Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Thoughts on Men – Part 4

The point of all of this is even after fifty plus years of life and over eight years of abstinence I still have no clue about men. I have theories – like my four building types. I have lots of men friends and acquaintances – especially if they’re married, in a committed relationship, or gay. With very few exceptions I don’t really trust anyone who doesn’t fall into one of those categories and I don’t trust some of those who do.

One thing I’ve come to believe is WE are the most precious gifts we can give. The gift of our time, our spirits, our intellect, our bodies and our love is more valuable than any material things we can offer. We shouldn’t give ourselves away to people who don’t deserve us and won’t appreciate us.

I haven’t totally given up on finding someone special but whoever applies for this position is going to have to jump through a lot of hoops before he reaches my bed. First he’s going to have to become my friend – someone I can talk to about anything, anytime and anyplace. He’s going to have to earn my trust. Good luck with that! Absolute, total and complete honesty will be a non-negotiable requirement.

He’ll have to be intelligent and witty. There are 24 hours in a day and approximately eight of them are taken up with sleeping. That leaves the possibility of spending 16 hours some days with this person. Depending on their age and health, sex might only fill a few minutes of that time so you have to be able to talk to them.

The man who finally snags me will also have to understand I still have residual abandonment and intimacy issues. I’m totally aware of this and have been working on it for a long time but it is a deep-seeded part of my psyche and it fights with my rational mind for control of me in many situations. I used to believe it would help to have someone who shared and had overcome these same types of issues. Now I think it would be better to have someone who just recognizes them and won’t allow me to dwell on them. Having a relationship with another person with these issues could be a recipe for disaster and I have experienced enough disasters. I don’t want to complete someone. I want someone who’s already complete.

He’ll have to be patient. Having read this far you should understand why by now. And he’ll need to have a really good sense of humor – an absolute must. He also must like animals – especially dogs. My dogs will have to approve of him. He must be financially independent because I am. I’ve supported men before and have no intention of ever doing it again. And, no skanks! He must be good looking with great self esteem – only humble.

He has to have his own friends and interests and not rely on me to entertain him all the time. I have wonderful friends and enjoy spending time with them. I don’t intend to stop spending time with my friends and I really do enjoy being alone sometimes. I don’t mind if he goes out to play with his friends and he is not allowed to mind if I go out and play with mine. I don’t want a clinging vine. No angst allowed!

Based on all of this, I probably won’t be getting married or into any kind of serious relationships any time soon.

I’ve often thought I should move to Italy. I have a friend who’s married to an Italian man. He says Italian men really appreciate older women because of their wisdom and experience. He says I would be a goddess there and the men would value my wisdom and strength. They would think I was sexy and desirable because they’re looking beyond the exterior and more concerned with what’s inside. He says younger women may look better but older women ARE better. If I’m ever rich enough I think I’ll rent a house in Tuscany for a while and test his theory. Of course my friend could be full of bull and just trying to make me feel better, but it’s nice to think about and I may try it eventually.

Maybe some day I’ll find someone who’ll love me enough to stick around and help me get through all of my issues – someone who’ll care about me enough to prevent me from running at the first sign of tension. When people are tense or angry it makes me cower inside. I think it’s a response to the memory of the yelling and arguing I witnessed as a child, but at the first sign of it all I want to do is head for the nearest exit. Then the chances of seeing me again are very slim. I’m not a fighter.

Anyway, men are last on my list of demons because they are my biggest challenge and obviously I still need to do a little work here. However, I’ve resolved not to fail in this arena again even if that means many more years without someone. And I won’t compromise. Until I meet someone with whom I’m compatible physically, intellectually, emotionally, and spiritually I will stay single.

Maybe when I’m in my nineties in the retirement community, with failing eyesight and poor hearing, my prince charming will roll up to me and make a pass. If I try to hit him with my cane and miss, I’ll know he’s the one.

Well, that's it - my chapter on men. I welcome any and all comments and thanks for reading!


The Muse said...

Great Posts! I loved all four of them. Now I understand your blog name, “The Anti-Wife”. I think, as we get older that we need to come to terms with the fact that there is no Prince Charming out there searching for us. (Men are an enigma.) No one is going to rescue us from our loneliness, not even a devoted husband or wife. Happiness and commitment are a conscious choice, NOT a feeling. We must complete ourselves and become everything that we are searching for in a mate. Like attracts like.

PS. It is true that Italian men absolutely ADORE American women. I have never had so much attention from men as when I was in Italy. Although I do believe that there are far more “hotels” that cater to American women than romantic Tuscan villas available.

Bernita said...

Think you've described the ideal man for any woman.

The Muse said...

I've been thinking some more about your posts. I believe that the essence of finding love is to come to the realization that the true meaning of the word "love" is that it is a VERB, not simply a noun. Love is not a passive feeling; it requires ACTION and demonstration. As you have said in your post, when we love something we devote our time and attention. The purist love is unconditional…

When I was young a friend of mine told me that there were basically 3 kinds of love:

"I love you because..."

"I love you if..."

And "I love you despite..."

The first two are conditional kinds of love and don’t last. You just fill in the blanks. "I love you because….you are beautiful, sexy, rich, available, willing, etc." The second conditional type of love is “I love you IF… you live up to my expectations”. "I love you if you do something for ME, lose weight, buy gifts, please me, support me, help me, save me, cure me, fix me, rescue me, forgive me, etc." IF is a controlling and selfish kind of love. The problem with the first two kinds of love is that conditions and circumstances always change. We get older and we can lose our looks, our enthusiasm, our money, our status, our possessions, our health, our stamina, and our ability to perform and please the other person or live up to their expectations. And finally the third kind of love is, "I love you despite..." When you can learn to love and accept someone despite their flaws and imperfections and the fact that they DON'T live up to OUR expectations or meet OUR requirements, then that is real love. The ideal does not exist! There will be disappointments. No one can save you from your solitude except yourself. This is a spiritual kind of love, one that is selfless and devoted to acceptance.

Church Lady said...

These are fantastic posts! Also enjoyed reading the muses' responses as well. I whole-heartedly agree that happiness is a choice. At times i's hard to remember that, but I believe it to be true.

Your openness and honesty are touching, AW.

And it sounds like a trip to Italy is in order. Do you have anything against flings? I see an Italian luvva in your future..... ;-)

Merry Jelinek said...

These were fantastic posts, anti-wife - and I loved the input in the comments as well.

I read a book a few years ago, Hipocrit in a White Poofy Dress, it was excellent and one of the chapters the author said something that I thought was both true and hysterical - this is paraphrased as I have given the book to a friend,

Girls should be tied down to a chair while the Disney Princess theme song 'some day my prince will come' is played and other women walk around her slapping her repeatedly and yelling, "He's Not Coming!!!'

Hers was funnier, but a little diversion therapy might have helped all of us who grew up with the image of perfect weddings being success while no husband or kids equals failure...

Basically, what I see here is that you don't want to settle. And you shouldn't.

By the way, if you do take that trip to Italy, let us know how it goes, we all may want to come out for an extended visit ;-)

The Anti-Wife said...

Sounds like we could all use that trip to Italy - even if it's just to get away from it all for a while. What does that say about our lives?

Ello said...

You really need to format this for a magazines. It is a perfect article! One nitpicky thing. When you said your friend married an Italian man and then the next sentence was "He said" I know you meant the husband who is Italian said it, but it kind of read like your friend is a guy. You might want to fix to say my friend's husband said...

The Muse said...

Hey Anti-Wife,

"The Perfect Man" does exist in Italy, in Florence, to be exact... Michaelangelo's "David" that stands in all his glory at 13' 6" tall. He is the most gorgeous, sensuous hunk of marble that you will ever see. ( those Italian men!)

Send LOTS of pictures!


wordtryst said...

Thoroughly enjoyed your posts on men, especially this last one. The hair actually stood up on my arm because this reflects my thoughts on the subject almost exactly, even down to the Tuscany fantasy.

This is why I like coming here: you examine these complex issues with honesty and courage.

The Anti-Wife said...

I'm looking into online classes to increase my knowledge in this area.

Why do we have to go away to find that? It seems so unfair.

It just proves that some things are universal and we're more alike than we believe.