Wednesday, May 20, 2009

I Don't Need a Man

A few weeks after the painful goodbye to Brown, I did something that nice Catholic girls just don't do.

I went to an adult store and bought myself the thickest, blackest, most utilitarian approximation of a man that I could find.

It was liberating.

Because I was addicted to Brown. More specifically, I was addicted to amazing, glorious sex with Brown. And discovering that I could have amazing, glorious orgasms all by myself was a very liberating form of revenge. My plastic stand-in couldn't kiss my eyelids the way Brown did and it couldn't string me along with empty promises and sweet words of love, but it could absolutely, positively handle the mechanics. (Better than most flesh-and-blood men, I might add.)

And knowing that I could take care of my own needs freed me from what had been my pattern:
  • I'd be celibate for a few weeks or months.
  • Then I'd meet somebody, anybody who was polite enough to get past my no-class meter (which must have been temporarily out of order when I met Semi-Homeless) and who acted like they were into me.
  • The hormones would kick in, and usually I'd be panting and naked at the end of the first date – and feeling really bad about it.
  • Then in a few days, weeks or months, the relationship would be over. I'd be celibate again, and the cycle would begin anew.
After Brown, I knew unequivocally that the merry-go-round had to stop. So I promised myself – and this time I really meant it – that I was done with being a sexual dishrag.

I still wished and hoped that a man would be my escape route from poverty, from loneliness, from boredom, from corporate America. But slowly but surely, against my will, I've learned to take responsibility for my own dreams and to be my own entertainment, the same way that I learned to push my own joy button after my breakup with Brown.

Over the past year, I've begun to come to terms with the fact that I may never marry. I may never have kids. I may never get the white picket fence that I always dreamed about.

That's not an easy pill to swallow, but neither is the alternative: Blaming myself because I didn't find The One or that I didn't make it work with Brown even though so many things were clearly unworkable.

What I finally realized, just in the last few months, is that I really am responsible for taking care of myself and for making my own dreams come true. These aren't the days before washing machines and tractors, when women needed men to take care of them. In our age of automation, education and not quite equal pay, women are fully capable of taking care of themselves, even if we just don't want to.

I've been doing it for 10 years now.

It's not always easy, and it's not always fun.

But I'll take taking care of myself any day over taking care of myself while being emotionally torn in two by a man who's not taking care of me.

(Brown Diaries Parts 1-18: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 | Lessons Learned Part 1 of 3: 1 2 3)

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7 comments:

jb said...

Great post anita...your responsible for your orgasim now. You're the master of your destiny and thats liberating for sure. You know something your an amazing women. Thanks for your support and thanks for being so honest to who you are. You make me feel good about myself. I hope that oneday I can repay you for what you've brought to me.

With Great Respect and Love
JB

Michelle Harris said...

Well, I'm glad for you. I wish many more women could come to this realization.

I got married because it seemed that everyone around me was and I thought I should in order to move on to my grown up life. Well what a silly notion that was!

Funny how so many men can embrace singleness as a chosen lifestyle and make the most of it, yet many women view singleness as a holding pattern until "Mr. Right" comes along. Whut up wit dat?

Kim said...

That was righteous, girl! Tell your truth!

Enchantress said...

This post is right on time, I needed to hear this! I've been celibate a few times, but after so long I get to my "breaking point" and it's hard to keep pushing forward. I've learned that keeping myself busy helps a lot!

Michelle: "Funny how so many men can embrace singleness as a chosen lifestyle and make the most of it, yet many women view singleness as a holding pattern until "Mr. Right" comes along. Whut up wit dat?"

I think we can learn a lot if we paid more attention to how men behave. We wouldn't continue to have unrealistic expectations regarding how a man will act/react when it comes to relationships. I don't think we as women are made to behave like men, but paying attention to what they do or DON'T do can keep up from enduring unnecessary heartache.

Cheron L. Hall said...

"I still wished and hoped that a man would be my escape route from poverty, from loneliness, from boredom, from corporate America. But slowly but surely, against my will, I've learned to take responsibility for my own dreams and to be my own entertainment..."

I need to post this up in a frame and put it on my desk...I'm learning...

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