“I bet you fall in bed too easily
With the beautiful girls who are shyly brave
And you sell yourself as a man to save
But all the money in the world is not enough”
I can’t tell you how many fucked up boys with substance abuse problems or tragic childhoods I have dated. This is not always a bad thing (because all bad things can be overcome with some effort, people can change, etc), but I have found myself in this “I can save you” situation more times than I care to admit.
As girls we raised with the notion that some sort of prince would save/protect us from everything bad in the world. Disney movies (which I was forbidden to see–more on that another time), fairytales, even Sweet Valley High books…this message was driven home to us a very young age. A lot of grown women still hold on to this belief, at least subconsciously. Those of us who read a bunch of feminist manifestos, flirted with existentialism, and identified ourselves as “riot grrls” decided that we would be follow a different independent path.
Obviously these decisions were made the best intentions…but most of the tough broads I know (JT and Corye being the first exceptions to come to mind…they both have rad, hardworking partners) are financially/emotionally supporting jobless/alcoholic/drug-addled boyfriends. Sure, we’re all financially independent, intelligent women with strong work ethics. But why do we feel it is our duty to save all of this tortured, allegedly creative fellows? No joke: I dated a guy…let’s call him “FF” for easy reference, who worked like, an average of 12 hours of week. This individual is the same age as me, but still receiving some financial assistance from his parents. He once said to me, in all seriousness, “Baby, I am an ARTIST. I can’t work some stupid job.”
Now, I could spend paragraphs breaking this guy down. But in the end, his issues are completely irrelevant. The topic at hand is far more important: why would I, a creative person myself, accept this answer? After all, I’m still slaving away for the man, knowing that rent, tofu, and nifty dresses aren’t free. I probably should have popped this guy in the face and then laughed at him for a few minutes, but instead I probably cooked him dinner and helped him with his laundry.
I will admit this: I am a sucker for a sad story and a cute face. Over time, my tolerance for certain types has diminished. Like, I won’t touch a guy with a drug problem. I still get myself wrapped up with drunks, because somehow alcoholism is more socially acceptable (and I like to tell myself that he will “outgrow it eventually”). I am disgusted by guys who are still hung up on high school rejections. Or the 35 year-old guy still angry at the girl he dated when he was 19. Not my scene…I have no interest in saving them. Boys with hidden stories of childhood abuse, dead loved ones, even unloving parents…now that’s my cup of tea! Bring one by my house and I’ll make him soup, go to 3rd base with him, and then send them him home with a new houseplant. Because, you know, plants liven up every room.
“And I kept standing six-feet-one
Instead of five-feet-two
And I loved my life
And I hated you”