#BeaconOfHope Now that I’ve cleared up, to the approval of anyone still confused and full of men’s rage why #yesallwomen isn’t a personal attack on them…let me fix loneliness.
I am the hero of this story.
I had one “boyfriend” for 6 months in college and then, 17 yrs later, I met my husband after several years online dating. To quote my sister, “If you’re going to wait 17 years for a boyfriend, Andy was one to wait for.” *I wasn’t “waiting” patiently. But, as time went by, I didn’t end up hating men and I haven’t gone on a killing spree. I’m just saying… everyone is not-fucked. Keep trying.
Men who say “women don’t like nice guys” mean that some woman they have a crush on doesn’t like them and are not taking their overture of friendship as a gateway to romance. Guess what gentlemen, it’s EXACTLY the same for women. Everyone has bemoaned the thousands of people, who are assholes, that have boyfriends/girlfriends, while they do not. Women talk about how men only like “girls that are mean to them.” We can all see that that is the same sentence with the gender swapped. In fact, we’re all idiots at this except the people that were born good at this.
I don’t know why. If I knew why, I would always have had a boyfriend.
We’re all raised with the stories of how everyone grows up, gets a boyfriend or girlfriend, and then the movie ends. Or, even weirder, it’s the kind of movie where, someone has a loved one, only to break up with them to go out with someone hotter. In that story, two people want to sex it up with them. They have an extra, if you will. I know some people, not even assholes, who have lived that life. It’s always felt like a damn superpower to me.
I know more people who have had my experience… Not dating, not having a partner, being alone and not understanding why. It might be that I’m a comic, but I’d bet not.
What I have learned is that I was right to try. I know that you have to keep trying. I don’t know how I know that: nature, nurture, something in the water. I learned that about friendship in 9th grade, when I was 14; and I learned that about men when I was 35.
Really, Kashian? You didn’t know how to have a friend until you were 14? Right. And, until you were 35 years old you didn’t know how to try to have a boyfriend? Yes. I’m not great socially. It takes work. And romance is the scariest, so it takes hope.
I thought I was trying. I thought I WAS hitting on a guy by just standing next to them, silently using my powers of telekinesis to get him to ask me out. Or giving guys presents. Giving guys candy in junior high, buying them drinks in college, getting them work in standup after college… These are the ploys of someone that doesn’t know how to initiate a “I would like a romantic partner now” conversation.
Some men talk about the drink-buying, “I bought her drinks all night, she should know I like her.” Yeah..I’ve tried that. That’s what all that present giving is: I find you attractive, here’s some stuff. If the person you’re buying things for doesn’t like you back you’re just getting someone else drunk on your dime. And they’re still not into you. It’s not polite but some guys took the candy, the presents, the money. Just like some women do. And some guys turned it down because they knew what I was doing, because they had done it too. Just like some women do. But don’t think only men do this foolishness. I’m not the only woman that’s shelled out cash and prizes trying to get a guy to like me. And plenty of men have taken the gifts. As gifts. And not gone out with me. (Wait. AM I the hero if this story?)
My other “dating technique” (learned in college) was to get hammered and hang on some dude. Neither message says, by the way, “hey want to be my boyfriend?”
Thank God online dating was invented. Online dating made it so clear. I didn’t have to “hit on” or wait to be “hit on.” I could, from the relative safety of my house, put it out there. Men could and did ignore what I was “offering” but some guys wanted to, at least, meet and politely not be interested, face to face. Dozens of men were not interested in me (and vicey versy) after lengthy discussions online and, eventual meetings, over several years.
I’d online date for three months, pause and regroup. I’d chat with some guy who claimed to be a “young 50” or I’d meet a guy that I thought was great but he lived 40 miles away from me and neither of us was interested enough to make that drive. It was emotionally exhausting but it was the only way for me. It helped me. I have never been able to flirt. Everyone on an online dating site knows it’s purpose is to find romance. Or whatever. Because the format is clear.
I could go in saying, “I would like a date, not a friend.” We might and should become friends but the clear, unspoken point was, “do you want to ever kiss me?” “Do I want to ever kiss you?” And you (or the other person) will know immediately, or after 3 or 5 dates, yea or nay.
Most everything I know about relationships I learned from standup comedy. It’s not a particularly great way to learn but it’s also not inaccurate. The advantages of seeing one million guys bitch about their wives, girlfriends and lack thereof for a million years, is that I know what might irritate a guy and, hence, I try to be polite and not do the things premised about in any relationship I’ve had. *seemypublishedworks.
And when I say “relationship” I mean, for the first 15 years of doing standup comedy, languishing unrequited crushes on really funny comics that were not interested. And now I thank my lucky stars that they were not interested…for whatever reason.
We all look around and are attracted to the person we are attracted to. We learn early on that it’s not going to be reciprocated:
In 7th grade I went to my first dance. I was wearing my brother’s baseball jersey and a pair of his dress pants. Because they were dress pants! I stood around for a while and then a slow dance started playing. I looked around for a guy to dance with and walked up to the quarterback for the 9th grade football team. And asked him to dance. In front of his friends. Oh, he said no. I don’t remember him being mean about it. He was confused. I was dressed like a boy and I’d just turned 12. He was 14.
He was confused? I was confused, I thought, oh you ask the person you want to touch, to dance with you. Turns out there’s more to it. His needs, wants and desires, just to start. Everyone gets to pick if they don’t want to dance. Men, women…and the asker has to take it from the askee. Make a note.
I’ll say, because of my lack of innate, intuitive romance skills, I have been unaware of guys that did like me. In retrospect, those guys existed…but I couldn’t read the signs. And they weren’t any better at it than I was. They were standing next to ME, using their powers of telekinesis to get me to recognize their interest. So, I recommend we all look around in our lives. If you don’t see anyone, use the drop-down menu.
The common misconceptions of comics who are, at the moment they write a joke, not “getting any,” can encourage preconceptions of an entire audience. Of the dozens of irritating comedy premises (from every kind of person) one that is often poorly done (and occasionally really well done) is, “women can get laid whenever they want to.” I get the premise, gentlemen. But not really.
I know I’ve wanted to get laid and then couldn’t just get laid. Because, just as men don’t generally want just “any hole,” most women don’t want “just any penis.” I can’t decide to have sex with the guy that I wanted to have sex with. Hello Dick Cavett 1987! And if I have sex just for the “tune up” there will always be that “awkward moment” when you can’t help but think, “is this where he kills me?” *joke fromBreadAlbum. #fulldisclosure You can’t have an orgasm if you’re poised for flight. Super tense.
I used to be able, rarely, to get laid when I got drunk enough. I could let go of my fears. And I could blow off the real thought in my head, which is that I didn’t just want to get laid, I wanted a steady fella. When I stopped getting drunk to get laid, I couldn’t just get laid. Which is when I started trying to figure out how to get a boyfriend.
And then I got a boyfriend and it was scary as all hell. “Now what?” Was my next irrational fear. What do I do with him now? Well. It turns out that, if it’s the right person, you WANT to hang out with them even when you’re not “doing it.” You can become friends and lovers and supporters of each others’ work and hobbies and dreams.
I have that fear that many people have, that, when he/she finds out I’m actually a horrible person they’ll leave me. But I also know that is weirdo talk in my head. My actual human responsibility is all inside work and practicing courtesy outside work. I know when I’m a jackass. I work on that from the inside out. And, if it bleeds out into the real world (to him or somebody who’s working for a living: like at a restaurant or Starbucks, cuz that’s where I lose it verbally), I apologize. That’s my rule. And hell if that doesn’t take some practice. I’m still working on that one. And I think I will for my whole life.
My other least favorite premise is the “women hate nice guys” and “men only like mean women.” Because, unless you’ve got a great take on that premise (I’ve seen it done well), the punchlines are all about how nice women are “gross, sad, cat ladies” and nice guys are “nerds who live in their parents basements.” Sigh. Too sweeping, no longer commonly true, and you can’t have it both ways. Or, I guess you can, because you do, but it still blows as a punchline. It exhausts me because, all I can think when I hear those jokes is, “That might be the nice person you’re looking for, fuckwit.”