ve had ONE DATE,” and she was all, “Yes, but I thought he was God’s will for my life! I decided that he was God’s will for my life!”

Please don’t misunderstand. There were lots of guys who would have loved to be The One for my sweet friend. She’s exactly the “type,” for lack of a better stereotypical word, that many guys hope to marry. But for her, it was just the pressure of the whole thing – she was ready to meet That Guy, date That Guy, and marry That Guy. She was ready to check “Soul Mate” off of the list and get on to the next thing so that the pressure would be gone. I think a lot of girls felt that kind of pressure.

My point is this. Girls are conditioned from an early age to be on the lookout for The One. How do you know he’s The One? Is he The One? Oh, I think he’s The One. If he’s not The One, I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m just ready to find The One and settle down. And then, in the tradition of The Bachelor: Oh, BACK OFF, Sistah – he’s not The One for you, he’s The One for me. And then, the saddest: I thought he was The One, but I was wrong.

I think the root of all the drama is that so many women look to someone else to validate who they are. Guys tend to let their jobs do this…but many – not all, but many – women look to men. So I wonder if these “desperate” girls who disturbed D. so much are really wanting Cute Doctor Bachelor Guy – or if they just want someone, anyone to deem them worthy of being wanted. Does that make sense?

If we’re going to condition girls / women / whathaveyou to always be on the lookout for the handsome prince, to think that their lives won’t be complete until they find him, then people like My Husband Who Has Obviously Been In A Cave need not be surprised when girls pull out all the stops to win the prince’s heart.

And then fling themselves to the floor when he’s not so interested.

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  1. And THAT is why I cannot stomach “The Bachelor”…Paris, France or Paris, Tennessee. :) It is a pitiful display of shallow, insecure, petty, desperate girls…and one what-was-i-thinking- (thank you, Dierks) guy. I believe this show brings out the absolute worst in people. After watching the last few episodes of the 2nd season, I was mortified at how relentless the “winner” was and how clueless the guy was. Plus, they wore me out using the words “amazing”, “journey”, “life partner”, “amazing journey”, and “amazing life partner”. Amazing.
    Sorry, sister. Not to rain on your parade, but shows like “The Bachelor” only exacerbate the problem we have of “conditioning” women to always be on the lookout for a husband. Women are led to believe that the examples of disgusting behavior shown on “The Bachelor” are how “getting a husband” is done…not to mention that it makes women appear to be weak and stupid…which, no doubt, includes some of the contestants on the show.
    So,I guess this rant is s little “life lesson”, too. You said you wanted more comments…and you got ‘er! ;)

  2. That was an amazing comment. Amazing. :-)

    I agree with you that “The Bachelor” adds to the problem. That was sort of the point…the girls aren’t on there because they have any clue about what they really want or need – they just want to be picked, want someone to deem them worthy of being loved. That behavior fascinates me – obviously, b/c I watch – and it also really bothers me. I just want to sit them down and knock some sense into their shallow little heads.

    I don’t think it’s just “shallow girls” who are the problem, though…because somewhere along the line are some “shallow guys” who are falling for it. It’s a vicious cycle, it is.

    OH – the a part of the post that I deleted – because it felt out of place to use myself as an example – was that I, oddly enough, never felt the pressure. Somehow I never got the memo that I was supposed to find my husband at college…nor did I think my life would be over if I didn’t get married. I think a large part of the reason why I didn’t feel the urgency is that because I always had you in the background saying, “You need to be AT LEAST 27, and really, 30 is probably a better age…but you can never get back that time after college to just by yourself.” And you were exactly right – because I have never, ever thought, “Gosh, I wish I’d married when I was younger.” I am SO grateful for those 6 years between college and marriage – for me, it was exactly what I needed.

    I also think there’s a whole new component to this problem that didn’t exist when we were in college, and that’s mamas who teach their daughters to be sexy. I could write novels about the message that sends, but I think it’s a mighty dangerous thing to objectify your own child and convince her that the core of her value is her ability to attract men.

    What societal ill should we address next? I’m sure that, between the two of us, we can solve it right nicely. :-)

    Daph – you need to chime in on this one.

  3. Ok, I’m not getting into the deep discussion you two have got going on here…I just want to confirm that I know who the girl was with the BSU date. I’m pretty sure, but was she your roommate at one time? Confirm, please. I would think it was me, for sure, except that I don’t think I ever dated anyone from BSU, seeing how I didn’t go to BSU. But unfortunately, that behavior sounds a little like the kind of thing I would have done in college.

  4. Woops, I meant to say it sounds A LOT like the kind of thing I would have done in college.

  5. No, Merritt, it wasn’t you, and yes, it was who you think it was, and the only reason I used that particular example is because I remember it very well and b/c it makes me laugh. AND I knew the person it happened to wouldn’t mind me using it.

    I will say, though, that as I thought about examples in the wee hours this AM, there were LOTS that came to mind. :-) Some of them did involve you. Some of them also involved me driving someone who lives in your area of the country to peer in the windows of an ex-boyfriend’s house.

    I could also devote an entire post to things that could be done via telephone before caller ID entered the equation. ;-)

  6. OH MY GOSH THE THINGS WE DID BEFORE CALLER ID…YOU ARE EXACTLY RIGHT!!! Wow, times were good; weren’t they? But I can honestly say that I really APPRECIATE my caller ID now.

  7. emma kate says:

    OK OK It was me for goodness sakes and I certainly don’t remember WAILING. Maybe I shed a stupid tear but WAILING is way too much. And I thank God I didn’t end up with that guy!! Actually, the one I remember thinking God had picked just for me was the 4-Him singer — everybody remember my crush on him. I thought that traveling on a tour bus with him singing praises to the Lord would be the ultimate. Thank you Lord for choosing my wonderful mate – during all my foolish days he had my Brad chosen just for me!!

  8. No, you wailed. Way more than a single tear, missy. The volume of the crying was shocking, that’s what it was.

    I promise. :-)

    I do remember the 4Him guy, too – that was our senior year. But you didn’t have the breakdown with him that you had with BSU guy.

    But I’ll quit talking now, before I feel compelled to include more examples. :-) And I am thankful for Brad, too – there could not be a better person for you in the whole wide world.

  9. Oh, EK, you are the cutest! I miss you!
    If it makes you feel any better, I could name about 10 guys that I probably did the exact same thing with. Only I never really wailed, just put on my walkman and daydreamed while twisting my hair and lying on my bed in the Chi O house feeling sorry for myself.
    I was unaware of your feelings for the 4Him guy. You mean the band?

  10. emma kate says:

    Hey Merritt!! Absolutely the band. I had a friend who knew them and went to dinner with them after a concert one night in B’ham. I thought I was completely destined to be with — now I can’t even remember his name. I think I probably took a couple of those walks with you and the walkman — oh, the good ole days!! Miss you bunches too Merritt!!

  11. And we all know it’s TRUE love when, 10 years later, you can’t remember the name of the person who was so clearly, at the time, God’s will for your life.