Saturday, September 17, 2011

Raising the Female Psyche and How Breaking Up is Hard to Do

“The Heart was Made to be Broken” -Oscar Wilde

I like dating. I like everything about it. I like locking eyes across a crowded room and the sheer joy when a woman doesn’t look away. Asking for phone numbers and trading messages all day, electrical sparks flying when fingers interlock and the total awkwardness of making the first move, joking later about calling the paramedics because I thought the heart palpitations would leap right out of my chest just seconds before that unbelievably perfect first kiss. Writing letters and sending flowers and basically… falling in love, which eventually leads to my absolute most favorite part of a relationship: Breaking Up!
Yep. I said it.
My favorite part of a relationship is when someone reaches their cold, hard, blood-stained hands into my chest and pulls out my still beating heart then stabbing it with a pair of rusty scissors.
Why, you ask?
Could it be because you are a sociopath?
Could it be due to the most overused asinine and pathetic two word phrase in the English language: Soul Mate?
Well then what, pray tell, makes you love the end of relationships so much?
It’s because, when you break up with someone, you see them exactly for who they are. All those little red flags and warning signs, those annoying little habits you chalked up as cute quirks, all those inadequacies and insecurities you covered and overlooked, they immediately come to the forefront and slap you in the face.
Your eyes are immediately opened to everything that person was hiding from you. Every perfect lie. Every luscious cruel intention. Every damaging secret they never wanted to reveal to you, is now on full display.
It’s like catching them in soiled underwear after a car accident.
You see it all, and there’s no going back.
I used to be very hurt by break-ups. Let’s face it, my insides are made of mush. I mean, I memorize passages from Robert Browning for crying out loud. The same Robert Browning who said, “Take away love and our earth is a tomb.” But not anymore. A switch has been flipped somewhere along the way, and now I revel in it.
Which got me thinking about pseudo-compassionate break-up lines and what they really reveal about people, particularly women.
After some research, here are the Top Five:
5. “I’ll Always Love You.”
(Translation: Just Not Enough) You ever gotten this one from a woman? Believe me, women don’t do anything half cocked. We’re talking a species that lives to match handbags and shoes to belts. Women are always trading up. So she won’t say it unless she’s got some other poor schmuck in the wings. Who am I kidding, “say it?” No. Women who utter a preposterous phrase like this to men send it in text messages or voice mails, never to your face.
4. “I Really Hope We Can Be Friends.”
(Translation: Please Don’t Come Crying to My Office and Embarrass Me) I think this one works both ways for men and women. Once these seven words are said aloud, we hope to never see you, smell you, hear you, think of you, or be reminded we've been naked with you again. We hate your taste in clothes, think your cooking is revolting, secretly mock your music behind your back, and just wish you’d move to the other side of the planet.
Believe me, if someone says this to you, calmly go outside and defecate on the hood of their car. If they bail you out of jail the next day, they're a friend.
3. “You Deserve Better.”
(Translation: I See You’re Pissed. Please Don’t Murder Me in My Sleep) Of course, this one is really about the person saying it. By referencing “you” what she really mean is “me,” as in, “I deserve better.” So give it to her. You bust your ass at work, but it’s never enough. You buy her all kinds of crap, but she still wants more. You take her to the best restaurant in the city, but she complains about the food. You show her the stuff you’re really interested in but she uses phrases like, “Oh, that’s nice,” and “Good use of the 'Man Cave,'" or the worst, ‘Go follow your passion. I’m behind you.”
Yeah, you’re behind me all right, out the door with my credit card.
2. “We Need Some Space.”
(Translation: How Much More Face Time Do I Need to Put in to Not Feel Like a Terrible Person?) Phrases like this can’t even be dignified with a response. You start racking your brain. She knows you enough to completely reject everything you are and stand for. How long has she felt this way? Weeks? Months? From the beginning? Did she ever really like you? Maybe she was just trying to get over somebody else? Or make some other guy jealous so he would go back to her? If you hear this phrase assume you have been used, that you’re a pawn, a tool. You’ve been manipulated from day one. You never meant anything to her. You were a means to an end. Brace yourself. It’s about to get worse.
1. “It’s Not You, It’s Me.”
(Translation: Drop Dead!) Of course, like a good job interview answer that turns a negative into a positive, something like… "Oh a weakness, hmmmm….I guess I’m just too diplomatic in the work place…" there are variations. Maybe you’ve heard, “I thought I was ready for a relationship, but…” or “I’m too much of a perfectionist, so …” or “I don’t want to hurt you, but…”
It’s all crap. Excrement. Bovine scatology.
There is fear in her eyes. She’s full of it. She’s a cheater, a liar, and a flake. She goes through her life lying to everyone about everything under the sun, always has an excuse and an out, and You’re It!
Guys get bad raps for being dogs, for making love on beds with one foot on the floor and one eye out the door, but women enter relationships like this too. They get in just deep enough to have a real connection with someone and then they run like hell. For a man, there’s no remedy for this. You’ve been bucked off a bronco. Dust yourself off, some hearts, like horses, will never be tamed.
Okay… maybe you’re wondering, “Uh… Hartenstein? Are you alright?”
The answer is, of course! I'm just preparing myself to raise daughters in Asia.
You see, across Asia, I spend a great amount of time outside playing with my daughters. Playgrounds. Museums. Art Galleries. Public fountains, water parks, jungle gyms, you name it, and I’m always surrounded by women. Moms of all shapes, sizes, and ages. And for years now, I feel their eyes all over me.
At first I thought they were undressing me. You know, Asian dads are sort of handicapped in the cool department. They are not like western fathers throwing baseballs and climbing trees and bonding with their kids. I thought these women ogling me were like, “Oh… I want that!”
But recently I found out I was dead wrong.
Asian women don’t want me. They don’t want me at all. What they have been staring at is my potential DNA. They have been wondering, “If I got pregnant by him, would my babies be as beautiful?” AND… “If they were as beautiful, how would it feel to have every other woman jealous of me?” Hahahahaha! (insert sinister laugh) Hahahahahaa!
That’s right, idiot! You’re a hand bag. You’re an accessory. You’re a hanging hooped earring. A pedicure. A window seat in a trendy café. To most Asian women I meet, a white man is a stepping stone to a better life.
Don’t get me wrong. There are good ones out there. I found and married one once. But as I return to Asia with my three daughters, I am scared to death. What values are they learning from other women here? Who are their female role models going to be? Do you know how hard it is to find a good woman here? A woman of ideas? Substance? Creativity? Global interests that push past the... "My hobby is sleeping," and "I want a handsome husband who buys me a delicious cake"? It's tough! Maybe the only answer is breaking up with Asia before it breaks up with me? Yeah, like I said, breaking up is hard to do.

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