One of the useful phrases Allie has brought to my life is "That Guy." As in, I tell her a story where either I or someone else has been silly or stupid or brilliant or hurt or funny or drunk, and she replies, "I've been That Guy." And I say, "Oh, me too, sister." Or we have a variation on the discussion where we're actively avoiding something unwise or immature or not-in-our-best-interest, and she says, "Let's not be That Guy."
I recently decided to admit I'm That Guy. And I'm going confess in which arena.
I'm That Guy who really is sick and damn tired of commercial country music. It is so often schmaltz on a freakin' cracker. Unless the artist has a unique style or stellar talent, it frequently ends up being a song like "From my Front Porch Looking In." Sure, it's sweet. Saccharine. Catchy and happy, and totally unrealistic. (If you don't know the tune: A man is singing about the view from his porch is so much better looking in the house than away from it. 'Cause his kids and his bride are in there.)
I'm That Guy who avoids the sappy romance movie. Oh my damn, how often can one watch the overly-bleached, overly-muscled in some completely contrived situation where the woman is being adored, admired, and respected by the man of her dreams who also happens to be a hot Latin guy? Puh-leeze. I have a better idea, let's go back to the TV show Thirtysomething where at least you knew you weren't alone when, while providing superb physical pleasure to your idiot husband, he complains because your legs aren't shaved. (True story, people.)
I'm That Guy who wouldn't pick up a romance novel if I wrote it and you paid me a grand a page to read the damn thing. Romance novels are WAY worse than country music and sappy movies combined. At least there's the potential for actual art to appear in those mediums -- an occasional great scene or maybe a really inspired chorus, but romance novels? Never. I was That Guy in high school, too. When I tried to read those little romances geared toward teenage girls, I'd get about 30 pages in, then wing the book full force at my closet door.
Now, here's the part I'm confessing:
I'm That Guy partly because I still have a little Pocket of Hope* that maybe I'll get the BIG LOVE. Maybe I'll still have a chance for real Romance -- please note the capital "R." I'm not talking romance as in the drippy stuff, but Romance as in the literature, poetry, cinema, thinking, reading, writing, connected-at-the-mind-and-voice thing that I'd love to have. The kind where you're truly friends at the soul. I'm outrageously blessed to have this with more than one person in my life! I confess that I still desire the BIG LOVE from and for a man. (One who doesn't happen to be gay.)
The sappy-esque input makes the "you're missing the BIG LOVE" card park itself directly in front of my face. So, the truth is, I'm That Guy who is playing a little mind game with herself. I'm avoiding the sap to keep the "you're missing the BIG LOVE" card off to the side and not so much directly in my line of sight. I'm not ashamed of my little misdirection game -- this little essay is my confession to myself and to my Numbers and Friends of my strategy, and an assurance to myself that I'm being honest.
A couple of things I'd like to mention at this time:
- I'm still incredibly thankful for all of the things in my life. Including the heartbreak I've experienced in the last 10 years. It all made me a much more complete and joyful person.
- I'm still committed to truth and to not pretending with any of my friends.
- I'm NOT looking for perfection. Never have.
- There is all kinds of hope. For all kinds of things.
- I both adore and detest the total uncertainty of EVERYTHING.
- PMS sucks ass. This is such a two-Prozac day.
* Pocket of Hope, as opposed to my Backpack of Fear. That's another essay.