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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

The LIST...

CG and I had a very interesting conversation last night.  We have discussed a few dozen topics in the last two months, and I can see having a couple million more to cover with him before I get tired of hearing his viewpoint.  Did I mention it's our 2 month anniversary... Already?

We had a discussion regarding how your past shapes future choices and behavior.  When I got home, I was thinking about how my past could limit me.  I don't want to completely change my nature, but  I've embraced the idea that if I behave exactly as I've always done, the outcome will be what it's always been. 

My thinking is, If I go into full on rescue mode, trying to smooth the path of the person I'm with to the detriment of myself, I will end up at the bottom of the list of priorities, which is where I've put MYSELF if you catch my drift.  What I mean is, if I put myself last on my own list in order to make things easier or better for the man in my life, then he has no choice but to let me be last on his as well.... That has proved itself to me over and over....

Putting myself at the top of my list is difficult for me.  I told you before, if the Betazoid race was real, that's what my species would be... for those of you who didn't watch Star Trek the Next Generation, let me explain.  A Betazoid is a being who's extremely in tune with feelings and emotions.  Their every move is governed by how the people around them are feeling.  My kids, my family, my man, my cats and my job seem to come before me if I'm left to my own devices. 

Logical thinking says if you don't take care of yourself, you have nothing to give to others.  We all know just how logical I am...NOT... so what resonates with me is how it would affect people I love... that's the only way I can justify putting myself closer to the top. 

I'm extremely in tune with subtleties and the nuance of human body language and expression.  I want people around me to be comfortable and to feel good. 

I have to be careful about that though.  With a romantic partner, you don't want to come off as his mother...THAT could, and SHOULD cool things off in a big hurry... I will never forget being horrified when the wife of a good friend told him to come back and finish his milk when he left the table.  I had one of those terrible knee jerk reactions thinking "Wow...I bet their sex life is HAWT!"....

They are long divorced, and he's now married to a sexy, independent woman.  Most men don't need or want another Momma...Ok - Most NORMAL men...

This leads me to discussing a book that was recommended to me by another fabulous Miss 'L'.    We'll call her "Princess"... because that's what I call her in real life."

Princess went through the demise of a marriage, and subsequent navigation of the single world... she took some time, did some soul searching, and discovered a couple of good books meant for the "rescuer" type... They proved to be a real eye opener for her, so she recommended them to me.  The books are written by Sherry Argov, and are called "Why Men Love Bitches", and "Why Men Marry Bitches".

Princess is the furthest thing from a 'bitch'.  She is kind, absolutely stunning, funny, sweet and makes me want to go save the world every time we chat. She is now blissfully married to a guy who suits her perfectly... in other words, she has joined the ranks of the nauseatingly happy.. Her husband "Coach" is also a good friend to me, and the pair of them have been a bright light in my life. 

In the books, the term 'Bitch' isn't used in quite the same context as is implied in casual conversation.  I think the author actually refers to it as "Babe in Total Control of Herself"... ok... I am not a fan of acronyms... you can make the simplest "word" into something really stupid doing that...

Here's my favorite...gag..."LOL" .  It means Laugh out Loud, NOT Lots of Love... ugh!  I did hear one I thought was pretty good the other day..."SAYCRAP".  Translates to Stupid Acronyms You Can't Remember Anyway... um...Pumpkin!

Wow... SUPER magpie diversion there... let's get back on track...

The basic premise of the books is that men evolved to be hunters, so when a woman becomes too available or is too mothering, she reduces her value in his eyes, because he enjoys the chase.  I mean, really... hundreds of thousands of years of evolution can't be wrong... right?

Princess was smart enough to put the learnings from the book into practice... basically that meant keeping up her own life, rather than morphing into what some guy said he wanted....and being at his beck and call.  It meant keeping her identity, and voicing her opinion. 

Smart girl... now let's look at my initial response to the books... Nobody said I was smart.... well, except my Mom...once.... so don't judge me.... 

I read both books, understood the premise,  and even took a highlighter to the parts I found most relevant.  I realized the value of keeping my own interests, and then promptly turned myself inside out to "help" someone who needed a hand, moving things around to handle all kinds of tasks here for him.  

In other words, even though I read the book and understood the logic behind the messages, I didn't use what I learned, and allowed myself to be used.  We all know how well that turned out for me.   

Needless to say, I read the books again, and am trying to take the relevant parts to heart, which  leads us to today's lesson....

Most women will morph into what they think their current squeeze is looking for.  Why is that stupid?  Well, first, you lose your own identity, and then you lose your allure, because you're no longer a challenge... I mean think about it.  The things you likely value most are those you had to work for.   Makes sense to me.  My favorite car remains the 1974 Toyota Celica I bought for less than $2500.00 when I was 19... I scrimped and saved for that little thing for almost a year...

Ladies: Stay yourself, and voice your own opinions... if you have plans with a girlfriend, don't blow her off if your man suddenly becomes available, and good GOD don't be dropping everything at midnight to "pop by" his place for a "visit".  We all know that's nothing but a booty call.  Keep your own life and do things you like to do... it makes for more interesting conversation with your guy later....Oh...and DON'T try to mother your man....

Guys:  Seriously.   "GPHIYHFYM"... Get Professional Help If You're Hot For Your Momma!

Another little tip for you... if you're dating a guy or girl who has a spreadsheet to split expenses from cup of coffee they buy you, it's time to cut and RUN.  Later....


  1. Good stuff Ellen, lots to ponder, isn't there... :)

    One question tho: what's wrong with a spreadsheet for shared expenses? If you live together does it matter if you calculate them on a cocktail napkin or on Excel?

    -Curious in Cincinnati ;)

  2. Not anonymous, but Princess L here. Thanks so much for all your kind words. I feel the same about you, E. I think there are two key things underpinning all of the good stuff in that book: 1. You have to belive you deserve to be at the top of your own list, which is very hard for a lot of us, and 2. People will treat you the way you treat yourself. Here's a great exercise that worked wonders for me and trust me, if you do this, it will change you. Find a picture of yourself as a child. Cute, innocent, curious, open. Look at that picture for a while, and then imagine saying the things you say to yourself to that child. You know, all the horrible, guilty, awful, judging, cruel things. It will stop you in your tracks. I started to treat the 'child' the way she deserved to be treated. I finally rescued myself. Keep up the good work, Miss E. You are an inspiration.

  3. Hey Princess... Love the tip about the photo... I actually did something similar. After the alcoholic, I took two years off from dating... During that time, I put a picture of myself as a child up on the fridge to remind me that I was someone's little girl... and that I should only date a man who would treat me the way he would want his daughter treated. That's GREAT advice!

    I'm still a work in progress, but I STILL want to be you when I grow up!


  4. Great Read E!!!!!!! I will continue to include your "Blog" in my daily routine.......

    I have some R & R time coming up, I will make it a point to pick up these "must reads"...


  5. E we are all works in progress. That's what makes life exciting. I've known you and Princess for quite some time now and I'd have to say you are both amazing women. Your musings are a bright spot in my day and I appreciate that you share your experiences with us in such an honest and humorous manner. Here's to all of us putting ourselves at the top of the list. :)

  6. Hi Curious,

    Just wanted to comment on your question. If you're in a committed relationship, and you choose to use a spreadsheet to track 'shared expenses' go for it. Do whatever floats your boat in that instance, a spreadsheet, an abacus, coffee stained receipts in a paper bag.... I was referring more to avoiding the kind of person who will keep track of every cup of coffee when you're dating... My feeling is that two adults who like one another should be able to keep things fairly even without that...hope that clears things up.