As a person with an endless desire to think about everything, I've come to realize that many of us tend to speak to those we have feelings for in riddles, as methods of communication are becoming more and more impaired. Heartbroken? Upload a YouTube video with the word "damaged" somewhere in the song title onto Facebook and have your former love decode the meaning. Did a guy dump you and you never got the opportunity to explain your stance? Post an angry tweet to an audience of followers you bought and hope that maybe one day he'll read it. Sadly, a majority of people do not speak directly to another person to convey their feelings or even treat another kindly if it means they could wind up wounding their pride in the process. It seems as if speaking to the one we claim to love revolves around manipulation, using passive aggressive tactics and even displaying a cold demeanor. I can't grasp this logic since I possess this fun thing called "empathy" which enables me to understand and feel for even the most difficult of people. Leading my friends and family who care about me, to upgrade that extent of caring to a high risk state of worrying about me. When it comes to the way I've handled my relationships, I've gotten some shitty reviews. "You're too nice," is a typical reaction. "I'd tell him to fuck off," is another popular selection. "If he's going to follow other girls on (insert social media network here), go and follow other guys instead of bitching about it." I know they mean well with their opinions but I can't take this advice. All I want in the end is affection and trust. So why on Earth would I go about destroying any chances of that by showing someone early on that I can not be trusted? And besides, Super Personal Alert:
A lot of memories I have growing up were of my parent's constant tango throughout the process of their divorce that was filled with a lack of communication and a impressive amount of games. Games that were used to get a rise out of the other since vocalization apparently was never an option. I can never comprehend how one could harbor such wounded feelings. I remember long car rides with my father, laying in the backseat alone listening to all the classic rock love songs he'd play and paying attention to every lyric. And being with my mother while she attempted to belt out the notes to Gloria Estefan's "The Words Get in the Way." Now I can see why these songs were listened to on such heavy rotation. Perhaps society respects the artists behind love songs so much because someone managed to take the feelings everyone fears and turn them into something beautiful. All those emotions you have a hard time expressing, someone wrote them out for you and now you can sing along to them. Love songs will always be extremely important to me for they are sung from people I can identify with. People who can feel for someone on such a level where it's so strong it can be made into art. With that being said, I could never find a part inside of me that would go about retaliating in any vengeful manner even if the pain from another mounts to a height where it would be justified. Nowhere in that song did Ms. Estefan say, "But the words get in the way. There's so much I want to say. But it's locked deep inside so now I'm going to follow a male model on Instagram."
All this leads me to wonder: Why is this behavior where one's own fear of being hurt results in using mind games to control anothers' emotions as well as their own?
Why has it become so morally acceptable?
What the hell happened?
"Ever read that book The Rules? It reiterates this kind of behavior, " says my friend whom I so frequently exchange trash talk with. "Oh, I remember this nonsense," I sigh in response as I start to recall all the aggravating tricks this book advises women to practice. "You know, it says you should never send the person you're interested in a text that's bigger than half your thumb. What if your iPhone has that massive sized text font going on? You'll be all 'Hey cutie, meet me at the beach AH SHIT THIS TEXT IS NOW LARGER THAN MY WHOLE FACE I'LL NEVER FIND LOVE.'"
We later came to the conclusion that we should roll up on this book and beat its ass with several baseball bats like they did to that three in one fax/printer/copier in Office Space. Yet being post-goths and all, neither of us own anything related to sports such as a bat or know anyone we could borrow one from. But we sure as shit own The Cure's mushiest album, Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me. So I opt to write some not so nice things in regards to This Shitty Book to a soundtrack of super intense love songs. 'Cause, still goth a little here guys.
In case you haven't heard of it, The Rules is a "self-help" book, which first appeared in 1995 and gives instructions on how to capture the heart of man and in turn, make him your husband. Super cool, right? Whatever. One downfall; you will have to play mind games throughout your life with this person. Sounds great! Here's the sound that came out of my mouth when I understood the premise of this book:
Since I'm a woman who was once MARRIED and prior to that, had two other long-term relationships, I can safely pose the question, "What?"
Being that a lot of people are stupid, this book became a best seller and the authors had a series of books to follow with the most recent published in 2011 titled, The Rules Revisited, an updated version customized to address our current modes of correspondence through texting and social media's direct messaging. Here's their take the texting waiting period:
"The older you are, the longer you should wait. For example, a 30-year-old should wait 12 hours and a 40-plus-year-old should wait a day to reply. These text-back times do not apply to weekends, specifically from Friday at 6pm to Sunday at 6pm."
Word? You know what happens when you are a 40 year old who waits a day to reply to a text? You look like a 40 year old who took a day to reply to a text because you are a 40 year old who doesn't know how to use a phone. A simple conversation via text messaging asking a person how their day is going takes 4 hours because you're supposed to look busy and nonchalant. Meanwhile you're really just sitting there staring at your phone retweeting jokes about social anxiety and Arby's. Why are there all sorts of math equations involved when texting a member of the opposite sex? It seems as if you have to wait a significant amount of time to write an introductory text, in which the recipient decides on an appropriate time frame in which to respond. Upon response, you, the original texting party, divide the minutes it took that person to respond by two. (Or if you're feeling like a super shithead, you MULTIPLY those minutes by two.) By 8pm we learn your name is Paul and you live 3 miles away. I don't want to do all this unnecessary math just to go see a movie with you when I can walk to the Arclight, see 6 whole movies, stop by an ATM and do some more math then walk back home by the time this conversation is still transpiring. Thanks book and the people that bought into this making it a way of life. This herpes of literature caught on quick enough to create the drones that rise to the surface of a dating scene that's less exciting than watching butter melt.
Here's a bunch of bulleted excerpts from this shit explosion that is, "The Rules" and then my opinion of said shit explosions:
•Don't Talk to a Man First (and Don't Ask Him to Dance)
So don't ask him to dance first? Ok. Got it. Should I also never let him see my no-no spots ever? Probably not, right? Since, obviously, you guys were born in 1812, BC.
•Don't Call Him and Rarely Return His Calls
One good tip is to never get to know the guy you're interested in and then also go ahead and show the guy you're interested in very little interest.
•Always End Phone Calls First
Yep, this is a great way to let the man you like know he's super boring. That'll do wonders for his self-esteem. Oh, I'm sorry, that's the point of this book: To destroy a man's self-esteem to get him to marry you. Nope, that’s not selfish or manipulative. Totally fine.
•Don’t See Him More than Once or Twice a Week
Don't see your boyfriend ever and never have sex because that'll make it so he won't want to have sex with other people. And don't like sex either because that's not very ladylike.
•Don't Expect a Man to Change or Try to Change Him
Yes, you should love him for who he is and take him at face value. Which also means if he has that of a reserved nature, you should approach him first and show him interest. Completely contradicting the first listed rule that states, "Don't talk to a man first." This book could make all shy men doomed. Which is dumb because I don't want somebody loving everybody. I need a shy guy, the kinda guy, who'll only be mine Oh Lord have mercy, mercy, mercy, Di man dem in di party, party, party, di ol a dem sexy, sexy, sexy, you know what I mean?
•No More than Casual Kissing on the First Date
Oh whoa my great grandma's grandma wrote a book? Nope, never be passionate. Passion is bad. Being a cold-hearted woman with intimacy issues is way better.
•Don’t Open Up Too Fast
No way, never have deep conversations when you feel a connection with someone. That's just silly.
•Men like women. Don’t act like a man, even if you are head of your own company. Let him open the door. Be feminine. Don’t tell sarcastic jokes. Don’t be a loud, knee-slapping, hysterically funny girl. This is okay when you’re alone with your girlfriends. But when you’re with a man you like, be quiet and mysterious, act ladylike, cross your legs and smile
Fuck you X1000. I'm sorry, I sometimes am this person and people have loved me for being this person. I once asked the most recent guy I dated, a guy who spoke very eloquently and would wear a suit everywhere, even to the arcade, if he was embarrassed by how loud and ridiculous I tend to be. He would always say that it was part of the reason he loved me; that I was always myself around him. And he's still a great friend because we share a similar way of looking at things, and we understand each other. Not many people can relate on that level. You shouldn't tone yourself down and present some watered down version of yourself. And now I am a Facebook quote.
•On the contrary, act as if you were born happy
Yes because in fact, I was born happy and that's why at times I am a loud, knee-slapping, hysterically funny girl, you bozos.
•If you have a bad nose, get a nose job; color gray hair; grow your hair long. Men prefer long hair, something to play with and caress.
Clearly women don't have enough on their plate in regards to being physically appealing. Competition is high and the warmth we should have for another woman, as we are a naturally nurturing gender, is left hindered by our self esteem issues. Many women look at one another as a threat and are ridden with jealousy over the most trivial of things like how another girl's eyelashes may be longer than theirs. Women don't have it very easy. And they don't need to read shit like this to encourage any further negativity in regards to the way they look. People should be celebrated for their individuality. It took me 31 years to accept myself as who I am and I'm very pleased I did not have the money as a teenager to ever get that once desired nose job. These "perfect" faces that we see in abundance, splattered all over the internet, are rapidly became boring and quite frankly, people are just starting to look like the same person. Same nose, same lips, same expression, same, same, same. And there's no such thing as a bad nose- it's original. Personally, I like crooked and/or large noses on men. I also like receding hairlines. It's not that this is what I seek. It's just a pattern I've noticed with most men I've been attracted to. Another's personal preference may be nothing like your own. I'm never changing myself in any way, shape or form because I do NOT wish to attract these kind of superficial idiots. I like people of substance and if all this matters to them, then I could live my life without ever knowing them. As should most people.
•NEVER write angry texts, emails, posts or tweets in retaliation
I'll give them one thing, this is right. Never be a woman scorned who goes on to make a huge scene on the internet when things don't go your way. You'll look nuts, bitter and inappropriate to THE WORLD, which includes any new guys you may want to date. And besides, it's just stupid.
•Practice, Practice, Practice! (or, Getting Good at The Rules)
You mean, be further acquainted with not having human emotions? Yea sure, I'll continue to practice that while I seethe inside over how I lost all means of communication, enabling my resentment for the male population and making me buy into this shitfest of a book even more while letting myself become brainwashed by the minds of women I've never met who've been in their own, separate relationships that obviously went horribly wrong. Probably because plain and simple, they're just not good people.
•Even if You're Engaged or Married, You Still Need The Rules
Meaning keep playing mind games with my husband while teaching my children how to be stoic and emotionally vacant, filled with emptiness and an inability to display affection after observing his or her parents' vapid and heartless marriage? Okay.
•Do The Rules, Even when Your Friends and Parents Think It's Nuts
I see, so ignore the people who care about me when they try to coax me out of being a miserable woman with callous intentions? Sure, I won't listen to them and instead take advice from some damaged women who somehow got a publisher.
•Take Care of Yourself and Other Rules for Dating in College
Don't want to lose possible audience while they're off studying and partying and have no money left to purchase yet another piece of shit addition on how to be a piece of shit.
•Don't Discuss The Rules with Your Therapist-
Obviously because your therapist will think you are out of your mind and give you a referral to a psychiatrist who will place you on at least 4 different meds for being so awfully depressed because your nose isn't "what men want".
•Love Only Those Who Love You
I understand this in a sense where you don't want to be the Tina to an Ike Turner but there are some men who fear intimacy. Good men who've been through hell and back and are afraid. In which case you should, as a person who loves someone, go out on a limb and extend yourself. That's what love is. It's selfless. This book is all about self-protection and how to continue to look at men as the enemy. They're called your "partner" for a reason. Kind of sad.
•Be a “Creature Unlike Any Other"
Meaning, be yourself and not the idiots that wrote this book want you to become?
Pretty much straight up shit explosion, huh? Oh, and if you have a hard time reading, you can always take these courses oh how to become a fully certified asshole:
Only $1200? Not bad considering you're a fucking dingbat.
The main focus of 'The Rules' is advising caution to women when it comes to being too ambitious with the one you want. They insist that if you chase guys, you will live a life of misfortune and that no man will ever love you and you will die alone with your big nose. That's too bad. Come to think of it, I've noticed the opposite. I'm not one to make an effort these days to approach men, probably because I've been attracted to maybe 3 this year. Although I must say the best relationship that I had was with a guy that I chased. I chased him because I knew he and I would complement one another and have a healthy relationship. No mind games at any point because we cared enough about each other to discuss things rationally. I was with that guy for almost 4 years. Again, I pursued him, later learning that he was into me but never thought to initiate anything for he did not think I could like him like that. If I had went and waited for him to call me, I might've never experienced that amazing relationship. With that being said, these fools be straight trippin'.
Reading this doesn't make me want to grow as a person. If anything, buying into this book would only encourage me to go about my life with an ignorant and unobservant mind thinking that I am right, everyone else is wrong and I am the most important person that has ever lived. That people should cater to me and I shouldn't look at where I was wrong in any relationship, continuing to drag the same mentally and emotionally stagnant person that I've always been into the next relationship and every one thereafter all the while never seeing my faults. I'm no best selling author like these ladies but if I had to make a suggestion, I would say maybe try to be a good person and be genuine if you want to be surrounded by equally great people. Get over yourself, your pride and treat the one you desire with decency. I believe that there are two things in life that drive us, fear and love. But when you have a fear of love, that's a very sorry state to find yourself in. This book is available on Amazon.com and probably a yard sale somewhere if you want to become another soulless deadpan of an idiot.
Oh and also, “Hmmph”.