Author’s Note: This piece was inspired by one of my favorite shows, Sex & the City. It’s also an amalgamation of various conversations with girlfriends that I’ve gathered throughout the years. The story isn’t about me. It’s written in the first person as an homage to the show’s first-person narrative.
I have come to the conclusion that men fall into certain categories. If we can organize them logically, then maybe we can learn how to deal with them.
“I’m stuck in the woods in my negligée and my cell phone only has two bars left … help me!”
– Miranda Hobbs
The first category is the “Good on Paper” type. The GP is a nice guy who loves you no matter what trick you pull out of your hat. He is gentle, kind, understanding, giving and predominantly … bland. That’s why he is easily relegated to the bottom of the list. This is a man who can be your safety net. He wants you, he needs you, he takes care of you, but there is no passion, no excitement and worst of all, sex with him is about as exciting as watching grass grow. The GP takes all the bullshit you hand him on a daily basis and even if he dares to complain about it, you are usually able to fix things with a smile, a wink, a shake of your hips and an occasional deep kiss reminding him of how sexy and exciting YOU are.
I’ve had my share of GPs. In fact, some of my best friends are former GPs. The worst part about a GP is that you know there is a woman out there who would gladly kill for an opportunity to be with this man. Yet, here he is, stuck to you like glue and there is nothing you can do about it. And, you usually stay with them a lot longer than you want because you feel guilty about breaking up. I mean, he is so … nice. What kind of a maniac would break up with a man who worships the ground she walks on?
“I’d never heard of an urban relationship myth in which a self-centered 42-year-old baby magically transformed in to a grown man that you could bring out in public.”
“I’ve done the merry go-round. I just want to stand still for a moment. Can you just stand still with me?”
The second category is the “Transitional Guy.” This guy usually follows in the footsteps of the GP and he provides the excitement that you’ve been lacking. The main attraction is of course, sexual. The physical pull between the two of you is undeniable and unavoidable. Every time you see him, you need to touch him and he needs to touch you. Sexual innuendos fly between the two of you for a while until finally, in one climactic and amazing moment, you actually take the plunge and have yourself a serious fuck-fest. Sadly, things start deteriorating right after that. The TG is usually some weird guy with whom you have nothing in common. To top it off, he is probably some self-centered mega asshole who doesn’t give a damn about you. The danger with the TG is that you might end up getting emotionally involved. That’s when things get really scary. You haven’t had good sex in a long time and suddenly here you are, having a great time in bed and your emotions start kicking in. Transitional Guy always warns you about it ahead of time. This is actually your first clue that this guy can’t be anything other than a TG. He tells you that he doesn’t want to get involved with anyone, that he is too busy, too pre-occupied, too troubled, “too something or other,” and that he doesn’t feel you can handle it. That’s your sign. Right there.
“What is it with guys and weekends? I swear every guy I’ve fucked since Memorial Day wants to know what I’m doing next weekend. Why can’t they understand that next weekend I’m meeting a new guy so I don’t have to fuck the old one?”
The third category is the “Random Guy.” Right after your dalliance with TG and your semi-heartbreak, you are ready to go down the road of acting like men and start sleeping with Random Guy (s). These are men who, when you are sober, would make you run for your life. A few dirty martinis and you find yourself naked in bed with the RG pretending to be having a good time. This is usually followed by a cotton-mouth morning wake up call when you look across at the poor guy and wonder what the heck you were thinking. My solution is to kick them out right after sex. That way you can be alone with your stupidity when you wake up.
Random Guy always promises to call and never does … if you’re lucky. If you’re not, you’ve got yourself a stalker. All of a sudden, you have to deal with someone who wants to date. How do you get rid of him? Just hand him the same bullshit that the TG handed you: you’re too busy, too pre-occupied, too troubled, “too something or other.” Hopefully he’ll get the hint and leave you alone. I’ve had a couple these gems too, and let me tell you, they are the number one reason for my (almost) swearing off of dirty martinis.
“I’m someone who’s looking for love. Real love. Ridiculous, inconvenient, consuming, can’t live without each other love. And, I don’t think that love is here in this expensive suite in this lovely hotel, in Paris.”
– Carrie Bradshaw
The fourth and ultimate category is of course, “The One.” The One is the man of your dreams. He is the man who is a combination of the GP and the TG. He is the one that will rock your world, and better yet, thinks that you rock his. He’s out there. You keep telling yourself that he’s out there and one day, as you’re casually going about your business you will bump into him and sparks will fly and that will be your happily ever after. Actually, I lay the blame for this delusion squarely on Hollywood. How many sappy, romantic chick flicks are out there with made-up happy endings? Too many, if you ask me. I mean, come on. For all you old school girls out there, how many times, in the real world does a guy actually stand out in the rain with a boombox over his head playing what is quite possibly the most romantic song ever written at high volume just because he has to have you? “In your eyes, the light, the heat … I am complete.” Puhleeze.
This is what’s wrong with the world. Here we are, these great, sophisticated, elegant, modern women and we still pine for that male presence that will somehow, magically, make our worlds complete. We are still in the same predicament as the pre-historic woman: waiting for our caveman to come back to us with sustenance, warmth and security.
If Charlotte is right and we have two chances in life for great love, then I guess I’m set. I’ve already had one (surprise! It didn’t work out), so there must be another great love around the corner for me. Or maybe I’m just so cynical because I don’t want to believe. You know, if I actually believe it can happen and it does … then what? Whoops. Nothing left to complain about is there? Oscar Wilde said “Every man kills the thing he loves.” It’s true, isn’t it? We all want so badly to find The One and to partake of that legendary (and quite arbitrary, if you ask me) wealth of love out there, but we are scared to let it happen. Worse, if it actually does happen and lightning strikes, we do everything in our power to mess it up and we tell all our friends that “well, you know, it was too good to be true … he’s really way too weird for me … he was cheap … he was blah, blah, blah, blah, blah …” Any excuse to prove that yes, The One is in fact, a myth and we are victims stuck in eternity in Heartbreak Hotel. Boo hoo.
Paulo Coelho in the Alchemist (one of everyone’s must reads), says “The mere possibility of getting what we want fills the soul of the ordinary person with guilt. We look around at all those who have failed to get what they want and feel that we do not deserve to get what we want either.” He also says that the fifth obstacle on the road to achieving our “personal calling” is always an intentional act of sabotage on our part because it has a “saintly aura” about it: you know, “man, I sure tried, but it’s just not in the cards for me …” Feel my pain, feel sorry for me, feel compassion, hug me dammit, hug me.
So ladies, I’m here to tell you that that’s all wrong. First off, let’s start with the much ignored fact that you might be your own One. Ever consider that? Second, if you must invest time and energy in a man, please, please remember not to lose your fabulous selves in them and celebrate your partnership, don’t belabor it (that’s one of the reasons men get tired of us too, by the way. We’re way too clingy). Third, for God’s sake, don’t settle. I’m of the strong opinion that having no sex is better than having bad sex. Same goes with relationships. Having no relationship is much better than having a bad one just cuz you’re lonely. To paraphrase the awesome Sweet Potato Queens, just ask yourself, “if my best girl friend ever pulled these kinda stunts on me, would I stick around?” If your answer is a resounding “No!” then kick the sorry bastard to the curb and move on.
I’d like to leave you with Carrie’s ultimate words of wisdom:
“Later that day I got to thinking about relationships. There are those that open you up to something new and exotic, those that are old and familiar, those that bring up lots of questions, those that bring you somewhere unexpected, those that bring you far from where you started and those that bring you back.
But the most exciting, challenging and significant relationship of all is the one you have with yourself. And if you find someone to love the ‘you’ you love … well, that’s just fabulous.”