Overanalyzed and underwhelmed
September 20, 2006
Women can be real idiots. Just hear me out: I’ve been watching friend after friend go down in flames, and I’m not talking about being burned at the stake in stoic glory. It doesn’t seem to matter how beautiful they are, how smart, how strong, or powerful. The bottom line is we’re submissive by nature.I’m almost thinking the more powerful or smart a woman is, the more confused and frustrated she gets by her instinct to submit. She tries to feign control over the situation, tries to analyze it, and tries to find reason in something that is entirely innate. The almost funny part is we girls are all so good at telling each other what to do only to turn around and make the exact same mistakes ourselves.Take my friend Hope. Ever since she got divorced from her drug-addict husband who ran off with a girl he met in rehab, Hope has understandably been on a dating frenzy, “making up for lost time,” as she puts it. A stunning girl with dark hair, bright blue eyes and a wit as sharp as glass, she has no problem attracting men, which is how she earned the nickname “Fly Paper” back in high school. With so many men and so little time, Hope still manages to juggle two to three dudes in the midst of working full time as a nurse and teaching 6 a.m. spinning classes three mornings a week. And despite her intelligence, not to mention her keen ability to analyze my screw-ups, she picks the worst guy every time. It’s like she wants to suffer.Her current bad choice is a recovering alcoholic contractor who builds multimillion-dollar homes on the shorelines of Westport, Conn. When I visited her there, she showed me his house. Granted, it was a model home for his business, but it was 4,000 square feet with no furniture except a couch and a bed, and not a single personal affect.”If a person’s home says a lot about a person, this house is … empty,” I said.Naturally, Hope and I have exchanged countless e-mails detailing the 47,000 reasons why this guy is basically a total asshole. Now she’s the fly, stuck in his paper.Then I get this exuberant call from my friend Suzy in Sun Valley who is also divorced and playing the field, which is all too easy in a small mountain town in Idaho where there is a surplus of horny, available men.”I have a boy toy!” she said, squealing into the phone with girlish glee. I literally had to hold the phone three inches away so she wouldn’t pierce my eardrum. She proceeds to tell me he is an Idaho farm boy who is 10 years younger than her and rocking in bed (of course).”That’s fine,” I tell her, “As long as you don’t get emotionally attached and get upset when it doesn’t work out.” I paused for a reaction. When I didn’t get one, I said, “You know it’s not going to work out, right?”A week or two later I get the distress call. Farm Boy has dumped her and picked up with her best friend. Of course she’s more pissed at her friend than she is at the guy because we all know it’s always the woman’s fault. (I’ll be the first to admit I’ve probably been guilty of that once or twice) To get over the FB crisis, Suzy proceeded to have sex with her ex-boyfriend in a teepee during a wedding ceremony on some ranch. Of course the next round of phone calls were devoted to analyzing why the ex isn’t returning her phone calls, either. Talk about beating your head against a brick wall.I’m more of a fire person than a brick-wall person. I love to stick my hand right into the flame and toast it like a marshmallow. Then I’m mad when no one feels sorry for me when I get burned, even though I’m screaming, “Ouch!” and jumping up and down in pain.Then we women take our stupidity a step further and try to analyze these bad situations we’ve willingly put ourselves in. We talk all the live-long day, writing these novel-length emails. (If I spent even half as much time on my book as I did on these e-mails, I would have published at least four books by now.) We talk on the phone for hours and cry in our beers during girls night out, all the while checking our cell phones every five seconds to see if he left a voice mail or sent a text message.The best is when we’re like, “What do you think he’s thinking?” or “What do you think it means when he said this or did that?” Meanwhile, the guy is somewhere at that exact moment, thinking about being hungry or wanting a beer or wondering which game is playing that night on TV. These guys are not the complicated creatures we make them out to be.We coach each other on how to handle the situation by feigning some sort of confidence we don’t have, or better yet come up with all sorts of ways to say everything except what we really mean. “Do not call him,” we’ll insist. “Wait at least three days, and then if he still hasn’t called, you call him and just act like nothing is wrong.”When that doesn’t work (and it never does) the submissive woman who is still under the impression she has some sort of power in society ends up teaching 6 a.m. spinning classes/spending money she doesn’t have at Prada/taking antidepressants and still feeling kind of hopeless.Did someone say women’s lib? I’m starting to think we should just call it what it really is, like women’s glib.The Princess needs a fire extinguisher if anyone has one she can borrow. Send your supportive e-mail to email@example.com.