Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ready-Made, Pre-Packaged Wives (Just Add Water)

Ready-Made, Pre-Packaged Wives (Just Add Water)

          So, you’re into him.  He’s seemingly into you.  You guys have fun… you joke around all the time.  You get in the kitchen and cook together, then spontaneously have a food fight!  It leaves the two of you covered in flour looking like two ghosts with bright eyes as you both fall to the ground laughing so hard that your stomach hurts!  It’s absolutely wonderful isn’t it?  No stress, no drama, just easy breezy fun, Fun, FUN!  BUT, what happens when you say to him, “so, how do you feel about us being in a relationship?”  Next thing you know, you don’t hear from him for two days, then a week, until finally you are left wondering, WHAT HAPPENED??? 

            And if you guys have been kicking it for a long time, you’re actually kind of hurt.  You came to care about him and had all types of swirly, magical thoughts about WHAT IF you two were a couple?  How would it be if you were a family (or maybe I’m the only one who thinks that way, but I mean at 31, who doesn’t think that?  Not out to waste time here).  Certainly with how great you two were together, it would have at least crossed his mind once or twice, right? 
            Usually, I’d be the first one to post a big ole WRONG answer to that last question, but the truth is, I have absolutely no idea whether the guy thought about it or not.  The truth is, many of us ladies (especially those of us who came from a two parent home) are out here practicing being wives to men who have no intent on marrying us- or even committing to us to be a boyfriend for that matter...  The truth is, we’re wives with no men to marry.  We’re wives who are “just friends.”

            Now I find it very entertaining how many of us ladies have evolved to try to cope with this problem.  Being the strong creatures we are, we won’t let things keep us down for long before we somehow adapt to it.  As a result, many of us decided that we would simply become men and just “not give a damn” one way or the other, and we’d get our needs satisfied by whomever we deemed worthy and that was it.  No muss, no fuss, nothing serious-ever because guess what, we don’t need a man!  We’re fine on our own!  Yeah… right… 
She's a hybrid right? Sheesh Idk...
Then there are those other ladies who are hybrids.  They try to be men too, but secretly underneath it all, want a relationship.  But of course she can’t tell anyone because then she’d appear as that needy broad who hangs her happiness on finding or having a man.  Can’t be that chick so, she’ll go along with a guy’s program of “nothing serious,” or “we’re just friends” until they get so deeply involved that she can’t see a way out.  That’s where the pain comes in…  And it’s a dreadful situation to be in, believe me, but so many of us find ourselves right there while trying to pretend we really don’t care at all…. 
Then there is the other type of woman who is still a woman at heart with ideas and family fantasies, but is so jaded that she’s always expecting the other shoe to drop.  She goes along with the guy’s program, but she will eventually ask for more because she wants more.  But when she’s denied and rejected (because that’s basically what has happened when he says no), she isn’t surprised.  She shrugs it off and says whatever, and keeps on going.  After all, did she really expect him to want a relationship?  Not really.  They never do.  She’s hurt, sure, but what good would showing him do?  Might as well put the strong face on and keep on trucking.

           Then our last type of lady who is all lady for sure, is floored that he doesn’t want a relationship with her.  Oh my goodness, the world is over!  She’ll never love again!  Somebody call the Fire Department, the Police Department, an Ambulance- hell, call a Hearse because somebody’s going to have a melt down in 0.05 seconds!  How will she ever live?  God has abandoned her!  Why, Lord, why!  Somebody toss her ass into the coffin and throw dirt on her, ‘cause everything else is a wrap!

Sigh… I’m exhausted just thinking about it.  But really, when you get right down to it on a basic molecular level, why is it so hard for us ladies to maintain real and healthy relationships?  Or to even get one for that matter!  Why and where, in 2014, has the love gone?

Now it’s my theory that women, much like myself, who grew up in a two parent home witnessed some things that people that grew up in a single family home, didn’t.  For instance I saw my mother be a wife.  My entire life that I lived at home, I watched my mother, day in and out, be a wife to my father.  I watched her cook, clean, and take care of the home.  She wasn’t a homemaker.  Nope.  She had a career.  But I watched her be a wife.  I learned that you have to be tolerant, respectful, be respected, know when to be a hard ass and when to be nurturing.  I learned that you need to keep yourself looking good (as shallow as it sounds, this is important) and always allow your man to be a man.  Without even meaning to, this is the lesson that my mother taught me.  I was raised to be somebody’s wife.

And I didn’t have delusions about marriage or relationships either, as if it would be all
sunshine and rainbows with glitter sparkled butterflies (gag).  I saw my parents have their share of hard times, but I also saw them work through them.  I saw my mother exercise patience when she was fed up.  I saw her pick up the ball and keep it bouncing, if it were dropped.  I saw her work hard, doing her part to keep our family alive.  And I learned what men were and what it means to have a husband by looking at my father.  I watched him provide for us, and make tough decisions.  I saw the way he treated my mother with kindness and care always, even when he was angry with her.  I never saw him hit her, ever, and I always saw him exercise patience when my mother’s attitude was beyond aggravating (hell, she aggravated the hell out of me too! Don’t tell her I said that…).  Without meaning to, my dad showed me how men should treat their women.  He raised me to accept what a genuine man has to offer.  But most of all, I learned that they never gave up.  I was taught just by looking at my parents, that you don’t give up just because a person annoyed you.  But to that end, I also saw them have A LOT of fun!  You work through the hard times for a brighter day and have a blast in between!  And guess what, they made it 35 years so far, still counting...

Who's dazed and confused by dating? This Chick!
Fast forward to the present and we’ve got a helluva problem here.  I have gone off into the world with these traditions and ideals in place.  When I meet a man and we begin formulating what I think is a relationship (and clearly I am the only one who thinks it), I practice being a wife to him.  I practice that because that’s all I know… that’s what I was raised to be.  But in comes the problem.  That guy (most of the time) isn’t from a home like mine.  He had to tough it out with no dad.  He didn’t see his mom be a wife.  He didn’t see his dad be a husband.  So realistically, when I step in with my wife practice, I look insane.  There’s no way this man could accept or appreciate what I have to offer because he’s had no experience with this type of tradition at all.  No, instead, it is something that he could take advantage of, play around with, or even make fun of (ah, son, I got her doing everything for me! She’ll do anything I ask her to do, watch!)… but it’s not something that he can respond to in a healthy way.  So who then, in this scenario, is the idiot for expecting that from him? ME!

I have been hurt in numerous different ways because I approached relationships and potential relationships with an ideal in mind.  That’s my fault.  No one else’s, I can admit.  I can not help how I was raised, but I should understand that everyone doesn’t think of things the same way that I do.  If I had realized this some time ago, I could have spared myself a lot of
Face I make when I have to start over

disappointment and emotional pain… not to mention I could have saved myself from wasting valuable time with people who just weren’t worth it and certainly didn’t deem me worth it.  But I suppose that’s how it is.  Those are the trials and tribulations we have to go through in order to learn.

What then is a traditional girl such as myself supposed to do in a world full of men and women who don’t believe in traditions anymore?  The simple answer would be to find someone who does, but then, do those persons even exist anymore?  I always heard that if you can’t beat em, join em, but I refuse to do that.  Someone else’s disability to commit to a person is their own disability.  It isn’t mine.  I won’t stoop to that level.  I was taught that if a person is worth it, you work with them through hard times- your hard times and his.  If you are worth it, he’ll do the same.  And that’s what I have to look out for… a person who will do that and who isn’t afraid to build a foundation with me- a person who isn’t afraid to love me or receive love from me. 

yeah, yeah, I "stole" the picture so what
I don’t have the slightest clue why commitment is so hard for men.  Or why emotions and feeling, and pledging yourself to another person along with yourself is so difficult.  Stephen King said that the “soil of a man’s heart is stonier; a man grows what he can and tends it.  And what he grows always comes home to him.”  I can agree that it is stonier… harder to grow things.  And if he can grow something, he will try (at least for a little while) to tend it.  I hope that that means all isn’t lost for us ready-made wives.  Not even ready-made, ‘cause that sounds so cookie cutter, but for us ladies who grew up learning to be modern day wives, hopefully we can grow into the heart of a man who can appreciate what we are and what we have to offer: home.

But it’s funny, don’t you think?  “Ready-made, pre-packaged” wives with no husbands.  Life has a funny sense of humor.


Arielle "Ari" Crowell

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